MyOdyssey

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“Making the MCAT optional for the 2021 cycle, as some have argued, may be a workable option for some medical schools, but it would not result in a fair or equitable process across-the-board at this point. Of the 50,000 expected applicants to medical school this year, MCAT scores for 37,000 have already been transmitted to medical schools. Encouraging schools to waive the MCAT exam will introduce inequity into the review processes that are already underway at many medical schools and could ultimately disadvantage students from underrepresented and lower socioeconomic backgrounds by taking away their opportunity to take the exam and meaningfully compete with other applicants. AAMC data show that at least 3,600 examinees from these backgrounds who have already submitted their medical school applications are scheduled to take the exam on the remaining dates in August and September. The AAMC cannot in good conscience disadvantage these applicants based on little to no evidence of actual safety risk to examinees.

Switching to remote, online testing may be an option for the future, but right now, current technology cannot guarantee the legitimacy of the results, and there are significant access issues, such as poor broadband access in certain areas and slow computers.”
 
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“Making the MCAT optional for the 2021 cycle, as some have argued, may be a workable option for some medical schools, but it would not result in a fair or equitable process across-the-board at this point. Of the 50,000 expected applicants to medical school this year, MCAT scores for 37,000 have already been transmitted to medical schools. Encouraging schools to waive the MCAT exam will introduce inequity into the review processes that are already underway at many medical schools and could ultimately disadvantage students from underrepresented and lower socioeconomic backgrounds by taking away their opportunity to take the exam and meaningfully compete with other applicants. AAMC data show that at least 3,600 examinees from these backgrounds who have already submitted their medical school applications are scheduled to take the exam on the remaining dates in August and September. The AAMC cannot in good conscience disadvantage these applicants based on little to no evidence of actual safety risk to examinees.

Switching to remote, online testing may be an option for the future, but right now, current technology cannot guarantee the legitimacy of the results, and there are significant access issues, such as poor broadband access in certain areas and slow computers.”
I find it interesting that the letter references 50,000 expected applicants this year, in line with previous years. Back in April and May, the so-called SDN experts were predicting a big spike in applications, as typically happens during economic downturns, without regard to the fact that these last minute applicants would have had no time to prepare for a cycle.

I was told not to worry, plenty of people in the medical services field would have the prereqs and ECs necessary to viably seek to escape the situation by applying this year. Are they still expected and does Dr. Skorton not know what he is talking about, or was that yet another bad prediction from our experts who said this cycle would be hyper competitive as a result?
 
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MyOdyssey

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I find it interesting that the letter references 50,000 expected applicants this year, in line with previous years. Back in April and May, the so-called SDN experts were predicting a big spike in applications, as typically happens during economic downturns, without regard to the fact that these last minute applicants would have had no time to prepare for a cycle.

I was told not to worry, plenty of people in the medical services field would have the prereqs and ECs necessary to viably seek to escape the situation by applying this year. Are they still expected and does Dr. Skorton not know what he is talking about, or was that yet another bad prediction from our experts who said this cycle would be hyper competitive as a result?

Dr. Skorton?
 
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MyOdyssey

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I thought the prevailing SDN view was that this cycle would produce fewer applicants due to late/no MCAT scores and that the next cycle would take up the slack with more applications than usual.
 

Isomerase

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One of the AdComs (I think @gyngyn ) said that they have significantly more applications this year for being this point in the cycle. Although others have suggested that applicants are applying earlier this year due to COVID free time.
 
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LizzyM

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Number applying early and total number applying are two different things. The letter indicates that 37,000 have submitted applicantions with MCAT scores which is far more than the number of seats available to fill. If that's it for the season it will be more than enough to fill all the schools with highly qualified candidates. However, we may be on pace to get 50,000 total as is typical. This should surprise no one.
 
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MyOdyssey

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Number applying early and total number applying are two different things. The letter indicates that 37,000 have submitted applicantions with MCAT scores which is far more than the number of seats available to fill. If that's it for the season it will be more than enough to fill all the schools with highly qualified candidates. However, we may be on pace to get 50,000 total as is typical. This should surprise no one.

Is there any skewing of the distribution of applications from what you’ve seen toward fewer earlier submitted applications?
 
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Goro

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I thought the prevailing SDN view was that this cycle would produce fewer applicants due to late/no MCAT scores and that the next cycle would take up the slack with more applications than usual.
That's the prevailing pre-med view. Adcom members know otherwise.

When the economy tank, apps to med school go up. We're seeing this with AACOMAS as well.
 

Microbe_Hunter

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Poor internet being cited as a problem for virtual MCATs, but not for VITA, which I guarantee takes up more bandwidth. Hypocrisy at its finest from the AAMC
 
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squids82

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Poor internet being cited as a problem for virtual MCATs, but not for VITA, which I guarantee takes up more bandwidth. Hypocrisy at its finest from the AAMC
I understand the frustration as it’s a stressful time, but if one’s computer can’t handle VITA it also can’t handle the actual virtual interviews with schools which presents the greater issue for the individual
 
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That's the prevailing pre-med view. Adcom members know otherwise.

