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May 23, 2011 - Image 7

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-05-23

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. Monday, May 23, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

7

CONFERENCE
MCAT changes may influence admissions From Page 2

Exam reviewed by
panel for the first
time in 25 years
By ANDREW SCHULMAN
Daily Staff Reporter
Standardized testingseemsto
be under constant scrutiny over
its ability to predict the compe-
tency of students. The shortcom-
ings of standardized tests like the
Medical College Admission Test
- which has been used to gauge
student proficiency for 83 years
- are being addressed with the
introduction of several changes.
The solutions offered by this
latest round of reforms are rela-
tively new and unprecedented,
according to the Association of
American Medical Colleges web-
site, the company that adminis-
ters the test.
The AAMC panel that
reviewed the current MCAT for
the first time in 25 years suggest-
ed dividing the test into four new
sections, eliminating the writing
sample and including passages
to evaluate skills in ethics, cross-

cultural studies and philosophy.
Concepts from sociology and
psychology will now comprise
the new behavioral and social sci-
ences section, which will focus
more prominently on "the human
and social issues of medicine,"
according to the website.
The changes, developed by
a 22-member committee which
began its review of the MCAT in
2008, are both systematic and
linked to current developments
in medicine that "will empha-
size concepts that future phy-
sicians will need to master to
serve a more diverse population,"
according to the AAMC's website.
The AAMC says they will
likely launch the new exam in
2015, if its Board of Directors
approves it. That uncertainty,
however, has not quelled specula-
tion among admissions officials.
Robert Ruiz, director of
admissions for the University
Medical School, said he thinks
the new test will be interesting
and include a wider range of top-
ics.
"We're thrilled that the test,
we think, will be an improve-
ment," Ruiz said. "Anything that

can be done with the test to be
more inclusive, to capture more
information ... is going to be
good."
Ruiz said he believes the
changes to the MCAT will help
medical schools gain a more
detailed analysis of the students
applyingto their schools.
"I think what you're seeing
is the implementation of tools -
whether it's the MCAT or some
other tools - so that medical
schools have as much data as pos-
sible to make sure they're identi-
fying the kind of individuals (they
want to admit)," Ruiz said.
While Ruiz said that he hopes
the new exam format will allow
them to "be more inclusive" in
the review process, he added that
he could not predict the impacts
of the new exam on the Medical
School's admissions procedures.
This summer, the AAMC said
it will deliberate on its recom-
mendations while continuing to
seek input before presenting its
final recommendations to the
AAMC's Board of Directors in
November. The review commit-
tee will make its decision in Feb-
ruary 2012.

and data engineers working to
fix the global water crisis, said
he believes that publicity is nec-
essary for people to understand
why sustainability matters to
them.
"One of the most important
things when we talk about sus-
tainability is we have to create
a relationship of relevancy," he
said.
Neil Hawkins, Dow Chemical
Company's vice president of sus-
tainability and environment, said
in an interview after the event
that sustainability is an essen-
tial goal because the current rate
of population growth indicates
that the world population will be
about 10 billion by the year 2050.
"There's such a strong growth

in population ... and that puts
an enormous stress and strain
on the ecosystem of the planet,"
Hawkins said. "The increase
in population's driving a global
sustainability challenge for the
planet ... It's going to take a lot of
innovation, a lot of critical think-
ing and a lot of cooperation to
make (solutions) happen."
Hawkins also lauded the Uni-
versity for its work in sustainable
research and business, not only in
Michigan, but also international-
ly through various partnerships.
"(There are) elite world-class
centers of excellence here," he
said. "And you look at the uni-
versities in China that Mary Sue
Coleman and others are part-
nering with. These are the best
minds in the world on both sides.
And bringing that together in this
meeting, it's really a fantastic
opportunity."

DANCING IN THE UNION

nUDoKUu

Salto Dance Group practiced in the Union on Sunday for University alum and singer-songwriter Charlene Kaye's new music
video. The video will feature University students and will be directed by Kaye's younger sister, Li-Ann, a recent LSA graduate.

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