About AAMC and its Relation with MCAT
Association of American Medical Colleges
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is a non-profit association representing the medical fraternity in the US and Canada. Established in 1876, they represents 17 accredited medical schools in Canada, 136 in the United States, almost 400 teaching hospitals, 62 Department of VA medical centers, and 93 scientific and academic societies. Based in Washington D.C., AAMC leads the academic medical community in the country and has many progressive initiatives and services on its offering list to improve national health. The entire gamut of medical education programs, healthcare activities, and medical related research in the US are supported and nurtured by this association. The AAMC Vision of a healthy nation justifies and supports the innovative initiatives and services offered by the association in the fields of medical education and national and world healthcare. This vision encompasses:
- Improving the country's medical education by way of renewal and innovation, and preparing the medical and scientific community to meet the evolving healthcare challenges and needs.
- Having a community of medical and biomedical students, residents, faculty, researchers, and healthcare workers that is diverse and culturally competent.
- Enhancing and supporting the national health system to meet the healthcare needs of the country.
- Enabling medical schools, teaching hospitals, and research organizations to live up to the public confidence entrusted on them, etc.
The official website is https://www.aamc.org
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a trusted program extended by the AAMC for the benefit of the accredited medical schools in the US and Canada and for aspiring medical students and professionals. This is a standardized admission test that assesses the prospective student's critical thinking abilities, verbal reasoning skills, and their ability to apply knowledge in the areas of physical and biological sciences. This exam also evaluates the writing abilities of the candidates. To apply to almost all the medical schools in the United States and Canada, this test's score is a necessity.
It is a computer-based test and is conducted across different national and international locations, many times in a year, starting January through September. Registrations are done online through the official website, and are open quite early. Depending on various factors including the medical school application deadlines, students can choose from a list of available test dates.
It has a comprehensive website covering all required details about the exam. It has plenty of links and resources that provide information on registration, preparation, FAQs, test locations, getting scores, tips, the fee assistance program, the accommodation program for those with disabilities, etc. Online registrations can be done on the registration website and candidates can see available test dates and choose their test centers online, as well. The website also has free practice tests for exam preparation, which are full-length tests that can provide one with an actual picture of the exam; and AAMC publishes the Official Guide to the Exam, which is now in its second edition.
Changes to MCAT
As part of the ever continuing initiatives to improve the arena of medical education systems and processes in the country, the AAMC now undertakes regular and comprehensive evaluation of the exam, and the first ever such review was conducted in 2008. The revisions and changes to the exam are done based on the evaluation and recommendations of a 22-member committee, another initiative of the AAMC. The current version of the test has been in vogue since 1991 and a new version with important changes is expected by 2015 based on the current comprehensive evaluation MR5 (the fifth comprehensive review of MCAT). The details on the preliminary recommendations of the committee are available on the MR5 Home section of the AAMC website.
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