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Old MCAT to New MCAT Score Conversion Chart

William Cohen
Published by William Cohen
Last Updated On: November 24, 2021

If you’re thinking about applying to medical school, you probably know all about the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). All medical schools around the United States and Canada require students to take this test when applying to DO and MD programs.

In 2015, the MCAT exam was modified to best reflect the current state of medical education. With newly added sections and a large focus on biochemistry, the MCAT score scale was also altered.

In this article, we’re going to let you in on everything there is to know about the MCAT score conversion for all 4 categories. These MCAT score conversion charts will be handy if you want to know how your old scores translate to new, or vice versa.

2015's New MCAT Changes Summary

  • The MCAT was modified in 2015, and new sections were added.
  • Today, MCAT has 4 sections.
  • You can score between 472-528 on the MCAT with the average being 500.
  • All four section scores are also shown in percentiles.

New MCAT: an Overview

The MCAT is a standardized exam taken when applying to medical schools all around the USA and Canada. This multi-choice exam is administered by the AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges).

The MCAT has gone through various changes with both the content and how the scores are analyzed throughout the years.

However, in 2015, the biggest overhaul took place, replacing the 3 existing categories with 4 sections:

  1. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  2. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
  3. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  4. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

Old MCAT Scores vs the New MCAT Scores

A student answering a questionnaire

Along with the changes seen within the medical school admissions exam, the MCAT score range also had a huge overhaul. Before we get into the scaled scores, here are some terms you should know:

MCAT Raw Score: The raw score refers to all correct answers. Since there are 230 questions on the new MCAT, it will be out of 230.

MCAT Percentiles: The percentile ranks show how many other test-takers scored below a specific value.

Old MCAT Score: A score between 3-45, with the average being 25.6.

New MCAT Score: A score between 472-528, with the average being 500.

“The MCAT exam is scaled and equated so that scores have the same meaning, no matter when an examinee tests or who tests at the same time they did.” - Ilana Kowarski, U.S News

Before the new MCAT scoring system came along in 2015, previous test-takers received an MCAT score of 1-15 for each of the 3 categories. The old average MCAT score was around 25.6.

If you were to take the MCAT to attend American medical colleges these days, you’d find a scaled score of 472-528, earning 118-132 on each section. Unlike the old MCAT, the mean total is around 500.

When it comes to interpreting raw scores or figuring out the new scoring system, many people struggle. Many test-takers and medical school admissions committees feel more comfortable with the old MCAT score system. Therefore, many seek out ways to translate the old MCAT scaled score to new.

When applying to medical school, most committees will not consider MCAT scores that are over two years old.

Some will consider the medical college admission test after 3 years. But it’s safe to say the old MCAT scores will not be considered valid for most, if not all, medical schools [1].

Total Score Conversion Chart

A person shading the answer sheet

The following chart can be used for the new MCAT score conversion. This is the overall result for the entire MCAT exam.

*The MCAT percentile is based on all scores from 2018-2020, updated every 1st of May [2].

Old MCAT Score New MCAT Score Percentile*
45 528 100
44-43 527 100
42-41 526 100
40 525 100
39 524 100
38 522 99
37 520 98
36 519 97
35 518 96
34 517 94
33 515 91
32 513 88
31 511 83
30 510 79
29 508 73
28 506 67
27 504 61
26 502 55
25 500 47
24 499 43
23 497 37
22 295 32
21 494 27
20 492 23
19 491 19
18 489 15
17 487 12
16 486 10
15 485 8
14 483 6
13 482 5
12-11 479 2
10 478 2
9 477 1
8 476 1
7-6 475 0
5 474 0
4 473 0
3 472 0

Physiological Sciences Conversion Chart

Close up shading a letter using a pencil

The following table is the old MCAT to new MCAT score conversion table for Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems.

*The MCAT percentile is based on all scores from 2018-2020, updated every 1st of May.

Old MCAT New MCAT Percentile*
15 132 100
14 132 100
13 130 97
12 129 95
11 128 89
10 127 79
9 126 67
8 125 55
7 123 40
6 122 23
5 120 11
4 119 5
3 118 2
2 118 0
1 118 0

Recommended Article: How Much Ochem Is On The MCAT?

Critical Analysis and Reading Skills Conversion Chart

A student writing and converting based from a chart

The following table is the old MCAT to the new MCAT conversion table for the CARS portion of the test.

*The MCAT percentiles are based on all MCAT scores from 2018-2020, updated every 1st of May.

Old MCAT New MCAT Percentile
15 132 100
14 132 100
13 132 100
12 120 98
11 129 95
10 127 84
9 125 67
8 124 52
7 123 37
6 122 27
5 121 15
4 120 10
3 119 4
2 119 2
1 118 1

Biological Sciences Conversion Chart

Student writing

The following table is the old MCAT to new MCAT conversion for the Biological Systems Section.

*The MCAT percentiles are based on all scores from 2018-2020, updated every 1st of May.

Old MCAT  New MCAT Percentile
15 132 100
14 131 99
13 131 98
12 130 95
11 128 88
10 127 76
9 125 56
8 124 41
7 122 25
6 121 18
5 120 10
4 120 6
3 118 3
2 118 1
1 118 1

How Do the Scores Compare?

As you can see, the Medical School Admissions process has changed greatly over the years.

Since new categories have been added and the average score has changed since 2015, all medical schools will require you to take the new MCAT.

A higher MCAT score is also required to reach the same average as other test takers from 2018 - 2020.

Now that you know how the old and new scores compare start with the MCAT prep on time so you can ace the new MCAT.

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References:

  1. https://students-residents.aamc.org/mcat-scores/top-3-myths-about-mcat-scores-busted
  2. https://students-residents.aamc.org/media/8356/download

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