The AAMC PREview® Exam: Important Things to Know in the New Year

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Curious about the AAMC PREview® exam? The AAMC shares new resources and insight from previous examinees to help you prepare.

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Student reading a study guide in a classroom

As the new year begins, many of you may be thinking through the next steps in your medical school application journey. You may have heard that some medical schools now include the new AAMC PREview® professional readiness exam in their application reviews. The exam provides you with an opportunity to show schools your understanding of and ability to learn the professional competencies that will help you become an exceptional physician who can collaborate with professionals, show compassion toward patients, and demonstrate capacity to adapt and grow. 

Last year, nearly half of all American Medical College Application Service® applicants registered for the PREview exam. As more schools elect to require or recommend the exam, it is likely you will take or consider taking it. The AAMC has developed several resources to help you prepare as well as gathered insight from previous examinees on how they prepared and which life experiences helped them learn the competencies. 

Keep Learning from Real-World Experiences 
Do you realize that you have been learning and practicing professional competencies throughout your life? While many past examinees reported that volunteer or paid experience in a medical center helped them develop their competencies, any real-world experiences will help you perform well on the PREview exam. And luckily, you also began to develop the professional competencies as an undergraduate student while you collaborated with your fellow classmates on projects, volunteered in your community, worked on campus, or took a wide variety of courses (e.g., anthropology, economics, family studies, psychology, sociology), among other experiences. 

Understand the PREview Exam Structure and Format 
The PREview exam is administered remotely using your own computer, which means you do not have to go to a test center to take it unless you require a specific accommodation for a disability or medical condition that can only be provided at a test center. Examinees have 75 minutes to complete the test, which presents a series of hypothetical scenarios that you may encounter in medical school. Each question posits a situation (a conflict or dilemma) and calls upon your knowledge of one or more of the professional competencies. You will use your knowledge and experience to evaluate the effectiveness of the behavioral response chosen to solve the situation (with response options as: very ineffective, ineffective, effective, and very effective). 

Set Up Your Workspace 
You can learn about the policies and procedures for registering for the exam, setting up your equipment to take it, verifying your identity, working with the remote proctor, and much more on the PREview website. Those who watched the PREview test day experience video and the online testing tutorial (register to access) had a smoother experience and were able to focus more on the exam content than technical logistics. 

Prepare for the PREview Exam 
You will become most familiar with the content and the types of scenarios you will encounter within the exam by taking the PREview Practice Exam. The AAMC provides a booklet within which you will find a full-length practice exam, the best answers for each scenario response, and the rationale for each answer. Of those previous examinees who completed the survey, 75% reported that they completed the practice exam. The AAMC’s goal is to have all examinees complete it, along with using the other free resources available on the PREview exam website

For more information about the exam, check out the AAMC PREview Test FAQs or send us a message through the online form on the “Contact the AAMC PREview Program page.  

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