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How well do FL scores correspond with actual AAMC scores?

Discussion in 'Kaplan MCAT Forum (Sponsored)' started by emily487, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. emily487

    emily487 2+ Year Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    New York
    How well do the two scores correlate? As in, is the score you get on the Kaplan FL usually similar to the score you actually get on the MCAT, or is there a big discrepancy?

    I got a 24 on my diagnostic (7V, 8B, 9P). I got a 30 on the first FL (Kaplan version, not AAMC version) - 11V, 9B, 10P. I definitely plan on studying more before my test (5/1) but I just want to make sure that like, I'm making progress toward an actual score. It would really suck to be like "oh hey I got a 35 on my practice tests so I'm good" and only get like a 20 on the actual test...
  2. jayel

    jayel Chief Resident 7+ Year Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Everyone says Kaplan's exams over-inflates their curve, due to the difficulty of their exams. The difficult aspect is nice, because the real thing is *really* that hard, but the false sense of security sucks, because I was getting 35-37 on the practice exams, and only received a 30 on the real deal. I can't blame my score on Kaplan though, since their stuff is legit practice, I just felt like I choked hardcore on VR and BS. Hence me taking it again. :shrug:
  3. aboynamedsooie

    aboynamedsooie 5+ Year Member

    Jan 15, 2009
    I was getting 30-34's (n=5) on the Kaplan full lengths for the most part, and then my scores went down significantly on the AAMC tests (26-29, n=3).

    It seems the Kaplan passages are much longer and the question more difficult than the AAMC ones, but like jayel mentioned, Kaplan has a much inflated curve. It would be interesting to see from someone who has taken the actual MCAT which service is more representative.
  4. OneTripAcross

    OneTripAcross Dreaming about the Stream. 7+ Year Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    on june first i will post all my kaplan fl scores and my real mcat score. I took 1-6, wish i would have done more considering the PS on the real test was exactly like kaplans but oh well.
  5. Perth Domer

    Perth Domer 5+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Kaplan Average 39 AAMC 37.5 Actual 36. I'd say Kaplan is good for diagnostic and building test taking skills due to the difficult passages. Their verbal tests more on recall than synthesising info/big picture stuff. The real deal PS is most like Kaplan. In AAMC you see that blanking on one subject will torpedo your score. wait till a month before your exam once you're through all the material and hit the AAMC's making sure you work on eliminating errors. I'd stay away from Kaplan stuff close to the test and hone in on AAMC.
  6. zombymush

    zombymush 5+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    I'm still prepping for the test, but I scored between 30-34 on the kaplan FL's. But same, I also have only been nailing avg 28 on the AAMC.

    Turns out, you can get up to 15 wrong on the Kaplan FL in each section (BS, PS) and still get an 11. On the AAMC, I got 10 wrong, and was down to a 10.
  7. Armywife06

    Armywife06 2+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2009
    I actually score higher on AAMC than kaplan on avg. Average for Kaplan is 33, average for AAMC is 34. It's true kaplan's curve is inflated, but kaplans test are more difficult. AAMC tests are easier but tougher curve. If you know the material really well then it should even out.
  8. sexycani

    sexycani 2+ Year Member

    Mar 24, 2010
    hmmm so it seems as though scores on kaplan FL are higher as compared to the AAMC

  9. startoverat40

    startoverat40 R1 Family Medicine 5+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2011

    i keep reading on the forum that if the actual MCAT is harder, then everybody would get similarly lower raw score, and so the scaled score will be the same. but the MCAT is not really graded on a "curve" per se, so says aamc.

    "While there may be small differences in the MCAT exam you took compared to another examinee, the scoring process accounts for these differences so that an 8 earned on physical sciences on one exam means the same thing as an 8 earned on any other exam. "

    " Whatever you do, don't make a decision to test at a particular time of year because you think you will get a higher score because other examinees may not score as well—the test is not scored on a curve."

    so the scaled scores are designed to reflect an equal performance :: difficulty relationship on various tests. they don't depend on how well different people perform on the test.

    now if these assumptions are true:

    AAMC practice tests are easier than the real MCAT
    AAMC practice test scores are good predictors of the real MCAT score

    then that means that the raw to scaled conversion "curve" for the real MCAT is also more lenient than that on the practice AAMC tests, similar to how KAPLAN's conversion is "over-inflated". but again, it doesn't have anything to do with how other test takers perform on any given administration of the test.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  10. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor

    Nov 30, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Just a brief note:

    I got word from a few students today re: their official MCAT score and it seems everyone, without exception, scored smack in the middle of their practice test score range, including both Kaplan and AAMC. (This was true for me, as well, back in the day.)

