Revised MCAT Scoring Scale Released Revised MCAT Scoring Scale Released

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MCAT 2015 Scoring Scale

With the release of a revised scoring scale students anxiously awaiting the launch of the new MCAT in 2015 have something new to consider.  At the end of April the AAMC released the radically changed scoring scale which was created for a number of reasons:

  1. The scoring scale needed to be updated to accommodate the addition of a fourth section.
  2. The AAMC wanted to create a new scale so that there would be no confusion around a student’s score depending on which version of the test they took.
  3. The AAMC hopes that the new scale will provide a more nuanced view of a student’s overall performance.

While the numbers are completely different, the structure of the score is relatively similar.  Just like the current MCAT, students will receive a comprehensive score that is the sum of the sections scores.  The individual sections will be scored on a scale of 118 to 132, with 125 serving as the mid-point.  These four section scores when added will yield a score of 472 to 528 with 500 being a mid-point.

Individual Section Scale

MCAT_Single_Section

Comprehensive Score Scale

Full_MCAT_Scale

While some may question the need for a completely revamped scoring scale it does make sense.  Imagine the confusion if AAMC had simply added another 15 point section to the test.  A 33, which is a solid score on the current 45 point scale, would be significantly worse on this new hypothetical 60 point scale.  If admissions officials were comparing students that took different versions of the test there could be confusion if officials weren’t constantly aware of which version of the test a student took.

Besides making it crystal clear which version of the MCAT a student has taken, the AAMC stated that the new scoring scale would emphasize the center of the scoring range instead of the top third as has traditionally been the case.  Historically, students scoring towards the middle of the scoring scale have performed admirably in medical school, usually pass their licensing exams on their first try, but were often overlooked as they weren’t able to crack the 30 point threshold.  The hope is that this new scoring scale will provide a more nuanced look at a student’s potential, and remain an accurate predictor of future performance in medical school.

In order to evaluate the new scoring scale the AAMC is working with 17 medical schools to collect data on admitted students.  The goal is to examine the relationship between a student’s score and their performance in medical school and on licensing exams.  If you would like to learn more about the new MCAT and what to expect in 2015 the AAMC has put together a great interactive guide that provides an overview of all of the content covered on the new test.

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