MCAT Changes  

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Is the MCAT* changing? 

The MCAT began in 1928 (formerly called the Moss test) and has had four major modifications since. In recent times, the exam changed significantly in 1991 and then again in 2003 (less organic chemistry and more genetics). In 2007 the MCAT became somewhat shorter and changed to a Computer Based Test (CBT). The next expected review, which will be out no earlier than 2015, will be the fifth major alteration. Students taking the MCAT in 2013 or 2014 will be affected by one aspect of the changing exam: the MCAT Writing Sample will be eliminated as of January, 2013. In its place, a voluntary, unscored trial section covering psychology, sociology and biochemistry will be added. Current content discussions by the AAMC (publishers of the real exam) concerning the new test explores ways to add communication skills to the testing experience among other options.

Among the current suggested changes to the new post-2014 MCAT: redividing the test into four new sections including molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, behavioral and social sciences, and critical analysis and reasoning; adding approximately 90 minutes to the current exam thus the total test time could be estimated at seven hours. The most recent report - released by the MR5 Committee of the AAMC - also suggests the removal of the only written part of the exam: the Writing Sample.

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Here is a summary of the MCAT changes which began in 2007 and continues today:

  • The test is shorter (approximately 5 hours vs. the previous testing time of 8 hours). 

  • Students receive their test scores more quickly. 

  • The test is offered more frequently throughout the year (more than 20 testing dates; see 2014 MCAT test dates). 

  • The exam is given in smaller, climate-controlled rooms (see sample MCAT test center).

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How do you prepare for the MCAT changes?

A solid science review, CBT practice exams, sufficient study time and motivation will permit you to score high on the new Computer Based Test. You can find all the materials you need for an up-to-date MCAT science review or complete MCAT prep. The official website for the AAMC has links to official practice CBT MCATs. The 10 MCAT Practice Tests from The Gold Standard are computer based exams and are always updated. Practice is a very important aspect of proper exam preparation.

Other Views of the MCAT Changes

If you would like the official word from the AAMC about the 2015 modifications, click here. The Student Doctor Network has a discussion board where premeds can discuss the MCAT changes. Many premed students have websites discussing the changing MCAT.



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