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Preparing for Preview

I remember years ago sitting at an AAMC meeting in Philadelphia when the AAMC folks introduced the "situational judgment test" to a room full of admissions directors. The room erupted in fury as the majority agreed that they did not want or need one more test to consider in this process. After that, I heard nothing more about it until years later, once I was an advisor and was at another conference. The AAMC got in front of a room full of pre-health advisors to introduce their brand new "SJT" which they claimed had great predictive value. By this point, many med schools were already using Casper, a different version of an SJT, so I raised my hand and asked the brave question, "Did you talk to the Casper folks to collaborate or are we just going to have two tests now students have to take?" Their answer? No, we didn't talk to them, and yes, there will be two tests. Awesome.

So that began the Casper/Preview segment of my career. More tests, more money, more stress. But the good news is that based on what I've seen, these tests' scores do not seem to correlate with success. What do I mean? I have many, many students who scored in the bottom quartile and were still wildly successful.

One reason for that is for many schools using Preview, they are still "collecting data" on the predictive nature of the scores, meaning they aren't yet using scores for screening. They're going to track med school student outcomes and then identify correlations with scores to determine the value this test has for them.

I did not see a bunch of schools drop Casper like I thought they would have. Instead, I saw some schools give students the option. Not all schools use either test.

During my seminar, I'm going to go through each test in detail, and I tend to go over questions/prompts from each test during my Tuesday night support groups, so if you're curious to learn more, be sure to attend those. You can also ask me during a session. But if you're going about this on your own, please be sure to read everything that is on the AAMC website before taking the test. It's not a personality test. There are some patterns in answers that you can learn with enough practice. They give you MANY practice questions with the answers, which I find really help in sort of cracking the code. In my humble opinion, the Preview is really good at identifying little minions who like to follow rules, so if you consider what the goal of the test is, you can usually figure out what you should and should not do with your answers.

As always, let me know if you have questions.

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