Kaplan Test Prep Survey: The Percentage of Medical School Admissions
Officers Who Think the Revamped MCAT Coming in 2015 Will be More Challenging
for Pre-Med Students Nearly Doubles
NEW YORK -- October 21, 2013
According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2013 survey of medical school admissions
officers*, 43% expect the revamped MCAT coming in 2015 to be more difficult
than the current one. This is a near doubling of the 22% who held this view in
Kaplan’s 2012 survey. Only 2% in the 2013 survey believe the revised medical
school admissions exam will be easier. The remaining 55% of medical school
admissions officers think the difficulty level will remain about the same.
But, despite rising concerns about difficulty, a large majority supports the
coming changes (90%) and think they will better prepare students for medical
school (75%); these findings are consistent with Kaplan’s 2012 survey. Among
the approved changes coming to the MCAT in 2015:
*More Topics Tested: The 2015 MCAT will include three additional semesters’
worth of material in college-level biochemistry, psychology and sociology,
increasing the number of prerequisite classes from eight to eleven.
*Almost Double the Length: Takers of the revised MCAT will face 261
questions over a six hours and 15 minutes time span. The current MCAT has
144 questions that are taken in three hours and 20 minutes. This means the
2015 MCAT will require a lot more stamina and focus.
*New Question Types and Skills: The current MCAT focuses on content
knowledge and critical thinking, but the 2015 MCAT tests two additional
skills: Research Design, which focuses on the fundamentals of creating
research projects, bias, faulty results, and variable relationships; and
Graphical Analysis and Data Interpretation, which focuses on deriving
conclusions and drawing inferences from visual data like figures, graphs
and data tables.
“There is little doubt that the planned changes will introduce new challenges
for test takers. The test will be longer, and will require pre-med students to
learn significantly more content within the same amount of time,” said Owen
Farcy, director of pre-health programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “But it’s important
to recognize that the changes to the test only reflect the realities of a
changing medical field. Today’s pre-meds face a medical landscape that’s
different than what their parents’ doctors faced. Medicine today is based on
scientific advances that didn’t exist a generation ago, and doctors are
increasingly serving a more diverse population, so it makes sense to adapt the
Other key results from Kaplan’s 2013 survey of medical school admissions
*Increase in Applicants with Post-baccs: 71% of admissions officer say they
have seen an increase in the number of applicants who have enrolled in
post-baccalaureate programs, a path taken by many aspiring doctors after
they graduate college, but before they apply to medical school, to beef up
their academic credentials. That could prove to be a smart strategy, as
90% of admissions officers say that doing well in a post-bacc program
improves their acceptance chances.
*Think first, Tweet later: 32% of admissions say they have Googled an
applicant to learn more about them; 22% say they have visited an
applicant’s social networking site like Facebook for the same purpose; of
those who did, 42% say they found something that negatively impacted their
chances of getting in.
On the Thursday, November 14 episode of The Pulse, Kaplan Test Prep’s live,
online talk show for pre-med students, a panel of experts will discuss the
survey findings and what the implications are for aspiring doctors. The show
begins at 8 PM ET. Registration is at www.kaptest.com/pulse.
To speak with a Kaplan Test Prep medical school admissions and MCAT expert
about the survey results, please contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the MCAT changes,
students can visit www.mcat2015.com.
* For the 2013 survey, 79 medical school admissions officers from across the
United States (71 from schools accredited by the Association of American
Medical Colleges and eight medical schools accredited by the American
Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine) were polled by telephone
between July and September 2013.
About Kaplan Test Prep
Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and
career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938,
Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive
menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and
digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized
tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate
school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and
nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions
Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company
Kaplan Test Prep
Russell Schaffer, 212.453.7538
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanMCATPrep
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