Students Requiring Extra Time On The MCAT Are At Greater Academic Risk

MCAT:  In this large study by the Association of American Medical Colleges, students who took extra time on the medical school admissions test due to “documented mental disabilities” were accepted to medical school at similar rates as their peers.  However, they had substantially lower pass rates on US licensing examinations:  Step 1: 82% vs. 94%, Step 2 knowledge 86% vs. 95%, and Step 2 clinical skills 92% vs. 97%.  They also had lower medical school graduation rates, even after 8 years, 88% vs. 96%.  These “differences remained after controlling for MCAT scores and undergraduate grade point averages.”  Thus, taking extra time on the MCAT appears to be a robust and long-lasting marker of academic risk. — Laura Willett, MD

Searcy CA, Dowd KW, Hughes MG, Baldwin S, Pigg T. Association of MCAT scores obtained with standard vs extra administration time with medical school admission, medical student performance, and time to graduation. JAMA 2015 Jun 9;313(22):2253-62.

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