When you’re getting ready to apply to medical school, you will want to know the AAMC PREview test dates, just as you would want to know the MCAT test dates or leave enough time for CASPer test prep. If you need to take this exam, it’s best to know when it is.
Of course, when the AAMC PREview is being offered is only part of the story. You need to know what to do in the days leading up to your exam, how to book it, and a host of small details that will play into your testing strategy, study plans, and general prep for this required exam.
In this article, we cover these details as well as some strategies to perform well on PREview and give your application a great boost.
Disclaimer: BeMo does not recommend, endorse nor affiliate with the AAMC and vice versa. The following provides our opinion about AAMC’s PREview test and its components. To take the tests provided by AAMC, contact AAMC directly.
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AAMC PREview Test Dates
Registration is currently open for all testing dates.
While scores are usually released approximately 30 days after the tests are completed, this is subject to change.
Want to learn how to prepare for your AAMC PREview exam? Watch this video:
Testing dates are usually announced in late December; they are released by and can be confirmed through AAMC.
How to Pick the Best Test Date for Yourself
Your first question is almost certainly going to be how to choose which test date. With seven to select from, there are many factors to consider.
Your Medical School Deadlines
Of paramount importance is your medical school application timeline. Above all else, this should be what you consider. If you’re planning to submit your AMCAS application in early August, for example, Test Windows 5, 6, and 7 will be out of the question.
Accounting for Your Schedule
The second most important factor to consider is your total schedule. If you’ve got an MCAT study schedule to keep to, and you’re worried about how to prepare for CASPer, you should pick a test date that works with your current schedule.
You want enough time to study and prepare. Test Window 7 gives you the most time possible to do this. The advantage is that you will have a long time to get ready, allowing yourself the chronological space in which to fit in other application necessities, like studying medical school interview questions, taking additional courses, or gaining necessary experiences. Keeping in mind the possible medical school deadlines, your latest possible AAMC PREview Test Window might be Test Window 4, anyway.
Room for Error
On the other hand, if you have the last Test Window available, you might find yourself wanting to reschedule and unable to do so. If September 1st rolls around – after you can sign up for Test Window 6 – and you realize you cannot attend Test Window 7 anymore due to unforeseen circumstances, you won’t be able to reschedule until the next year. Picking an earlier test window has an advantage of giving yourself wiggle room.
Time of Day
Within each Test Window will be several times you can book for your exam. Choose a time suitable for you. Some people like to wake up very early and get their day’s work started and finished sooner. Others prefer to have a relaxing morning before tackling something hard or stressful. This is a personal choice, so make a decision that makes sense for you.
How to Register
First, we’ll just tell you that the time to register is always immediately. Preregistration is necessary; specific test days and appointment times will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis until all spaces are taken. To have the best chance of selecting your desired test date and time slot, you should register as early as possible. Since medical school requirements often include the AAMC PREview, at least in the US for allopathic medical school programs, you cannot afford to miss out on taking the exam.
You need an AAMC account, so make sure you have one. Through your PREview portal, log in and enter your credentials, making sure that your name exactly matches that which will be on your ID on test day. This is important: once entered, your name and email address, along with your AAMC ID, cannot be updated. Triple-check everything to ensure there are no errors. Unalterable data is something that you must be constantly aware of while sending in tests and applications. Information on the AMCAS applications – like the AMCAS work and activities section and AMCAS most meaningful experiences – cannot be altered either. A lot of people want to know if they can change submitted information, but you should never count on needing to do this.
After logging in to the PREview portal, go to the products tab and select the AAMC Professional Readiness Exam, which is the PREview exam. Select your date and time zone. Double-check that this is correct. The AAMC portal uses military time – the 24-hour clock. The 24-hour clock is used frequently in medical professions, so you should become familiar with this timekeeping method.
The next step is to input your payment information and address.
You will receive an email with an exam tutorial inside. You can do the tutorial as many times as you wish up to exam day. Familiarize yourself with it.
As scheduling advice, we recommend that you record your test date and time in any calendars or scheduling programs you use. Do this immediately so that you won’t be caught off guard and run the risk of missing your exam appointment.
You can cancel your PREview date up to 24 hours before the Test Window, at which time you may reschedule for a later testing date. This is in concert with the idea that you might want to pick an earlier testing window to give yourself flexibility. Keep in mind, of course, that only 50% of your fee will be refunded to you if you cancel outright. If you reschedule, there is a $25 fee.
If you miss the exam entirely, you may select a later testing date, but the full fee will be due. This is also assuming that you have not passed the application deadlines for other Test Windows. You will receive a full refund under certain circumstances: if you missed the AAMC PREview exam due to hospitalization, death in your immediate family, suddenly being called to active military duty or health care service duties, jury duty, or displacement of your home due to a natural disaster. However, you will need to produce official documentation – like a hospitalization record or request for deployment – to qualify.
One of the first things to check is whether you need to take the exam. For most students, but not all, the AAMC PREview is required. Medical schools in Canada are less likely to require an American Association of Medical Colleges test; however, if you are a Canadian student looking at Canadian friendly US medical schools, you might need to take the test. Likewise, if you are thinking of osteopathy and are weighing DO vs MD, only one osteopathic program uses PREview, and that is only as a recommendation: Des Moines University Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
To prepare for the AAMC PREview, you should start by setting up a study schedule. Do this in concert with your other obligations, of course, but try to practice from the time of your application to the day before your exam. Study sessions should consist of practicing situational judgment tests, especially the official AAMC PREview practice test. These will familiarize you with the testing style and ways to properly rate the responses, to help you raise your score as high as possible before attempting the real test.
