What’s The Controversy With the 2015 MCAT Conversion?
The new MCAT conversion by the MR5 committee has been getting great scrutiny over the last few years because of all of the changes made to it. There have been many MCAT conversions over the years! However, many people do not like the new content, which now includes a more psychology and sociology based approach. The MCAT given out from 1992-2014 had the following four categories: verbal reasoning, biological sciences, physical sciences, and writing sample sections. People say the new version of the MCAT is flawed, but these same people don’t realize that the last MCAT was flawed as well.
The Old MCAT
The questions of this MCAT used multiple choice. The test was scored with a 3-45 composite score, with the reasoning and two science sections being rated 1-15. The writing sample sections contained two 30 minute essays, which were rated J to T, T being the highest score possible. The minimum to shoot for in the old system was at least a number above 30. People want the old MCAT back. There is even a petition to get the old MCAT back (though this may be a joke also). This is a pointless attempt at change, as the MCAT has never reverted back to its previous form.
The MCAT Conversion in 2015
The new MCAT was implemented in 2015 by the MR5 admissions committee, and is still in use today. As I stated a couple paragraphs ago, the new system hasn’t been everyone’s favorite. The new system takes less importance on writing samples and on the harder sciences as a whole. The four categories being placed on the new test are: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, Chemical and Physical Foundations of Living Systems, Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, & Psychological, Sociological and Biological Foundations of Behavior. The scoring for each category is based on a scale from 118 to 132. This MCAT conversion allowed for the abolishment of the writing portion, and instead called for a full multiple choice test.
So What Do I Love About This MCAT Conversion?
I love a lot about the new test. Cutting out the essay writing section allows for more testing on what is truly important knowledge for medical school. The focus on softer sciences does the medical landscape well, because in healthcare the psychological and sociological stuff on the MCAT will need to be known as well! I feel like the students preparing for this portion of the test will have a better understanding to the world and their patients, and in turn a better bedside manner when they become physicians in the future.
The new scoring system has 4 categories, that have ranges from 118 to 132. This means that the total possible scoring ranges from 472 to 528. I appreciate the MR5 committee making the scoring universal for all categories. This allows each category to contain the same level of importance. It also eliminates the J to T scale completely, which was a section of the former test that was rarely used. The new bare minimum score to shoot for seems to be at least around 508, or 127 on each scoring category. This MCAT conversion tool made by a member on SDN (link to post in caption) is an easy way to convert your new MCAT score to what it would be on the old MCAT, or vice versa:
The MCAT Conversion In Summary
There is absolutely no reason to hate the new MCAT. It is what we are stuck with no matter what. Whether you like it or not, we must embrace the new parts, and the parts of it that will continue to be on there. The only difference in preparation for the new MCAT is to study your psychology and sociology more than you would have in the past. There are no significant changes being made other than the scoring format and one category change. I feel that the boost to the importance of psychology and sociology on this MCAT is a good way to improve malpractice, and underlying doctor bias practiced by future physicians. Many people hate the new system, some people love the new system. Either way, just make sure you are well prepared, and you should excel!
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