When aspiring to the medical profession, preparation is crucial. The recent emergence of the AAMC PREview exam in the medical school application process means future doctors must understand its significance and strategies to tackle it.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to the AAMC PREview exam, topped off with practice questions to get you on track!
If you are looking for our book with 60 practice PREview scenarios and model answers, check it out on Amazon here!
Why the AAMC PREview Exam Matters
The AAMC PREview professional readiness exam, previously the AAMC Situational Judgment Test (SJT), was introduced in the 2020-2021 application cycle. Designed to assess a candidate’s professional competence and personal qualities, this test provides a more holistic view of an applicant beyond academic achievements. With the growing emphasis on this exam in the admissions process, it’s imperative to be well-prepared.
Not all schools require you to have this as part of your application, so make sure to review your school’s requirements carefully. You can view a list of schools participating here.
A Closer Look at AAMC PREview Exam
Structure: The exam presents 30 scenario sets reflecting real-life situations that you may encounter as a future medical student. You have 75 minutes to complete the exam. After each scenario, candidates rate possible actions on a 4 point scale based on their effectiveness:
1 = Very ineffective. “The response will cause additional problems or make the situation worse.”
2 = Ineffective. “The response will not improve the situation or may cause a problem.”
3 = Effective. “The response could help but will not significantly improve the situation.”
4 = Very effective. “The response will significantly help the situation.”
Scoring: Examinees’ ratings are matched against a panel of medical educators. Your score ranges from 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest), relative to other test-takers.
What is measured on the AAMC PREview exam?
The exam assesses for eight core pre-professional competencies for entering medical students:
- Service Orientation.
- Social Skills.
- Cultural Competence.
- Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others.
- Resilience and Adaptability.
- Reliability and Dependability.
- Capacity for Improvement.
Review Official AAMC Materials: Start with the AAMC PREview Essentials Guide, providing in-depth details about the exam. The Examinee Preparation Guide is another great resource with sample scenarios and responses.
Understand the Core Competencies: Dive deep into the eight competencies assessed. Reflect on their importance in the medical field.
Practice: Regularly engage with sample scenarios. Analyze each situation carefully, and always be open-minded. Discussing scenarios with peers can also offer fresh perspectives.
Scroll down for some sample questions, or check out our AAMC PREview practice exam with 60 practice scenarios and model answers!
Tips for Exam Day
Technical Setup: Ensure your tech (webcam, microphone, browser) meets the requirements.
Environment: Choose a quiet, well-lit room. Clear your desk, and make sure no distractions are around.
Stay Informed: Understand all exam rules to prevent unexpected interruptions. Your proctor will be monitoring, so stay compliant!
AAMC PREview Practice Questions and Answers
Practice Scenario 1
During your rounds, you notice a fellow medical student, Alex, accidentally providing misleading information to a patient about their medication. The attending physician is in another room, and the patient looks confused.
Please rate the effectiveness of each response to this situation:
- Correct Alex in front of the patient, ensuring the patient has the right information immediately.
- Quietly pull Alex aside after the discussion and inform them of the mistake, asking them to clarify it with the patient.
- Wait until after rounds, then discuss the error with the attending physician without informing Alex.
- Stay silent during the conversation, but later provide Alex with resources to better understand the medication.
- Reassure the patient by saying everyone makes mistakes and that Alex is still learning.
Answer Key & Explanations for Practice Scenario 1
- Correct Alex in front of the patient, ensuring the patient has the right information immediately. Moderately Effective (3): While it’s essential for the patient to have accurate information, doing so publicly might embarrass Alex and impact their confidence.
- Quietly pull Alex aside after the discussion and inform them of the mistake, asking them to clarify it with the patient. Very Effective (4): Addressing the situation privately and allowing Alex to rectify their error promotes learning and prioritizes patient care without undermining a colleague.
- Wait until after rounds, then discuss the error with the attending physician without informing Alex. Ineffective (2): Reporting directly to the attending might escalate the situation. Alex should be given a chance to learn and correct their error.
- Stay silent during the conversation, but later provide Alex with resources to better understand the medication. Moderately Effective (3): While providing resources is a supportive approach, the immediate misinformation to the patient isn’t addressed promptly.
- Reassure the patient by saying everyone makes mistakes and that Alex is still learning. Ineffective (2): While it’s true that everyone learns, this approach might increase the patient’s doubt and anxiety, and it doesn’t immediately correct the misinformation.