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Rhett Butler, Third-year medical student, studies model in the Clinical Simulation Center at Brody School of Medicine.

All April Medical College Admission Tests (MCAT) have been cancelled as of April 1 globally by Association of American Medical Colleges(AAMC) and have the possibility of affecting upcoming East Carolina University medical students. Regardless of exam date, all rescheduling fees will be automatically waived until further notice.

John Robertson, business development manager at the Princeton Review, said the April 4 MCAT exam was cancelled, but as of right now there hasn’t been an announcement as to what will happen on upcoming test dates. He said it’s very likely that testing dates will continue to be cancelled on health and safety grounds for the foreseeable future, but as to when in-person testing will resume he said he doesn't think anyone has any clear idea.

“I haven't heard anything about whether the AAMC is working on a similar option for the MCAT or is just going to hunker down and just wait until in-person testing resumes,” Robertson said.

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has made an at-home remote Graduate Record Examination (GRE) available as of last week, according to Robertson. He said the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and Law School Admission Council (LSAC) will do so soon for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and the law school admission test (LSAT).

Elizabeth McAllister, the director of pre-professional advising at East Carolina University, said based on information from Princeton Review, the AAMC may look into allowing students to take the MCAT from home. She said ETS has already announced that students who need to take the GRE can do this, but they will have to have a virtual proctor in order to take the exam.

“As advisors (at ECU), we are gathering as much info as we can to disseminate to students and trying to connect them with resources to help them be successful,” McAllister said.

Associate Dean for Admissions at the Brody School of Medicine, Cedric Bright, said the school will still have an incoming 2020 freshman class because in 2019 it had over a thousand people apply and although only 86 in the class were picked, those thousand people are still ready and able to reapply and possibly get accepted. 

The ones they are most concerned about at Brody are the students looking to improve their MCAT scores or taking the MCAT for the first time he said. On top of not being able to take or retake the MCAT, Bright said they are also concerned with students not being able to shadow or work in medical care settings.

Students are preferred to have experience in a medical setting and with the virus happening it is not possible for some at the moment, according to Bright.

“I want students to focus on controlling what they can control so what they can control is getting themselves prepared, what they can’t control is finding out when the MCAT is going to be operating so take this time to study and become stronger so when the opportunity arrives they can take advantage of it,” Bright said.

More information on the MCAT exam dates and updating information relating to the test can be found at the AAMC website.

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