MCAT Guide > MCAT Score
The MCAT is graded unlike any other test you have taken before. There is no “passing” score to the MCAT, but you will need to know what the average score is for the medical schools you want to apply too.
The test is graded by one human and one computer grader. Scores are generally received within 30 days and if you opt into, you will also join an email list where you can receive communication from medical schools. Four separate scores are derived from the MCAT, one for each section. These four scores are reported to you, to the medical schools you designate, and, with your permission, to your undergraduate advisor.
Each score that you achieve on the multiple-choice sections (Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Biological Sciences) is based on the number of questions you answer correctly. This raw score is a reflection of your correct answers only. This means that a wrong answer will be scored exactly the same as an unanswered question; there is no additional penalty for wrong answers. Therefore, even if you are unsure of the correct answer to a question, you should make your best guess.
Your raw score on the Writing Sample is determined by adding the scores you receive on each of the two responses you write. Because two different readers rate each response, your total raw Writing score is the sum of the four scores: two for the first response and two for the second.
The scores for the multiple-choice sections-Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, and Biological Sciences-will be reported on a scale ranging from 1 (lowest) to 15 (highest). The raw score you receive on each section is converted to a score on this 15-point scale. For example, if your raw score on one of the sections is between 40 and 43, your converted score might be 11. Scores ranging from 44 to 46 might have a converted score of 12, and so forth.
Your raw score on the Writing sample will be converted to an alphabetic scale ranging from J (lowest) to T (highest). Each letter represents the sum of two scores on the two Writing Sample items. The sum can result from different combinations of individual scores.
(Individual scores are assigned along a 6-point scale.) For example, a student whose scores are 4 and 5 on the first item and 4 and 4 on the second—a raw score of 17—would receive the same alphabetic score point as student who scored a 3 and 3 on the first items and a 5 and 6 on the second. In addition to scores for the individual sections, a total score will also be reported. This total score will consist of a combined multiple-choice score conjoined with the Writing Sample score, e.g., 42T.
2012 Average Scores and Percentiles
|Score (1-15)||Percentile||Score (15-30)||Percentile||Score (30-45)||Percentile|
Average Score: 25.2
Standard Deviation: 6.4
Based on 89,452 MCAT Test Takers
Why are raw scores converted to scaled scores?
The conversion of raw scores to scaled scores compensates for small variations in difficulty between sets of questions. The exact conversion of raw to scaled scores is not constant; because different sets of questions are used on different test dates.
Conversion of your raw scores to the 15-point scale also helps minimize variability in test scores due to factors unrelated to your skill or knowledge. Variability in scores may be due to such external factors as state of health or degree of familiarity with standardized testing.
The 15-point scale tends to provide a more stable and accurate assessment of a student's abilities. Two students of equal ability would be expected to get the same scaled score, even though there might be a slight difference between the raw scores each student obtained on the test.
Scaled scores on the MCAT can be interpreted as percentile rank ranges based on the performance of all students taking the test during a given administration or in a given year. The percentages of students achieving each scaled score vary somewhat from one administration to another.
Interpretive information—scaled score means and standard deviations for each area of assessment, percentages of students achieving each scaled score, and percentile rank ranges—will be provided with your score report so that you may compare your performance to that of other students.
All medical schools that are members of AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) receive released MCAT scores automatically. Students may use the online MCAT Thx System to request to have their scores sent to non-AMCAS schools.