What are Score Profiles in MCAT Scoring?

February 20, 2024

minute read

Are you ready to take the MCAT? Do you know how the MCAT is going to be scored? 

If you are going to take the MCAT, it is worth noting that aside from studying and preparing for the different subjects that will be covered in the exam, you must also be aware of how the exam is scored. 

You have to understand the components of your MCAT score report and the admissions committees, who will use it to assess your readiness for academic success in medical school.

This article is here to explain to you what MCAT score profiles are. If you want to learn more, please read on.

What is the MCAT?

The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is a standardized computer-based multiple-choice exam that is required for admission to almost all medical colleges in the US and Canada.

Medical schools can evaluate and compare an applicant's qualifications and preparation for medical school using criteria provided by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), which oversees the MCAT. 

Admissions committees evaluate the level of your academic background based on your MCAT score and GPA.

What are the Four Sections of the MCAT? 

There are four sections in the MCAT.

Your scientific knowledge and reasoning skills in organic chemistry, general chemistry, introductory biology, introductory physics, psychology, biochemistry, and sociology are examined in the first three sections of the exam.

The last component will assess your reading, comprehension, and interpretation abilities about social sciences and humanities topics. 

Here are the MCAT’s four sections:

How is the MCAT Scored? 

On the four multiple-choice sections of the MCAT exam, your raw scores are based on how many questions you properly answer. 

Incorrect answers are evaluated the same way as unanswered questions; thus, they have no bearing on your final score. 

As there is no additional punishment for erroneous answers, you should still give your best guess to each question even if you are unsure of the answer.

The number of correct responses for each segment is converted into a scaled score, ranging from 118 (lowest) to 132 (highest). 

For example, if your correct answer on one of the sections is between 32 and 36, your converted score can be 125. A number accurate score between 53 and 55 might be given a converted score of 130, and so on.

Your success on the MCAT exam is independent of the precise form you used, the test takers you were partnered with, the test date, or the time of year because any difference in difficulty level is considered when calculating your scaled scores.

What are MCAT Score Profiles? 

                            Sample MCAT Score Report
The highlighted part shows the score profile of the candidate. 

The MCAT score profiles are provided to help you identify your areas of strength and weakness across the four exam components. Then, should you choose to retake the MCAT, you can utilize this section of the score report to identify the areas you should concentrate on. 

For instance, you would know to spend more time reviewing the chemistry area of the MCAT if your score was low. 

Furthermore, you may exert less effort in studying and reviewing subjects and topics where you got a good score. 

Along with other details concerning your academic preparation (such as course enrollment and grades), as well as in relation to the missions and goals of your institutions, you can take into account your strengths and shortcomings on the MCAT through the MCAT score profile. 

Keep in mind that there are more test questions in each of the new MCAT’s four sections than in the prior exam's corresponding areas. 

More questions equate to more accurate results. More accurate test results offer more detailed information at the section level and facilitate more robust comparisons between sections.

Is the MCAT Graded on a Curve? 

The subject of whether achieving a high score varies over the course of the testing year or whether the exam is graded on a curve is one that test-takers frequently ask. 

There is no curve grading for the MCAT. Instead, the MCAT is equated and scaled so that scores are the same regardless of when you take it or who else takes it concurrently with you.

There may have been some changes in the MCAT exam format since you answered different sets of questions than another examinee. Still, these variances are considered throughout the scoring process. 

For example, a score of 124 on one test form's Critical Analysis and Reasoning portion equates to a score of 124 on any other test form's equivalent section. 

Your success on the MCAT exam is independent of the particular form you used, the group of test takers you were partnered with, the test date, or the time of year because any difference in difficulty level is considered when computing your scaled scores.

To know more about how MCAT raw and scaled scores work, check out these additional resources:

Additional FAQs – What are MCAT Score Profiles? 

What is the Purpose of the MCAT Score Profile?

The MCAT score profile is there to help you identify whether you perform well or poorly on each of the different sections of the MCAT. 

If you need to retake the MCAT, you will know the sections you need to focus more on because of the data on your MCAT score profile.

What is a Good MCAT Score?

A good MCAT score varies from one student to another or from one school to another. Therefore, there are schools whose required MCAT score is higher than others. 

For example, Harvard University requires at least a 520 MCAT Score from its students to get admitted. 

Additionally, some universities need their students to at least get a 511 MCAT Score, such as the University of Washington and Oregon Health and Sciences University

However, recent statistics show that the typical MCAT score of applicants accepted into allopathic (MD-granting) medical schools for the academic year 2021–2022 was 511.9. This is an increase compared to 2020–2021 when the average was 511.5.

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