The MCAT® (Medical College Admission Test®) is for students who want to pursue a career in the interesting world that the medical profession is. It is a standardized exam that includes multiple-choice questions. The MCAT is developed to measure an applicant’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and to assess his or her knowledge of natural, social, and behavioral science principles and concepts. Taking the MCAT is a prerequisite to the study of medicine.
Practically all U.S. and several Canadian medical schools require applicants to submit their MCAT exam scores with their admission applications. The latest version of the MCAT exam was rolled out in April 2015, and contains questions to measure the skills and knowledge of concepts that medical educators, medical professionals, medical students, as well as residents rated most important for medical school applicants to know in order to have them prepared for medical school right from day one.
The MCAT is developed by the AAMC, and as the former edition was from 1991, a new MCAT was introduced in April 2015 to better be in sync with all technological and other changes in the world of medicine and science, and is a better way to test applicants not just on what they know, but also on how well they will be able to apply what they know.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), a non-profit association, is committed to the transformation of healthcare via excellent and innovative medical education, groundbreaking medical research, and the best possible patient care. The AAMC comprises not only of all 145 accredited medical schools in the U.S. as well as 17 accredited medical schools in Canada. AAMC members also include some 400 cutting-edge teaching hospitals and healthcare systems (including more than 50 medical centers run by Department of Veterans Affairs), and almost 85 academic societies. The AAMC serves, through all these organizations and institutions, the leading medical schools and teaching hospitals in America, and their nearly 150,000 faculty members, over 80,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians.
The MCAT exam assesses applicants in four subject fields:
– Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
– Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
– Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior
– Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills
In general, medical schools will not accept MCAT exam scores older than three years.
The new MCAT – a new health care world
The medical students of today will enter a healthcare system that has changed enormously since the last revision of the MCAT exam in 1991. The world of healthcare went through an explosion of revolutionary scientific knowledge and medical research. We have seen a dramatic increase in the life span of patients, and there is an ongoing reform in delivery systems and available diversity. The world of medical education is also continually updating its delivery forms and content to keep in line with all these dramatic changes and revolutionary, groundbreaking new technologies and applications. The curricula of medical schools include now far earlier exposure to various clinical settings, more coursework that’s focusing on key knowledge and skills, like communication and inter-disciplinary training, more competency-based learning, and in what way health is determined by social factors.
Preparing for the MCAT exam
Well, getting all set for the MCAT will take time, and many applicants ask themselves what the best way is to get ready for the exam. There are quite a few interesting and pretty good ways to prepare optimally for the MCAT. Create your account on the AAMC website to get access to a great world or medical education. For more information check out this page. Here you will learn all about the MCAT exam, what it test, how it’s scored, and so on.
Check out also the AAMC ‘Official Guide to the MCAT Exam’ that provides 120 MCAT practice questions (including answers and explanations) and there also is an option to access the practice questions online. Reading the ‘MCAT Essentials’ is a must for all examinees. Here you learn all about registration, test-day policies, preparation tips, how scoring works, and lots of other helpful and useful information.
You can also use the ‘Khan Academy MCAT Collection‘ if you want to brush up your knowledge on some topics or learn new study material that hasn’t been addressed in your courses yet. This is an open-access and free study method that comes with over 1,000 videos as well as, and some 3,000 questions and answers on all the subject fields that the MCAT the exam covers. Another pretty good preparation method is available from Kaplan. Here you can get all informed about the Kaplan MCAT prep options.
Take also good care of yourself. If you study hard you should also really give this a decent thought. This means you should eat right, do regular exercises, make sure to get enough sleep, particularly the night before testing day. Many students are tempted to stay up late and use their last chance for studying and practicing, but it is generally known that examinees will perform far better on test day if they had at least some seven hours of sleep.