The grades you get during college and your MCAT score are two critical elements to the medical school process. But you want specifics. What sort of grades and MCAT scores do you need for medical school admissions?
I generally advise that you have a minimum GPA of 3.6 in college to be competitive applying to most medical schools. Higher is better. If you are targeting the more selective medical schools, you will want a much higher GPA. You should also note that medical schools look at your college GPA in two ways. First, your overall GPA including all courses and second, your GPA in science and math related courses. Both of these should ideally be above a 3.6 GPA.
Does it matter that there is grade deflation at your college or that you are at a highly ranked college? No. You don’t get bonus points because you went to a name brand school. Does it matter if you have a major that has notoriously hard grading, like engineering? Nope, you don’t get bonus points for a low grading major either. Grades can also be affected by the college you go to as most public colleges have lower average GPA’s. This is why it is sometimes better to go to a school that doesn’t rank highly but where you can get really good grades versus average grades at a highly ranked college.
So what kind of MCAT score are you shooting for? For most students, you will want at least a 510 MCAT. Again, higher is better and will make you more competitive. For the more competitive medical schools, you will typically want to shoot for a 520. Medical schools do look at the breakdown of the four sections of the MCAT but in most cases the combined score is the more important one.
Now that you know what medical schools are looking for in your college GPA and MCAT scores, you can go out there and do your best.