AAMC PREview Professional Readiness Exam

AAMC PREview® Professional Readiness Exam (Formerly SJT)

As you know, medical school admissions are complex, and now, there is an added element that schools are adopting as part of the process—a situational judgment test (SJT) now known as the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) PREview®

What is the AAMC PREview Professional Readiness Exam?

The AAMC PREview Professional Readiness Exam is a situational judgment test that has been designed to assist medical school admissions officers in assessing “your readiness to learn about issues related to professionalism in medical school.” In other words, it will give admissions committees insight into how well prepared you are to take on the challenges that medical school poses beyond the academics which are measured by your GPA and MCAT score. In addition, since the exam is standardized, it will remove subjective biases that may occur and allow each applicant to be equally evaluated on these professional competencies.

AAMC’s Situational Judgment Test (SJT) is now the Professional Readiness Exam

While the exam was being developed, it went by “AAMC’s Situational Judgment Test,” but it was announced in early 2022 that its name will be “AAMC PREview” moving forward. While the name has changed, what the exam is evaluating has not.

What is measured on the AAMC PREview exam?

The PREview exam will measure examinees across what they’ve determined as core professional competencies for entering medical students. These are concepts such as ethics, adaptability, teamwork, and other types of social skills.

How is the AAMC PREview exam structured and scored?

Examinees will be presented with a series of hypothetical scenarios that students may encounter in medical school. You will have to evaluate the effectiveness of a series of behavioral responses to each scenario. In other words, you will be required to judge how well you think each response to a scenario would play out.

Your score will be based on the following:

  • How well your effectiveness ratings align with the ratings provided by the medical educators the AAMC collaborated with.
  • You will be given full credit when your response matches the medical educators’ rating.
  • You will be given partial credit when your rating is close to the medical educators’ rating.

The overall score will be on a scale of 1-9. The higher your score, the more closely you align with medical educators’ ratings.

AAMC PREview Exam Testing Experience

To take the exam, you will need to download the ProctorU browser extension using your AAMC login credentials. During the exam, a real-life proctor will help check you in and monitor your exam. To avoid distraction, you will not be able to see the proctor while you are taking the exam. However, you may contact the proctor at any time if you need assistance with the system. Here is the exam experience step-by-step:

  1. Install the ProctorU extension
  2. Test your equipment
  3. Review the exam tutorial (optional)
  4. Log into your appointment and select “Write Exam” to begin your exam.
  5. With the proctor, review system requirements, identification authentication, exam rules, and prepare your testing environment.
  6. The proctor grants you access to the exam.
  7. Agree to the AAMC Examinee Agreement and Yardstick Assessment Strategies terms and conditions.
  8. Complete the exam in the 75 minutes given.
  9. Submit your exam and select the schools you wish to receive your score report.
  10. Complete a post-exam survey and check out.

The Difference Between the AAMC PREview and CASPer

CASPer is also a situational judgment test that has been administered for a number of years, but was not developed by the AAMC. Some schools will continue to use CASPer, so check the admissions requirements of the schools you are applying to and determine which SJT you need to take.

Why are medical schools using the AAMC PREview Exam?

In the admissions process, medical schools want to get to know as much about the applicant as they can. MCAT scores and GPAs will remain a very important part of the admissions process, as they inform admissions committees about the academic history and potential of an applicant. The PREview exam adds an additional layer of information—it lets admissions officers more easily identify applicants who demonstrate the core professional competencies that are such an important part of medical education, but are not demonstrated in grades and test scores. 

What medical schools currently use the AAMC PREview Exam?

In 2022, for the 2023 AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service®), a select group of medical schools used the PREview Exam. The exam will be available for use by all medical schools in 2023 for 2024 AMCAS.

