How Long Are MCAT Scores Valid For?

How Long Are MCAT Scores Valid For?

The pressure to perform is immense. You’re still on the fence about continuing your medical school education or taking a gap year before leaping into your med school.

We get it. You first need to know how long MCAT scores are valid. Knowing the answer to this question will allow you to make the right decision. To avoid retaking your MCAT, know that MCAT scores are only valid for a predetermined amount of time. 

Let’s get you started and take the pressure off. We have listed all the detail below:

How Long Do MCAT Scores Last?

The answer to that question determines everything. You’re probably confused because there’s so much conflicting information. Some sources tell you that the MCAT expires after two years. Another says they’re good for a three-year maximum. Those are true, but not completely.

The AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges) keeps a record of your MCAT test in its database. MCAT scores, however, don’t have an official expiry date built in. That’s a bit of a myth we’re hoping to clarify.

The actual answer is that it depends on how long the medical college of your choice will accept them. So, before you decide when to take your MCAT, know the admission policy of the college you’re applying to. Many reputable colleges set their MCAT expiry date. On average, most colleges fall within a two and three-year window.

If you’re medical career goal includes attending the elite and prestigious medical colleges, they seldom take MCAT results over the two-year timeline from the date of your application. This is vital information for how long your MCAT is valid, as it allows you to plan.

Knowing the medical schools’ admission standards saves you from having to retake the MCAT and saves you time and additional expenses.

Also, getting into these illustrious colleges is hard enough; you don’t want to blow your chance with expired MCAT numbers.

What Is an Acceptable MCAT Score?

Maybe you’re dreading this answer. Perhaps you think an acceptable MCAT final is unachievable even after all the hard work you’ve dedicated to your studies. An acceptable MCAT score falls within the 508 to 511 range. And guess what? You can do it!

If you apply to sought-after medical schools, you must wear your game face and rise above it. According to the Princeton Review, the highest-ever score on record is 528. Since the MCAT is a scaled exam. Your raw score (tabulated on the number of correct answers) has a conversion rate scaled to the difficulty of the exam questions. 

Students with an acceptable MCAT number in the range of 508 to 511 have a better chance of being accepted into medical school. Many prep school services help prepare you for the MCAT exam, including a 510 score guarantee.

Now that you’re armed with these details about how long an MCAT score is valid, you can make a definite plan to move ahead. 

Your MCAT Score vs. Your Med School Application

Maybe obtaining an MCAT feels like the fight of your life. It kind of is. Perhaps an MCAT prep is right for you. An exam period lasts for seven hours and fifteen minutes. That includes coffee breaks. This bit of information is vital and allows you to implement an exam and study tactic and where to concentrate your energy.

Not everyone is good at taking exams. But for The MCAT exam, you need to bring your A-game. If you score between 501 and 505, that is an average MCAT result. You need to rise above it and set your goals higher to 510 and up. Competition is fierce.

Even if you score in the 508 to 511, you’re still not guaranteed a seat at the table. Great scores are wonderful, but to be accepted at your preferred medical college, you must have the ‘it’ factor as an applicant.

You’ll be graded on the image and attitude you project during your interview. Manners and personalities get noticed. But it doesn’t end there either. You have to be the kind of person who goes beyond and dedicates time to volunteer efforts. It can really help you get noticed.

Do Medical Schools Discount Old Scores?

Medical schools have standards. They’re in the business of finding the best students. Those standards mean they prefer updated MCAT scores that fall within the two-year application cycle for medical school admissions.

To make the best impression on the medical college of your choice, apply with an MCAT score that is not above two years old. You’re limiting your acceptance potential if you’re applying with an older MCAT test date. When the admissions team sees how old your MCAT score is, they’ll take that into consideration.

If your MCAT test scores are below the acceptable valid point, it might make you questionable to the panel choosing their candidates. So while they won’t outright discount your older MCAT scores, it will leave an impression. Remember, you’re constantly competing. Consider an MCAT prep in January to get you ready for May submissions.

Possible Reasons to Delay Medical School

Hey, we hear you. You have a million thoughts crossing your mind, and you’re wondering if you’re ready to tackle becoming a doctor. Questions about if you’re emotionally and mentally prepared for the journey cloud your judgment. You still haven’t overcome the doom and gloom of a January decision timeline; then there are your parents and the financial strain.

You also have options. Take the stress off; it’s the best time to upgrade to a master’s degree. Work experience is a fantastic opportunity to learn and advance your medical career aspirations. 

You don’t need to decide yet because you’re in your:

  • Junior year
  • Sophomore year
  • Taking a gap year
  • Are just reviewing your medical school application

Every person has a hundred reasons for potentially delaying the leap. That’s okay. But you should know that we need you in the medical field. It’s the reason you began this path. You should also know there are many resources to help you through this.


What Does MCAT Stand for?

MCAT stands for Medical College Admissions Test and helps determine if a student is ready for medical school. An MCAT score is only one part of the admissions process. 

How Long Does the MCAT Score Last? 

On average, between two to three years. It depends on the requirements set by the medical school of choice. 

Is a 512 an okay MCAT score?

A 512 is OK but not guaranteed to get into an MD program. The average is 510 to 511, with a GPA of 3.71 and other application factors from your interview.

How Much Does it Cost to Write an MCAT?

The fee for an MCAT exam is $315 (or $379 for late entrance) and includes distribution to registered medical schools. 

How Hard Is it to Pass the MCAT?

MCAT exams are very challenging to pass. Many prep courses help students study and prepare to answer difficult subjects, pass the technical aspects, and have knowledge in many academic disciplines. It takes over seven hours to complete.

What Is a Good MCAT Score for Harvard?

RankMedical CollegeMCAT Score Averages/ Application 
#1Harvard Medical School520
#2NYC University522
#3Duke University519
#4Columbia University521


Now that you understand how long an MCAT score is valid, you can plan and begin your medical career. Knowing what you’ve been through to reach this level means you already have what it takes to take it a step further.

An MCAT score is the vehicle you take to get to the next phase of your career.

Eric Williams

Eric Williams

Eric Williams is a writer for the Exam Pass team. He discusses tips and strategies for passing certification exams, in addition to news regarding education advancements and technology. The Exam Pass daily newsletter is curated by Eric, who is also in charge of the coverage of all our Test Taking Tips. Before he started working at Exam Pass, he was a freelance writer for and covered news about mobile applications.
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