The 2015 MCAT Changes—and What They Mean to You

Change is in the air for the MCAT, as a series of proposed changes are expected to be implemented in 2015.  While the exact nature of the changes remain to be seen, we do have a good idea what to expect.  The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the group responsible for the MCAT, is aiming to make the exam a more holistic test of the potential and ability of aspiring physicians.  Information regarding social and behavioral sciences is likely to be added, while the writing sample section is likely to be removed.  Certain areas are expected to be de-emphasized, including physics and organic chemistry, but the net effect of the changes will be a much longer exam.  The changes are likely to add at least 90 minutes to the exam, bringing the total time to seven hours.  If you are likely to take the exam in 2015 or later, here are several things you need to know:

1) Don’t panic. While a changed MCAT format will require a different approach, you will find plenty of help preparing.  If you are a pre-med student, your school will be aware of any changes and will likely shift their approach to help you prepare.  While uncertainty is always difficult, the bottom line is that all of your classmates are in the same boat—so don’t panic, just prepare.

2) Broaden your knowledge. The exact format of the new MCAT is still uncertain, but you can rest assured it will be a more broad examination of your medical knowledge.  Seek out electives that will boost your understanding of social sciences, life sciences, and behavioral sciences.  Your faculty advisor will be able to help you achieve this goal.

3) Stay alert. There is no need to panic, but it is important to pay close attention to information relating to the MCAT.  Your school should prepare you for these changes, but it is never a good idea to rely solely on others.  Stay alert and keep reading the news.  Keep an eye on this blog—I’ll be sure to update you as things progress! 

The MCAT is changing, and for students who will take the exam in or after 2015, a new approach will be required.  Don’t panic, but do speak to faculty advisors, pay attention to the news, and keep reading my blog and my articles to make sure you are armed with the knowledge you need to succeed.

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