The AAMC PREview exam, formerly known as the AAMC SJT, is a situational judgment test used by select medical schools in the US to evaluate your non-cognitive professional skills by presenting you with a series of scenarios dealing with moral and professional dilemmas. Not unlike the Altus Suite, the AAMC PREview claims to help medical schools select the most fitting applicants for their program. You do not need any prior clinical experience to do well on this situational judgment test. Using our strategy, you can tackle any scenario you face during the AAMC PREview.

Disclaimer: AAMC PREview is a registered trademark of the AAMC. BeMo and AAMC do not endorse or affiliate with one another.

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17 min read

List of Medical Schools That Use AAMC PREview Exam What Is the AAMC PREview? AAMC PREview Structure and Scoring Requirements For the AAMC PREview Exam The PREview Testing Experience Strategy For Rating Your AAMC PREview Responses Sample AAMC PREview Scenarios and Responses FAQs

List of Medical Schools That Use AAMC PREview Exam

Medical schools that require the AAMC PREview:

Medical schools that recommend the AAMC PREview (but not require):

The AAMC PREview exam is becoming a popular medical school requirement, especially among medical schools in the US. Also note that some of the medical schools that require CASPer may accept the AAMC PREview in place of the CASPer test.

AAMC PREview Test Dates

These are the testing windows for the AAMC PREview this application cycle:

The exam will be delivered each test date from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern Time. Appointments will be offered every 15 minutes, and each test date has a limited number of available appointments. Preregistration is required. Individual test dates and appointment times will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until they reach capacity. Therefore, you should register as early as possible to have the best opportunity to choose your preferred test date and time slot.

What Is the AAMC PREview?

The AAMC PREview pre-professional exam assesses the qualities, values, and behaviors of potential medical students. According to the AAMC, this online exam will allow admissions committees to evaluate pre-professional competencies that have an impact on students' long-term performance as medical professionals.

AAMC Core Competencies

These competencies were identified by medical educators as important for students to be successful in their medical careers. At its core, AAMC PREview aims to evaluate your non-cognitive and soft skills. You do not need any health care experience or clinical knowledge to do well.

Do you want to learn how to prep for the AAMC PREview exam? Watch our video:

AAMC PREview Structure and Scoring

Exam Structure

You will be presented with scenario sets that deal with real-life dilemmas linked to the 8 core competencies listed above. They are set in health care, educational, or other settings common for medical school students. What distinguishes the AAMC PREview exam from other SJTs is that you will not need to write out your answer. After each scenario, you will be given several options that describe actions you could take in response to the dilemma presented in the scenario.

The test is composed of 30 scenarios with 186 answers in total – some scenarios will have 4 responses, while others may have 6 or 8 responses to rate.

You will be asked to rate the effectiveness of each answer as follows:

Four-Point Scale

An entire AAMC PREview exam session takes around 95-115 minutes. The exam time is 75 minutes, with 5-15 additional minutes provided for check-in, 5 minutes allotted to read exam instructions, and 5-10 minutes allotted once your exam is complete to indicate which schools you want to release your score to and a post-exam survey.

Make sure to check AAMC’s website for a full-length practice test. There are also some sample questions included later on in this blog. 

Preparing for the AAMC PREview: Tips

Scoring Your Exam

When you finish the exam, you will be asked if you would like to void or score your exam. Void exams are not sent to medical schools but will appear on your score report as “VO.” In future application cycles, void exams will count toward the total number of times you can take the test but no other information will be provided on your score report about your performance on the exam if you choose to void it. Remember that you may take the AAMC PREview exam only once per application cycle, so if you choose to void it, you cannot retake it in the same cycle.

If you choose to score your test, you will receive via email access to the total score, confidence band, percentile rank table, and any applicable notes. The AAMC PREview is scored similarly to how the CASPer test is scored.

The total score will range from 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest). You will be evaluated based on how well your responses (effectiveness rankings you assign to each answer) match the medical educators’ responses to the same scenarios. Full credit (1 point) is awarded if your response matches the medical educators’ response (in both effectiveness and degree of effectiveness), while a partial credit (0.5 point) is awarded if your response is close (i.e. same effectiveness rating but different degree of effectiveness).

There are multiple AAMC PREview exam forms, so there will be variations between question sets students get. All test forms are meant to assess the same qualities and behaviors, but each form is different in terms of the specific items it presents. While the test administrators try to make sure that test forms are equal in difficulty, inevitably, one form may be slightly more difficult than another.

