When you sit down to take the MCAT, you have already prepared for months. You probably have a loose idea of how you will score, especially if you’ve followed our FREE Ecourse and done those AAMC mini exams and full-lengths. With our MCAT Study Plan, there’s even a tab where you can track your progress over time to see your growth!
All of this is meant to show you that you have put so much planning and effort into preparing for this test. Your thought process on test day, though, is significantly different than looking at your previous full-lengths. Instead of getting to see your results immediately, you have to wait 5 weeks (or for 2020, 2.5 weeks) for your exam to be scored. And you have to make a quick decision on whether to cancel your exam score just after finishing the Behavioral Science section.
At this moment, you’re not going to remember every problem or have an accurate gauge of how you scored. At least 90% of the students I have worked with felt bad walking out of the exam, they could only remember the handful of problems that they got down to 50-50 chances or had no idea how to approach. More importantly, how those students felt about that MCAT did not correlated with their actual results on the MCAT.
You Owe it to Yourself to See What Score you Earned
Because you have put in so much work and chose not to push your test date back when you had the opportunity to, there is no reason to act out of fear and void your test score. You owe it to yourself to see what score you earned, and even the highest-scoring students will still have that fear once they answer their last question. It’s worth getting the feedback and knowing how you did.
It takes a really unique, unexpected circumstance to affect you to make voiding your exam a reasonable choice. Over my years in this role, I have worked with exactly one student who had this happen: he was working on the Behavioral Science section when his computer screen went black. It took about 20 minutes for the testing center to restore his test, but they could not add back that lost time.
Because there were extenuating circumstances that came up during his test significantly hurt his ability to finish and would have decreased his score by many points, he decided to void the test and reschedule for the next possible date. This was an unavoidable stroke of bad luck no one could plan for. If taking your MCAT does go as planned and practiced, as it does for >99% of students, you should submit it to be scored. Similarly, if you become violently ill during the test or experience other forms of medical impairment, we would recommend voiding your test as those conditions will not accurately reflect your capabilities.
Timothy is an internal medicine resident at Brown University who has helped over 100 students succeed on the MCAT. Not only did he score in the 99th percentile, he also has extensive understanding of MCAT questioning and has written hundreds of practice questions!
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