Does an SAT score predict an MCAT score?

Hi everyone,

I’m a 32 year old pre-med, getting ready to take the MCAT June 2018. I am currently in a formal post-bacc program and from its reputation, a very good one. My pre-med adviser has cautioned me that my MCAT score may not be very good because my SAT score is not “excellent”. Back in 2001 I scored 1170 out of 1600 on the SAT and a 26 on the ACT. Does anyone know if this reasoning is valid? I took the SAT and ACT with practically zero preparation (growing up in a rural area, I didn’t know commercial SAT prep was a “thing”. So, it’s basically a raw score.) Based on this SAT score, what should I be thinking about for the MCAT in terms of anticipated score, the amount of preparation required, etc?

I’ve generally not been the best standardized test taker. My biggest hinderance has been time. I tend to think more slowly, which on a time based exam, hurts me. I will be taking a full course load from now until test day, so I will not be able to dedicate 2-3 months to solid MCAT prep (extra practice problems, etc). My postbacc program is 12 months covering all the pre-med prerequisites. Thank you so much for any advice you are able to provide.

There are some studies out there that determined there is a correlation between SAT and MCAT score. The idea is that the standardized test is a “way of thinking” versus how much you know, but I don’t recall how much of the SAT was actually based on thought vs content.

There is a lot that goes into the MCAT, and foundational knowledge in those areas is very important. There is definitely a component of thought-process built into the test and all subsequent tests you’ll take in medicine. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from pursuing medicine based on their SAT score. If anything, though, it should show you that you have some potential work to do in the area of problem solving. There are some commercial prep options out there that try to help with that area.

So a score from 16 yrs ago might impact how well you do on the MCAT? Psshaw

16 yrs ago you didn’t have much of a frontal lobe you were regurgitating information, you were not demonstrating knowledge, understanding, critical thinking, or any of the other things needed.

Don’t let others get you down. You’ll do fine!

From what I’ve been reading in these forums and hearing on the podcasts, a bigger concern is that preparation is key. In episode 34 of the MSHQ Premed Years, Dr. Gray spoke with a young woman with an outstanding GPA and SAT/ACT scores. She did not prepare, assuming it was like those tests she had taken previously, and failed to get anything near a “satisfactory” score… twice. The point, and the title of the podcast, was Respect the MCAT. Practice tests are a must!

I’m facing the same situation you are, in that I will not have dedicated MCAT study time without pushing back my entire application date by another year, but if I’m not getting the scores I want on practice exams by that March, that’s what I will do. That being said, if you do take the MCAT and get a score you aren’t proud of, hopefully you haven’t already submitted an application, but take that time to prepare before retaking it, and definitely before reapplying if necessary. From what I’ve heard on the MSHQ podcasts, Adcoms like to see that you have been working on improving yourself during that gap year. Whether it’s MCAT improvement or getting in patient contact, they want to see dedication.

I’d say “Good Luck,” but “Good Effort” is more like it! Keep it up, and you’ll get there!