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MCAT Score Ranges: What You Need to Know

May 16, 2022
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MCAT Total Score RangeMCAT Score Ranges by SectionMCAT Score Range Examples

”Jonathan

Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 4/13/22

Wondering how the MCAT is scored? Here we discuss everything you need to know about MCAT score ranges.

If you’re about to take the MCAT, you may be anxious about your score and what it means for you. Learning about MCAT score ranges can help you get a better handle on the way the MCAT is scored. In this article, we’ll cover all the bases of MCAT score ranges, including the total score range, score ranges by section, examples, and more. 

Let’s get started!

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MCAT Total Score Range

Your total MCAT score ranges from 472 to 528, meaning the midpoint is 500. It’s important to understand that the MCAT scores each of its four sections individually. Your total score is the combination of each score you received on the four sections of the test. 

MCAT Percentiles

No matter what your MCAT scores are, they will fall within a percentile rank. Percentile ranks help students understand where their scores place them compared to other test takers. Knowing your percentile rank can help you decide if you are happy with your scores or want to retake the test. 

The AAMC has divided scores into percentile ranks in the following table:

Three tables outlining the total score range of the MCAT between 472 and 528,and what each score's percentile rank is
Source: AAMC Total and Section Scores 

Percentile ranks on the MCAT are meant to help familiarize you with the grade you’ve received. Upon receiving your score, you can compare your rank with your target school’s requirements and median MCAT to know if it is competitive enough. 

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MCAT Score Ranges by Section

Each of the four sections on the MCAT has a lowest possible score of 118 and a highest possible score of 132, meaning each has a midpoint of 125. Upon receiving your MCAT score results, you will receive scores for each section. Each section is scored as follows:

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

The biological and biochemical foundations of living systems section of the MCAT (also known as the biology section) tests your knowledge of biological and biochemical concepts, and your problem solving, scientific inquiry, and reasoning skills. 

The Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section has a score range from a low point of 118 to a high of 132 and is worth 25% of your overall score.

Time: 95 minutes

Number of Questions: 59

Subjects: 

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

The Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems section of the MCAT tests your knowledge of chemical and physical foundational concepts, your understanding of human systems, as well as your scientific inquiry and reasoning skills.

The Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems section has a score range with a low point of 118 to a high of 132 and is worth 25% of your overall score.

Time: 95 minutes

Number of Questions: 59

Subjects: 

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

The Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section tests your ability to understand how psychological, biological, and social factors can influence human perception, reaction, relationships, and behavior. You’ll also be asked questions about cultural, social, and economic differences, and how to treat a diverse population. 

The Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section has a score range with a low point of 118 to a high of 132 and is worth 25% of your overall score.

Time: 95 minutes

Number of Questions: 59

Subjects: 

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) section of the MCAT tests your ability to pull key information from complex texts using critical analysis, reading comprehension and reasoning skills. The CARS section is known for being the most challenging section of the test.

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section has a score range with a low point of 118 to a high of 132 and is worth 25% of your overall score.

Time: 90 minutes

Number of Questions: 53

Subjects: 

MCAT Score Range Examples

Here we’ll go over examples of MCAT score ranges to give you a better idea of how they function. The AAMC has provided the graphic below describing how the MCAT is scored:

Infographic outlining how the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills sections of the MCAT are scored.
Source: AAMC

MCAT Score Example

Let’s take a look at one student’s MCAT section scores on each of the four sections and calculate their total score and percentile. The student’s scores are:

Table outlining four example MCAT section scores

Each of the four scores are worth 25% and can be combined to understand the total score, which in this example is 509. A 509 MCAT score is within the 75% percentile rank according to the AAMC Total and Section Scores percentile table.

Final Thoughts

MCAT score ranges may seem complicated, but are quite simple to navigate. To calculate your final MCAT score, you simply add each of the four section scores together. Each of the four sections are scored the same and worth an equal percentage of your final grade. Once you’ve figured out your MCAT score, you can find what percentile your score is in to help you better understand what your score means for you.

Good luck on your MCAT!

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