Why Has The MCAT Changed?

The MCAT is already well-studied and known to be highly predictive of medical school success. So why does it need to be overhauled?

The test change comes at a time when the entire face of healthcare is changing. As we consider the roles of physicians and patients, of inpatient and outpatient treatment, of insurance and compensation, and of preventative care and health maintenance, the MCAT must adapt to train physicians who will operate in the healthcare system of the future.


A Changing Society Requires A New MCAT

With the growing diversity and interconnectedness in American society, as well as the aging of the population, there has been increasing focus in medical schools on cultural sensitivity. Many of the top causes of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. are caused by behavioral and environmental determinants of health: smoking and drug use, diet and exercise, and inequities in care due to socioeconomic status. With that in mind, the inclusion of psychology and sociology in the new MCAT should be no surprise.


A Longer MCAT = A More Fair MCAT

The new MCAT’s increased length is actually driven by statistics. With a larger number of questions, the AAMC is able to standardize scores with a more rigorous scale, thus ensuring a more fair exam. Additional benefit: training for a 7-hour exam and maintaining focus throughout will serve you well during those late nights on call or during your USMLE exams.


More Resources for the New MCAT

The addition of new content to the MCAT comes in large part from three sources. If you want additional context and background, here’s an additional reading list:

MR5 Committee Recommendations