Carle Illinois College of MedicineResearch Only
Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & ScienceRecommended (Research Only)
Cooper Medical School of Rowan UniversityRecommended
Des Moines University Medicine & Health SciencesRecommended
Geisinger Commonwealth School of MedicineRecommended
George Washington University School of MedicineRecommended
Michigan State University College of Human MedicineRequired (either PREview exam or CASPer)
Morehouse School of MedicineRecommended
Oakland University William Beaumont School of MedicineRecommended
Saint Louis University School of MedicineRequired
Southern Illinois University School of MedicineRecommended
Universidad Central del Caribe School of MedicineRequired
University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of MedicineRecommended
University of California at Davis School of MedicineRequired
University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of MedicineRequired
University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of MedicineRequired
University of Oklahoma College of MedicineRecommended (Research Only)
University of Virginia School of MedicineRecommended

Who is eligible to take the AAMC PREview Exam?

Any applicant to a participating school may take the AAMC PREview Exam.

How to Register for the AAMC PREview Exam

Registration information for the AAMC PREview can be found here.

How to Prepare for the AAMC PREview Exam

We encourage you to take advantage of Kaplan’s Practice Test + On Demand Course and AAMC’s resource bank of preparation materials. Practice for any exam is always going to benefit you, especially for an SJT, which most likely will be new territory for you!

Review the AAMC Situational Judgment (SJT) Test Guides and Competencies

The AAMC PREview Examinee Preparation Guide provides detailed information about the format of the exam, scoring, and the competencies.

AAMC PREview Sample Scenarios and Responses

The AAMC has outlined and provided samples of how the PREview will test you. For each scenario, you will be asked to assume the role of a medical student since each will be a scenario you may face as a medical student. You will then be asked to rate a series of responses on a four-point scale from Very Ineffective to Very Effective.

Very Ineffective (1)Ineffective (2)Effective (3)Very Effective (4)
The response will cause additional problems or make the situation worse.The response will not improve the situation or may cause a problem.The response could help but will not significantly improve the situation.The response will significantly improve the situation.

AAMC PREview Practice Questions: Sample Scenario #1

You have been selected to participate in a prestigious research program for a three-week period. However, you have been assigned an eight-week rotation that is over an hour away, and as a result, you will have to miss a weekly check-in for your rotation. This check-in is a required component of your rotation.

Note: The answer choices for each numbered item are always the same:

  • Very Ineffective
  • Ineffective
  • Effective
  • Very Effective

Please rate the effectiveness of each response to this situation.

  1. Skip the weekly check-in for three weeks to participate in the research opportunity.
  2. Ask your attending to find a resolution so you can participate in both the rotation and the research opportunity.
  3. Do not participate in the research opportunity so you can attend the weekly required rotation check-in.
  4. Discuss with your attending if there is a resolution that can be found so you can participate in both programs.
  5. Tell your attending in advance that you will miss three check-ins.
  6. Attend the check-ins and look into research opportunities that are closer or at another time.

In the scenario above, the student has a dilemma—sure, they may want to do everything, but clearly, that is not possible given the circumstances. Let’s take a look at how these would likely be scored. Remember, you would get full credit if you match the medical educators’ rating and partial credit if you are close.

1. Skipping the weekly check-in would mean not completing the rotation, so that’s not good.

  • Very Ineffective – full credit
  • Ineffective – partial credit
  • Effective – no credit
  • Very Effective – no credit

2. It would be rather unprofessional to expect your attending to make the decision for you, as a professional, you need to own your decisions.

  • Very Ineffective – full credit
  • Ineffective – partial credit
  • Effective – no credit
  • Very Effective – no credit

3. While giving up a prestigious research opportunity may be difficult, there will be chances that will come in the future, and it is not a requirement like the weekly check-ins.

  • Very Ineffective – no credit
  • Ineffective – no credit
  • Effective – full credit
  • Very Effective – partial credit

4. Having a discussion with your attending is an effective way to show your commitment to the rotation but also explore if there is an alternate solution that works for both parties

  • Very Ineffective – no credit
  • Ineffective – no credit
  • Effective – partial credit
  • Very Effective – full credit

5. Telling your attending you are not going to attend is one way to go about this, but you are uncertain of how they will respond. 

