How to Get the Perfect MCAT Score
The MCAT is the longest and perhaps the most challenging exam that premeds take to get into medical school. The MCAT is one of the most critical factors for the schools’ admissions committees. Naturally, scoring high on the MCAT becomes a priority for premeds if they want to get into their selected schools.
When many students try their best to find answers to questions like how to prepare for the MCAT, how to read CARS passages, and when to start their application process, some other students ask another: How to get a perfect score on the MCAT? And another fundamental question: Is it even possible to get a perfect score?
Yes. It is possible. Test designers make it difficult, but it is possible.
Some students achieve a 528, the magic MCAT number, the perfect score every year. How do they pull it off? What is a perfect MCAT score anyway? Does that mean you have to answer every single question on the exam correctly?
In this article, we dive a little deeper into how to get a 528 on the MCAT.
We will review:
- What a perfect MCAT score is,
- How to get the perfect MCAT score,
- Tips to help you work your way to the ideal score.
What Is a Perfect MCAT Score?
Each section of the MCAT is scored from 118 to 132. The score you can get from these four sections is something between 472 to 528. If you score a 132 in all four areas, you will achieve a 528—the perfect score.
It is tough to achieve a perfect score on the MCAT. It’s a competitive exam and to make things harder, students are scoring higher on the exam than ever before.
MCAT Tip: A 528 is the perfect MCAT score, but a 100th percentile score is not necessarily the perfect score. It can be any score over a 524, which means you can have a few mistakes and still score in the 100th percentile.
How to Optimize Your Study Plan to Increase Your Chances of Getting the Perfect Score on the MCAT
Every year, between 30 to 70 students- out of nearly three hundred thousand participants- achieve a perfect 528 on the MCAT.
If they did it, you can too. Here are a few tips to nudge you in the right direction:
Tip #1: Craft a Well-Structured Realistic Study Schedule
You should know that if you are aiming for the perfect score, you should have a detailed, comprehensive study plan for the period you are dedicating to your MCAT prep. Designing an effective study schedule around your daily/weekly/monthly activities can be difficult. But what is more difficult is sticking to such a plan. That’s why we emphasize “realistic” planning. You do not want to overwhelm and disappoint yourself with a plan that is almost impossible to stick to. Be reasonable, be human and be understanding of your limits.
Keep in mind to include “flexible” days to your schedule. a day per week or a couple of weeks at the end of your schedule will suffice. You’ll need these days first because they will allow you to catch up with inevitable changes that happen during this period for you, like any other person with a commitment to a tight schedule. In addition, you can, and you must, use these days to relax and unwind to maintain your energy to keep up with your plan.
Tip #2: Prepare for the Test Day by Stimulating Test Day Conditions
No matter how much you prepare, you might still be affected by some unknown factors, minor stressors, or distractions on the test day. To eliminate the risk and familiarize yourself with the process, try stimulating the exam day conditions, Such as:
- Start a full-length exam at 8:00 AM like the actual test.
- Make sure you won’t be disturbed during the exam.
- Take all the breaks as you do on the test day.
- Eat the same snacks you will take to the exam.
- Time yourself and see how efficient your time management skills are.
Your brain is wired to alarm you when facing unknown situations and unfamiliar conditions. The more you feel comfortable on your test day, the higher your chances of getting the perfect MCAT score.
Tip #3: Use a Diagnostic Tool to Identify Your Areas of Strength and Weakness
By clearly understanding where you stand in your preparation process, you can first craft an efficient plan in which you dedicate a sufficient amount of time to each subject. You might perform better on specific subjects and not so well on others. By using a comprehensive tool like Jack Westin MCAT Diagnostic Tool, you will know how to divide your time to cover all subjects according to your specific needs. Second, you will save much precious time during your preparation period, which you can use to focus on areas that need more improvement.
Tip #4: Get the Right MCAT Prep Material
This tip is mainly dependent on how well you know your study habits, and if you are a premed, there is a good possibility that you do. Here is the key: Do what works FOR You, not what your peer says it does. If you are comfortable studying on your own, do so. If you think you need a tutor for some of the subjects, get one. Don’t ignore what has led you to this point in your studies. Build around what works best for you and focus on optimizing your study habits, not building new ones. Some sources like the official AAMC MCAT outline is a must.
Tip #5: Master the Content for the MCAT
Easier said than done, of course, but if you aim to get a 528 on the MCAT, you should master the content and do it efficiently. There is much content that you need to memorize. You won’t have enough time to go back to some old content only to realize you have forgotten what you have learned. Use some proven memorization and learning techniques like active learning, MCAT mnemonics, the Anki flashcard app, and other tools to do things right the first time around.
Tip #6: Mix and Match
Don’t focus on one subject each day. Try to cover various topics every day to keep your brain sharp and ready to switch gears and refresh your memory.
Some Other Tips to Help you With Your MCAT Score
Take Time Management Seriously
In the MCAT CARS section, you will have to answer 53 questions in 90 minutes and another 95 minutes to answer 59 questions of the other three parts. Time management, speed, and precision become crucial skills if you aim for a perfect score. Most students have trouble finishing the passages on time to read questions carefully and choose the correct answer. Practice makes perfect as usual, but in this case, practice with the right content becomes just as important. The most common problem with practice CARS passages is the difficulty level. If you practice with passages easier than the actual passages on the exam, you will get anxious, lose your confidence and perform poorly. Here at Jack Westin, we use passages as complex as the actual ones. The daily passages on our homepage are in the MCAT format, so you can see the percentage of people who got a question right or wrong. So you will have a better understanding of your performance compared to other test-takers.
Take Care of Yourself
You are the only one you can rely on to get the perfect score. Knowing this, you should attend to your physical and mental well-being. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, nutritious food, and exercising daily are the most fundamental physical and psychological well-being factors. If you think managing stress or anxiety and staying focused or motivated is more complex than it should be, consider talking to a professional. Meditation is also another helpful way of teaching your mind to remain present in the moment.
Taking breaks and rewarding yourself every once in a while with a nice meal out, spending time with friends, and watching a movie can help you stay motivated and avoid burnout. The thing about motivation most students tend to forget is that motivation is like exercise. You see the lasting effects only after you have done it constantly for some time. It is a good idea to dedicate a couple of minutes of your morning routine to motivate yourself. You can watch an inspirational video, read other students’ success stories, listen to motivational speeches or energetic songs that will put you in the right mindset for the rest of your day.
And here Is the Answer to a Question You Didn’t Know You Had…
Why You Should I Pursue for a Perfect MCAT Score
The purpose of the MCAT and the application process is to land you interviews in your chosen schools. Each school has its own MCAT score goal. So if you want to get into the medical school of your dreams, your MCAT score should meet the school’s requirements. We suggest you check the information on each school’s website. You might NEED to score higher than 520 to compensate for a low GPA or other problems in your application.
MCAT TIP: Not even the Ivy League schools require a perfect MCAT score. According to some statistics, if you score above 512, you are above the average.
Your mindset matters greatly. If you study for a perfect MCAT score, you will get an outstanding score, if not a perfect one. This way, you are set for success. But don’t forget that the MCAT is just one of many factors that help the admissions committee decide about your application. They consider the whole package: your field experience, your GPA, your volunteer work, your essays, and your performance in the interview session. They are looking for doctors, not students with perfect scores.
Here at Jack Westin, we provide students with tons of free materials and resources to help them prepare for the MCAT. You can join our FREE live sessions held weekly.