How many times should I retake the MCAT? This is a question asked by many premeds, especially after they received a lower score than they hoped for. Here’s a few questions you should ask yourself before determining whether or not retaking the MCAT will help you.
1. Are your current MCAT scores competitive for any of the schools to which you are applying? If so, you may want to stick with your current scores. Lower scores may seriously hurt your application.
2. Are you able to prepare for the next exam properly? Consider taking an exam preparation course. Kaplan Test Prep offers extensive help and a GUARANTEED higher score Check out Kaplan’s NEW MCAT course- MCAT Advantage Plus!
3. Are you sure you’ll do better if you take the MCAT again? Some premeds don’t spend enough time practicing taking the exam. After spending all that time studying, did you find it difficult to finish in time? If so, you may need more practice as opposed to more study time.
Most who take the MCAT multiple times do better in subsequent attempts
The AAMC publishes statistics about the multiple choice scores of those who take the MCAT multiple times. After reviewing the data, we found that more students score the same or better than their previous attempts.
Actually, more than half of re-testers from every score bracket (the exception being the 39+) made the same scores or higher by taking the MCAT again. The following table give a easy-to-understand overview of the data and MCAT scores documented by the AAMC.
|Initial MCAT Score||Percentage of Testers with Same Scores or Higher|
|5 – 14||81%|
|15 – 17||77%|
|18 – 20||80%|
|21 – 23||77%|
|24 – 26||78%|
|27 – 29||76%|
|30 – 32||77%|
|33 – 35||72%|
|36 – 38||56%|
|39 – 45||40%|
Still second-guessing yourself? For all you premeds out there worried about your MCAT scores, the numbers are on your side. Especially for those who score less than a 30, only 24% of test takers earn a lower score the second time around.
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- AAMC.org MCAT Exam Statistics
- AAMC – Percentile Ranks for MCAT Total and Section Scores for Tests Administered in 2012
- AAMC – Changes in MCAT Scores Between Multiple Attempts