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Pre-Health Advisory AAMC VITA Webinar FAQs

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This page answers the most frequently asked questions during the AAMC VITA webinar for advisors on Friday, July 17, 2020.

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1. Will schools drop other assessments and replace them with the AAMC VITA interview?

Schools are trying to be innovative as they navigate admissions during this unusual time. We expect schools will try different and varied approaches to gather more information about applicants. Some schools added CASPer or virtual MMIs or Zoom interviews. Some schools added VITA. The admissions officers we talk to are trying to balance the addition of assessments with applicant burden. 

2. Will students know which schools have access to their AAMC VITA interview?  

Yes, participating medical schools will notify applicants with an invitation to interview. In addition, AAMC will send a weekly “VITA Summary” email every Thursday throughout the Interview Window to each applicant invited to interview. An applicant will receive the email when the first school invites them to interview. Thereafter, the applicant will receive the Thursday email if a new school has invited the applicant to interview. The list will be cumulative, so each week that the applicant receives the email, the list will include all of the of the schools to-date that have invited the applicant to interview. 

3. When and how can applicants practice for the AAMC VITA interview? 

AAMC has made several free resources available to help applicants prepare for the AAMC VITA interview. Applicants have access to sample questions, with playback functionality, on the HireVue platform. While these sample questions are not specific to medical school, they allow applicants unlimited opportunity to practice their timing and become familiar with the technology. In addition, the Practice AAMC VITA Interview is a full-length practice interview that allows applicants to practice with interview questions specific to medical school. AAMC also provides guidance to applicants to help them prepare for success with the AAMC VITA Applicant Preparation Guide and the recorded Prep for Success in your Virtual Interview webinar. The combination of these resources will help applicants prepare for the AAMC VITA interview. 

4. Can advisors take the practice interview?

Yes, the Practice AAMC VITA Interview is free and open to advisors.

5. Will advisors have access to their students’ practice or the AAMC VITA interview responses? 

No, advisors will not have access to their students’ practice or AAMC VITA interview responses. 

6. How long will it take for AAMC to review technology disruptions and make a determination? 

AAMC understands the importance of a timely decision and will prioritize review of technology disruption reports as we receive them. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unknown daily completion rate of the AAMC VITA interview by applicants, we are unable to provide a specific response time.

7. Will the AAMC VITA interview be offered in future admissions cycles? If yes, will there be a fee for applicants?

The AAMC VITA interview was developed in response to the challenges of conducting interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the schools find the AAMC VITA interview useful, then we will consider offering it in future years. Any decision about fees will not be considered until after AAMC decides if the interview will continue in future years. 

8. Can students wear masks while taking the AAMC VITA interview? 

Applicants should use their best judgment as to whether they wear a mask while taking the AAMC VITA interview. If an applicant elects to wear a mask, the applicant should complete a sound check to ensure their voice is audible and clearly captured by the recording and briefly remove the mask at the start of the interview, so the viewer may see the applicant’s entire face for identification purposes. 

The AAMC recommends that applicants complete the AAMC VITA interview in a private room to avoid disruptions, and the need to wear a mask, while taking the AAMC VITA interview.

9. How is VITA different than the SJT that AAMC is working on? Does VITA replace the SJT?

While both the AAMC VITA interview and the AAMC SJT exam are designed to provide information about applicants' pre-professional competencies, they are separate assessments with key differences. The AAMC VITA interview is a one-way interview in which applicants’ responses to six questions are made available to participating medical schools to which the applicant has applied. Schools review and evaluate applicants’ responses on the AAMC VITA interview. Medical schools that receive AMCAS applications may opt to participate in the AAMC VITA interview for the 2021 admissions cycle. The AAMC SJT exam assesses applicants’ knowledge of effective pre-professional behavior and results in a score. The AAMC SJT exam is being piloted with two medical schools for the 2021 admissions cycle.  

10. Will advisor letters be needed for medical schools to send out AAMC VITA interview invitations?

Please refer to participating medical schools’ websites for more information about when and how they are using the AAMC VITA interview.

11. If an applicant isn’t invited to the AAMC VITA interview, does that mean that the participating schools are not interested in them as a candidate?

Please refer to participating medical schools’ websites for more information about when and how they are using the AAMC VITA interview.

12. Will AAMC share the scoring rubric with advisors so they can practice with students?

No, AAMC will not share the AAMC VITA scoring rubric beyond participating medical schools to ensure the integrity of the interview.

13. Will interviews be shared with only AAMC VITA participating schools or all schools to which the student applied? 

Applicants’ AAMC VITA interview responses will only be shared with participating schools that invited them to complete the AAMC VITA interview.

14. What is the benefit of the AAMC VITA interview compared to a live virtual interview?

The AAMC VITA interview was designed by AAMC staff with expertise in developing structured interviews to assess a subset of the core competencies for entering medical students. By asking questions that target the same competencies of all applicants, it provides comparable information across applicants and increases fairness in the interview process. As an on-demand recorded interview, the AAMC VITA interview offers applicants the convenience of completing interviews at a time that is convenient for them. 

15. What data is available to show that the AAMC VITA interview will add value to the admissions process?

AAMC VITA was designed based on best practices and research in structured interviews. To ensure relevancy to medical school admissions, the AAMC invited faculty and staff from participating medical schools to participate in question and scoring rubric development. Only questions that were judged to be appropriate and without bias were included on the AAMC VITA interview. We are in the process of developing an evaluation plan to assess admissions officers’ and committee members’ perceptions of the value added of the tool. 

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Engage with Your Peers
Contact the AAMC VITA™ Program
AAMC VITA: Essentials for the 2021 Season

The official policy and procedure guide for the AAMC Video Interview Tool for Admissions.

Request an Accommodation

The AAMC is committed to ensuring that the AAMC Video Interview Tool for Admissions is accessible to persons with disabilities in accordance with relevant law.

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Report a Technology Issue

The AAMC takes great care to ensure that the video interview technology functions properly. In the unlikely event that an error occurs, the AAMC will take reasonable measures to correct it. 

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Participating Medical Schools

AAMC Video Interview Tool for Admissions (AAMC VITA™)—launched in collaboration with AAMC member medical schools—will be used by medical schools to supplement alternatives to in-person interviews this year.

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There’s a lot of information to take-in about the new AAMC Video Interview Tool for Admissions (AAMC VITA™) program. For starters, read 5 important things you need to know.

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