Is 478 a Good MCAT Score?

June 25, 2024

minute read

Our students have often asked us:

  • Should I retake a 478 MCAT score?
  • Is 478 a bad MCAT score?
  • Is 478 a good MCAT score?
  • Can I get into med school with a 478 MCAT score?

We're answering each question in this article.

If you’ve scored 478 on a practice or real MCAT exam, or are thinking of making 478 your goal MCAT score, below is an objective analysis and recommendation on how to move forward.

Is 478 a Bad MCAT Score?

A 478 on the MCAT is a below-average score. According to recent AAMC stats:

  • A 478 is 2 percentile rank on the MCAT.*
  • The current average MCAT score is near the 501 mark, and a 478 is 23 points away from that score.*
  • A competitive score on the MCAT is 511+ on the MCAT, and a 478 is 33 points away from that score.*

*2024 AAMC MCAT Score Statistics Data: 

MCAT Score Percentile Conversion

For your reference, below is a chart converting MCAT scores to percentiles.

Mcat Score Percentiles

Consider the Distribution of 478 MCAT Score | How Does MCAT Scoring Work?

Another factor in determining if 478 is a good MCAT score is the score’s distribution among the four sections:

Each section has a score range from 118 to 132. 

A balanced MCAT score is always preferred.

For a 478, a balanced distribution would be 120, 120, 119, and 119. Or individual section scores very close to those numbers.

Any section score that is much lower than the other sections acts as a red flag for medical school admission committees. 

Also, the MCAT uses a scaled scoring system. It is not graded on a curve, so it doesn’t matter when you take the exam and who takes it with you.

More details are in the following articles:

Is 478 a Good MCAT Score?

If you scored a 478 on the MCAT, this means you performed in the 2 percentile according to most recent AAMC statistics, and are 33 points away from a competitive 511.

Therefore, if aiming to maximize chances of admission into most North American medical schools, a 478 is not the best score as most applicants will be scoring around this mark.

Mcat Mastery Strategy System

Without knowing which medical school(s) you’re applying to, it’s difficult to determine if a 478 is truly a good or bad MCAT score for your unique situation.

Below we’ll look further into that factor.

Can I Get Into Medical School With A 478 MCAT Score?

Medical schools have different cutoffs for students based on being in-state, out-of-state, in particular programs, socioeconomic backgrounds, and more. 

Considering that a 478 is a below-average score, it is improbable to be competitive for med-school admission with that score. 

However, once you know which medical schools you aim to get into, you’ll better understand whether a 478 will get you accepted. 

You will need to go to your target medical school’s website and see their MCAT score cutoffs and average MCAT scores for matriculants. 

To make your search a little easier, in the articles below, you’ll find lists of the top medical schools in the US and Canada and their average MCAT scores:

What Is A Good MCAT Score?

According to recent AAMC data, a score above 501 will put you in the above-average category of testers.

A score above 511 will make your application competitive, as that is the average MCAT score of matriculants over the last few years.

That said, a good MCAT score depends on several factors, including your target med-school and the score distribution among the MCAT sections

For example, some medical schools automatically accept students from specific programs if they hit certain scores.

Additional reading: 

Should I Retake The MCAT If My Score Is 478?

Yes, if you want to maximize your chances of achieving medical school acceptance, we recommend you retake the MCAT if your score is 478. 

Seeing how a 478 on the MCAT is significantly below the average MCAT score of 501, it will be in your best interest to improve your score, as most medical schools seek students with above-average credentials.

Many of us on The MedLife Mastery Team are retakers and really struggled to improve our MCAT scores. 

Today we all have 515+ scores, and we’ve helped hundreds of students with improving their scores as well. 

So we know you can improve your MCAT score with the right strategies and guidance 🙂

To get you started with improving your MCAT score, we’ve created a lot of free resources on this website to help you with your MCAT strategy.

MCAT Mastery Free Strategy Crash Course

Additional Reading: 

Additional FAQ - Is 478 a Good MCAT Score?

Can You Score Lower than 478 on the MCAT?

Yes, a 472 is the lowest score you can get on the MCAT exam. A 478 is 6 points higher than the lowest MCAT score.

Additional Reading:

Your MCAT Success Mentors

About the Author

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