Get answers to your questions about who should apply for accommodations, documentation requirements, and when and how to apply.
I have been approved for accommodations on the MCAT® exam. Can I use my approval for the AAMC PREview exam?
Applicants must apply for accommodations on the PREview exam, even if they are already approved for accommodations on the MCAT® exam. However, upon review, the team may determine that previously approved MCAT accommodations may be applicable to the AAMC PREview professional readiness exam. Additionally, if you have a current approval for MCAT accommodations, your review time for PREview accommodations is shorter: 30 days. Please refer to Review Cycles & Important Dates to determine the date by which you submit your application. Please note that if you are requesting the same accommodations previously approved on the MCAT exam, you do not need to resubmit the documentation you submitted to the MCAT program.
When should I apply for accommodations?
Most Initial and Extension applications for accommodations will be reviewed within 60 days of submission of a complete application. If you already have an approval for MCAT accommodations and are not requesting accommodations that differ from your MCAT accommodations approval, the review will be completed within 30 days. Reconsiderations, and Appeals will generally be reviewed within 30 days of submission of a complete application. Please refer to Review Cycles & Important Dates to determine the date by which you submit your application.
How do I know if I need accommodated testing?
We encourage you first to read about the Exam Testing Conditions and the list of Resources Not Requiring Prior Approval. If you are requesting a modification or an adjustment to the standard testing conditions or are in need of a resource not included in the information provided on those pages, then you should submit an Application for AAMC PREview Accommodations. Additionally, you should review the exam security requirements, which will explain what items are prohibited during the exam. If your disability or medical condition requires the use of an item that is otherwise prohibited, you must submit an Application for AAMC PREview Accommodations. When in doubt, it is better to submit an application as early as possible so that we can consider your request before the deadline. If you have any questions, contact us immediately by writing to email@example.com.
What types of conditions or impairments might need to be accommodated?
Examples of conditions that may qualify for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) include, but are not limited to:
- Learning disabilities.
- Autism Spectrum Disorders.
- Psychiatric (e.g., depression, anxiety, etc.).
- Acquired Brain Injuries (e.g. concussion, traumatic brain injury, etc.).
- Sensory impairments (i.e., vision or hearing impairment).
- Physical impairments (including chronic medical conditions, e.g., Crohn’s disease, pain due to a physical condition or injury, etc.).
Please note that not all disorders or conditions require testing accommodations. A determination regarding the need for accommodations on the PREview exam is based on a comprehensive review of all available documentation, including evidence of diagnosis, current impairment and associated functional limitations, particularly as they relate to the demands of the current PREview exam.
What kinds of accommodations are available?
Some examinees with disabilities may qualify for accommodations such as extended testing time or break time. Individuals with physical conditions may need to stretch or engage in activities otherwise unpermitted during the exam.
Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and do not represent all the accommodations that may be available for the exam. You should submit a request for the accommodation(s) that you and your qualified professional believe are necessary for you to take the exam in an accessible manner.
It is important to remember that each request for accommodations is considered on an individual basis; examinees who are found to be eligible for accommodations are given the accommodations that are most appropriate for their individual needs.
Who can perform the evaluations that are required for documenting a disability?
The AAMC requires that evaluations be performed by a qualified professional in the area of disability or impairment for which you are seeking accommodations. The professional should have comprehensive training and experience in the assessment and diagnosis of the disability or impairment in question. Simply having a particular degree or license does not necessarily mean that the professional has the training and experience in the appropriate area that is required for your assessment. Qualified professionals/evaluators should act in accordance with relevant state board regulations and laws that may be applicable to them in their practice. Please note that qualified professionals/evaluators should be independent (i.e., not relatives or employers of the applicant, even if otherwise qualified) and should have personally evaluated you.
Please keep in mind that the most appropriate professional to evaluate your current functional limitations may not be in the area of your diagnosis. For example, if your visual disability results in an impairment affecting your ability to read (e.g., you read slowly), your documentation should include an objective assessment of your reading abilities performed by a professional with training and expertise in that area rather than an optometrist or ophthalmologist. As another example, you may have sustained a traumatic brain injury that results in an impairment in your physical functioning (e.g., increased fatigue or headaches when working for prolonged periods) as well as an impairment in your cognitive functioning (e.g., slowed cognitive processing). In this case, a qualified medical professional would evaluate your physical functioning while a professional with training and expertise in the assessment of cognitive functioning (e.g., neuropsychologist) should evaluate the impact of your injury on your cognitive functioning.
In the case of learning disabilities, ADHD, and psychiatric disorders, an individual is deemed qualified if he/she has had extensive graduate level training in the area of assessment in question (e.g., LD, ADHD, psychiatric/psychological disorders, etc.). This includes training and experience not only in the administration of psychological and psychoeducational tests but also the interpretation of those tests and the identification of the disability and impairment in question. Very often this person will be a doctoral level psychologist or neuropsychologist, although a doctoral degree is not necessarily required to be considered a qualified professional. If the individual completing the evaluation is not an independent, licensed clinician/professional (e.g., graduate student clinician), a copy of the supervising clinician’s/professional’s vita should be submitted for review with the evaluation.
If I have a non-expired MCAT approval, can I apply for different accommodations on the PREview exam?
Requests for additional accommodations beyond those currently approved for the MCAT exam will require a review period of 60 days and submission of supporting documentation with your application. You may email additional supporting documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I have not received a previous MCAT approval and I am not applying for MCAT accommodations this year, may I still apply for AAMC PREview accommodations?
Yes, you may apply for PREview accommodations. Your request will be considered an initial application and will take up to 60 days to process. Please refer to the Application Steps and Review Cycles and Important Dates for more information. Please note that the PREview exam is not a replacement for the MCAT exam – you should confirm whether or not you need to take the MCAT exam and whether you should apply for MCAT accommodations.
Since I will be taking the PREview exam in a private location of my choosing, can I read aloud to myself during the exam?
No, reading and speaking aloud, even to yourself, is not permitted while taking the PREview exam unless approved as an accommodation. While this policy may be different than other standardized exams that you are familiar with, this policy is specific to the online testing environment in order to ensure exam security. If you would like to request permission to read aloud, given your disability-related needs and functional limitations, you must request this accommodation in your application.