A conversion system called equating is applied to turn raw scores to scaled scores to compensate for small variations in difficulty between test forms. Additionally, a confidence band will be reported along with your converted score. Confidence bands show the accuracy of your final converted score as scores can be affected by many factors. Confidence bands rate the ranges in which your “true score" likely lies and help signal the inaccuracy of test scores. They are intended to discourage distinctions between examinees with similar scores. You will also be given a percentile rank along with the total score. The percentile shows how your score compares to the scores of other examinees. Your exam cannot be re-scored. All examinations are reviewed and validated by a representative panel of medical school educators; their evaluations are final.

Releasing Your Score

When you choose to score your exam, your PREview scores will be automatically added to your AMCAS application. At the end of your exam, you can select any of the non-AMCAS school(s) that you want to receive your score report. You will not need to personally ensure that your exam score has been received by the schools. The AAMC will send your score report directly to the schools you indicate. If you decide to send your score to any additional schools, you can email the Request to Release AAMC PREview score form to [email protected] at least one week before the next scheduled score release date.

Requirements for the AAMC PREview Exam

The AAMC PREview exam is administered through a secure online testing environment. You can choose your own location and use your own computer, provided your workplace and computer meet the specified technical and settings requirements described below.

Setting Requirements

Unless you have been pre-approved for special accommodations, the AAMC requires you to remain in your seat for the duration of the exam. Taking a break, standing up, or in any way leaving your seat will result in possible AAMC action. You must also remain silent during the entire exam. Do not read the questions out loud or speak to yourself. Leaving your seat or speaking during the exam may result in an investigation. When you take the test, make sure you’re in a private, well-lit room. You should clear your workspace and have your photo ID ready. Close all other programs on your computer and remove any additional monitors from the room, as dual monitors are not allowed during the exam. Please remove all non-religious head coverings.

The Testing Experience

To register for the AAMC PREview, you will need an AAMC ID and an associated username and password. If you already have an AAMC ID, you must use the same username and password when registering for this exam. If you have purchased any AAMC products, including the MCAT, MCAT Official Prep Products, Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR), AAMC Fee Assistance Program, or AMCAS application, you already have the necessary registration information.

If you do not have an existing AAMC ID, you will need to create an account and establish a username and password before using the exam scheduling system. If you cannot remember your username and/or password, do not create a new AAMC ID. The login page will allow you to reset your password or request your username if you cannot remember your login information. If you encounter any difficulties logging in, please contact the AAMC. You may not create multiple AAMC IDs under any circumstances.

You will need to provide a valid identification to take the exam. Make sure that the name on your ID and the first and last names you entered in your AAMC ID match. The most common IDs that are accepted are state driver's license and passport. Even if an ID is valid for flight travel or to vote, it may not meet all the requirements to take the AAMC PREview exam. To ensure your ID meets the exam-day requirements, please review this list:

  1. The ID was issued by a government agency.
  2. The ID expiration date is printed on the ID — not extended by a sticker or a similar mechanism. Exceptions include: Military personnel and dependents stationed outside their home state may present a state-issued driver’s license with extension stickers or paperwork that meets all other AAMC-accepted ID conditions, along with their expired Uniformed Services ID card. If your ID has the word “temporary” printed on it due to your current status within the country, you must contact [email protected] for instructions before the registration deadline for your exam window. Your temporary ID will be accepted on exam day only if the AAMC pre-approves the exception.
  3. The ID expiration date is after your test date. If your ID will expire before your scheduled test day, you are responsible for obtaining a renewed ID before your exam.
  4. The ID includes your visible signature, which you will be asked to duplicate on test day.
  5. The ID contains a photo that can be used to positively identify you.
  6. The ID is tangible and whole, with no evidence of tampering (clipped corners, holes, etc.).
  7. The ID is in English.

Remote Proctoring

Before you take the exam, you will need to download the ProctorU browser extension using your username and password. There will be a real-life proctor present during your examination. A proctor will log into the scheduled exam session with you and will communicate with you and monitor your exam through your computer’s video camera and microphone. The proctor will check you in and then disappear from your view so as not to distract you from taking the exam. You will continue to be in the proctor’s view, and you will be able to contact the proctor at any time if you need assistance with the system. Additionally, if at any time during your exam the proctor has reason to believe you are breaking the exam rules, they may interrupt to ask for clarification of your activity and, if necessary, terminate your exam.

