New MCAT shifts focus, will include humanities

New MCAT shifts focus, will include humanities

(HealthDay)—The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) has been revised, and the latest changes, including more humanities such as social sciences, are due to be implemented next April, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

A small group of medical schools, including Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has been chosen by the AAMC to assess the change. The medical schools will evaluate the performance of the classes they admit over the next four years in relation to students' MCAT scores. The process of evaluating the data will only be complete after the last of the classes graduates in 2022.

Students planning to take the MCAT this academic year have to decide whether to take the old MCAT in January, or wait for the new MCAT in the spring. In addition to inclusion of humanities, the focus on the physical sciences and mathematics will be altered.

"Medical schools already know how to interpret scores on the old one, while it probably will take a couple of cycles to figure out the meaning of scores on the new one," Bruce Babiarz, Ph.D., director of the Rutgers' Health Professions Office, said in a statement. "During that time, at least, the MCAT is likely to count for less than in the past, compared with students' grades and the most important factor of all—the personal interview."

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