New MCAT Rules Takes Effect in January

Dec 24th, 2014 | MCAT, Test Preparation

The MCAT (or Medical College Admission Test) is changing in the most meaningful way since it was first implemented. After a review period of three years, the Association of American Medical College determined that the test needed to change to help college admissions departments better select their incoming crop of potential medical students. By doing this, it’s changing about 50% of the test’s content, adding a new section, increasing the test’s length, and changing the score scale.

The specifics:

– A new section called Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior will test the student’s ability to understand various influences on a person’s behavior, emotion, and stress.

– The Biological Sciences section is also undergoing a change. The section will focus more on biochemistry and be similar to what’s taught in first-semester biochemistry classes.

– Every section is going to increase in length and allow for more time.

– Overall, the test time is increasing from 5 hours and 10 minutes to 7 hours 30 minutes.

– Individual sections will use a scoring scale from 118-132 (median 125) and the cumulative score ranges from 472-528 (median 500).

The added duration means the length of time the test takes will increase by about 50%, making it much more challenging. Preparation is key, so effective study habits, material retention, and high-quality assistance should be prioritized for months before taking the examination. It’s an endurance challenge as much as anything, so proper rest, diet, and hydration in the few days leading up to the test are incredibly important.

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