Before the proctor can allow you access to the exam, you must provide access to your computer’s camera and microphone, share your screen through LogMeIn file, and share your photo ID on camera. The proctor will use your ID in conjunction with biometric facial recognition software to authenticate your identity. ProctorU has an online resource center to assist you with the test system and workplace requirements. If you run into any problems connecting with a proctor or other issues that prevent you from taking the exam, you can access live support via your account. You will be connected with a support specialist immediately.

The following steps outline the examination process:

Strategy For Rating Your AAMC PREview Responses

The AAMC PREview exam claims to measure non-cognitive professional skills and abilities that are important for your success as a medical school student and future medical professional. You do not need any prior clinical experience to do well. If you’re preparing for the AAMC PREview, CASPer prep tips can come in handy, too, since both tests have similarities in intent and content. You can check out some sample CASPer questions to familiarize yourself with the types of scenario questions you might encounter on the AAMC PREview. You can also read more about CASPer test question categories and types. Looking at MMI ethical questions and answers will also be a great help, as there are sure to be questions about ethics on the PREview exam.

The scenarios are not related to each other, so do not consider any information from earlier scenarios when you rate a new one. In each scenario, you will assume the role of a medical student. You will be presented with situations and a range of options for how you could respond to the situation at hand. You will rate each response with one of the following:

  • Very ineffective
  • Ineffective
  • Effective
  • Very effective

Before you rate the responses, make sure you read the scenario and each response very carefully. You must use your judgment to evaluate which of the responses are more or less effective. Each scenario may include several effective and ineffective responses, and you can assign the same rating to as many responses as you see fit. You do not need to use all the labels or worry about using them more than once. Each response you are rating is independent.

As with all situational judgment tests, it is not easy to prepare for the AAMC PREview. However, every such examination can be aced with the right approach. We at BeMo have coached thousands of students to excel in scenario-based tests, and we have winning strategies for how to approach the AAMC PREview scenarios, specifically.

With your role already identified by the AAMC (you are to act as a medical student), you will consider how the issue in question reflects the eight core competencies, identify the pressing issue(s) and the impacted parties, and then determine how you should act. You must also consider the order of actions you will take, based on priorities, and whose needs you should consider first in the scenario.

BeMo's Diagnostic of Your Response Ratings

When you rate a response, try to keep your judgment at bay and stay professionally cool. It is a tough balancing act, but the AAMC PREview is meant to evaluate how you would respond in a variety of professional and educational situations, including those that may personally offend or disturb you. Giving a high rating to a response that includes a dismissive attitude, indifference, rash judgment, violence, or outright conflict will not result in a good score.

Sample AAMC PREview Scenarios and Responses

The following sample scenarios, based on actual AAMC PREview questions you might encounter, will give you an idea of what to expect on the exam. Make sure you read each prompt and response carefully before you rate them. The suggested ratings for each response are based on the strategy we outline above. After the ratings, the rationale is provided.

Sample 1

You and a classmate stay late after class one day to ask a teaching assistant some questions about an assignment they graded. While the three of you are talking, the teaching assistant teases your classmate about their ethnic background, saying your classmate is the smart kid with the overbearing and pushy parents. You see from your classmate's face that they are offended, and they walk out of the room.

Core competency: Cultural competency, social skills, ethical responsibility to others

Pressing issue: Your classmate was offended by the TA’s insensitive comments

Parties impacted: Your classmate

Please rate the effectiveness of each response to this situation.

Very Ineffective / Ineffective / Effective / Very Effective

1. Ask the teaching assistant to stop making these comments. Effective.

2. Report the interaction to a school administrator. Very Effective.

3. Laugh at the teaching assistant’s joke to be polite. Very Ineffective.

4. Ask the teaching assistant a question related to the course material to take the attention off of their comment. Ineffective.

5. Explain to the teaching assistant that it is not okay to make comments about your classmate's ethnicity. Effective.

Why this rating

Responses #1 and #5 show empathy for your classmate and demonstrate cultural competency, but neither response addresses your classmate’s feelings of offense over the comments made by the teaching assistant, and it does not guarantee the TA will not make similar comments again. Responses #3 and #4 avoid the pressing issue altogether and do not show any compassion for the offended party. The most effective course of action is to report the interaction to the school administrator, as part of your ethical responsibility to your classmate.

