AAMC-MCAT Speededness Study I

The purpose of this study was to determine whether two sections of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Verbal Reasoning and Physical Sciences, are speeded as administered under the current operational time limits. That is, would examinees taking the MCAT under current conditions (i.e., number of test items and test administration time) benefit from additional test administration time.

Data were collected using a repeated-measures study design, in which examines were administered one multiple-choice section of the MCAT and told to stop once the operational time limit was reached. At that point, examinees were asked to put away their pencils, which were replaced with a red pen, and were given additional time (equal to one-half of the original operational administration time) to continue taking the test. Test scores were computed two ways: once based responses made during the operational administration time only, and once based on the number of items answered correctly throughout the operational and extended time period. Subjects were recruited from pre-medical students registered for the upcoming operational administration of the MCAT, and motivation was addressed by promising examinees feedback on their performance based on the operational test administration time and one dollar per item answered correctly based on the total test administration time.