When students sit down in 2015 to take the Medical College Admission Test, it will be an all-day affair.
The MCAT test, administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges, will be completely redesigned for the first time in more than two decades — effective in 2015, the test will be three hours longer and cover three more subjects. The changes have sparked mixed reactions from medical school applicants and admissions officers, but many view the updates to the test as positive.
“The new exam is designed to focus on the concepts and skills that future physicians will need in a rapidly changing health care system where medical knowledge continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace,” said Scott Oppler, director of MCAT development and research for the association.
A recent survey by Kaplan, a test preparation company, showed that 75 percent of medical school admissions officers think the new test will better prepare students for medical school. But the survey also revealed that 43 percent of admissions officers expect the 2015 MCAT to be more difficult.
The test itself increased in length from 4.5 hours to 7.5 hours and will include additional sections on psychology, sociology and biochemistry, said Owen Farcy, Kaplan’s director of pre-medical programs.