If you’re preparing to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), you may be wondering: do med schools see all MCAT scores, or just your most recent ones? This is an important question when planning your testing timeline, as you want to avoid having low scores on record if possible.

The quick answer is: yes, medical schools do see all MCAT scores by default unless you void or withhold scores. However, schools mainly focus on your most recent and highest scores. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about how med schools view your MCAT scores and what you can do to present your best testing profile.

Medical Schools Receive All MCAT Attempts by Default

When applying to medical schools, it is important to understand that they do receive all of your MCAT scores by default. The process of submitting your MCAT scores to medical schools is handled through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).

The AMCAS Application Includes All MCAT Scores

As part of the AMCAS application, you will be required to release all of your MCAT scores to the medical schools you are applying to. This means that medical schools will have access to your entire MCAT score history, including any previous attempts.

It is important to note that medical schools are aware that taking the MCAT can be a challenging experience and that many students may need to retake the exam to achieve their desired score. They understand that a single test score does not define a candidate’s abilities.

Schools Focus Most on Your Top Scores

While medical schools do have access to all of your MCAT scores, they generally focus more on your top scores rather than placing heavy emphasis on lower scores. Medical school admissions committees understand that students can improve their performance with each attempt and may have valid reasons for lower scores in previous attempts.

It is important to demonstrate growth and improvement in subsequent attempts, as this shows resilience and determination. Admissions committees will evaluate your overall performance, taking into consideration your top scores and the trend of improvement.

Keep in mind that each medical school has its own admissions criteria and policies regarding MCAT scores. Some schools may consider all scores equally, while others may place more weight on your most recent or highest scores.

It is crucial to research the specific requirements of each medical school you are applying to.

You Can Withhold or Void Lower MCAT Scores

Voiding Your Exam Completely Removes Scores

One option for dealing with lower MCAT scores is to void your exam. When you choose to void your exam, it means that the scores will not be reported to medical schools and will not be part of your official record.

This can be a helpful option if you feel that your performance on the exam did not accurately reflect your abilities or if you experienced extenuating circumstances during the test. Voiding your exam allows you to start fresh and retake the MCAT without any negative impact on your application.

But it’s important to note that once you void your exam, those scores will be permanently erased and cannot be retrieved. So, it’s crucial to carefully consider your decision before voiding your MCAT.

Make sure to consult with your academic advisor or a trusted mentor who can provide guidance based on your specific situation.

Withholding Means Schools Won’t See the Scores Initially

Another option for dealing with lower MCAT scores is to withhold them. When you choose to withhold your scores, they will not be released to medical schools initially. This allows you the opportunity to review your scores before deciding whether or not to send them to your chosen schools.

Withholding your scores can be beneficial if you are unsure about how they will be perceived by admissions committees and want to make an informed decision.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that once you release your scores to a medical school, they will become part of your official record and will be considered during the application review process. So, if you decide to withhold your scores initially, make sure to thoroughly evaluate them and consider seeking feedback from trusted advisors or test prep resources before making a final decision.

It’s also worth noting that not all medical schools have the same policies regarding withheld scores. Some schools may require all scores, even if they were initially withheld, while others may only consider the scores that have been released.

This is something to keep in mind as you research and apply to different medical schools.

Ultimately, the decision to withhold or void your MCAT scores is a personal one and should be based on your individual circumstances and goals. It’s important to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of each option and seek guidance from trusted advisors to make an informed decision that aligns with your long-term aspirations.

How Schools Evaluate Multiple MCAT Scores

Upward Trends are Favorable

When evaluating multiple MCAT scores, medical schools often take into consideration the trend of improvement. If your scores show an upward trend over time, it demonstrates your dedication and ability to learn from your previous attempts.

This can work in your favor and show admissions committees that you have the potential to succeed in their program.

According to a study conducted by AAMC, medical schools value improvement in MCAT scores as it reflects a student’s commitment to self-improvement. Admissions officers understand that the MCAT is a challenging exam, and they appreciate the effort put into raising one’s score.

It’s important to note that an upward trend in scores doesn’t guarantee acceptance, but it does give you an advantage. Medical schools consider a variety of factors, including GPA, extracurricular activities, and personal statements, so it’s essential to focus on all aspects of your application.