    There will, of course, be outliers and exceptions. But...assume you're the rule, not the exception when it comes to the MCAT and med school admissions!

    - Lauren
  11. EvilSponge


    May 21, 2011
    Anyone else see what I'm seeing? I average ~39 on Kaplan but like 36 on AAMC...and i've taken a number of tests too. I feel like the Kaplan curve is way too easy.
  12. music2doc

    music2doc Student of Mad Doctoring 5+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I won't be taking the MCAT for a few more days, so I can't give my final score yet, but my practice test scores have been as follows (in the order I took them):

    Midway through:
    Kaplan 1 -- 33 (12/10/11)

    90+% through content review:
    Kaplan 2 -- 35 (13/9/13)
    Kaplan 3 -- 35 (13/9/13)
    AAMC 7 -- 36 (13/10/13)
    Kaplan 4 -- 36 (13/12/11)
    Kaplan 5 -- 37 (14/9/14)
    AAMC 8 -- 40 (14/12/14)
    AAMC 11 -- 34 (13/10/11)
    AAMC 9 -- 38 (14/11/13)

    Kaplan Avg (excluding Kaplan 1, which was my "midterm"): 35.75
    AAMC Avg: 37

    So, really, my AAMC and Kaplan scores were pretty consistent throughout, although there has definitely been an upward trend. I found AAMC VR to be much more straightforward than Kaplan VR. I personally dislike Kaplan, EK & TPR VR overall, although they each certainly have something to offer.
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  13. fallingwater


    Feb 5, 2011
    Anyone know how actual MCAT scales compare to AAMC practice test scales?
  14. music2doc

    music2doc Student of Mad Doctoring 5+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Go take a look at the MCAT Estimator and AAMC Practice Test threads. They have polls that will answer your question. AAMC practice tests are skewed slightly high,while the MCAT Estimator skews slightly low. Both seem to give decent estimates for most people.
  15. fallingwater


    Feb 5, 2011
    Thanks for the links! But in addition to scores, I'm wondering about the actual scales, i.e. on AAMC practice tests, your score plummets for the first few questions you miss in each section, and I was wondering if that's also the case on the actual MCAT.
  16. music2doc

    music2doc Student of Mad Doctoring 5+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    No one knows. They don't give you your raw score. However, I wouldn't really agree with you that your score "plummets" with the first few wrong on an AAMC test. On the sciences, you can usually get 1 wrong and still have a 15, 1-2=14, 2-3=13, 4-6=12, 7-9=11, 10-14=10, 15-18=9, 19-22=8, etc. (Those values are approximated ones from my memory. I didn't look them up, so they may not precisely fit any AAMC exam but they are close.) Considering that random guessing would generate a score of 13/52 (on average), this scaling seems about right. The average is an 8, so getting nearly half the questions wrong for an average score seems pretty, well, average (i.e., you basically always got it down to 1 out of 2 possible answer choices and then had to guess).
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  17. fallingwater


    Feb 5, 2011
    I guess you're right. I just feel like it's plummeting because I got too used to Kaplan scales!
  18. angldrps

    angldrps 5+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2010
  19. DancingDoc123


    Feb 5, 2012
    I didn't really know where to put this question, so here it is.

    My scores are all over the place. I've scored a 24 but I've also scored a 33. Usually, I score better on Kaplan than AAMC.

    My average is about a 28. Is that a good indicator of the score I will get on the real test?

    I think my confidence has a lot to do with how I perform during my practice tests, but I don't know how to remain confidence when I'm given a passage that completely confuses me.

    Anyways, what is a good way to gauge what score I will get on the actual test with my broad range of scores.
  20. KaplanPatrick

    KaplanPatrick Elite Kaplan Instructor 5+ Year Member

    Dec 1, 2010

    You are correct the best way to consider what you are going to get on the real thing is to average your most recent test scores. I feel the best way to break over that 30+ hump is to really spend time looking back at the exams you have already taken and trying to find patterns of the topics, type of questions, or the type of passages you consistently get wrong. It's the most time efficient way to increase those section scores!


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