The perfect MCAT score is a 528. It’s the highest MCAT score you can get. If that's all you'd like to know, then you're good to go! But in this article we’ll discuss this maximum MCAT score and a few questions that inevitably come along after you find out what it is.
In order to get started on the journey of a lifetime which is your medical school journey, it is important to be mindful of the key factors that will help you get off on a good start.
You might be someone who has dreamed of becoming a doctor from a very early age or you might be a non-traditional applicant who has changed paths and are now on a new road. Whichever boat you're in, you probably already have a list of top medical schools you’re aiming to apply to. But there’s one major factor that's going to determine if you're going to get accepted; your MCAT score.
Nearly every MCAT test-taker has thought of aiming for the perfect MCAT score, and it’s honestly not a bad ideal to aspire to. It's the whole "shoot for the stars because even if you miss, you'll land among the moon" analogy.
This article will guide you through everything about getting a good (or perfect, if you’re aiming for the stars) MCAT score—what is it, its attainability, and if it guarantees your application to a medical school of your choice. We also included some tips on how to get the perfect MCAT score.
What is the perfect MCAT score Overall and For Each Section Of The MCAT?
The highest MCAT score that is deemed ‘perfect’ is a 528.
It’s important to remember that the MCAT score scale is centred, so a 500 represents the mean score.
It’s also good to keep in mind that the MCAT is divided in four sections, which are:
2) Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
Each of these sections is scored from 118 to 132.
If you score a 132—the perfect section score—on each section, you will get a 528 as your overall score.
It is equally important to focus on scoring well on these individual sections than it is with the overall score since some medical schools will put into consideration your individual performance on each of these sections, contrary to what most medical school aspirants would think.
And during the big interview day, you need to be able to show them that you’re well-versed in all the areas that the MCAT has tested you on, instead of scoring the highest on just one section and have that section carry the rest of your overall score.
Is the perfect MCAT score attainable?
Achieving the perfect MCAT score might be very difficult, but it isn’t entirely unattainable. However, this shouldn’t dishearten you.
Setting yourself up for the goal of getting the elusive 528 score doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect—to score perfectly on each section and never miss a single item.
In fact, most MCAT top scorers miss a few items here and there in various sections so don’t put too much pressure on yourself for that. Plus, here's some news...
The perfect MCAT score isn't the same as a 100th percentile MCAT score.
A Perfect MCAT Score And A 100th Percentile MCAT Score Aren't The Same Thing
A 528 might be the perfect MCAT score, but a 100th percentile score is anything over a 524.
Which means you can make mistakes and still be a 100th percentile scorer!
We have several MCAT strategy mentors here who are 100th percentile scorers and you can learn more about them and their story here. Look for Mehul, Priya, Akshay, Anchith, and Preetham 😉
Should I Aim For A Perfect MCAT Score?
The point of your MCAT score is to get an interview. That's it. Each school has their desired MCAT score goal cut off. So if you're really concerned about getting into your dream med-school, look up what that score is for your desired school.
And we'll tell you now, no med-school has a 528 MCAT score requirement. Not even the best Ivy leagues.
Your only reason to really NEED to score above 520 might be because your application/GPA is lacking significantly.
For most med-schools, you just need to be above average. Anything above average is considered a good MCAT score.
To decide what score goal you need, look at history. Stats never lie. In the United States, for example, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reports that the average MCAT score for students admitted into an MD program in 2020-2021 is a 511-512, with an average GPA of 3.73.
So if you score above 512, you're already above average. Now the only reason to aim higher is if you need to compensate for weak application, OR if your med-school requires it. That's it.
Does a 528 MCAT score guarantee I Get An Interview or Admission?
A perfect MCAT score will definitely give you bragging rights - sure - but most medical schools actually don’t bat an eyelash at a 528 when it comes to deciding who they should consider for the application.
The MCAT is not just the end-all and be-all of your medical school application and journey. Rather, it is just one of the many (although major) factors that influence your application, and which medical schools take a look at.
