Is 523 a Good MCAT Score?

June 25, 2024

minute read

Our students have often asked us:

  • Should I retake a 523 MCAT score?
  • Is 523 a bad MCAT score?
  • Is 523 a good MCAT score?
  • Can I get into med school with a 523 MCAT score?

If you’ve scored 523 on a practice or real MCAT exam, or are thinking of making 523 your goal MCAT score, below is an objective analysis and recommendation on how to move forward.

Is 523 a Bad MCAT Score?

According to recent AAMC stats, a 523 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 523 is 99 percentile rank on the MCAT.*
  • The current average MCAT score is at the 501 mark, and a 523 is 22 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.
  • A perfect MCAT score is 528 and 523 is 5 points away from that score.*

If you started with a below-501 score on the MCAT and have scored a 523, 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 523 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 523 MCAT Score | How Does MCAT Scoring Work?

Another factor in determining if 523 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 523, a balanced distribution would be 131 , 131, 131, and 130. 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 523 a Good MCAT Score?

If you scored a 523 on the MCAT, this means you performed in the 99th 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 523 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 523 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 523 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 523 is far ahead of the average MCAT score of a 501, it’s very competitive for med-school admission

With a 523, 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 523 will get you accepted. 

For example, some of the top medical schools in the US have an average MCAT score of 523. 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 523?

Generally, we recommend retaking the MCAT if the MCAT score is not balanced among the four sections of the MCAT. But with a 523 MCAT score, it's unlikely that one of your section scores will be abnormally out of balance. 

For example, if you scored 127/132/132/132, the 127 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.

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 523 a Good MCAT Score?

Can You Score Lower than 523 on the MCAT?

Yes, a 472 is the lowest score you can get on the MCAT exam. A 523 is 51 points higher than the lowest MCAT score.

Additional Reading:

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About the Author

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