Knowing how the AAMC PREview is scored can be useful, too. You rate responses to scenarios, and your ratings are matched to the AAMC answers. The closer you are to the answer, the higher your score; your total score will be a number between 1 and 9, with 9 being the highest possible score.
The Day Before
What do you do the day before the exam? First, try to make a study plan that lets you take this day off. A last-minute cram session feels like something you should do, but that’s just pressure. You’re far better to study and retain knowledge leading up to the exam, then have a short rest so that you can relax and go into the exam fully rested and calm.
With an in-person exam, you would have to plan your route and make sure you were within a reasonable proximity to the testing facility. In the case of the AAMC PREview test, however, you won’t need to be any closer than your computer. What you should do, though, is make sure you have a working system and reliable equipment – including your internet connection – to guarantee there are no complications on the test day.
On the Day
Make sure you are comfortable, alert, and well-rested, and trust to all of the prep work you put in. The exam takes 75 minutes to complete, although your seat time might be longer than that to account for logging in. Make sure to plan for this – leave yourself a good block of time at either end of your exam period so that you don’t worry about appointments beforehand running late. You'll need 5–15 minutes for check-in, 5 minutes to read the exam instructions, and 5–10 minutes at the end to indicate which schools you want to release your score to and to complete a post-exam survey.
A Note on the AAMC PREview Exam and Situational Judgment Tests
This might be the first time you’ve heard of a situational judgment test (SJT). If that’s the case, here is a quick introduction to what they are, what they are used for, and why they are important to your application.
What Is an SJT?
In an SJT, scenarios are presented to the test-taker, who is expected to respond in ways that will demonstrate their personal and professional skills. One of the most-commonly used SJTs in medical schools is the CASPer test, which is part of the Altus Suite; there are a lot of medical schools that require CASPer for entry. However, in the case of the AAMC PREview exam, test-takers do not perform actions, as in multiple mini-interview acting stations, or respond directly to prompts, as in MMI personal questions. Rather, in the AAMC PREview questions and answers, both the scenarios and responses are pre-written, and the student must rate them.
What Is an SJT Used for?
The idea with an SJT is that the responses a student gives will reveal something about their character. This is a good theory, but it might not be terribly effective in real life. Students might respond to scenarios in a way that they think the test-taker wants to hear, which will not reveal anything meaningful about themselves; if this is the case, the results will be off.
With the AAMC PREview exam, the problem is that the student has no input on how to respond. They aren’t really saying what they would do in such-and-such a situation, only rating how another person (a medical educator) theoretically responded to the scenario. Furthermore, with a rating scale of four items, ranging from "very ineffective" to "very effective," there is no middle ground. Without a “neutral” response, the student’s evaluations are limited.
Why Are SJTs like the AAMC PREview Important?
Does any of this mean that you should ignore SJTs or just fake your way through the AAMC PREview exam? Not a bit. You see, regardless of how effective these tests are, they are required by some institutions that you would like to attend. Some of these schools will use your score as a direct influence on your application. Because of this, it is in your best interest to take these tests seriously.
Whether the institution is using the AAMC PREview exam, the CASPer test, both, or any other entry exams, these are exams that require 100% of your effort so that you can get into medical school. Even if you feel these tests are redundant or a waste of time, you can’t afford to think of them that way. Treat them as an opportunity instead of a burden, and you will bring a better, more successful attitude to your studying and test-taking.
You now have all the information and advice you need to book your AAMC PREview exam and start preparing for this next step in your medical journey. We know that it can be tough doing all these tests and jumping through hoops. You’ve got CASPer test dates, MMI prep, and MCAT test prep to deal with. It can feel overwhelming, and you might be exasperated by the idea of another test. Think of the PREview as one more opportunity to uplift your application and follow your dream of being a practicing medical doctor.
Source: Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
1. Is the AAMC PREview exam effective?
At BeMo, we don’t consider this exam to be terribly effective. We are of the belief that SJTs, in general, cannot determine whether or not someone will be a good physician.
2. What is a situational judgment test?
Situational judgment tests (SJTs) present scenarios – situations – to which you must respond. Your responses are then scored. In theory, they are meant to indicate the kind of person and physician you are based on how you respond.
3. Is there a fee for taking the PREview test?
Yes, $100 is charged to take the test. There is a $25 rescheduling fee. Cancelation will refund half of your $100 fee.
4. Can I retake the PREview test?
No, the AAMC PREview is available to a student once per application cycle.
5. What happens if I miss my test?
You need to reschedule, which will also mean forfeiting your original fee and paying a new registration fee. You also need to pay attention to registration deadlines.
6. How do I submit my scores?
They are uploaded automatically with your AMCAS application and sent directly to the schools you indicate.
7. What is the optimal time to take the test?
When you’re ready for it – you’ve had time to study – and in a timely manner for your medical school application goals. These are individual needs, however; ultimately, only you can judge the optimal moment for taking the AAMC PREview.
8. What does AAMC stand for?
The American Association of Medical Colleges. This organization attempts to improve health care through research, education, and patient care.
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