The MCAT is a standardized computer-based test for prospective medical students wishing to enroll in medical school. The MCAT evaluates test-takers problem solving skills, written analysis, critical thinking, writing skills, and scientific principles and concepts. The test consists of four sections: physical sciences, writing sample, verbal reasoning, and biological sciences. The scores for the writing section range alphabetically from J (lowest) to T (highest), while the score in each of the other sections (which are all multiple-choice) ranges from 1-15. The scores from the multiple-choice sections are added together to calculate the total score and the score in the writing sample is also appended to the final score. The average MCAT score in 2008 was 28.1P (According to the AAMC).
A perfect score in the MCAT is 45T. This is much higher than the average MCAT score and students who obtain a perfect score greatly increase their chances of getting into medical school. However, it must be remembered that the MCAT is not the sole deciding factor determining whether you will or won’t get into a particular medical school.
As in every other academic field, different medical colleges have their own criteria on what students they admit. Competitive medical schools usually grant admission to students with scores higher than average MCAT scores. However, top medical universities require much higher scores and have more stringent admission criteria. You should check the average MCAT scores of admitted students at the schools you're applying to in order to determine what score you're aiming for.That will help determine your course of preparation: how much to study and how to do it.
The MCAT goes beyond testing general knowledge and also assesses a test-takers understanding of specific scientific areas such as physics, chemistry, and biology. This means that preparation for the MCAT is much more rigorous than the preparation needed for other general tests. Make sure that you follow a study routine that is designed to help you achieve your target score. You should take as many sample tests and solve as many sample questions as possible. Familiarize yourself with the test format and structure. You may also wish to enroll in MCAT preparation courses or classes where you will receive instructions from qualified individuals/teachers on how to achieve your required score. Whether you choose to attend a preparation course or are more comfortable studying on your own, make sure you design a study schedule for yourself and stick to it!