Studying for the MCAT is hard work and taking it is often stressful. However, you must know how the MCAT scoring system works so you can get the meaning of your MCAT scores. Though distinct, the MCAT score is fairly straightforward to interpret.

Log onto the MCAT Testing History (THx) System and enter the user name and password that you used to register for the MCAT. Your scores become available roughly one month after your test date.

Look at your verbal reasoning (VR) score. It is a number between 1 and 15, with 15 being the highest. This is a scaled score, meaning that the number of multiple choice questions you answered correctly is placed on a distribution with all of the other MCAT test takers from your test day.

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Realize that a scaled score is the best way to ensure fairness for all MCAT test takers. Different versions of the MCAT are given on each exam day. If a particular test is harder than another one, then the overall MCAT average is lower for that test. By scaling your MCAT score, the relative difficulty of individual tests is taken into account.

Look at your physical sciences (PS) and biological sciences scores. These are scaled scores that are calculated much like the verbal reasoning score.

Look at your writing sample (WS) score. The writing is scored on a J to T scale, with T being the highest. Two scorers actually score your writing sample. One is human, while the other is a computer. Both rate your writing sample on a 1 to 6 scale, and your final score is the sum of the two scores. The lowest you can get is a J, which corresponds to two 1s, and the highest is a T, which corresponds to two 6s.

Look at your total score. This is the numerical sum of your verbal reasoning, biological sciences and physical sciences scores. The writing sample score is placed beside the composite sum.

Click on "Show Percentiles." This shows how well you did in relation to everybody else who took the test. Scores around 8 and 9 for each section are generally around the 50th percentile, as is a writing score of O. As you increase or decrease from the 50th percentile, a 1-point difference corresponds to less of a change in percentile ranking. For example, an 11 on biological sciences could rank around the 85th percentile, representing an increase of 35 percentile points. Increasing your score to a 12 would increase your percentile ranking less than increasing your score from 10 to 11. This is the case because your scaled scores are based on a bell curve distribution.


  • An MCAT score over 30 is generally considered competitive for medical school. To be competitive for top tier medical schools, aim for a score above 35.
  • The Writing Sample is less important to medical school admissions committees than your numerical scores.


  • The MCAT is only one component of a medical school application. A good MCAT score does not necessarily get you into medical school if you have other areas lacking, such as GPA or extracurriculars. Conversely, a low MCAT score does not necessarily exclude you from medical school if you have other strong points in your application.

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