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  • AAMC has removed the writing section from the MCAT. Please find out about our current MCAT prep courses.

    MCAT Essay LiveGrader sm

    LiveGrader sm lets you practice writing MCAT ® essays and get feedback on your work from expert graders.

    You've probably heard about the Writing Sample section on the MCAT where you have 60 minutes to write two MCAT essays. It's nothing to fear, especially if you practice and become comfortable with the format.

    The best way to prepare for the MCAT essays is to write lots of them and have them graded by an expert who is using the same guidelines that are used for the real MCAT. LiveGrader sm helps you to do just that.

    Frequently Asked Questions about MCAT Essay LiveGrader sm

    What is MCAT LiveGrader sm

    LiveGrader sm is a tool that we have developed to help our students prepare for the MCAT. All Princeton Review classroom and tutoring students will submit their MCAT essays for all of their practice exams. These essays will then be graded by one of our MCAT experts. Not only will our expert grader score your MCAT essays but he or she will also provide personalized feedback that will help you maximize your score on the MCAT Writing Sample.

    How is my MCAT essay graded?

    After you submit your MCAT essays, one of our expert graders will score them using the same scoring guidelines that are used on the MCAT. This will give you a good idea of how you would do on the real MCAT. When grading your MCAT essays, we adhere to the same policy as the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC); each MCAT essay is read and graded "holistically." This means the essays are evaluated on the overall impression they give the reader. So you must address the three tasks assigned to you and make it absolutely clear that you have done so.

    Who will grade my MCAT essay?

    A trained and certified Princeton Review expert will grade your MCAT essay, using the same standards as actual MCAT graders. Our experienced graders know what makes a strong MCAT essay; many have graded thousands of essays.

    When I use LiveGrader sm, will I receive just a score, or will I get comments too?

    You will receive both a score and comments. Raw scores from the two MCAT essays on the Writing Sample of the actual MCAT are converted to one letter grade ranging from a low of J to a high of T, with O being the average score. Your LiveGrader sm score will be in this exact same format: You write two MCAT essays, and you receive one J to T score. In addition to this score, we will give you personal feedback on what worked well on your MCAT essays and how you can improve them to earn a higher Writing Sample score on the real MCAT.

    How do I get my LiveGrader sm score?

    We will e–mail your score and personalized feedback within three to five days after you submit your MCAT essay. You can also access your score on the website.

    What do I have to write about for the MCAT essay?

    Just like on LiveGrader sm, when you take the real MCAT you won't know the topics in advance. But you will know the format of the Writing Sample section, which is like this: Each of the two MCAT essays presents test takers with a statement. You will then have to write a response that interprets the statement, illustrates an opposing view and discusses what factors determine when one or the other of the two opposing viewpoints is valid.

    I'm a science whiz. How can I earn a high score on the Writing Sample section of the MCAT?

    Practice, practice and more practice! That's why we created MCAT LiveGrader sm – to give you a chance to practice the MCAT essay under real conditions. When you are writing your MCAT essay, remember to stay on topic and to fully explain your arguments. Be clear, concise and tend toward the generic rather than the inflammatory.

    How are the MCAT essays different from the essays I write in school?

    Unlike many essays you write in school, you'll only have 60 minutes to write two MCAT essays, and you won't be able to use reference materials. Graders won't be expecting perfection; they will be judging your MCAT essay for what it is: a first draft. Furthermore, the person grading your essays on the real MCAT will only spend about two minutes evaluating your writing. Therefore, it is especially important to communicate your ideas in a clear and straightforward way.