The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has made a few changes to the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) which are scheduled to be implemented in the 2013 medical school application cycle. In previous years, the MCAT has consisted of 4 parts: Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Writing. The AAMC has decided to remove the writing section of the MCAT.
One possible reason for the omission of the writing portion of the exam is that in recent years, medical schools have placed less emphasis on the writing scores when determining admissions of medical school applicants. In turn, applicants became less determined to do well on this portion of the exam.
The MCAT still contains the other three sections of the exam and the maximum score any applicant may receive continues to be 45. The writing portion, which included 2 prompted 30-minute essays, was scored using an alphabetic scale from J to T. Therefore, the highest possible exam score for all sections would be a 45T. In 2013, the writing score will be replaced with a trial section consisting of 32 new questions in either: biochemistry, biology, chemistry, and physics or in psychology, sociology, and biology.
The new section of the MCAT is completely optional for test takers. The trial section will be scored, but the scores will not be included in the applicant’s total score for the 2013 application cycle. The score will remain confidential and used to create statistical data for the AAMC.
Those who choose to participate in the trial section of the MCAT are given a $30 Amazon.com gift card as a reward for their generous donation of an additional 45 minutes of seat time. Visit the AAMC website for more details.