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Penn’s students preparing for the Medical College Admission Test may soon be in for a surprise.

The Association of American Medical Colleges is currently reviewing the MCAT to determine whether it will implement a series of major changes to the exam, starting with the 2015 version of the test. The AAMC’s board of directors will vote on the proposed changes next month.

The main proposals include adding a section to the exam addressing psychology and sociology, as well as additional questions on upper-level biology concepts. Additionally, a new section on critical analysis and reasoning skills has also been proposed.

If adopted, the changes would discontinue the MCAT’s writing requirement.

“Everyone expects that the board will approve these recommendations, and many universities and medical schools are going forward with the assumption that these recommendations are going to be approved,” Jeff Koetje, Kaplan Test Prep’s director of pre-health programs, said.

This is the fifth time the MCAT has been reviewed in its history. The exam was last revised in 1991.

Some at Penn have raised objections to parts of the proposed changes on the table.

For example, not everybody is keen on the new “psychological, social and biological foundation of behavior” section.

“I’m not sure that you can test for behavior or personality,” Gaye Sheffler, director of admissions and financial aid at the Perelman School of Medicine, said.

College freshman Doreen Chang, who is on the pre-med track, agreed.

“I think it sounds good in context, but you can’t test people to figure out how they’re going to interact socially,” she said.

If Chang were to take the exam in spring of her senior year at Penn, she would be part of the first group to experience the proposed MCAT changes.

“I think what the MCAT really needs to test is your ability to understand basic science,” added College freshman Jordan Driskill, another pre-med student. “Psychology and sociology, I think you can kind of learn as you’re on the job.”

According to Koetje, 331 Penn graduates applied to medical school in 2011, “so there is going to be a lot of interest in this topic.”

With the conceptual changes to the exam also comes an extension of the test’s time — which, according to Koetje, would increase from 4.5 hours to six hours.

He added that actual testing time — with breaks and basic exam procedures included — would be 7.5 hours.

“I think that endurance can be tested by looking at a student’s academic record better than their ability to sit through 7.5 hours of a test,” Driskill said.

If accepted, Koetje added, it is likely institutions would change their pre-med requirements, which is one of the main points of discussion among medical schools.

For her part, Sheffler is pleased that the MCAT’s writing section may soon be on its way out.

“Getting rid of the writing sample is a great idea,” Sheffler said.

Though most current Penn students would take the MCAT before 2015 if they stay on track, Koetje thinks that pre-med programs across the country may begin to make curricular changes sooner rather than later.

He believes this may limit undergraduates’ flexibility to take a wide range of courses outside of the pre-med track.

“The pre-med coursework is going to be more challenging, and that is where we’re going to see students make the decision about whether or not this is something they really want to pursue,” he said.

Sheffler is concerned that if the changes are accepted, they may discourage students from applying to medical school.

“I don’t know if we want to change the face of medical school admissions,” she said.

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