Dismiss Notice
Hey Guest! Check out the 3 MCAT Study Plan Options listed in the 'stickies' area at the top of the forums (BoomBoom, SN2ed, and MCATJelly). Let us know which you like best.

Also, we now offer a MCAT Test-Prep Exhibitions Forum where you can ask questions directly from the test-prep services.

What Does the MCAT Really Measure?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Pursuing MD, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. Pursuing MD

    Pursuing MD Senior Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Besides being an entrance exam for medical, osteopathy (DO), & podiatry school, what other purpose does the MCAT serve?

    Does it measure intelligence, test-taking abilities, how well you study, etc.? Or is it just another weed-out-process?

    I'm interested in reading what everyone thinks?
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. lattimer13

    lattimer13 good boy!

    Nov 11, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Resident [Any Field]
    another hoop...

    i'm sure everyone has their own perception of the MCAT, so you're likely to get a bunch of different responses
  4. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios

    Nov 24, 2002
    Likes Received:
    First year performance in medical school.
    Supposedly (according to another thread) the verbal correlates with USMLE step 2/3 while bio and phy correlates with USMLE step 1/2 or something like that.

    MCAT probably measures intelligence, test-taking ability, how well you study, knowledge of science, writing and reading ability; but it is not the definitive test in any of these.
  5. Camden772

    Camden772 Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2002
    Likes Received:
    The MCAT is a "measure" of only one thing: how well you take the MCAT. That is, in and of itself, the MCAT is really an indicator of nothing other than how well you did compared to other people who took the MCAT.

    However, there is a "correlation" between high MCATs and board scores and preclinical grades in medical school (from what I've read there doesn't seem to be much of a correlation between MCATs and clinical grades). But the MCAT is not a "measure" of how well you will do on boards and in your first two years, instead it's simply a test that, along with other things, serve as an indicator of someone's potential to do well in medical school and on boards.

    Do some people with high MCATs flunk out of med school? I wouldn't be surprised. Do some people with below average MCATs rock their classes and boards? Yes. But on the whole, people who do well on the MCATs (especially when they have also performed well academically) have a higher likelihood of performing well in medical school.

    But unfortunately there is no really effective predictor of one's medical school performance, so MCATs should be, and usually are, considered with other criteria. It is a very imperfect system, but unfortunately medical schools probably believe that it's still better than just relying on grades and interviews.

    I guess I basically agree with Gleevec, but I'm just being nitpicky about semantics. The MCAT is only a "measure" of one's ability to take the MCAT. But it does tend to "correlate" with intelligence, test-taking ability, how well you study, knowledge of science, writing and reading ability etc. It is an imperfect tool that is probably relied on too much, or at least given too much weight, by adcomms. But I have no way of knowing that.


Share This Page