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By the Numbers: GPA and MCAT

How much do the numbers really matter?

Every premed student has heard that their GPA and MCAT scores matter. At the same time, students often hear that its not 'the scores' that will get you into medical school. So what is the truth? Your GPA and MCAT scores will be used by medical schools to determine if you have the aptitude and capacity to be a successful medical student; however, once you've reached a certain threshold (meaning you're considered a viable candidate for a particular school), the other factors are often just as, if not more valuable than your GPA and MCAT scores. Medical schools want to know what kind of person you are, what kind of physician you will be, not just if you have the capacity to master the coursework and knowledge base.

Below we have listed the overall GPA, science GPA (Called BCPM) of both BYU applicants and the national applicants to MD programs last year. This should give you a very good idea of what it takes to be a competitive applicant. Again, remember that each year we have students who score below these means that are admitted and students that score much higher than these means that are not admitted. Other factors count!

You will want to explore in depth the schools that you are most interested in to determine how competitive you would be for that program.

Allopathic, MD

BYU Applicants Accepted 2019 -- National Averages in ()
GPA: 3.79 (3.72) BCPM GPA: 3.73 (3.66) MCAT: 514 (512)

**These are averages. We have students who score below 510 who are accepted and those who score above 520 that are not. Other factors matter!**

Osteopathic, DO

Ostepathic schools of medicine do not provide national averages for MCAT and GPA. However, schools frequently selected by BYU students provide an estimate:

Rocky Vista (Saint George and Colorado): GPA: 3.66 Science: 3.62 MCAT: 505
Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine: GPA: 3.5 MCAT: 503
AT Still (Kirksville, Missouri and Arizona): GPA: 3.52 MCAT: 504

Preparing for the MCAT


The MCAT comprises four sections:
1. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (59 questions/95 minutes)
2. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (53 questions/90 minutes)
3. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (59 questions/95 minutes)
4. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior (59 questions/95 minutes)

Total Questions: 230 Total Content Time: 6.25 hours Total “Seat” Time: 7.5 hours

Studying for the MCAT

Typically, students start studying for the MCAT several months before taking the test. Many successful students set aside time each day for study. We recommend treating your study as you would a four- or fivecredit-hour class. Whether through self-study or an MCAT prep course, the common denominator of success is significant study time. Here are a few resources to get you started:

The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam (MCAT 2015) is now available for purchase from This book contains 120 practice questions, along with advice on preparing for the exam itself.

The Official MCAT 2015 Sample Test and the four official MCAT Practice Exams are available from

Khan Academy MCAT Collection is a collaborative project made with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). It contains videos and review questions for the MCAT2015 Exam. Resources can be found at

A complete list of AAMC/MCAT resources may be found at:

Registering for the MCAT

Registration is available through the AAMC website ( * Most students take the MCAT by May or June of the year they are applying in, at the latest. MCAT test dates are limited, so register for your test date well in advance. Spring and summer test dates are typically available for registration around February.

Paying for the MCAT

The registration fee is subject to change. To find the current pricing, visit Fee Assistance is available for qualifying students. To find out more about the AAMC’s
Fee Assistance Program (FAP) visit