By Petros Minasi
Kaplan Test Prep
2014 marks the beginning of the end for the current MCAT, and really the end of an era in medical school admissions and medical education. This is it for our much loved MCAT, and a brave new world rests in the wings! Even though the AAMC has forecasted an increase in the number of tests to be administered this year and in January of 2015, we have already heard reports of test dates and test sites being full, as pre-meds rush to register for the final administrations of the MCAT. As students, your thoughts are probably already swirling around the question of “which MCAT should I take?”
Of course, the wisest advice we can offer is that you should take the test that you'll be best prepared for, and not to rush into taking the old exam just to get it out of the way. But that doesn't always sit well, and there are often extenuating circumstances. A good exercise to help you make the decision is to walk through the competencies on the current and future MCAT in order to really assess your readiness for the MCAT. Our test change website, mcat2015.com, lays out the topics that will be testing on the new MCAT in a student-friendly way, and as a reminder, a free eBook version of our MCAT 2015 guide can be downloaded from there as well.
Now for a note of caution: some students who want to take the current version of the MCAT might incorrectly sacrifice other opportunities in order to squeeze in more study time before the test changes, but we all know how important clinical and research experience is in the medical school admissions process. As such, you should be aware of the opportunity-cost of accelerating your studies and make sure that you're effectively completing extracurricular activities in conjunction with your prep. Towards that end, the January episode of The Pulse is focused on the importance of clinical and research experiences, and our expert panel will discuss its role not just in admissions but in the future of medicine. Look for clips from the show shortly on Youtube, or find the entire episode as a podcast in the iTunes store.
The new year brings renewal, and on behalf of all of us at Kaplan, we look forward to continuing working with you to help you achieve your dreams one success story at a time!