Sample 2

You are leading a study group with some classmates when two classmates begin arguing about one of the course topics. The argument is tense but stays on-topic until one student insults the other's religion, and the other responds by insulting the first student’s intelligence.

Core competency: Social skills

Pressing issue: Two students have been hurt by personal insults during the argument

Parties impacted: Your two classmates, the class as a whole, yourself as group leader

Please rate the effectiveness of each response to this situation.

Very Ineffective / Ineffective / Effective / Very Effective

1. Begin a discussion about the importance of tolerance for different religious beliefs. Ineffective

2. Ask another classmate to diffuse the argument. Very Ineffective

3. Let the two classmates handle the situation themselves, as you were not directly involved in the argument. Very Ineffective

4. Tell the two classmates that personal attacks are not acceptable, and they need to stop insulting each other. Ineffective

5. Re-focus the discussion on course content. Ineffective

6. Ask the two classmates to resolve their issue privately. Ineffective

7. Tell the study group to take a short break and speak to the two classmates privately. Very Effective

Why this rating?

Let’s identify the pressing issue. Who is most affected in this scenario? Is it most of the class whose study has been interrupted? Is it you whose authority has been undermined? No, it is the two conflicting students who managed to hurt one another’s feelings by throwing personal insults at each other. As a future physician, you need to demonstrate leadership and objectivity. You need to address their conflict, but not embarrass them any further or allow the rest of the class to be disrupted. This is why response #7 gets the rating of 4. Choosing to help your classmates in private is a sign that you care about their confidentiality and their personal feelings – it shows compassion and effective social skills. It avoids impacting either student negatively by choosing to speak to them in private, and all parties have been taken care of.

Though response #1 may seem like a good choice, don’t forget that the other student’s intelligence was also insulted in front of the whole class, so this response doesn’t address all pressing issues. Responses #2, #3, #5, and #6 demonstrate indifference or fear to take on responsibility for those around you, does not solve the pressing issue and may cause further problems. Response #4 is an assertive reply, but it lacks action and compassion toward the vulnerable party. It also demonstrates a lack of leadership and responsibility.

Want our help preparing for the AAMC PREview? Here’s what our students have to say about us:

Sample 3

You are a student during a clerkship on duty at the local ER. A middle aged man, dressed in sweatpants and an old, stained sweater walks in complaining of severe back pain. While with the nurse, the man keeps insisting that the only thing that helps his pain is a very strong painkiller. The nurse quietly tells you that this gentleman frequently visits the hospital and gets prescribed painkillers.

Core competency: Ethical responsibility, social skills, resilience and adaptability

Pressing issue: Deciding how to treat a patient in pain whom you suspect may be seeking narcotics

Parties impacted: Your patient, the nurse assisting you, yourself, the hospital you work at

Please rate the effectiveness of each response to this situation.

Very Ineffective / Ineffective / Effective / Very Effective

1. You politely explain to the patient that you cannot help and tell him to leave. Ineffective

2. Ask the patient about his medical history and whether he has considered other options for pain management. If not, suggest physiotherapy or surgery as a long-term solution. Very Effective

3. Vehemently deny the patient any painkillers because he is clearly a drug addict. Very Ineffective

4. Tell the nurse to look after the patient while you attend to other, easier cases. Very Ineffective

5. Try to gather as much information about the patient as possible. Clarify whether the patient has another physician who looks after him. If he does, contact the physician and ask for the patient’s history with the prescription. Effective

Why this rating?

The lowest rating of effectiveness is given to responses that are rash, judgmental, and outright cruel, such as response #1 and #3, which demonstrate a lack of empathy and professionalism. Remember, you must stay non-judgmental toward the patient, who is the most vulnerable party in this scenario. Trying to gather information about the patient’s history and giving him alternative remedies is a great response to the situation. Not only are you actively trying to help, but you’re also showing that you truly care about his well-being by providing long-term solutions. This response demonstrates your social skills as well as your professionalism in your sensitive and non-judgmental treatment of the patient and his concerns. This is also an ethical response for the patient, who receives treatment for his issue, and yourself by proceeding with caution and gathering information before deciding on a treatment. This response also ensures no parties in the scenario are negatively impacted by your solution.

