2007 MCAT goes computer-based

You may know by now, but in case you don’t…Starting with the April exam in 2007, it will be 1/3 shorter in number of questions per section, and completely computerized. AMCAS is also planning on offering the MCAT as many as 20 times during the year. This will get the scores to the med schools much earlier, and more frequently, so as to make the admissions process run a bit more smoothly.
http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/feb05/mcat.htm
Cheers,
Judy

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planning on offering the MCAT as many as 20 times during the year.
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FINALLY! Thank you so much for this great news.

Hi:
I’m very comfortable on a computer, and I know the computer MCAT is available on a limited basis now.
Does anyone know how it actually is? I’d love to do it via the computer, but the one thing I’m concerned about is if one can go ‘back’ to previous questions (in the section you’re working on)
Can one change the answers to questions, or review the questions already answered (assuming there’s actually time.)??
I usually speed through multiple choice tests, answering all the questions I can right off, and then going back to anything I need to really think about if I have the time… And if I still don’t know, I just check the best answer if there’s no penalty for wrong answers.
I usually do pretty well with this strategy, although with the passages connected to questions, I’m not sure going back is really feasible anyway…
I have only done parts of MCATS out of some of the books I have so far… So, I’m not sure what strategy I’m going to adopt. I know I’m going to make sure I answer all the questions, even if the last few are rushed quesses…
Anyway, I’m curious if anyone on this list has actually taken the MCAT on computer… Or knows someone who has…
Thanks,
Leah

Like everyone else, I was sweating the change of taking Boards on the computer…my USMLE was computer & my COMLEX series was paper & pencil (#2, of course!). However, with minimal practice, there are a number of practice venues including a CD the NBME sends you, it was actually far easier to do the exams on the computer. And, that is coming from someone who never even owned one of the things until 1996.

Is it better or worse that it will be less question ??
in my opinion it is not worse for us.
what do U think??

I can see problems for some people depending upon how they take tests. When I take paper tests, I like to skim the test, note the arrangement of questions and how points are awarded, and start where I feel comfortable. If all things are equal, I often start with the last question and work backward (why: it just feels comfortable for me). I also like to go back to questions that I passed over.
With some computerized tests, the above is possible, but my guess is that this test will be like the GRE, where you cannot skim over the test, you must start at the “beginning”, and cannot go back only forward; there is no going back to change prior answers if you have greater insight later. What this does, of course, is reward some test-takers and penalize others (and, unfortunately, I am one of those ‘others’).
The other bad news is that the private test-prep companies (Kaplan, Princeton Review, Berkeley Review, etc.) won’t be offering any mocks until after samples are released, possibly after the first tests are given.
Of course, the good news, is that it is offered at more convenient times.

Well, what if it’s like the MCAT practice exams? All are online now. You can go back as much as you like, you mark the answers right at the questions, and you can click “review unanswered” to go back to just the questions you haven’t answered yet. Passages appear in the left column and relevant questions on the right.
It might be better!

the MCAT should be online so should most medical school exams…why? the USMLE is online only hence starting early in your path and used to online exams will prove beneficial when taking the boards.

will it be timed or proctored? who is to say anyone may cheat?
upside…most likey scores will be as soon as test is submitted.
maybe then submitted to md schools of interest, as in the FASA, automatically.
will it still be only 2 times a year to try for better score? (it is 2 right?)

it will be offered more than twice per year…

Probably timed and proctored at test centers just like the computerize GRE now. Since there’s still a writing sample, you probably won’t get your score instantly, though with the GRE you do see your numerical score right away.
There will be 20 dates per year. I saw in AMCA’s press release that they actually felt they had to ask the admissions offices if it would be disruptive to their workflow to get scores in little dribbles through the year instead of two big bombs of scores. I think that’s a big DUH! It’s a change, of course, but still.