Learn more about the AAMC PREview® exam to decide if you should include it as part of your application.
If you are applying to medical school this year, take some time to learn about the PREview professional readiness exam and if the schools you are applying to are including it in their application process.
Communicating Your Readiness for Medical School
Aspiring physicians communicate their readiness for medical school by demonstrating their proficiency in 17 premed competencies medical schools look for when evaluating applications. These competencies were identified by the AAMC in collaboration with the academic medicine community, including medical school admissions, student affairs, and diversity affairs officers; faculty; medical students; and prehealth advisors. The competencies include not only scientific and critical thinking and reasoning skills but also interpersonal skills, recognizing that today’s medical students must be ready to receive advanced instruction in all these areas.
You communicate your readiness to develop these competencies through the various components of your medical school application. The MCAT® exam provides medical schools with a standardized evaluation of your basic knowledge of the natural, behavioral, and social sciences. However, the PREview exam is an opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge of competencies that go beyond academic readiness, such as service orientation, teamwork and collaboration, resilience, and reliability.
Together, your MCAT and PREview scores, coursework, GPA, volunteer and life experiences, work and activities, letters of recommendation, and other application information provide medical schools with a more complete and balanced view of your ability to further develop the core competencies while you are in medical school.
Choosing to Take the PREview Exam
There are medical schools who will ask applicants to take the PREview exam for their admissions processes. Performance on the PREview exam will provide medical schools insight into your knowledge of effective and ineffective professional behavior and potential to develop into a doctor who demonstrates compassion, empathy, and commitment to growth and learning.
Not every applicant will need a PREview score. If none of the medical schools you are applying to require or recommend the exam, you do not have to take it this year. However, we estimate that more than 80% of applicants will likely apply to at least one school that is requiring or recommending applicants take the test.
Keep in mind that if a medical school you are applying to is recommending the PREview exam, taking the exam is an opportunity to demonstrate that you understand that the school values the competencies the exam is measuring. Only you can decide if you should take the test, and you can make this decision by consulting with the medical schools you wish to apply to and talking with your prehealth advisor.
When you do decide to take the PREview exam, be sure to review and apply for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program before registering. These benefits include one fee waiver for the exam and reduced fees for rescheduling your exam appointment and for retesting. Additionally, the AAMC offers free resources to help you prepare, including a full-length practice exam and a preparation guide.
How to Find Out if you Should Take the PREview Exam
Medical schools will indicate if they are requiring or recommending the exam on their websites. Be sure to check out our page on participating medical schools to learn more.
More information about the PREview testing calendar, registration, and other information can be found on the PREview webpage. If you have any questions, please reach out to the PREview team through our online form: Contact the AAMC PREview Program.