Got a Low Practice MCAT Score? Here’s What To Do Next.

Getting a low MCAT score on a practice MCAT exam can be discouraging, but don't worry. Discover what to do next to increase your score.
  • Reviewed By: Liz Flagge
  • If you are searching this right now, odds are you just got a low MCAT score on your latest practice test. Maybe it was just slightly lower than what you were hoping for. The important thing to keep in mind is that this is a common obstacle people face when preparing for the MCAT.

    Good news: You can use this as a learning experience to help reach your goal MCAT score! Let’s break down exactly how a low practice test score impacts your MCAT studying journey and what your next steps should be after!

    How To Bounce Back From a Low Practice MCAT Score

    Step 1: Do. Not. Panic. 

    Trust me, just about every person who has ever studied for the MCAT has been in your exact shoes at some point. It is a common problem to not have a practice MCAT test go the way that you had hoped.

    Take a deep breath, and recognize that this score is for no one’s eyes but your own. It has no implication for how you are going to score on actual MCAT exam day. This is simply a data point in the grand scheme of your MCAT prep. 

    I like to think about a graph of my MCAT practice scores like a graph of the stock market. There might be some bad days where the graph dips way down, but overall the trend should be upwards. It is okay if there are some dips in your scores. The only trend that matters is the overarching trend, which you should see going up over time as you progress. 

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    Step 2: Take a Break

    After you are done with an MCAT practice test, your brain feels fried, and emotions can run high. Step away. Go for a walk. Call your mom. Whatever you do, do not stew in front of your computer into sadness soup. Allow yourself to take some R&R before you dive into a review of the exam.

    The score is not going to change at this point. So, it is important to get yourself into a better mindset before you can spin the experience into something positive. 

    Step 3: Review Your Exam 

    It is crucial to review your practice exam thoroughly to figure out what went poorly and, also, what went well turn this low MCAT score into a meaningful experience in your studying journey.

    If your score took a dip, there is a reason for it. Maybe it is related to specific content areas that were tested or maybe you struggled through certain passages. For some, a poor practice test experience may be the result of a super stressful week or a distracting testing environment.

    Figure these things out, and write them down in your Lessons Learned Journal as you’re reviewing. It is crucial to figure out exactly what was different in this exam compared to your previous ones so that you can make an action plan to improve before your next exam. 

    Not sure how to create a Lessons Learned Journal? Create a free Blueprint MCAT account to try ours for free, with extra guidance from Blue, our AI MCAT tutor!

    Step 4: Make an Action Plan

    Once you have figured out what was different about this testing experience compared to your previous practice exams, you can make a plan to address your weaknesses before your next practice test.

    For example, if you missed 2 questions about the Henderson-Hasselbach equation, an action plan would be to review that content and complete a practice question set on the topic.

    If you missed questions where you were able to get it down to a 50/50 chance and chose the wrong answer, you might consider an action plan of reviewing the relevant strategy.

    However, you must follow through and address the reasons you got a low MCAT score on your practice exam so that history doesn’t repeat itself!

    Step 5: Move On

    A low MCAT practice score is not a hindrance unless you dwell on it. It is a normal part of the MCAT prep journey for almost every premed student.

    Give yourself some grace. It is your job to make mistakes so that you can learn from them. A single low practice score does not dictate what you are capable of! Keep moving forward with your study plan and you will achieve your goals. 

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a disappointing practice test score, know that you are not alone. It can be hard not to panic or feel discouraged but know that making mistakes is part of the process and will allow you to continue growing. Onward and upward!

    Need a little more help getting that MCAT score increase? Whether you need the flexibility of a Self-Paced Course, the instruction of a Live Course, or 1:1 attention of a private MCAT tutor, we have the MCAT prep option that works for your learning style! With resources such as a powerful AI-powered MCAT QBank, representative full-length practice exams, and more, you’ll get all the practice you need to reach your goal score.

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