# MCAT curve

#### Munchkin6245

##### Full Member
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15+ Year Member
I've been hearing that the MCAT is graded on a curve. How does this work? Can someone please explain it to me. Thanks

#### DoctorInSpace

##### Senior Member
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Every question on every version of the test is graded and analyzed w/ statistics, to get a mean, median, mode and standard deviation. Based on how well everyone does on one particular question, it is given a certain amount of "points". So, for each question on the test that you take, they do the statistics, and then apply them to the 15 point scale for each section. Because they are grading on a statistical analysis of each question, it comes out to a curve, as opposed to strictly number correct divided by number incorrect. That is why it takes so long to grade the MCAT, in addition to graders actually reading your essays.

I hope that helps.

#### MrTee

##### Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Originally posted by DoctorInSpace
Every question on every version of the test is graded and analyzed w/ statistics, to get a mean, median, mode and standard deviation. Based on how well everyone does on one particular question, it is given a certain amount of "points". So, for each question on the test that you take, they do the statistics, and then apply them to the 15 point scale for each section. Because they are grading on a statistical analysis of each question, it comes out to a curve, as opposed to strictly number correct divided by number incorrect. That is why it takes so long to grade the MCAT, in addition to graders actually reading your essays.

I hope that helps.

Nice explanation doc. Where did you get the info from? I've read in several places similar explanations, including ones where the "point values" for each question have already been determined prior to the MCAT administration.

They obtained the data required to do so from prior administrations of MCAT's using the questions as part of experimental passages in those previous MCAT's. This was proposed as the explanation of how the mean scores are different for each MCAT series...because if they were really curved in the traditional sense (after the test was given), the mean should be the same every time. What do you think?

#### UCLAstudent

##### I'm a luck dragon!
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Originally posted by MrTee
Nice explanation doc. Where did you get the info from? I've read in several places similar explanations, including ones where the "point values" for each question have already been determined prior to the MCAT administration.

I don't know if the point value thing is correct. It is my understanding that when they calculate the mean, median, etc. for each question, they throw out any questions where less than 25% (less than pure chance) of test-takers got the question right... if less than 25% got it correct, it's possible that the question was worded incorrectly/was misleading. I don't know if this is true, but it is a nice thought.

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