The LizzyM score is a metric that originated on Student Doctor Network, a popular forum for premedical and health professional students. The user who came up with the score, LizzyM, is a faculty member and a verified expert on Student Doctor Network, but their actual identity remains anonymous.
However, the score this user came up with continues to be a common way of gauging competitiveness for medical schools among many applicants. By distilling GPA and MCAT scores into one number, it offers students a simple measure to use when selecting schools to apply to.
How is the LizzyM Score Calculated?
The LizzyM score is a simple equation that scales up GPA by a factor of 10 and adds it to the pre-2015 MCAT score (which had scores ranging from 3-45).
10*GPA + MCAT = LizzyM Score
For students who took the new MCAT after 2015, scores are converted to the equivalent percentile of the old MCAT score and then plugged into the equation above. Due to the method of calculation, the score can range from 3 (the minimum score on the old MCAT) up to 85.
Student Doctor Network offers an online calculator that allows students to plug in their scores and return a LizzyM score, which can then be compared to historical data obtained from AAMC. It also allows users to compare their LizzyM scores with students from similar racial backgrounds. We have also added the conversion chart below for your convenience.
|OLD MCAT SCORE||NEW MCAT SCORE||PERCENTILE|
|7 (or less)||475 (or less)||0|
Is it Accurate Predictor of Your Medical School Admission Chances?
It is important to note that although the LizzyM score is a good tool to use when screening medical schools, it has many limitations and should NOT be the only factor to consider when selecting a list of schools.
First, the GPA used does not reflect course difficulty, science GPA, or grade trends. These are all factors that medical schools take into consideration when evaluating applicants. Someone who started poorly but ended undergrad on a strong note to end with a 3.4 is not the same as someone who averages 3.4 throughout undergrad.
Second, the combined LizzyM score may be difficult to interpret for students who have GPA and MCAT scores that are on opposite extremes. Consider two examples of students with unbalanced scores. Student A has a 2.5 overall GPA but scored a 523 on the MCAT. This combination results in a LizzyM score of 66. Student B maintained a good GPA at 3.8 but scored a 501 on the MCAT, for a combined LizzyM score of 66.
Their LizzyM score is the same, yet they have very different academic profiles. Some schools might screen out Student A due to their GPA while others might screen out student B due to their MCAT score.
According to historic AAMC data, only two other students have had a similar academic profile to Student A and one of them was accepted into medical school. However, 3,755 applicants applied with scores similar to Student B, and 37% were accepted into medical school. From this information, you can tell that despite having the exact same LizzyM score, the outcomes for these two students may be completely different.
Third, when using the online tool to assess competitiveness, the historic data might be outdated. AAMC has limited the release of aggregate data for application cycles after 2016. At the time of this writing, the data used to generate comparisons is from 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.
Finally, schools take a lot more than GPA and MCAT into consideration. Extracurriculars, personal statements, and how well an applicant aligns with a school’s overall mission statement are vital factors that are also considered.
For this reason, it is best to use the LizzyM score as an initial rough assessment of which schools you are competitive for and then finalize your list based on factors such as location, emphasis on research, and overall sense of how well you fit the school’s mission.
What’s a Good LizzyM Score?
The definition of a good LizzyM score can vary and is dependent on the schools an applicant is interested in applying to. Below, I will break down which schools fall into the specified LizzyM score ranges. Tier rankings for US allopathic schools are based on the 2021 US NEWS Best Medical Schools rankings, while DO school rankings are from the Shemmassian Consulting list of osteopathic schools.
The average LizzyM score for most top-20 schools is in the 70+ range. This includes schools such as UPenn, Northwestern, Washington University in St. Louis, Vanderbilt, Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Baylor, NYU, UCLA, Duke, Mt. Sinai, Dartmouth, Stanford, UCSF, Emory, Michigan, and Cornell.
Interestingly, there are also a few “lower-tier” schools that have matriculants that average a LizzyM score 70+. These include California Northstate, St. Louis University, SUNY-Downstate, California University, and SUNY-Downstate. You will notice that most of these schools are in popular locations such as NYC or California, which often attract strong applicants.
The 67-69.9 range is highly represented by top 50 institutions. Examples include Maryland, Indiana, Alabama at Birmingham, Oregon, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Florida, Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa, Florida, and Brown. Other schools in this range include Kentucky, Rutgers, Wayne State, Tufts, Temple, Wayne State, and Tulane.
65-66.9 includes the lower-ranked US allopathic medical schools.
59-64.9 includes top-tier DO schools such as Philadelphia, Touro, Western University, Michigan State, NYIT, Lake Erie, and Edward Via. There are also a few medical schools here such as Loyola, Albany, and Marshall. Surprisingly, the University of Washington School of Medicine, a top-20 medical school, is also here with a LizzyM score of 63.
The schools with average LizzyM scores below 59 mostly consist of Caribbean schools such as Saba, American University, and Ross.
It should be noted that the LizzyM score do not always correlate with medical school ranking. As noted above, the University of Washington has an average LizzyM score of 63, possibly due to its strong consideration of geographical location, which may favor applicants with lower scores over out-of-state applicants with higher scores. There a few “lower-tier” schools in the 70+ LizzyM score range, while the other score ranges have an interesting mixture of tiers.
This further highlights the fact that the LizzyM score is great for finding schools in your general range, but it should not be the only factor used. Some of these schools have similar scores but weight GPA and MCAT differently.