  • Very Ineffective – full credit
  • Ineffective – partial credit
  • Effective – no credit
  • Very Effective – no credit

6. Going to the check-ins would mean fulfilling your commitment to the rotation and your medical education.

  • Very Ineffective – no credit
  • Ineffective – no credit
  • Effective – partial credit
  • Very Effective – full credit

AAMC PREview Practice Questions: Sample Scenario #2

You are assigned to a team of four in your anatomy and physiology class for a required group project. The other three members of your team have established friendships, but they are relatively unfamiliar to you. During the course of the project, your teammates set meeting times that often conflict with your schedule but work for all of theirs. These meetings are used to complete most of the work for the project. The deadline is approaching and your contribution to the project has so far been minimal.

Note: The answer choices for each numbered item are always the same:

  • Very Ineffective
  • Ineffective
  • Effective
  • Very Effective
  1. Ask your anatomy and physiology professor for a solution to the problem.
  2. Schedule the last two group meetings yourself to ensure no conflicts.
  3. Tell your teammates that you will go to the professor if they continue excluding you.
  4. Schedule a meeting with your professor and teammates to discuss how to resolve the issue.
  5. Allow your teammates to complete the project without you.
  6. Ask your professor to be assigned to a different team for the remainder of the project.
  7. Admit to your professor that you have not contributed and deserve a lower grade on the project than your teammates.
  8. Ask a trusted faculty member other than the anatomy and physiology professor for advice.

Answers and Explanations

  1. Very Ineffective. Asking your professor for a solution is a way to dodge responsibility. Talking to your professor can be more effective if you go in with a greater sense of ownership, asking instead for advice that will help you reach a solution.
  2. Ineffective. While this may have been a more useful solution earlier in the project, with the deadline approaching and most of the project work already completed, this is likely to have a minimal impact at best.
  3. Very Ineffective. You are in effect threatening your team with this response. It is likely to alienate your team members, foster conflict, and create other problems.
  4. Very Effective. Bringing in your professor introduces an impartial voice that can help offset the cohesion between the other three members of your group. By initiating this discussion, you are taking responsibility and involving all affected parties, which is more likely to lead to a satisfactory solution for all.
  5. Very Ineffective. Even if your team does a good job without you and you get a good grade, it would not be a grade that you earned. Medical professionals take responsibility for their actions (and inaction).
  6. Very Ineffective. With the deadline approaching, this probably is not a feasible solution, but even worse is that you would be abandoning your responsibilities to your team. Medical professionals need to learn to work on teams, even ones with complicated social dynamics.
  7. Ineffective. While this is owning up to your responsibility for not contributing, it does nothing to address the issues that you’re having with your teammates. The project is not over yet, so there is still some opportunity to work with your team, such as proposing a plan that will let you complete the bulk of the remaining work on the project.
  8. Effective. It never hurts to ask for help from an established medical professional that you trust, but there is no guarantee that they will give you the advice that you need. A more effective response would directly involve your teammates, who play a significant role in this scenario.

Practice with sample AAMC Situational Judgment (SJT) scenarios and responses

You can practice with sample AAMC PREview scenarios here. Once you have familiarized yourself with the sample scenarios, you can take a full practice exam and look through the scoring rationale!

Take the AAMC PREview Exam Tutorial

Being prepared for test day means knowing what to expect. The AAMC has laid out the full test day experience in this tutorial that we encourage you to check out!

How will medical schools use the PREview?

As mentioned above, the PREview will give deeper insight into the professional readiness of an applicant earlier in the application process. The practice of medicine is increasingly collaborative and physicians need to understand social determinants of health and have cultural competence in treating patients. The AAMC identifies specific core competencies they are looking for in applicants. Historically, admissions committees would have looked for the professional competencies in the primary and secondary applications, personal statement, and interviews. The PREview exam lets them evaluate candidates earlier on the majority of the competencies—oral communication is still evaluated in the interview. The PREview is designed to assess professional and interpersonal competencies alongside academic metrics and is expected to better support the holistic admissions process.

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