The new test will reflect updates in knowledge of the natural and physical sciences, and it will include two new sections: “Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior” and “Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.” The first will test students’ understanding of behavior, perception, culture, poverty and other concepts from psychology, sociology and biology, as well as knowledge of basic research methods, scientific reasoning and statistics skills. The second will test analysis and reasoning skills by asking test takers to critically analyze information in reading passages. It will include ethics, philosophy and cross-cultural studies content.
The new test will take a little more than six hours, a significant increase from the four and a half hours the test currently takes. Medical schools will remain free to determine how to weigh the performance on each section in their admissions decisions.
—Darrell Kirch, MD, AAMC President and CEO
A Multidimensional Approach
The changes to the application and the suggested changes to the interviewing process will put more emphasis on how students respond to certain situations, such as ethical dilemmas. The idea is that responses will give reliable reflections of a student’s character and ability to handle complex interpersonal scenarios. “It’s a multidimensional approach to better assess applicants,” Dr. Kirch said.