How US Medical School Admissions Committees Are Assessing Candidates Who Took the New MCAT
In an opinion editorial published in MedPage Today, Dean Heidi Chumley, MD, discusses preliminary takeaways from the new Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), which was revamped in 2015. Her article focuses on 5 key observations from the AAMC’s 2017 MCAT guide, including:
1. Receiving an above-average MCAT score demonstrates academic preparedness for medical school. Yet, allopathic schools seem to be looking at individuals in the 75th percentile range or above—which means a 501-506 doesn’t necessarily translate to interviews.
2. The AAMC has encouraged medical schools to broaden their threshold of accepted MCAT scores. However, recent findings show that little has changed in schools’ admissions standards.
3. With little data available about the new MCAT, more applicants with below-median MCAT scores applied to medical school in 2016. This year, applicants will have more MCAT admissions data to contextualize their scores and determine their chances of acceptance.
4. Considerably more US medical schools are only accepting the new MCAT for the 2018 admission cycle. This means fewer applicants with the old MCAT—even with strong scores—will be considered.
5. The move to the new MCAT is nearly complete, however, we won’t know its impact on medical students’ USMLE step scores or specialty choice for several years.