The 99th percentile MCAT score, which is frequently the key to admission to medical school, is something that many students strive for.
The 99th percentile MCAT score as of November 2021 is 522, which will undoubtedly impress admissions committees. But how can you join this select group of students? I outline the main tactics and conduct of students who achieve the highly sought-after 99th percentile MCAT score in this essay.
How do you get the score you want, from MCAT tutoring to how you approach the exam day?
MCAT Percentiles for 2021-2022
The most recent MCAT percentiles (PDF), valid from May 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022, are listed here. In the two years between 2021 and 2022, the MCAT was taken 281,468 times. The standard deviation was 10.7, and the average overall score was 501.5.
What do percentiles for MCAT scores mean?
Your score's percentile on the score report indicates how it ranks among all other MCAT test-takers. It DOES NOT reflect the percentage of questions you correctly answered. A 95th percentile score, for instance, indicates that 95% of test-takers scored the same or below.
A student who achieves a 95th percentile score is among the top 5% of test-takers.
Do the percentiles for the various sections of my MCAT score matter?
On the MCAT, medical schools prefer balanced performance. The MCAT score percentiles for each section are probably not as significant if your total score was in the 99th percentile and your scores in the various sections ranged from 97-99 percent.
In contrast, imagine that you had an 80th percentile score and each component contained the following information.
- 99% for Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- 99% for Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- 40% for Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
- 30% for Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
That 80th percentile raises questions about the exam taker's ability outside of science, thus it may not be as impressive as one may believe.
You shouldn't rely solely on one subject or area to raise your overall grade. Balance is crucial, in addition to a high percentile and score.
Create a Comprehensive Section Score Profile
To have a good chance of scoring in the 99th percentile on the MCAT, it's critical that you perform well in each of the four sections. Mathematically, even with a perfect score on three sections (132), you would still require a minimum score of 126 on the fourth section to place in the 99th percentile overall (approximately a 67th percentile score in most sections).
Therefore, if you have a particularly poor region, focus on improving that sector by strengthening weak material areas, practicing more intensely and deliberately, or enlisting the help of MCAT tutors who specializes in that section.
Make the most of the AAMC practice tests
Top percentiles have a razor-thin margin of error. You must make sure to study everything you can from each and every one of your practice examinations, especially the most important exam preparation tools: the AAMC official practice exams.
Exams should be thoroughly studied for and taken in conditions that are as similar to real-world testing as feasible. Keep a journal and note any questions you missed or answered incorrectly.
Be reflective and try to come up with methods that will help you correctly answer questions in the future. You might find it helpful to review your score report with the aid of an MCAT tutor, who can also offer efficient strategies for raising your score.
Create a well-rehearsed test day strategy
You need to be mentally and physically ready to excel to score in the 99th percentile on the MCAT. You should have every aspect of your test day planned out in advance so you can avoid decision fatigue on test day. Make sure to have a plan for common issues, like transportation to the testing center, food and drink on test day, etc.
For several weeks before the test, if at all feasible, try to match your sleep schedule with the MCAT timetable. Consult a medical expert well before your exam date if you suffer from severe sleeplessness.
Work on your weaknesses rather than focusing on your strengths
We all enjoy having inside information. It might be very tempting to keep learning new things about the material we are already familiar with. However, you must give your weak areas the highest priority if you hope to achieve the 99th percentile on the MCAT.
Practice with a specific goal in mind (for example, a concentrated set of difficult questions) if there is a subject you find difficult over and again until you get better. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can escape your weak points; face them head-on.
You could find it useful to get a second opinion, such as from an MCAT tutor or a fellow student, to identify your flaws and weak points. If you're unsure of where you're going wrong, think about seeking assistance.
Overcome Test Anxiety
Excellent mental focus is necessary to get the highest percentiles on the MCAT. Anxiety throughout the test may hinder your ability to respond to questions quickly and will make it more difficult for you to retain the information you've spent weeks or months accumulating.
The best method to manage test anxiety is to prepare under testing conditions that are as real as possible and use tried-and-true techniques to relax while taking the test, like mindfulness.
Preparing for the MCAT by taking practice exams will help you become more aware of the physiological symptoms of nervousness. These symptoms include sweating, a racing heart, and shortness of breath.
Use mindfulness practices, such as diaphragmatic breathing, during practice examinations and other study sessions to help you remain calm and focused during exams. To learn test-taking strategies and get over test anxiety, you can think about hiring an MCAT tutor.