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Why Are the MCAT So Important?

Are you planning to apply for the best medical schools and take on a fruitful career in medicine? Before doing so, you will need to focus on taking (and passing) the MCAT! This is the Medical College Acceptance Test, which is considered a major milestone for all premed students.

It isn’t only an important test for those planning to study medicine, but also one of the most challenging exams one would take. But why is this such an important process when learning how to get into medical school?

Why Are the MCAT So Important?

The MCAT is only the start of the many exams required for one to become a licensed physician. An applicant’s performance and final results from the MCAT would correlate with their abilities when taking the USMLE, which is the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

Some studies show if applicants do well on the MCAT, then it is expected for them to do well in the first steps of the USMLE. This is crucial in the decision of residency admissions.

With just this fact above, it’s no surprise that medical schools value the MCAT scores, making it a major factor as to why they should (or shouldn’t) admit a student. The goal for all medical schools is to produce excellent practicing physicians, with the MCAT being one of the major tools that help determine if applicants can pass the licensing exams needed to practice.

So yes, the MCAT is important, but read on to learn more about the other factors you should consider when applying for medical school.

MCAT Isn’t the Only Determining Factor

That said, it’s important to take note that while studies would show the MCAT’s predictive value, the effect may be small. Meaning, the MCAT score is only one of the many factors that affect the student’s result on the USMLE. There are other variables as well, including preparation, test-taking abilities, among others.

Medical schools would see the MCAT as a determining factor, but the application in its entirety will also be focused on, not just the numbers on the MCAT results. If you are an aspiring applicant, be sure to focus not just on the MCAT preparation, but the application process as well.

Some institutions would focus more on other aspects, such as the interview process. In fact, some interviewers conduct ‘blind’ interviews, meaning they don’t know the candidate’s MCAT or GPA. This is what will help them figure out the applicant’s interpersonal skills, which are just as, if not more, important when practicing medicine.

Keep your focus on all aspects of the application process and give everything you have in ALL steps. Even if you do well in the interview, a very low MCAT score can also cut you off from heading to the interview stage! If you are unable to pass the MCAT exam, then you may not be able to apply for medical schools successfully.

Wrapping It Up

The MCAT is a tough entrance exam, but a rewarding one when you pass. Begin your journey towards medicine by preparing your application and studying for MCAT now!

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