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The two most objective medical school admissions statistics that determine a candidate’s success in getting into medical school are the average MCAT score and the average GPA.
However, the subjective criteria conveyed through your medical school personal statement, AMCAS work and activities, secondary essays, and letters of recommendation also affect interview and admissions outcomes.
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However, for the purposes of this article, we will focus on the objective criteria or medical school admissions statistics that influence success.
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In the medical school admissions process, your MCAT and GPA serve as the primary building blocks for each student’s application. Applicants can sometimes have a hard time hearing this fact: No matter how exceptional the applicants, it’s often impossible to overcome low medical school statistics.
What does that mean Your MCAT and GPA are the two criteria that will get you in the door. Assuming these two metrics meet the minimum thresholds set by the medical school, your application will be reviewed by a human. Otherwise, your order may be automatically rejected.
Keep in mind that most medical schools do not publish MCAT cuts and GPAs, and many medical schools have complicated formulas to determine how to weight MCATs and GPAs when determining these cut-offs.
Note: Finding the MCAT GPA and Medical School GPA for admitted students is not always easy, as the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) only list the AVERAGE (or median) statistic, not the AVERAGE (or mean) statistic. students are accepted. However, some, but not all, medical schools publish this data on their websites.
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Understanding the numerical criteria that influence a candidate’s success in the process will enable pre-medical students to set goals. It also allows medical school applicants to gauge how competitive they are overall and for the specific medical schools they are interested in.
Finally, it’s important to review medical school acceptance rates to get an idea of how competitive each department is. The lower the medical school acceptance rate, the more competitive the medical school. And the higher the medical school acceptance rate, the less competitive the medical school.
When deciding where to apply to medical school, a student should research each medical school’s average acceptance rate. By understanding medical school acceptance rates, applicants can gauge which medical schools are the most competitive. However, many medical schools do not disclose how many applicants they actually accept.
Medical schools can only release how many applications they received, the number of applicants they interviewed, and how many actually applied. Therefore, it is not always possible to know what percentage of interviewed candidates are eventually accepted.
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Generally, the more competitive the medical school, the lower the acceptance rate. There are some medical schools that you might think are not very competitive based on the GPAs and MCAT scores of admitted students. However, some of these “less competitive” schools receive very high numbers of applications and interviews with a small percentage of applicants, making them quite competitive.
There were 62,443 applicants in the 2021-2022 classes of medical universities. However, this large number of applicants may have been influenced by the pandemic, and the AAMC expects the number of applications to drift back to pre-pandemic levels this year. For reference, there were 53,370 applicants in 2020-2021.
Acceptance rates vary significantly between medical schools. For more selective medical schools, such as Stanford Medical School, the acceptance rate is 1.4%. However, some medical schools have much higher acceptance rates. For example, the University of Tennessee has an acceptance rate of 8.7%. The average acceptance rate for medical school is 5.5%.
As the number of applicants to medical schools increases each year, acceptance rates continue to decline, especially at highly popular or competitive medical schools.
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In 2021, the average MCAT score for students admitted to allopathic colleges in the United States in 2021-2022 was 511.9 For reference, please note that the highest possible MCAT score is 528 out of 132 in each of four sections. which is the same as last year. The typical MCAT score required for admission to allopathic medical schools in the United States is 511.
MCAT scores of 509 or below are generally considered low and non-competitive for admission to medical schools for allopathic courses. However, there are exceptions to this rule. An MCAT score of 518 or higher is considered exceptional. Most medical schools have MCAT cutoff scores, which means an applicant must score above a certain score in order for the medical school’s admissions committee to consider an application. Unfortunately, the medical school does not always make this data public.
Getting the highest possible MCAT score with the fewest test attempts is ideal for getting into medical school. For example, a student who took the MCAT three times and scored 503, 504, and 512 may be rated as a less competitive candidate than a candidate who took the exam once and scored 512 on the first attempt. Medical schools see all exam scores, so a high score among several low scores can be interpreted as an outlier.
Below are the best US medical schools based on US medical school rankings. News for Research and MCAT GPAs.
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Recent data shows that the average GPA for medical school applicants in the United States in 2021-2022 was:
A medical school applicant’s GPA is considered one of the most important criteria for admission to medical school. A medical school applicant’s GPA is divided into three AMCAS categories:
A candidate’s GPA in all three categories is one of the most important factors in medical school admissions. Like the MCAT, many medical schools have a minimum GPA they will consider. However, these cuts are not always published.
Keep in mind that these are average scores! There is a very wide range of GPAs from medical school to medical school. The typical GPA we recommend for students is 3.5 across all subjects. However, we work with many students who have a lower GPA than that accepted. Grade trends are also important, and an upward trend in grades makes you a more competitive candidate. The rigor of your academic pursuits and the reputation of your undergraduate faculty may also affect the interpretation of your grades. We consider a competitive GPA range to be 3.4 to 3.5 or higher.
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In summary, the MCAT score(s) and GPA(s) are the most important criteria in the medical school admissions process. These factors are the pillars of each candidate’s candidacy. Provided you meet the MCAT and GPA cutoffs, other aspects of your application will become most important.
As you begin your pre-med journey, remember that academic excellence should be your primary goal. As you prepare to apply to medical school, make an honest assessment of your chances of getting into medical school by objectively evaluating your statistics along with medical school admissions rates to determine your competitiveness.
JESSICA FRIEDMAN, MD, former faculty member and member of the Admissions Committee at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, is the founder and president of the Medical Admissions Committee and the author of Medical Admissions Guide and Medical School Interviews, which you can find on Amazon. Follow Dr. Freedman and on Facebook and YouTube. As a non-US citizen, I faced obstacles when applying to US medical schools. Now that I have it, I want to help others like me
International students struggle to get the support they need to get into US medical schools. I created F-1 Doctors to change that.
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Azan Zaheer Virji, M.H., MD/MBA candidate at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School, founded F-1 Doctors to help connect international students applying to medical schools in the United States with mentors .
This was the advice I received as a high school student in Tanzania when I was considering where to apply to college. My advisor made it clear that my chances of being accepted into a US medical school were slim, mainly because so few schools accept international students. Also, as a low-income student, my advisor warned me that a medical degree in the United States was not financially affordable. I still decided to take a chance.
From a young age, I wanted to be a doctor. Accompanying resource-poor communities in Tanzania, I witnessed people in my country suffer from long-term illnesses related to delayed treatment of infectious diseases such as malaria. I wanted to make sure that my fellow Tanzanians – especially those living in poor areas – received the right care in a timely manner. I saw medical education in the United States as an opportunity to fill a knowledge gap that currently exists. Learning innovative ways to contain the spread of disease and prevent re-infection is something I wanted to master in the United States and then implement in Tanzania. In addition, I was determined to be at the forefront of cutting-edge research into the diseases that afflict my country and to contribute to the development of their diagnosis and treatment.
Be accepted into a US medical school, first
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