Students who received extra administration time while taking the MCAT did not gain an advantage in gaining admission to medical school, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by a team from the Association of American Medical Colleges, was designed to determine the comparability of MCAT scores obtained with standard versus extra administration time with respect to likelihood of acceptance to medical school and future medical student performance. The study included applicants to US medical schools and students who matriculated in the US medical school.
The team found that acceptance rates were not significantly different for applicants who had MCAT scores obtained with the regular allotted time versus extra time. The study did find that students who took the MCAT with extra time had lower scores on Step exams. Specifically, students who had MCAT scores obtained with extra time passed Step 1 at a rate of 82.1% compared to a rate of 94.0% for students who did not have extra time. Additionally, students who had extra MCAT time also graduated from medical school at significantly lower rates at different times.
“Among applicants to US medical schools, those with MCAT scores obtained with extra test administration time, compared with standard administration time, had no significant difference in rate of medical school admission but had lower rates of passing the USMLE Step examinations and of medical school graduation within 4 to 8 years after matriculation,” the authors wrote. “These findings raise questions about the types of learning environments and support systems needed by students who test with extra time on the MCAT to enable them to succeed in medical school.”
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.