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The Perfect MCAT Score: What You Need to Know

January 5, 2023
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What is a Perfect MCAT Score?How Hard is it to Get a Perfect MCAT Score?3 Tips on How to Get a Perfect MCAT ScoreFAQs: Perfect MCAT Score

”Rohan

Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Chief Resident in Anesthesiology, Weill Cornell Medicine, & Admissions Officer, Columbia University

Reviewed: 01/05/22

Wondering how to get a perfect MCAT score? Read on for information, tips, and frequently asked questions about achieving a perfect score on the MCAT.

The MCAT is notoriously challenging for many aspiring med school students. If you’re in pursuit of a career as a medical professional, you’ll know that getting into the med school of your dreams requires hard work; a perfect score on the MCAT  doesn’t hurt.

The MCAT requires thorough knowledge and understanding of foundational principles in physics, biology, chemistry, and behavioral psychology. Students who take the MCAT are often advised to start studying at least three months before taking their test. 

While most aspiring med school students aim to achieve a good score to meet admission standards, some might want to go above and beyond and aim for a perfect MCAT score – read on to learn more! 

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What is a Perfect MCAT Score?

So, what is the highest MCAT score you can get? A perfect MCAT score is 528, while the lowest score you can get is 472. Your score is based on your number of correct answers. You won’t lose points for incorrect answers or unanswered questions; however, they won’t count toward your total score.

Your raw MCAT scores will be converted into scaled scores ranging from 118 to 132, 118 being the lowest score you can get in each section. Achieving a perfect MCAT score means you’ll have to score a perfect 132 in each section.

The first three sections contain 59 questions each, and the final section contains 53 questions. So, if you receive a raw score of 50 on one section, your score might be converted into a scaled section score of 129. Note that the conversions can vary annually since the MCAT’s content may change or differ slightly in terms of difficulty.

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How Hard is it to Get a Perfect MCAT Score?

Students who took the MCAT scored an average of 501.5 on the test. However, matriculating students scored an average of 511.9 on the test. Regardless of which med school you’re hoping to attend, you’ll find that having a competitive MCAT score at or above this average would place you in good standing at many schools.

With that said, the AAMC doesn’t release concrete numbers on how many students achieve a perfect MCAT score, but this graph shows that few test-takers achieve the elusive 528 score. 

Graph showing a summary of mcat total scores
Source: AAMC

In fact, students who scored 524 or higher on the exam are considered in the 100th percentile, meaning they scored higher than all other test-takers. With all these points considered, getting a perfect MCAT score is challenging but not impossible. 

3 Tips on How to Get a Perfect MCAT Score

Now that we’ve discussed what constitutes a perfect score, we’ll discuss how to get a 528 on the MCAT.

1. Have a Plan

As with any test, it always serves to have a plan. Having a plan makes the process much more manageable as you start studying. Especially with the MCAT, you’ll want to create a plan ahead due to the density of the material it covers. One way you can do this is by creating an MCAT study schedule

In doing this, you can determine your timeline. Knowing how much time you have to study before you schedule your test is essential to maximize your score. As you do this, consider your daily life to ensure you have enough time to study and balance your other responsibilities. 

While it’s recommended to give yourself at least three months to study if you’re aiming for a perfect MCAT score, it would be best to start studying more than three months before your scheduled MCAT date.

2. Know What to Study 

Knowing what to study is crucial to your success. Having a good understanding of how the test is broken down can help guide your focus. 

The MCAT is a standardized multiple-choice test. The test is based on your knowledge and understanding of foundational concepts required to successfully get through med school. 

The four sections are: 

  1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behaviour 
  4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning

Each section is broken down as follows: 

MCAT sections table
Source: The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

In addition to these sections, you’ll also be tested on your scientific inquiry and reasoning skills throughout the MCAT. This is classified into four different skills:

As you begin studying for the MCAT, create an outline of what’s expected in each section. Focus on learning and understanding content as opposed to memorization. To get a perfect MCAT score, you’ll also want to know how to apply foundational concepts and skills to any question.

3. Practice!

Once you understand the content, practice and review consistently. It’s integral you allot an equal amount of time at the start to go through each section thoroughly. This will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. 

Once you’ve pinpointed the areas you find challenging, you can alter your study schedule and take more time to review them later. You should also get more comfortable with the format. You’ll be taking the test for 7.5 hours total, with 10-minute breaks between each section. The breakdown of the MCAT is as follows: 

MCAT time allotted per section
Source: The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

As you study, it’s essential to take full-length practice tests. They help you get used to the testing structure and time limits allotted for each MCAT section. Additionally, taking practice tests helps you understand how questions are presented. Understanding how test questions are formulated will better prepare you to get a perfect MCAT score.

FAQs: Perfect MCAT Score

Now that we’ve reviewed what a perfect score on the MCAT is, we’ll answer some FAQs to answer any lingering questions you might have.

1. Has Anyone Gotten a Perfect Score on the MCAT?

Though getting a perfect MCAT score is a challenging feat, some prospective med school students have gotten a perfect score.

2. How Rare is a Perfect Score on the MCAT?

A score of 528 on the MCAT places you in the 100th percentile of individuals who have taken the test. Based on the AAMC’s Summary of MCAT Total and Section Scores, we can approximate that 0.020% of individuals managed to achieve a perfect score on their MCAT.

3. How Many People Get a Perfect MCAT Score? 

It’s difficult to pinpoint precisely how many people achieve a perfect MCAT score, but the number is small – likely in the double-digits among tens of thousands of test-takers. 

Final Thoughts

As you start studying for the MCAT, it's essential to set a goal to help you keep your focus. While a perfect MCAT score is rare, it’s possible to attain. With this said, a perfect score on the MCAT isn’t the standard when submitting a competitive med school application. 

It’s essential to remember the importance of your current academic performance, extracurricular activities, and volunteer experience. Remember, your MCAT score, while important, complements the rest of your application. We wish you the best as you strive for a perfect score on the MCAT! 

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