Low Scores Won’t Necessarily Ruin Your Chances

Having low MCAT scores doesn’t automatically disqualify you from getting into medical school. Admissions committees understand that standardized tests don’t always accurately reflect a student’s abilities and potential.

They take a holistic approach to evaluating applications, considering various factors beyond just test scores.

Medical schools realize that a single exam does not define an applicant’s potential as a future physician. They understand that students may have off-days or face personal challenges that affect their performance on test day.

Additionally, some medical schools even have policies in place to consider the highest score or average scores from multiple attempts.

While low scores won’t necessarily ruin your chances, it’s essential to address them in your application. Take the opportunity to explain any extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to your scores and showcase your strengths in other areas.

Focus on highlighting your experiences, passion for medicine, and dedication to personal growth.

Remember, medical schools are looking for well-rounded individuals who possess the qualities necessary to succeed in the field of medicine. Your MCAT scores are just one piece of the puzzle, and with a strong application overall, you can still be considered a competitive candidate.

Strategies for Managing Multiple MCAT Attempts

Preparing for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Many aspiring medical students may find themselves needing to take the MCAT multiple times in order to achieve their desired score.

If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to have a strategy in place to effectively manage multiple MCAT attempts. Here are some helpful strategies to consider:

Give Yourself Enough Time Between Tests

One of the keys to success when taking the MCAT multiple times is to give yourself enough time between tests. Rushing into another attempt too quickly can lead to burnout and diminish your chances of improving your score.

Take the time to thoroughly review your performance on the previous test, identify areas for improvement, and create a study plan that allows for sufficient preparation. Aim to give yourself at least a few months between each attempt to ensure you have enough time to adequately prepare.

Focus on Steady Improvement

When retaking the MCAT, it’s important to focus on steady improvement rather than expecting drastic score increases overnight. Use your previous test scores as a benchmark to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Dedicate more time and effort to areas where you struggled in the past, while maintaining and refining your strengths. Consistency and perseverance in your study habits will yield better results in the long run.

Consider Voiding Clearly Unsatisfactory Scores

If you feel that you did not perform well on a particular MCAT attempt and believe that your score will not accurately reflect your abilities, you may consider voiding that score. Voiding a score means that it will not be reported to medical schools and will not be counted as one of your official attempts.

However, it’s important to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of voiding a score, as it may raise questions about your ability to perform under pressure.

Remember, taking the MCAT multiple times is not uncommon and does not necessarily reflect negatively on your abilities. Medical schools understand that the MCAT is a challenging exam and that it may take several attempts to achieve your desired score.

By following these strategies and maintaining a positive mindset, you can effectively manage multiple MCAT attempts and increase your chances of success.

FAQs on Med Schools and MCAT Scores

Do schools see all MCAT scores if I apply to multiple ones?

When applying to multiple medical schools, you may wonder if all of them will see your entire MCAT score history. The answer depends on the policies of each individual school. Some medical schools will only consider your most recent MCAT score, while others may take an average of all your scores.

It’s important to research the specific requirements and preferences of each school you are applying to. This information can usually be found on their official websites or by contacting their admissions offices directly.

Can I hide my first MCAT score?

Unfortunately, you cannot hide or omit any MCAT scores from your application. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which administers the MCAT, requires all scores to be reported to medical schools.

Even if you retake the exam and achieve a higher score, your previous scores will still be visible to admissions committees. While it may be disheartening to have a lower initial score, remember that medical schools often consider the overall improvement and growth you demonstrate in your application.

Will a low score get my application screened out?

Having a low MCAT score does not automatically disqualify you from consideration by medical schools. Admissions committees evaluate applicants holistically, considering various factors such as GPA, extracurricular activities, personal statements, and letters of recommendation.

While a strong MCAT score is important, it is not the sole determining factor in the admissions process. Some medical schools place more emphasis on other aspects of an applicant’s profile. It is essential to research the specific admissions criteria of each school you are interested in to understand their individual evaluation processes.


In summary, medical schools will see all of your MCAT scores by default through the AMCAS application system. However, the emphasis is on your most recent, highest scores. With smart score reporting strategies and demonstrating an upward trend, multiple MCAT attempts should not hurt your chances of admission.

By understanding how schools view all your scores, planning sufficient study time, and voiding or withholding lower scores when beneficial, you can craft the strongest testing and application profile possible. With persistence and preparation, you can achieve your target MCAT scores.

Much luck with your applications!

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