A new Kaplan study found no preference among medical school admissions officers about whether or not pre-meds should take the current or the new one.
The survey, which polled 78 medical school admissions officers from across the United States, found that 44% said it makes no difference which test score is submitted; 28% recommend pre-meds take the current MCAT; and 27% recommend they take the new test debuting in April 2015.
“Students should take whichever version of the MCAT for which they’ll be better prepared. That said, there is a pretty compelling reason for students to take the current test by January if they can: the new MCAT will be nearly twice as long and will cover three additional content areas. This means that students’ limited study time will be spread across a broader scope of content review and more hours will be required for each full-length practice test in preparation for the new MCAT 2015 exam,” said Eric Chiu, executive director of pre-med programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “However, for students who won’t complete the prerequisite coursework for the current MCAT by this fall or who aren’t planning to apply to medical school within the next two to three years, the new exam will be their best option.”
Here are some other key findings from the Kaplan survey:
- Medical schools may be adjusting their prerequisites as the 2015 MCAT introduces biochemistry, psychology and sociology to the test;
- Biochemistry is currently a prerequisite at 27% of medical schools but survey responses indicate that percentage will increase to at least 32% for student enrolling in 2016
- Forty percent of medical schools say that a low MCAT score is the biggest “application killer.”
- With the elimination of the MCAT’s Writing section, 63% of medical schools say there are no other sections of the application they may look at more to evaluate students.
The full results of the survey can be found at here.