Why is the MCAT out of 528 and not 60?

  • Thread starter LoveBeingHuman:)
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Because they wanted the median to be 500.

They could just make the median 32.
Does having the median around 500 make it more numerically pleasing? Having a median at 32 and then a normal distribution around that ranging from 4 to 60 is essentially the same as the current system.
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I've always thought it was to differentiate the new scores from the old.
As an example, a 32 on the 'old' exam and a 32 on your theoretical scoring system would be very different scores. Thus, admissions would have to look at the date taken for all the scores. As it is now when someone sees a score in the 500s you know they know it is the 'new' MCAT and when someone sees a score in the 20s or 30s they know it is the 'old' MCAT.
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5+ Year Member
Sep 14, 2015
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tests have random scoring so adcoms don't subconsciously confuse them with a) other tests (SAT, LSAT, pre-2015 MCAT etc.) and b) a typical 10 point scale (that's why pretty much no standardized test is 0-100. a 70 is a "C-" on a 10 point scale, not a good score, but on a given standardized test maybe a 70 is actually a really good score)

as someone mentioned previously, percentiles are what's important
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Jun 15, 2016
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Yep, they wanted a nice even number to be the median, and they wanted it to be distinctive from the old scoring system. So 500. I read that on an AMA I think.
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