Students applying to medical schools will no longer be able to submit only their best Medical College Admission Test score. Beginning in April, MCAT scores will be released directly to medical schools without student consent for the first time.

The change in policy resulted from a decision by the American Association of Medical Colleges, which administers the test.

Alber Chen, executive director of graduate programs at Kaplan Test Preparation Services, said the decision was made in response to a number of concerns expressed by both students and medical schools.

“The main problem was that many people who have not prepared for the test were taking it for practice because they could withhold their scores,” thus dragging the average score down, Chen said.

Students had varied responces to the new policy, Chen said. “Those who are really geared towards medical school would not have a problem,” he added.

But some pre-medical students were concerned and surprised by the change.

“I guess I’m going to have to change my study habits,” said pre-med LSA sophomore Yu Kawai, who had planned to take the MCATs this spring. “The first time I was just going to see how much I knew and then concentrate on studying the areas I did poorly on – now I think I’m going to push back my test date.”

Kawai added many students are unaware of the change that could have some unfortunate consequences for students who take the test for practice.

But the change should not come as a surprise to students, Chen said, as the information was released over a year ago to pre-health advisors and other sources for information on the MCAT.

“Today is the first time that I’ve heard about it, but it doesn’t bother me too much,” pre-med Kinesiology sophomore Ryan Schinska said. “It just means I’m going to have to work harder the first time, and that I’ll probably save some money.”

Chen said the changes would promote an increase in the average MCAT score because students would be better prepared and the scores of those not ready to take it would be eliminated.

“Students should be taking this test seriously and practicing before they take it,” Chen said. “We offer free practice tests at Kaplan, so there is no reason not to.”

surprised by the change.

“I guess I’m going to have to change my study habits,” said pre-med LSA sophomore Yu Kawai, who had planned to take the MCATs this spring. “The first time I was just going to see how much I knew and then concentrate on studying the areas I did poorly on – now I think I’m going to push back my test date.” Kawai added many students are unaware of the change, which could have some unfortunate consequences for students who take the test for practice.

But the change should not come as a surprise to students, Chen said, as the information was released over a year ago to pre-health advisors and other sources for information on the MCAT.

“Today is the first time that I’ve heard about it, but it doesn’t bother me too much,” pre-med Kinesiology sophomore Ryan Schinska said. “It just means I’m going to have to work harder the first time, and that I’ll probably save some money.”

Chen said the changes would foster an increase in the average MCAT score because students would be better prepared and the scores of those not ready to take it would be eliminated. “Students should be taking this test seriously and practicing before they take it,” Chen said. “We offer free practice tests at Kaplan, so there is no reason not to.”

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