The MCAT

My MCAT VR or CARs score is significantly lower than my science scores. What can I do to improve.?" Consider taking the WU English Department Argumentation or Exposition course and/or the WU MCAT review course which does Exam Kracker Passages.

When should I take the MCAT?
You should complete all of the core science pre-requisites prior to taking the MCAT. We recommend scheduling your MCAT test date for April or May of the year you plan to apply to medical school. This should allow you to finish any relevant course work you may be taking that semester but will also have your scores available in time for a June application. Typically scores are issued four to five weeks after the exam.

Do you recommend that students take an MCAT review course?
Yes. MCAT review courses will allow you more targeted study that you could achieve on your own. Plus, all courses will have some emphasis on practice tests which are very important in your test preparation.

What resources are available for MCAT review?
Wash U MCAT Review Course
Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions
The Princeton Review
Examkrackers

Are there any benefits of taking the Wash U MCAT Review Course?
Yes there are. To see the list of reasons, click here.

Is there any advice that students who do well on the MCAT consistently give?
Yes - do LOTS and LOTS of questions and practice exams. Remember, there are only so many different ways that a question can be asked about a particular concept. Doing lots of questions will get you accustomed to not just the most common types of questions asked but the way in which they are asked. Also, make sure to time yourself as you take each practice exam, as if you were taking the real thing. This will help you get comfortable with the pace of the exam.

Should I take the MCAT once just to see how I'll do?
No. Some schools put more emphasis on the most recent set of scores and some are most interested in the student's highest score, but all scores will be visible to admission committees. It is ideal to take the MCAT only once. There are practice tests available to help you prepare for the exam and predict your score.

What is the average MCAT score for those who matriculate to medical school?
The new MCAT (since 2015) is scored on a scale that ranges from 472-528. For applicants who applied in the 2016-17 cycle, a score of 508.7 (approximately the 82nd percentile) was the mean for those who matriculated to medical school. Students should explore the avearge metrics of the various schools one might be interested in order to better access one's competitiveness for that school. Remember, however, that GPA and MCAT scores are only a part of the application and are viewed by schools in context of the rest of the application. 

To learn more about the structure of the MCAT, click here.

My MCAT VR or CARs score is significantly lower than my science scores. What can I do to improve?
Consider taking the English Dept. Argumentation or Exposition course and/or the WU MCAT Review Course which does Examkracker passeges. 

How can I decide if I need to retake the MCAT?
You should get in touch with a prehealth advisor to discuss the specific circumstances of your situation. If you believe your score is not an accurate representation of your abilities and you are confident that you can improve your score by at least three points, it may be advantageous to retake the exam. Always assess the situation realistically before retaking the exam and ask whether you have done enough or your circumstances have changed sufficiently that you can expect a different outcome.

How can I improve my score if I'm taking the test again?
Students who retake the MCAT should take a look at how they prepared for the test. Did you allow enough dedicated time for study? Did you take a review course? Did you do practice tests? Did I get enough rest the night before the exam? All of these questions need to be asked in assessing what you need to do in order to perform better on the second test