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MCAT Scores: How the scoring system works in 2013

  • by John
  • Mar 23, 2013
  • MCAT Blog, MCAT Long Form, MCAT Prep, Med School Admissions

MCAT Scores

If you are planning on taking the MCAT in 2013 or 2014, you might have heard that the scoring scale will be a little different this year. Read on to find all the information.

2013 MCAT Score changes

If you have friends who have studied for past MCATs, you probably know their scores were reported as a number with a letter. This year, the numbered scoring system stays exactly the same, but the letter goes away.

For each of the three multiple choice sections (physical sciences, biological sciences, and verbal) you will be assigned a grade between 1 and 15. The average scores are between 9 and 9.8 on each section. Then your 3 scores are added up.

The letter grade used to be a human-scored writing sample. The writing sample has been eliminated. In its place, at the end of the test, is now an “optional” trial section at the end of the exam. The purpose of this section is for AAMC to test questions that will go into a new section in 2015.

Your score on the trial section is not counted and will not be seen by medical college admissions committees. However, you do get a $30 Amazon card from AAMC if you “put in a good faith effort” and you get to see how your scores compare to other applicants. All this is a way of saying that you should try your best while you are working through the trial section, but you do not need to prepare for it in any way.

2015 MCAT Changes

In 2015, as you might have heard, the MCAT will be changing again. The 2013 changes are really just a way of phasing in the bigger changes in 2015. In 2015 the MCAT will have 4 scored sections:

  • Physical sciences
  • Biological sciences
  • Critical analysis and reasoning — an updated version of today’s verbal section
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior — a completely new section

You will receive 4 scores for each of the 4 sections. AAMC as of this writing has not released the new scoring scale. It will likely be a similar scale (1-15 for each section), though that would create confusion since a very good score on the current MCAT, like 35, could easily be confused for a mediocre score if the test is scored out of 60 instead of out of 45.

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