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Old MCAT to New MCAT: MCAT Conversion

The MCAT 2015 was introduced in April 2015 to make the exam more reflective of the current state of medical education, medicine, and science which had changed significantly since the exam was last modified in 1991. In modern medical education, medical students routinely get earlier exposure to clinical medicine than previous generations of physicians and there has also been a rapid increase in medical knowledge and research. By the same token, the social determinants of health and how we communicate have changed significantly since 1991. The exam changed from being confined to specific disciplines to being broader is scope and having more real-world applicability. The MCAT is used for all med school applicants in the United States and for some off-shore medical schools.

Part 2: Old MCAT to New MCAT Exam Changes

The biggest MCAT changes we saw in 2015 were as follows:

MCAT Sections:

The MCAT originally had three sections:

  1. Physical Sciences 
  2. Biological Sciences 
  3. Verbal

The MCAT 2015 changed to include four sections:

  1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.
What are the MCAT Sections

Related MCAT Scores Video:

MCAT Length:

The MCAT exam length increased from approximately five hours to seven and a half hours to accommodate for the additional knowledge being test.

MCAT Scoring System:

The old MCAT was scored on a scale from 3-45 with an average MCAT score of 25.2.

On each section you could earn 1 to 15 points.

The new MCAT is scored on a scale from 472-528 with a mean score of 500.

On each section you can earn 118 to 132 points.

Believe it or not, there are many people who still aren’t sure how to interpret MCAT total scores and section scores and are more comfortable with “old scores.” Therefore, many people, including admissions officers, seek out how to interpret new scores according to the old model.  Keep in mind that if you are applying to medical school, most medical schools will consider MCAT scores that are two years old. Some will entertain scores that are three years old as well. Therefore, old MCAT scores will not be considered by the vast majority of US medical schools.

MCAT Score Report

The Ultimate Guide Getting into Medical School ebook

Part 3: MCAT Score Percentiles

MCAT Score Percentiles and old MCAT score and new MCAT score

The table below compares old MCAT score(s) to new MCAT score(s) by percentile.

Old MCAT ScoreNew MCAT ScorePercentile
45528100
44527100
43527100
42526100
41526100
40525100
39524100
3852299
3752098
3651997
3551896
3451794
3351591
3251388
3151183
3051079
2950873
2850667
2750461
2650255
2550047
2449943
2349737
2249532
2149427
2049223
1949119
1848915
1748712
1648610
154858
144836
134825
124893
114792
104782
94771
84761
74750
64750
54740
44730
34720

Part 4: MCAT Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Percentiles

Old MCAT ScoreNew MCAT ScorePercentile
15132100
14132100
1313097
12129.595
11128.589
10127.579
9126.267
8125.255
7123.840
6122.423
5120.811
4119.85
3118.82
21180
11180

Part 5: MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) Percentiles

Old MCAT ScoreNew MCAT ScorePercentile
15132100
14132100
13132100
1213098
11129.295
10127.584
9125.867
8124.552
7123.537
6122.527
5121.515
4120.510
3119.84
21192
11181

Part 6: MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Percentiles

Old MCATNew MCATPercentile
15132100
1413199
1313198
1213095
11128.588
10127.576
9125.556
8124.541
7122.525
6121.818
5120.810
41206
3119.23
21181
11181

Final Thoughts About Old MCAT to New MCAT Score Conversion

When deciding where to apply, keep in mind how your MCAT scores compare to other applicants and test takers, your percentile score, your overall and section scores, and the average scores for matriculants to your target schools. 

Click here to view further MCAT information:

  • MCAT Test Dates 2020
  • MCAT Scheduling Deadlines
  • MCAT Score Release Dates

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