What should my target GPA be?

Here are the national statistics, including GPA of admitted students from around the country. Ithaca College students who meet these GPA benchmarks and perform well on their admissions tests are highly successful at obtaining admission to graduate and professional schools in health care.

School Type % admit nationwide (2020) Overall GPA of admitted students Science GPA of admitted students
Allopathic Medicine (MD) 43.8% 3.73 3.66
Osteopathic Medicine (DO) 49.1% 3.61 3.54
Physician Assistant 40.1% 3.59 3.53
Veterinary Medicine 52.1% 3.53 3.45
Dentistry 57.4% 3.57 3.49

When should I take the MCATs, or other standardized exams?

For students planning to go straight from their undergraduate program into a professional school, these tests are typically taken in the spring or summer of your Junior year. The MCATs are offered year round, and are taken on computer at designated test centers.  The same is true of GREs and DATs.  In general, you should have completed the exams on or before the time you begin submitting applications.  Medical schools won’t consider your application until the MCAT scores are received (several weeks after the test).  Applications are normally submitted during the summer between your Junior and Senior year for a direct path from college to medical school.

Can I take the MCATs or other exams in late summer of fall instead of spring?

Although you can take the MCATs later in the year, schools won’t consider your application until they have the scores.  Most medical schools use a rolling admissions process, where they begin offering acceptances as early as September in some cases. This means that students who take the exam in spring or early summer will get first consideration. If you are not applying to medical school right away (scores are good for 3 years), then it doesn’t matter which date you choose.

How should I prepare for the MCATs and other exams?

Each student should prepare in a way that best suits their needs. There are many books available to help study for the MCATs and other exams. The American Association of Medical Schools, which administers the MCATs, sells practice exams that you can take on-line. There are also formal prep courses, such as Kaplan and Princeton Review. These work for some students but not others. They are also expensive (approximately $1300) so we recommend talking to other students before making that decision. Ultimately, you need to realistically evaluate how you need to prepare for this exam.

What kinds of scores should I aim for on exams?

Here are the national statistics from 2020, to give you ideas for target scores.

School Type (exam) Average Score for admitted students (2020)
Allopathic Medicine (MCAT) 511.6
Osteopathic Medicine (MCAT) 502.7
Physician Assistant (GRE) 152 Quantitative, 153 Verbal, 4 Analytical
Dentistry (DAT) 19.9
Veterinary Medicine (GRE) 152 Quantitative, 153 Verbal, 4 Analytical