Michigan Medical Education Day Saturday, October 8, 2011

Report
Michigan Medical
Education Day
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Managing the MCAT
Medical College Admissions Test
• Standardized, multiple-choice examination
designed to assess problem solving, critical
thinking, and writing skills for all U.S. and
some Canadian medical schools (MD and DO).
• Also serves as admission test for some U.S.
veterinary and podiatry medical programs.
• Tests specific knowledge in Biological
Sciences, Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning,
and Writing.
One Of Several
Admission Criteria
Along with:
• GPA
• Extracurricular activities and exposure to the
profession (employment, volunteering, research,
etc.)
• Reference letters
• Application essays
• Interview performance
• Special life experiences and circumstances
What It Covers
Physical Science Concepts
General Chemistry and Physics
Biological Science Concepts
Biology and Organic Chemistry
Verbal Reasoning
Comprehension/Evaluation/Application/Incorporation
of new information
Writing Sample
Topic statement with instructions for 3 writing tasks
MCAT Section Format
Physical & Biological Sciences
– 7 passages w/ 4-7 questions per passage
– 13 independent questions
Verbal Reasoning
– 7 passages w/ 5-7 questions per passage
– Passages are about 600 words long
Writing Sample
– 2 essays (30 minutes each)
– Subjects are not medical/scientific in nature
MCAT Layout
Tutorial (optional)
Examinee agreement
Physical Sciences (52 questions)
Break (optional)
Verbal Reasoning (40 questions)
Break (optional)
Writing Sample (2 essays)
Break (optional)
Biological Sciences (52 questions)
Void Question
Survey
10 min.
10 min.
70 min.
10 min.
60 min.
10 min.
60 min.
10 min.
70 min.
5 min.
10 min.
Accommodations
• Gather required paperwork for accommodation
request well in advance (ideally ~6 months) of
anticipated test date.
• Accommodation requests often denied due to
incomplete or obsolete supporting documentation
 give yourself plenty of time to appeal.
Test Registration
Costs: $240 (regular registration)
Additional fees for late registration, changes…
Online Registration
Register 60+ days in advance of test date
Read online “MCAT Essentials” first
Fee Assistance Program (FAP)--$240  $85
Testing Locations in Michigan
•
•
•
•
•
Ann Arbor
Auburn Hills
Detroit
East Lansing
Grand Rapids
•
•
•
•
•
Lansing
Livonia
Mt. Pleasant
Sault Ste. Marie
Troy
When Should I Take The MCAT?
In general…
• When you have completed your pre-requisites
• Can fit several months of intense MCAT preparation
in your schedule
• By spring/summer of the year during which you
plan to apply to medical school
***Test dates are January, and March through
September***
Why So Early?
• Application services for allopathic and
osteopathic medical schools (AMCAS and
AACOMAS) open in May and start allowing
submission in early June.
• Because of rolling admissions, submit your
primary application in June or early July at the
very latest, ideally with MCAT scores in hands.
• Exception: Take MCAT later and apply in the
following year or beyond if you need to
strengthen preparation and overall application
profile.
When Should The Exam
Not Be Taken?
In general …
– When you have not taken a substantial number of prerequisites (i.e., Freshmen/Sophomores)
– If you will not be applying to medical school for another 2
or more years
– As a “trial run” since all scores count!
Preparation Methods
Self Preparation
• Familiarize yourself with the test as soon as you start
pre-medical classes
• Read “The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam”
• Borrow/purchase old MCAT practice tests from
fellow students--one available free online
• Develop a study schedule and start practicing at least
four months in advance
• Consider group study options
Preparation Methods, continued
Test Preparation Organizations
• Always try self-study or group study first
• Test prep orgs expensive but can be effective
• Outcome usually proportionate to investment in
time and practice beyond the course
• Official prep courses may buy a false sense of
security
• Good scores are the result of a lot of studying
and practicing—they are not bought.
Release Of MCAT Scores
Automatic : You cannot withhold scores!
• AAMC and affiliated institutions
• AMCAS (for inclusion in your application)
Optional
• Health Professional Advisor
• Med-MAR (Medical Minority Applicant Registry)
• MCAT Recruiting Service
• AACOMAS (DO schools) and other application services
 as applicable
MCAT Scoring
• Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Verbal
Reasoning: scaled score of 1-15
• Writing Sample: scaled score of J-T
------------------------------------------------------------------• No penalty for guessing
• Scores available 30 days after test
What Is A Good Score?
• Variance among schools
• For the last few years, average score of accepted
applicants nationwide:
~30 P for allopathic medical schools
~26 O for osteopathic medical schools
Percent Medical School Acceptances by MCAT
and GPA (2010)
100%
90%
Acceptance Rate
80%
GPA
70%
3.80-4.00
60%
3.60-3.79
50%
3.40-3.59
40%
3.20-3.39
30%
20%
10%
0%
5-14
15-17
18-20
21-23
24-26
27-29
MCAT Score
30-32
33-35
36-38
39-45
To Retake Or Not To Retake
Change from an initial score of 8
35
30
Percent
25
20
Verbal
Biological
Physical
15
10
5
0
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
1
2
3
Number of points different from original score
4
MCAT Score Policies—By School
University of Michigan
• Best set of scores is given most weight
• Averages are considered (individual scores <8 not viable)
• August and September takers are at a disadvantage
Michigan State University CHM (MD)
• Focus on improvement if multiple scores available
• Biological Science and Verbal Reasoning scrutinized most
• Applications w/ late summer MCAT are held for review
until scores are received
• MCAT scores for tests taken in January are only considered
for those on alternate list
MCAT Score Policy, continued
Wayne State University
• Most recent scores are given most weight--highest scores
may be considered
• Retake is recommended if any section is <8
• Applications are not reviewed w/o MCAT scores
• Only scores through September may be used for same
application year
Oakland University
• Focus is on improvement (upward trend)
• Applications are not reviewed w/o MCAT scores
• Applicants should score at least a 26 to be competitive
• Only scores through September may be used for same
application year
MCAT Score Policy, continued
Michigan State University COM (DO)
• MCAT scores constitutes 25% of decision
making process
• Best set of scores used if <3 years old
• Focus on improvement for retakes
• Late summer MCAT test puts students at a
disadvantage due to rolling admissions
Changes On The Horizon: MR5
• Major review underway. New MCAT expected to
launch in 2015
• Depending on your application timeline, this change
may or may not affect you: Talk to your pre-med
advisor!
• Proposed MCAT changes include
testing on behavioral and social studies principles
addition of some measures of integrity, service
orientation, and other personal characteristics
to facilitate a more holistic review.
• See details about the MR5
project:https://www.aamc.org/initiatives/mr5/
New Official MCAT Self-Assessment
Package for Spring 2012
• Helps student identify strengths/weaknesses
to guide test prep
• Self-Assessment in each section of exam:
--Complete actual MCAT items
--Assess confidence in topic/cognitive skill
• Compares individual performance to other
MCAT examinees
MORE INFORMATION
• Official MCAT website:
https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/
• Talk with your advisor!

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