The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), developed and administered by the AAMC, is a standardized, multiple-choice examination created to help medical school admissions offices assess your problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. It gages your knowledge of basic science concepts.
What’s on the MCAT Exam?
The four main content areas of the MCAT include:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Section
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section
All three sections of the MCAT other than the Writing Samples are in multiple-choice format and are graded based only on the number of correct answers, not on the number of errors. The three initial, raw scores, are then converted to scaled scores based on a 15-point scale, with 15 being the highest score. A total, combined score for the three multiple choice sections is also provided.
Each of two MCAT writing samples is graded on a 6-point scale by two different readers. This results in four preliminary writing sample scores for each exam. The four preliminary scores are then added together to determine a raw score for the Writing Sample section. Finally the raw score on the Writing Sample section is converted to a letter grade ranging from a low score of J to a high score of T.
For the majority of medical schools in the United States, the MCAT score is weighted as heavily as the GPA. In some cases, where the MCAT score and the GPA offer contradictory assessments of an applicant, schools in the U.S. may place more weight on the MCAT.
The AAMC as well as several standardized test preparation companies, including Kaplan and Princeton Review, provide limited free online and/or proctored MCAT practice tests. Updated versions of actual, retired MCAT exams are also available for order through the AAMC. Your scores on these practice tests should help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as ascertain your preparedness. Once you are satisfied with the results of your practice tests, you may be ready to conquer the MCAT itself.
The Premedical Program in the College of Science and Technology will continue to research and update the latest information on the MCAT and MCAT preparation materials.
ALL PREMEDICAL STUDENTS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE OBTAIN A MCAT SCORE OF 510 OR HIGHER.
COLLEGE GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA)
The serious premedical student is always studying and always striving to achieve a grade of “A” in every college course taken. It must be remembered, that as a premedical student, you are competing against the world; not just students in the U.S. Premedical students are strongly encouraged to maintain a 3.5 or better overall grade point average in college to remain comfortably competitive.