MCAT Review Process in Brief
In standardized testing, periodic reviews are considered a best practice. As the standardized test required by the majority of medical schools in the United States and Canada, the MCAT exam provides admissions committees with valuable information about your readiness for success.
A comprehensive review of the MCAT exam was completed in November 2011 by the AAMC and its 21-member advisory committee ("the MR5 Committee"). This was the fifth comprehensive review of the exam since it was first administered in 1928.
Concepts tested are a reflection of medical advancements, changes to the health care system, and the increasing diversity of the population. In other words, the MCAT exam is designed to test the knowledge and skills tomorrow’s doctors will need.
After three years of hard work, the MR5 Committee proposed a set of 14 preliminary recommendations. The AAMC Board of Directors approved the recommendations in February 2012.
The concepts identified as crucial to the new exam were identified by soliciting input from several blue-ribbon panels and advisory groups, and through extensive research including surveys of over 2,700 baccalaureate and medical school faculty, residents, current medical students, and admissions and academic affairs officers.
- Undergraduate Natural Sciences Survey Report
- Medical School Survey Report: Ratings of the Importance of Topics in the Natural Sciences, Research Methods, and Statistics to Success in Medical School
About the Surveys
In fall 2009, the AAMC’s MR5 committee surveyed over 1,000 medical school faculty, residents, and medical students to learn which natural sciences concepts entering students need to know in order to succeed in medical school. Then, in winter 2009, they gathered information from over 1,000 baccalaureate faculty to learn how these concepts are covered in the undergraduate curriculum. Minority-serving schools were overrepresented in the data collection. The online surveys asked respondents about content in the following disciplines: biology (including genetics), general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biochemistry, and cellular/molecular biology. Each disciplinary survey included a list of topics and subtopics from that discipline.
To learn more about the results of these studies, the review process, and the timeline for development of the MCAT2015 exam, please visit the MR5 Web site.
Preview Guide for the MCAT2015 Exam (Second Edition)
The updated guide describes the new MCAT exam's content and format. It also lists and discusses the new exam’s conceptual framework in detail, and provides topic lists and sample test questions.
- Preview Guide for the MCAT2015 Exam (Second Edition)
- Accessible Version of the Preview Guide for the MCAT2015 Exam (Second Edition)
An Open Letter to Pre-Med Students from the AAMC President
Dr. Kirch explains why the coming changes to the MCAT® exam will make it an even better exam by helping medical schools identify not only the students who are the most academically prepared to become physicians, but also those who have the potential to become the best doctors in a changing health care system.