Is 515 a Good MCAT Score?

June 9, 2024

minute read

Our students have often asked us:

  • Should I retake a 515 MCAT score?
  • Is 515 a bad MCAT score?
  • Is 515 a good MCAT score?
  • Can I get into med school with a 515 MCAT score?

If you’ve scored 515 on a practice or real MCAT exam, or are thinking of making 515 your goal MCAT score, below is an objective analysis and recommendation on how to move forward.

Is 515 a Bad MCAT Score?

According to recent AAMC stats, a 515 on the MCAT is not a bad score because it’s an above-average MCAT score, and it is competitive for med-school admission:

  • A 515 is 91 percentile rank on the MCAT.*
  • The current average MCAT score is at the 501 mark, and a 515 is 14 points ahead of that score.*
  • A competitive score on the MCAT is 511, and anything above it since 511 is the average score of those who achieved med-school admission in recent years.

If you started with a below-501 score on the MCAT and have scored a 515, congratulations, you are no longer in the bottom 50th percentile on the MCAT!

If you’ve been scoring below 501 on the MCAT, and have scored a 515 with a balanced distribution among the 4 sections, congratulations, you are now officially a competitive applicant for most med schools in North America!

*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 515 MCAT Score | How Does MCAT Scoring Work?

Another factor in determining if 515 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 515, a balanced distribution would be 129 , 129, 129, and 128. 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 515 a Good MCAT Score?

If you scored a 515 on the MCAT, this means you performed in the 91st percentile according to most recent AAMC statistics, and you now have a competitive score for med-school admission.

Therefore, if aiming to maximize chances of admission into most North American medical schools, a 515 is a good score since it’s well above the scores the majority of MCAT testers will receive.

MCAT Mastery Strategy System

However, without knowing which medical school(s) you’re applying to, it’s difficult to determine if a 515 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 515 MCAT Score?

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

Considering that a 515 is far ahead of the average MCAT score of a 501, it’s very competitive for med-school admission

With a 515, you are likely to make many med-school score cutoffs, and the rest of your application doesn’t need to be extremely competitive in order for you to be a viable candidate for most med-schools.

Once you know which medical schools you aim to get into, you’ll better understand whether a 515 will get you accepted. 

For example, some of the top medical schools in the US have an average MCAT score of 522. If you’re aiming to get into those schools, you’re still several points away.

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 515?

Generally, we recommend retaking the MCAT if the MCAT score is not balanced among the four sections of the MCAT or your target med-school has a higher cut-off.

For example, if you scored 126/130/130/129, the 126 sticks out and can be a red flag to med-schools. 

Different medical schools have different levels of leniency when it comes to outlier scores, so we recommend doing some research before deciding to retake the MCAT again.

Retaking the MCAT is a stressful process. We know because many of us on The MedLife Mastery Team are retakers and were in a similar position. We saw our scores rise fastest when we were already getting above-average scores. 

If you plan to re-take, you can work with one of us who’s been through your situation if you’d like. 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 help you continue 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 515 a Good MCAT Score?

Can You Score Lower than 515 on the MCAT?

Yes, a 472 is the lowest score you can get on the MCAT exam. A 515 is 43 points higher than the lowest MCAT score.

Additional Reading:

Your MCAT Success Mentors

About the Author

We're a team of future doctors passionate about giving back and mentoring other future doctors! All mentors on the team are top MCAT scorers and we all are committed to seeing you succeed in achieving your physician dreams ????To help you increase your MCAT score to the competitive mark quickly, we have collaboratively created these self-paced MCAT strategy courses and are also available for one-on-one tutoring!

How To Increase Your MCAT Score In 3 Weeks
Free Video: How I Increased My MCAT Score By 18 Points In 3 Weeks & Scored 516

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