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Future Physicians Take New Medical College Admission Test®

Washington, D.C., April 20, 2015—Over the weekend, more than 7,500 aspiring physicians worldwide were among the first examinees to take the new Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®). Developed and administered by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), the new exam tests students on the knowledge and skills that future physicians need to practice in a changing health care system and to better serve a changing patient population.

“It’s a new day for the MCAT exam,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD. “There has been a paradigm shift in medical education to acknowledge the competencies physicians need beyond medical knowledge—skills that will allow doctors to treat the whole patient—and the new exam reflects these changes.”

In 2012, the AAMC approved the new MCAT exam to align with the changing medical education landscape. In addition to updating the natural science concepts that students are tested on, the new exam includes a section on the psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior. This section recognizes the importance of building a foundation for learning in medical school about the sociocultural and behavioral determinants of health and health outcomes.

The new MCAT exam is part of a broader effort by the AAMC and the nation’s medical schools to improve the medical school admissions process and to support the holistic review of applicants, which balances experiences, attributes, and academic metrics when considering individuals as medical students and future physicians.

“The new exam asks examinees to be scientists by not only testing them on what they know, but also on how well they apply what they know,” said Kirch. “This is a better test for preparing tomorrow’s doctors.”

For more information about the new MCAT exam, visit

By the Numbers

New MCAT Exam

  • 4: # of sections on the new exam

  • 230: # of questions on the new exam
  • Approximately 85,000: # of examinees who take the MCAT exam each year
  • 21: # of members on the expert panel who made recommendations for the new exam, including medical school deans; admissions, educational affairs, student affairs, and diversity officers; basic and clinical sciences faculty; pre-health advisors and other baccalaureate faculty; a resident and a medical student
  • More than 2,700: # of baccalaureate and medical school faculty, residents, and medical students who completed surveys to identify the most important content for the new test
  • More than 90: # of outreach meetings and events at which the expert panel sought input on the new exam
  • More than 113,000: # of pre-med students who field-tested questions for the new exam
  • 21: # of medical schools participating in longitudinal research on the impact and validity of the new exam

Khan Academy MCAT Collection

  • More than 950: # of instructional videos in the MCAT collection
  • More than 2,000: # of review questions in the collection
  • Approximately 50,000: # of daily views of MCAT video tutorials


The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their nearly 160,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at

Press Contact
Brooke Bergen, AAMC