1 minute read

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Importance Of The Mcat

The MCAT scores provide admissions committees with nationally standardized measures of both academic ability and achievement. This permits comparison of applicants even though they have widely different academic backgrounds and attend different colleges. The scores attained on the MCAT do not by themselves determine admission and are supplemental in interpreting the academic record, since they help to shed light on the academic abilities of the applicant. The extent of their importance varies among medical schools because committees place different degrees of stress on the scores. In general, the MCAT scores are significant in relation to the academic record of the individual. When the scores are high or low for a student with a good or a weak record, respectively, they simply confirm the academic record. When they are significantly different from the student's record, they raise questions that can be critical in determining admissions. Thus students with poor records and high scores may have greater potential than their records indicate. In such cases, more intensive evaluation may be warranted, and the applicants may be called for an interview that they otherwise may not have been granted. At the interview, the discrepancy between the academic record and the MCAT scores can be clarified, and the applicants will have the opportunity to “sell themselves,” perhaps significantly improving their chances for admission.

On the other hand, when the academic record is high and the MCAT scores are low, the applicant's interview will not be perfunctory but will be aimed at clarifying the discrepancy. He or she will have to convince the interviewer of potential ability and overcome the uncertainty that has been created. One way of doing this is to retake the test and perform significantly better.

In summary, the implication of your MCAT score is as follows:

GPA MCAT Impact on Admission
High (3.7) High (12) Confirmatory; enhances chances
High Low Diminishes chances
Average (3.5) High Supportive; improves chances
Average Average (10) Status unchanged
Average Low (9) Diminishes chances
Low (3.3) High Improves chances
Low Low Confirmatory, seriously diminished

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesGuide to Medical & Dental SchoolsThe Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) - Overview Of The Mcat, Importance Of The Mcat, Contents Of The Mcat, Preparing For The Mcat