Sample 4

You are working in a hospital’s emergency department. This clerkship rotation has been particularly challenging. Your workload has become overwhelming and stressful. A lack of sleep combined with stress is starting to impact your judgment. You are concerned because you still have three weeks remaining in your hospital assignment.

Core competency: Ethical responsibility, resilience and adaptability, reliability and dependability

Pressing issue: The toll of your workload on your judgment can have serious consequences for your patients’ and your own health

Parties impacted: Yourself, your patients, your peers and supervisors

Please rate the effectiveness of each response to this situation.

Very Ineffective / Ineffective / Effective / Very Effective

1. Join a support group for students who are facing similar challenges. Very Effective.

2. Seek advice from other students who appear to be successfully coping with their stress. Effective.

3. Tell your supervisor you are concerned that your lack of sleep and stress is starting to impact your judgment. Very Effective.

4. Tell your supervisor that you are unable to return to work unless they are willing to reduce your hours. Ineffective.

5. Contact your school's academic support office to seek advice about managing the situation. Very Effective.

6. Ask your supervisor if it would be possible to have a day off to recuperate. Effective.

7. Contact your school's academic support office and explain that the hospital's expectations are unreasonable for students. Very Ineffective.

Why this rating?

Joining a support group to address your stress levels and lack of sleep or discussing the issue with your supervisor demonstrate your self-awareness and that you are actively seeking a solution to the problems you’re facing. It shows an ethical responsibility to your health and the well-being of your patients by bringing your concerns to your supervisor or student support office. Seeking advice from other students or asking for a day off is helpful, but will not fully address the main problem: your prolonged stress levels and affected judgment. The final two responses, #4 and #7, are not effective responses, since it shows you are not resilient or adaptable to the demanding work conditions of a hospital.

Source: Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)


1. Why was AAMC PREview developed?

The AAMC developed this PREview exam with the support of medical schools to help the schools more easily identify the applicants who demonstrate the core pre-professional competencies for entering medical students: Service Orientation, Social Skills, Cultural Competence, Teamwork, Ethical Responsibility to Self and Others, Reliability and Dependability, Resilience and Adaptability, and Capacity for Improvement. You might also notice that this test is very similar to CASPer and medical schools need to pay for CASPer in order to use it in the admissions. The AAMC PREview will provide similar services to American schools for free, since it’s their own creation.

2. What is the purpose of the AAMC PREview exam?

This exam is meant to help the admissions committees more easily identify applicants who demonstrate AAMC’s core professional competencies for entering medical students. In addition to demonstrating that you possess some of the competencies in the AMCAS Work and Activities section, AAMC PREview requires you to demonstrate what kind of moral and ethical lessons you learned throughout your personal life, academics, and your extracurriculars for medical school

3. How much does the exam cost?

It's a flat fee of $100.

4. What is the exam format?

The AAMC PREview exam is a 75-minute test with just one section. The total time, including the check-in and check-out procedures, is approximately 95-115 minutes. The exam is delivered online so you can use your own computer in a location of your choice. Please make sure your device meets the technical and security requirements. Your access to the internet, applications and software, and files on your computer will be disabled while you are taking the exam, so that the exam can be delivered with a high level of security.

5. How do I download the ProctorU extension for my browser?

A ProctorU browser extension is required for your remote proctor to monitor your exam. This is easily downloadable via Chrome or Firefox. Ensure that your browser is up to date so that the extension can be supported properly.

6. How do I schedule and access the exam?

You will use your AAMC username and password to log into the exam delivery platform (Yardstick Assessment Strategies) which you will also use to schedule an exam appointment. Once you log into the platform you will have unlimited opportunities to familiarize yourself with the functionalities and features of the platform before you take the exam. A tutorial on how to take the exam will be available on the platform.

7. Can any prospective medical student take the exam?

Currently, the exam is open only to students applying to the schools we list in the article.

8. Can I reschedule my exam appointment?

You may reschedule your exam appointment before the registration deadline associated with your current exam date. You must cancel your existing appointment before you may schedule a new one.

9. Will I get to see my score?

If you choose to score your exam, rather than void it, you will be able to access your score. When it is released, the AAMC will send you an email with instructions on how you can access your report.

10. How will the schools I apply to get my score?

The AAMC will send your score report directly to the non-AMCAS schools you identified in your exam. Your score will be automatically available to any AMCAS schools that require the PREview score.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Source: The AAMC PREview Essentials.

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