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AAMC Situational Judgment Test

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Students require balanced preparation and a foundation of both technical knowledge and pre-professionalism upon entering medical school. The AAMC Situational Judgment Test (SJT) enables medical schools to assess non-academic, pre-professional competencies that research shows meaningfully impact an individual’s performance during medical training and as practicing physicians. It is a valid, reliable, and fair assessment as evidenced through years of research.

When included in pre-interview screening, the AAMC SJT:

  • Introduces Holistic Review in a high-volume context earlier in the application screening process
  • Provides a meaningful complement to academic metrics
  • Supports consistent evaluation and comparison of applicants’ pre-professional competence
  • Broadens the experiential, skills, and demographic diversity of the applicants considered for interview

Supporting medical schools since its founding in 1876, the AAMC is uniquely positioned to develop an SJT program that benefits medical schools, applicants, and the transforming healthcare system.

About the AAMC Situational Judgment Test (AAMC SJT)

The AAMC SJT is a standardized test that presents a series of hypothetical scenarios students may encounter in medical school and asks examinees to evaluate the effectiveness of a series of behavioral responses to each scenario.

A ciruclar graphic illustrating the pre professional competencies for the situational judgement test.

Examinees’ responses provide insight into their knowledge of effective and ineffective behaviors across eight core competencies for entering medical students, which include Service Orientation, Social Skills, Cultural Competence, Teamwork, Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others, Reliability and Dependability, Resilience and Adaptability, and Capacity for Improvement.

We are currently seeking subject matter experts in the medical school community, including faculty, admissions officers, and student and diversity affairs officers to develop content and a scoring key for the SJT. If you are interested in volunteering as a subject matter expert, please contact the SJT team at SJT@aamc.org.

Research Supporting the AAMC SJT

The AAMC is executing a multi-phase research plan to evaluate the SJT in four areas, including psychometrics, predicting medical student performance, fairness, and community reactions. Research has engaged MCAT examinees, medical students, and medical school admissions officers to study the viability of the SJT.

Overall results of these research studies have demonstrated the AAMC SJT:

  • Is reliable and valid.
  • Predicts medical student performance.
  • Demonstrates small to no group differences.
  • Adds value to the admissions process above and beyond existing application data.

To learn more about the AAMC’s SJT research, please review the SJT presentation.

AAMC SJT Administration

During the 2021 medical school application cycle, approximately 8,000 applicants across two medical schools - University of Minnesota Medical School Twin Cities campus and University of California Davis School of Medicine - completed the SJT.

In the approaching 2022 medical school application cycle, we have expanded to six schools that will strongly encourage or require the SJT. You can find more information on how the schools will use the scores on their webpages or by contacting them directly:

Applicants intending to apply to a participating medical school should visit http://aamc.org/sjt for more information about the 2021 AAMC SJT administration, including requirements for applicants of the participating schools, frequently asked questions, and more.

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