Undergraduate students planning an eventual career in medicine can’t help but wonder, What is a good GPA for medical school? It’s a natural question and an extremely important one because medical schools are highly selective and the competition with other students completing medical school applications is substantial. So, here is some helpful information regarding your GPA for medical school.
Is My GPA the Only Thing Medical Schools Look At?
When it comes to your medical school application, there are a number of factors that medical schools take into consideration. Medical schools want to see that you have taken the required prerequisite courses as an undergrad; they will want to see if you have clinical, research, and shadowing experience; they will closely examine your personal statement and letters of recommendation; and they will take note of any extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership and civic responsibility.
While these are important components of your medical school application, your GPA and MCAT® score are of paramount importance. A higher-than-average GPA along with a good MCAT score will greatly increase your chances of being accepted into your target medical school.
What Is the MCAT Score Range?
A high GPA shows medical schools that you are capable and committed to your education, but that high GPA for medical school is not the only academic measuring tool they consider – your MCAT score also shows an admissions committee your level of preparedness for their program.
The MCAT has four sections: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.
Each of these sections is scored on a range between 118 and 132. This means the total MCAT score range is 472–528. To do well on this rigorous seven-and-a-half hour exam (including breaks), it is helpful to take an MCAT practice test and take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for the MCAT.
What Is a Good MCAT Score?
When trying to determine what is considered a “good” MCAT score, there are two metrics that are important: 1) The average score for med school applicants vs. matriculants in the most recent year, and 2) The average MCAT score for students who were accepted into your target medical schools in the previous year.
Knowing the average MCAT® score for matriculants at your target medical schools will give you an idea of what score you need to earn in the MCAT score range.
2021–2022 MCAT Scores for Medical School Applicants and Matriculants:
|YEAR||MEAN MCAT SCORE FOR APPLICANTS||MEAN MCAT SCORE FOR MATRICULANTS||TOTAL NUMBER OF APPLICANTS||TOTAL NUMBER OF MATRICULANTS|
From this chart, you can see that a score of 511 is the mean score for matriculants over the last four years. However, don’t forget to visit the website of your target medical schools and find out the average MCAT score for their first-year students.
What Is a Good GPA for Medical School?
Much like your MCAT score, the factors that determine a good GPA for medical school are the average GPA for med school applicants vs. matriculants and the average GPA of matriculants at your target medical schools. Fortunately, just like the MCAT score information, the Association of American Medical Colleges® (AAMC®) publishes this GPA information annually.
Note: Because of the emphasis medical schools place on the prerequisite science courses, GPAs are looked at as Science, Non-Science, and Total GPA. Your Science GPA and your Total GPA are of most interest to medical school admission committees.
2021-2022 GPA for Medical School Applicants and Matriculants
|YEAR||MEAN SCIENCE GPA FOR APPLICANTS||MEAN NON-SCIENCE GPA FOR APPLICANTS||MEAN TOTAL GPA FOR APPLICANTS||MEAN SCIENCE GPA FOR MATRICULANTS||MEAN NON-SCIENCE GPA FOR MATRICULANTS||MEAN TOTAL GPA FOR MATRICULANTS|
This chart shows you that a Science GPA of 3.67 and a Total GPA of 3.74 is a good goal to set when asking yourself What Is a Good GPA for Medical School?
When considering which students to accept, medical school admissions committees look for a number of things, but your MCAT score and your GPA are definitely at the top of the list. According to data from the last four years, a good MCAT score could be considered a 511, a good Science GPA would be 3.67, and a good Total GPA would be 3.74.
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