When the economy tank, apps to med school go up. We're seeing this with AACOMAS as well.
So why is the AAMC president saying apps are not going up this cycle? I understand several adcoms are reporting more completed applications earlier in the cycle this year, but don't you think the AAMC president would have a better view of the big picture than any individual adcom at any individual school?
 
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I understand the frustration as it’s a stressful time, but if one’s computer can’t handle VITA it also can’t handle the actual virtual interviews with schools which presents the greater issue for the individual
Yup, poor internet is just a poor excuse. The issue is, given how much emphasis many schools put on the score, they are just not going to trust us to not cheat given the opportunity. They know that given the current state of technology, cheating will be inevitable, just like it was at many UGs this past spring. Period. End of story. Anything else is just to be polite and not accuse us collectively of being less than 1,000,000,000% ethical.
 

MyOdyssey

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Yup, poor internet is just a poor excuse. The issue is, given how much emphasis many schools put on the score, they are just not going to trust us to not cheat given the opportunity. They know that given the current state of technology, cheating will be inevitable, just like it was at many UGs this past spring. Period. End of story. Anything else is just to be polite and not accuse us collectively of being less than 1,000,000,000% ethical.

There was cheating at UGs this past spring in online courses? Where have you seen this reported?
 
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MyOdyssey

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EdgeTrimmer

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Hard to believe that premeds are cheating in a system that's mandatory P/F. Doesn't make sense.
I believe he was referring to the schools which gave grades. It's known that test averages went up at most schools (for midterms and finals).
 
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I believe he was referring to the schools which gave grades. It's known that test averages went up at most schools (for midterms and finals).
No. What I'm saying is that I think at least some schools made P/F mandatory in response to seeing grades spike up, understanding what was happening, and realizing they were unable to control it.

It bears remembering, this isn't just pre-meds, and back in March nobody (not even the schools themselves) knew what was going to happen with grading. Students just saw an opportunity and took it. Those who didn't cheat were disadvantaged, and then some schools eliminated the incentive by going mandatory P/F.
 
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KatsuCurry

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There was cheating at UGs this past spring in online courses? Where have you seen this reported?

Is it not obvious that a tremendous amount of students cheat on online, unproctored exams?

There have been tons of cheating scandals. BU, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, and many more. Many have only gotten caught because they used Chegg and barely changed answers, so a professor could match answers to the ones posted online. Most student are not that dumb, and did things like collaborate with other testtakers or use google, actions that if done with any sort of moderate effort are impossible to catch.

Anecdotally, cheating was absolutely rampant at my school and the schools of my friends from high school. Many professors I talked to are suspicious but can't do anything about absurdly high test averages. At the end of the day, with how much pressure there is on students to get perfect GPAs, I can't see how rampant cheating in an unproctored environment isn't expected.
 
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MyOdyssey

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Is it not obvious that a tremendous amount of students cheat on online, unproctored exams?

There have been tons of cheating scandals. BU, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, and many more. Many have only gotten caught because they used Chegg and barely changed answers, so a professor could match answers to the ones posted online. Most student are not that dumb, and did things like collaborate with other testtakers or use google, actions that if done with any sort of moderate effort are impossible to catch.

Anecdotally, cheating was absolutely rampant at my school and the schools of my friends from high school. Many professors I talked to are suspicious but can't do anything about absurdly high test averages. At the end of the day, with how much pressure there is on students to get perfect GPAs, I can't see how rampant cheating in an unproctored environment isn't expected.

But pass/fail? Do they need to cheat just to pass?
 
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But pass/fail? Do they need to cheat just to pass?

I think the implication here was that schools went to pass/fail grading because of issues with cheating, not that pass/fail grading made cheating more rampant.
 
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MyOdyssey

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I think the implication here was that schools went to pass/fail grading because of issues with cheating, not that pass/fail grading made cheating more rampant.

I got the impression from the earliest post that cheating continued after P/F grading was instituted.
 
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I saw cheating all the time. In person, online, premeds, other students, PF, for a grade. It didnt matter. People without values everywhere see the need to cheat whenever possible :lame:
 
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I got the impression from the earliest post that cheating continued after P/F grading was instituted.
Yes, well, cheaters cheat. Even P/F, it's always easier if you don't have to do the work. You're only thinking about yourself and other pre-meds. This is widespread throughout education right now.
 

HopeP

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No. What I'm saying is that I think at least some schools made P/F mandatory in response to seeing grades spike up, understanding what was happening, and realizing they were unable to control it.

It bears remembering, this isn't just pre-meds, and back in March nobody (not even the schools themselves) knew what was going to happen with grading. Students just saw an opportunity and took it. Those who didn't cheat were disadvantaged, and then some schools eliminated the incentive by going mandatory P/F.
Can see how that may happen for semester system, for quarter system it was a cutoff between 2 Qs, so cheating was a non-issue. However winter Q hurt students who were banking big time on finals and those were canceled just 2 days before start and grades were given based on all the results until that point. Even before spring Q starts, it became P/F, so cheating is irrelevant.
 

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