The Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) was developed and is administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). This test is a standardized, multiple-choice exam created to assist admission offices access your problem solving, critical thinking and knowledge of natural, behavioral and social science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. The MCAT is scored on a scale up to 528 and medical schools will look at both your overall score and the scores you received in the four sections of the exam.
In April 2015, the AAMC launched a new version of the MCAT exam. Scores are reported in four sections:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (BBLS)
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (CPBS)
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior (PSBB)
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)
Pre-med students typically take the MCAT after they have completed the prerequisites for medical school and before applying to medical school. We recommend taking this no later than the second week of April in the year you plan to apply to give yourself enough time to receive your scores and determine if you would like to retake the test prior to applying to medical school. Scores are generally valid for two to three years depending on the individual medical school's admissions requirements.
Admission to medical school is competitive and rigorous. In 2021, the average accepted MCAT score was 511.9 for allopathic (MD) matriculants and 504.3 for osteopathic (DO) matriculants.
GW Pre-Health currently has a partnership with The Princeton Review. GW students receive 10% off one‐on‐one tutoring as well as all medical school admissions services.
Additional MCAT Resources:
- AAMC How to Create a Study Plan for the MCAT Exam (PDF)
- AAMC What's on the MCAT Exam?
- Khan Academy/ AAMC Free MCAT Prep Materials (Free until 2026)
Additional Testing Requirements
The AAMC PREview Professional Readiness Exam was developed by AAMC to assess applicants' understanding of situations across the eight core competencies. This is a newer exam that some schools are requiring or recommending as part of their holistic review of applicants. The exam is virtual and proctored. Our team strongly recommends that you plan to take this exam by May/June of the year you are applying to both MD and DO schools. Additional resources:
- AAMC Core Compentencies
- AAMC Participating Schools
- AAMC Prepare for the PREview Exam
- AAMC PREview FAQs
There may be some MD and DO programs that require the CASPER exam. This is another online exam that evaluates an applicant's situational judgement. You can find more information about CASPER here. You will want to see if the schools you are applying to also require this.
In 2021, for allopathic (MD) matriculants, the average overall GPA was 3.74 and the average BCPM was 3.67. For osteopathic (DO) matriculants, the average overall GPA was 3.54 and the average BCPM was 3.45.
You can view matriculant data here.
For assistance calculating your BCPM, download the BCPM calculation sheet.
Aside from test scores and grades, medical schools look for holistic candidates that exhibit the AAMC's Core Competencies, which can be shown through clinical experience, research, volunteering, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, interviews and leadership roles.
The average age of medical school matriculants is 25. Many students take a gap year before entering medical school for various reasons (e.g., they have not met prerequisites, want to travel, want to gain additional experience to strengthen their application, and more).