30 FOCUS ON EDUCATION | 2018 | www.advanceweb.com • Integrated Reasoning: Measures ability to analyze data and evalu- ate information presented in multiple formats. • Quantitative Reasoning: Measures ability to analyze data and draw conclusions using reasoning skills. • Verbal Reasoning: Measures ability to read and understand written material, to evaluate arguments and to correct written material to conform to standard written English. MEDICAL COLLEGE ADMISSIONS TEST (MCAT): Also a computer-based examination, the MCAT is intended for pro- spective medical students residing in the U.S., Australia, Canada and Caribbean Islands. Administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the exam is a standardized, multiple-choice test that has a lot of history behind it. According to AAMC officials, the test has been a recognized component of medical school admis- sions for more than 90 years, and more than 85,000 students sit for the exam annually. Today, nearly all medical schools in the U.S. (and several in Canada) require MCAT scores as part of admissions crite- ria, and many health-profession schools and graduate programs now accept MCAT scores in lieu of other standardized tests. Sections of the exam, which have been based on required skills and knowledge that medical educators, physicians, medical students and residents have identified as key prerequisites for success in medical school and the practice of medicine, according to AAMC officials, include biological and biochemical foundations of living systems; chemical and physical foundations of biological systems; psychological, social and biologi- cal foundations of behavior; and critical analysis and reasoning skills. The MCAT went through a bit of an overhaul in 2015, when ques- tions were added to the sociology, psychology and biochemistry areas.2 Testing for skills in scientific reasoning and problem-solving, research design and data analysis were also added at this time, all of which has resulted in the test nearly doubling in length (each section is anticipated to take 90-95 minutes). Test reviewers are also said to be taking an increasingly holistic review approach that considers applicants’ back- grounds and experiences as opposed to focusing mainly on scores and grades.2 Prior to 2006, the exam was paper-and-pencil based. Generally, test-takers complete the exam during the calendar year preceding the year that they plan to enter medical school, according to AAMC offi- cials, who also say there is the likelihood that prospective students will need to retake the exam. (There is a limit to taking the test three times per one calendar year, four times over two years and seven times total.) Medical schools have access to all of one’s scores, so the recommenda- tion is to only participate in the exam when one truly feels prepared. (The AAMC does offer a listing of the 15 core competencies that medi- cal schools tend to look for in an applicant.3 ) LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST (LSAT): Existing in some form since 1948, the LSAT is a standardized test administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) that is designed to assess reading comprehension and logical and verbal rea- soning. While many law schools accept either the LSAT or the GRE, candidates should take the LSAT unless they are applying only to schools that will accept the GRE, according to LSAC officials. Three multiple-choice sections comprise the exam: • Reading Comprehension: Measures the ability to read and under- stand lengthy, complex materials commonly encountered in law school. • Analytical Reasoning: Measures the ability to understand struc- ture of relationships and to draw logical conclusions about that structure. • Logical Reasoning: Measures the ability to analyze, evaluate and complete arguments. n Joe Darrah is a freelance author based in the Philadelphia region who has been covering the healthcare field since 2004. References 1. Institutions and fellowship sponsors approved to receive GRE scores. ETS. 2018. Accessed online: www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores/send/aidi_fellowships 2. Cates L. Grad school entrance exams: what prospective students need to know. U.S. News & World Report. 2017. Accessed online: www.usnews.com/educa- tion/best-graduate-schools/articles/2017-03-14/graduate-school-entrance- exams-what-prospective-students-need-to-know?int=a7e309&int=951908 3. Anatomy of an applicant. AAMC. 2018. Accessed online: https://stu- dents-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/preparing-med-school/ anatomy-applicant GRADUATE EXAMS  |  FOCUS ON EDUCATION Ever wonder what makes a hospital special– what truly sets it apart? We think we know. We see it in Skilled Nursing, where young hands meet the old. We see it in ER and soft hands comfort the rough. We see it in OB as capable hands touch the tiny - for the very first time. We see it in smiles, in tears, in laughter and in pain. But most of all, we see it in the hands of those who work here - the welcoming, wonderful hands of our Humboldt General Hospital family. If you’re looking to finally practice in a place where curing and caring go hand in hand, look no further than Humboldt General Hospital. 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