Should I Void My MCAT Score?

May 30, 2024
4 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/30/24

If you’re wondering about voiding your MCAT score, this article will help you better understand your decision.

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is an important component of the medical school application process, serving as a significant factor in determining an applicant's potential for success in medical education. As aspiring physicians prepare diligently for this comprehensive exam, the decision to void one's MCAT score can be an agonizing one. 

Voiding the score essentially means erasing all evidence of one's performance and starting anew with the potential benefit of a clean slate. However, this decision is not to be taken lightly, as it carries potential consequences that can impact an individual's future medical career. 

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Should I Void My MCAT Score?

The decision to void an MCAT score is a deeply personal and individual one. It requires careful consideration of various factors, including your preparedness, performance, and future aspirations. While voiding the score offers the opportunity for a fresh start, you must weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making a final decision.

Advantages of Voiding

There are a few potential advantages to voiding your MCAT score if you feel you performed very poorly on test day.

1. Fresh Start

Voiding your score offers the opportunity for a clean slate. If you were truly ill-prepared or faced extenuating circumstances during the exam, voiding allows you to erase the record of that attempt. You can then prepare more thoroughly and retake the MCAT when you are ready.

2. Avoiding a Low Score on Your Record

Medical schools can see all your MCAT attempts unless you void the score. If you are certain you bombed the exam, voiding prevents a very low score from showing up in your testing history, which could raise red flags.

3. Gaining Real Test Day Experience

Some suggest that even if you plan to void, you should still finish the exam and treat it as a practice run. This allows you to gain the experience of real MCAT test conditions and potentially learn from your mistakes. Just be sure to actually void at the end if that was your plan.

Choosing to void your MCAT score can be a difficult decision, but it makes it easier when you know your target school’s average MCAT score. This is a benchmark you should aim for, and if you get a considerably worse score, voiding could be a great option.

If you need help with choosing your target school, take our med school selection quiz. It’s designed to help students like you find out what school is best for their med school aspirations.

Disadvantages of Voiding

While voiding your MCAT score may seem like a good idea if you feel you performed poorly, there are several significant disadvantages to consider.

1. Wasted Time and Money

Preparing for and taking the MCAT requires a substantial investment of both time and money. Voiding your score essentially negates all that effort and expense. You will need to pay the full registration fee again to retake the exam.

2. Lost Opportunity for a Usable Score

Many test-takers feel they performed worse than they actually did. By voiding, you lose the chance to receive a score that, even if lower than you hoped, may still be usable for some medical school applications. You might be surprised by your score.

3. Counts Against Your Lifetime Limit

The MCAT can only be taken a handful of times. A voided exam still counts as one of these attempts. If you void too many times, you may run out of opportunities to earn a competitive score.

4. Doesn't Allow You to Learn from Mistakes

Receiving your score report, even for a disappointing performance, allows you to review your strengths and weaknesses and create a focused study plan for improvement. Voiding eliminates this learning opportunity.

In most cases, the disadvantages of voiding outweigh the potential benefits. It's usually better to keep your score and use it as a baseline to measure your progress and identify areas for improvement in future attempts.

When to Void Your MCAT Score

Voiding your MCAT score is a critical decision that should not be taken lightly. Here are a few times it may be a good idea to void your score. 

1. Unexpected Circumstances

Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances can significantly impact your performance on test day. If you experienced an uncontrollable event, such as illness, personal emergency, or extreme anxiety, that significantly hindered your ability to perform at your best, voiding your score may be a reasonable option.

2. Clear Discrepancy

Occasionally, test-takers may realize during the exam that they have misread questions, misunderstood instructions, or made multiple errors. If you have a clear sense that you have made severe mistakes early on in the test, and you believe that salvaging your score would be highly unlikely, voiding can save you from submitting a disappointing result.

3. Lack of Preparation 

If you find that you were underprepared for the MCAT despite your best efforts, voiding your score may offer an opportunity to regroup and bolster your knowledge base on certain topics.

4. Inconsistent Practice Scores

If your practice exam scores consistently fall below your target or desired range, it might indicate a need for further preparation. 

5. Strategic Decision

Occasionally, test-takers choose to void their MCAT score strategically, even if they feel reasonably confident in their performance. This approach is typically reserved for those who have specific knowledge about their desired medical schools' admission processes.

How Does Voiding Your MCAT Work?

If you decide to void your MCAT score, it's important to understand the process and implications. Here's how voiding works.

1. Indicate Your Decision at the End of the Exam

After completing all four sections of the MCAT, you will be given the option to void your score or have it reported. You must make this decision before viewing your score. Once you view your score, you can no longer void the exam.

2. Confirm Your Choice

You will be asked to confirm your decision to void. Be absolutely certain, as this action cannot be undone. If you choose to void, you will not receive a score for that attempt, and medical schools will not see that you voided an exam.

3. Voided Exams Still Count as an Attempt

Even though no score is reported for a voided exam, it still counts as one of your 7-lifetime attempts and one of 3 attempts allowed per year. This is important to consider when planning your MCAT journey and deciding whether to void.

4. No Refunds for Voided Exams

Voiding an exam does not entitle you to a refund of your registration fees. You will need to pay the full amount again to retake the MCAT.

5. Cannot Be Reversed

Once you confirm your decision to void, it cannot be reversed. Be absolutely sure before submitting your choice. You cannot change your mind after leaving the testing center.

Can Medical Schools See Voided MCAT?

When you choose to void your MCAT score, it means that you are electing not to have your score reported to medical schools or any other institutions. As a result, the voided score does not become part of your official MCAT record. Therefore, medical schools do not have direct access to voided scores during the application review process.

If you’ve voided your score in hopes of improving your score for the next time you take the test, consider booking a free consultation with one of our MCAT tutors. They have the insider knowledge to take your MCAT study plan to the next level.

Take Eric, for example, who got accepted to Harvard Medical School after receiving an MCAT score of 522.

“Inspira supported my MCAT preparations with two tutors, one for the sciences and analytical section and another one for the behavior foundations. They both were experts in their domains and helped improve my score. I was able to score 13 points higher than my diagnostic exams.”

FAQs: Voiding MCAT

Here are a few questions about voiding your MCAT score.

1. Is It Better to Void or Retake the MCAT?

The decision to void or retake the MCAT depends on individual circumstances, such as the severity of the performance issues. Carefully evaluating personal readiness and the potential for improvement can help determine the best course of action.

2. Why Would You Void the MCAT?

Voiding the MCAT is a choice made when unforeseen circumstances, extreme anxiety, or a lack of preparedness significantly impact performance. It allows for a fresh start, gives you the opportunity to demonstrate improvement, and prevents underwhelming scores from hindering admission chances to medical schools.

3. Is Voiding the MCAT the Same as a No-Show?

No, voiding the MCAT and a no-show are different. Voiding means erasing the score after completing the exam, while a no-show refers to not appearing for the exam at all. Voiding allows you to retake the MCAT, whereas a no-show typically requires registering and paying for another test date.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the decision to void your MCAT score is a personal one that should be approached with careful consideration and reflection. By making an informed decision that aligns with your aspirations, you can confidently navigate the path toward achieving your dreams of becoming a future physician.

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