The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT®) is taken by most applicants to US and Canadian medical school, many of whom place somewhere within the range of average MCAT® scores. While the mean score for each section will vary from year to year, the average MCAT® scores generally hover around 24 to 25 for the composite score and around 8 for each of the three multiple choice sections, which include verbal reasoning, biological sciences, and physical sciences. On the writing portion of the MCAT® exam, the average score is an O when graded on a scale from J, which is the weakest, through T, which is the strongest.
Average MCAT® scores achieved by test takers are not the same as those achieved by medical students who are actually accepted into medical school, however. Each medical school will have different statistics, and some matriculating classes yield scores near the national average and other classes have scores well above the national average. Some of the most competitive medical schools have students who scored an average of 35 or above on the MCAT®. A wide sampling of medical schools has shown that the average MCAT® scores for accepted US applicants is about 30 composite and about Q for the writing portion.
In 2008, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released data on the range of scores achieved that year. On the verbal reasoning section, the mean score achieved was an 8.0 with a standard deviation of 2.5, indicating that 68% of students scored between a 5.5 and a 10.5 on this section. The average MCAT® scores for the biological sciences and physical sciences were 8.7 and 8.2 respectively, with standard deviations of 2.5 and 2.4. For the writing sample, the 50th percentile score was an O, the 25th percentile score was an M, and the 75th percentile score was a Q.
It is important to note several factors when considering average MCAT® scores, including the fact that scores are often given in percentile ranges. The total composite score, as well as the individual section scores, are also both given weight. For example, a student scoring a 30 composite with a 10 in each section would be viewed differently than a student with a 30 that received section scores of 15, 15, and 0. The MCAT® scores are frequently considered along with grade point average (GPA) in determining statistics about average medical school applicants.