Average Scores Are Inevitable
The way the MCAT is scored means some people will get only an average MCAT score. You are scored against your peers. If they do well, you must do even better to get a high grade. If they did not do well, you do not have to do as well to get a high grade.
So what is the average MCAT score? In 2010, the 50th percentile is 25 out of 45. If you want more details on the MCAT percentiles, Wikipedia has them.
Will You Get into Medical School with an Average Score?
Your goal is to do better than average. But if you did average, with a score of 25 or so, you will still get into medical school … in the Caribbean. If you decide to go that route, you will have a harder time to become a practicing physician than if you went to an American medical school.
The drop-out rates for Caribbean medical schools are quite high.
Even so, if you are willing to put in the effort, you can still do well and practice medicine in the US. One of my friend’s brother is an anesthesiologist after graduating from a Caribbean medical school.
With an average score, you may have a chance of getting into an osteopathic school. It will be tough. You will need a stellar GPA, impressive extra-curricular activities, and a good interview to offset your score.
Should You Retake the MCAT?
If you are an under-represented minority applicant, you could get admitted into medical school with a lower score. If you must go to a MD school in the US, especially if you’re Asian or Caucasian, retake the exam.
The answer really depends on your ethnicity. I highly recommend you read this article to see how your average score compare to your competition.
Personally, with an average score, I would not retake the exam.
Time is money. And, I did not want to wait around for a year. I wanted to go to medical school as soon as possible.
By only applying to DO schools and Caribbean schools, I’ll have a good chance of getting in somewhere.
If you decide to take the MCAT again, make sure you can do better. I believe the schools will see your previous scores if you choose to retake the exam. So if you score poorly, the schools can see that.
Check out the MCAT test prep section for more tips on how to study if you choose to retake the exam.
This article is part of the Get into Medical School series. Click on the link if you want more tips and hints about getting accepted into medical school.