You can’t make up for a lack of interpersonal skills with just a perfect MCAT score. Medical schools want the entire package, like your experience in the field, how you’ve touched the lives of people in your community, your volunteer work, and your GPA, among others.
They want future doctors, not standardized test experts.
Now this doesn’t mean you should not take the MCAT seriously. It is still an important component of your application and anything below the average in MCAT will seriously affect your chance of getting into your chosen medical school!
How to Increase Your Chances Of Getting A Perfect MCAT score
If you really want your best shot at getting a perfect MCAT score, here are the ways you can go about possibly making that a reality.
Work With A 100th Percentile MCAT Scorer
This one is obvious and probably the most highest yield, smartest ways you're going to set yourself up to attain a perfect MCAT score.
To get to where you want to go, learn from someone is has already gotten there.
Let them guide you.
This is our philosophy at MCAT Mastery. All of our strategy courses, articles, emails, are rooted in the proven systems from previous top MCAT scorers.
We have several 524+ MCAT scorers on the team who are here to serve you in your MCAT prep so you can achieve your maximum MCAT score.
Build a study plan early on into your test prep
An MCAT study schedule is key. If you're aiming for a top MCAT score, planning is everything.
The way you approach content for each section, or how you approach practice exams. When you schedule in your prep, for what subjects, on what day, in what intervals, and so much more. You need to get this down if you're going to have a chance at a 520+.
Having a schedule anchors you into committing to rigorous and well-structured prep, minus the stress of having to schedule a focus topic on a daily basis.
Simulate MCAT test day Conditions
One of the most highest yield strategies that most top-scorers do is simulate real life MCAT tests. Whenever you’re close to test day, say about a month or a few weeks before, simulate your test day situations on a daily basis. (Yes, that includes whatever prep you’ll be doing the night before!)
Try a practice problem and answer it as if you’re already on the actual MCAT exam. Find a quiet and conducive environment, take your full-lengths in the morning and take your time.
For more on practice exams, check out our free MCAT practice strategy articles on this blog.
Have The MCAT Prep Optimization Mindset
Your MCAT prep journey is NOT going to be smooth sailing. That's the unfortunate but important truth you need to know now. How do we know? We've all been on the journey and it was hard.
Unless you're a natural expert at standardized test taking for a 7.5 hour long exam that covers 4+ entire courses worth of content, then you'll need to be flexible.
At first you might see your score consistently improving, then it might plateau, then it might go down, then it might go back up again, and maybe down again, and this whole cycle can really get to you.
So prepare yourself from now. How?
1 - Learn from the mistakes/strategies of those before you who have been on this journey. Soak up EVERYTHING we have to offer you. If you want it all laid out for you in a simple blueprint, and you truly want to get a 520+, enrol in our MCAT strategy courses. It's a no-brainer because it will save you SO much time, frustration, energy and will literally be your guide, your map to your maximum MCAT score.
2 - Expect it and be ready to change your approach. Be a med-school chameleon and prepare for any setback that may arise while you’re preparing for the MCAT. If you find later on in the prep that the structured study plan you’d set up is no longer working, or if you find yourself hitting a test score plateau, don’t be afraid to change it up.
The MCAT is all about your approach. You’re the only one who knows how your study plan is going and where you are on the progress scale, according to your score goals, so be prepared to switch the study methods when it’s no longer working for you. Tweak your systems, your practice strategies. If you don't want to waste your time tweaking and hoping you figure it out, again, enrol in our strategy courses. You won't regret it.
Lastly, we have one encouragement for you...
Don't try to reach the perfect MCAT score, instead try to reach your maximum score.
That mindset will be a lot less stressful. You'll stop comparing yourself to some fancy ideal. And you'll be kinder to yourself. Which is something we're really passionate about.
There's nothing more important than you and your mindset. You have what it takes.
Listen to our MCAT Master Interviews for motivation. Subscribe to our emails for case studies/success stories. Keep your confidence up throughout this journey and know that we're always here for you.
You got this,
The MCAT Mastery Team
Your "MCAT Success" Mentors