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The People vs AAMC - Lawsuit Pending

whibbitts

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If you took the January MCAT, received the faulty passage and are not satisfied with the AAMC's resolutions please email the below law firm detailing; what happened on test day, your reaction to the faulty passage (did you waste time trying to make sense of the illogical?, did you leave the test room to talk to the proctor while your test time was ticking?) how you think the faulty passage may have effected your test/ score etc. If you have questions about the legal process and participating in it, present your question to the firm, they are very easy to talk to.

For any of you naysayers out there, save your antagonist remarks for another thread, you'll be wasting your time try to discourage me. If you look at the thread "Questions/passage didn't match!!" you'll see that many before you have already attempted to convince me that; I'm wasting my time, there no legal case here etc. Obviously there is a legal case as several law firms have decided to collaborate in taking this on, law firms that just won an $11 million settlement in a standardized test case (http://www.fairtest.org/empltoc.htm).

To be clear, I have communicated to the law firms that my intention here is not monetary and that I what I seek is a timely resolution not a protracted law suit.

If you have no idea what this about go to the "Questions/passage didn't match!!" thread and bore yourself for hours with the ridiculous details. The bottom line is this; you can't give an unfair advantage to one group that got the faulty passage, by forewarning them, and score them equally against another portion of the population that got the faulty passage but was not forewarned, and call it a "standarized test". From the beginning I knew that it was unfair and illegal - having legal representation only validates my initial thought.

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Contact poster by PM if you want more information
 

mc4435

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There is no quote in that article from the AAMC saying that they announced to later test takers that they could ignore that passage. I have read quotes saying they contacted later test CENTERS saying students could ignore the passage.

I saw the message sent to the later test centers myself it said "If students ask about a passage involving birds and fish, tell them to try their best to provide an answer."

Everyone in my test center (Mountain time zone) was freaking out just like eastern time zone students, and when/if they asked the proctor about it, they were told to try their best to answer the questions. NEVER did the proctor make an announcement to us that if we get a messed up verbal passage we can ignore it.

And I could be mistaken, but I haven't seen anyone on this board say directly that they were forewarned about the passage and just ignored it.
 
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killinsound

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There is no quote in that article from the AAMC saying that they announced to later test takers that they could ignore that passage. I have read quotes saying they contacted later test CENTERS saying students could ignore the passage.

I saw the message sent to the later test centers myself it said "If students ask about a passage involving birds and fish, tell them to try their best to provide an answer."

Everyone in my test center (Mountain time zone) was freaking out just like eastern time zone students, and when/if they asked the proctor about it, they were told to try their best to answer the questions. NEVER did the proctor make an announcement to us that if we get a messed up verbal passage we can ignore it.

And I could be mistaken, but I haven't seen anyone on this board say directly that they were forewarned about the passage and just ignored it.

it has been documented here that some mcat takers said they were forewarned about the passage.

Malien said:
Woah...so THAT was what my proctor was asking me about.... I had the passage about birds but my questions matched...(at least I think so...either that or I was really out of it). About half of the people taking the test (there were only 8 or us) had problems with verbal. "

althought I did not take the mcat in january, I would be furious and If whibbitts feels this is the right thing to do, I dont see how we can tell him otherwise
 

MedStudentWanna

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Ironically, Whibbitts, by organizing a class action lawsuit against the AAMC the way you have, you've proved to every med school in the country that you have superior leadership skills. I wish you the best!

P.S. I'm just curious. What are you going to do if your verbal score is a 14 or something when you get your scores back? Are you going to drop the suit or keep going?
 

League54

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I'm personally glad for the lawsuit. Students have very few rights, and are too often left to the mercy of the institution with which they are dealing (i.e., the AAMC). The AAMC should be held accountable to something other than itself, and there is no more effective way to do this other than filing a lawsuit. They can't screw up the most important day in a large group of people's lives and not be held accountable. FIGHT THE POWER!
 
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deleted106503

What resolution are you looking for if not money? The AAMC is offering full refunds, the ability to retest before the application cycle kicks off, and the option of expunging the test results. What damages are you claiming? I just don't get what the lawsuit will accomplish.

I'm glad someone is bringing up a lawsuit. Offering a full refund and ability to retest is not enough. I took the August MCAT, which was the longer version, but I spent many months studying for it. I had a schedule of what to study and when along with practice tests (very important) right up to the point of the exam where I would be fresh. I had myself in a "zone" so to speak where I had studied the right amount of material with proper time management so it would align with the test date I had signed up for for many months.

Offering a refund and retest will throw off this "internal clock" so to speak. Some people I know even took vacation time off of work (can't get it again for a while) to study and get ready. Yes, they won't have to learn the material from scratch, but it screws up with people's study habits enough to affect the new results imo. And as I mentioned before--practice tests. Many students used them all up for the first examination and now it would be useless for a retest at a later date.

I hope this lawsuit doesn't get dropped. The AAMC has too much control over hopeful pre-meds that want to become doctors. They don't have a choice and must take the MCAT and must go through the AAMC's application process even though it can be a large hassle at times. A little off topic, but people should have choices such as SAT vs. ACT for college entrance instead of being forced to go through the AAMC.
 

DrBowtie

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I'm glad someone is bringing up a lawsuit. Offering a full refund and ability to retest is not enough. I took the August MCAT, which was the longer version, but I spent many months studying for it. I had a schedule of what to study and when along with practice tests (very important) right up to the point of the exam where I would be fresh. I had myself in a "zone" so to speak where I had studied the right amount of material with proper time management so it would align with the test date I had signed up for for many months.

Offering a refund and retest will throw off this "internal clock" so to speak. Some people I know even took vacation time off of work (can't get it again for a while) to study and get ready. Yes, they won't have to learn the material from scratch, but it screws up with people's study habits enough to affect the new results imo. And as I mentioned before--practice tests. Many students used them all up for the first examination and now it would be useless for a retest at a later date.

I hope this lawsuit doesn't get dropped. The AAMC has too much control over hopeful pre-meds that want to become doctors. They don't have a choice and must take the MCAT and must go through the AAMC's application process even though it can be a large hassle at times. A little off topic, but people should have choices such as SAT vs. ACT for college entrance instead of being forced to go through the AAMC.
Will, :confused:
You can still get it scored and standardized. It's not like they are making voiding mandatory.
 
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deleted106503

Will, :confused:
You can still get it scored and standardized. It's not like they are making voiding mandatory.

I know they don't make voiding mandatory, but how will they standardize it? I know we had 60 questions for VR back in August. Of course some of the questions were experimental, let's say 15 making 45 actually count.

Now the new MCAT VR is 40 questions, right? Do they still have experimental? Let's assume not. With the correct questions, let's say you get 7 right (say 7 question passage). For the other 33 questions, let's say you get 26 of them correct. With the correct question passage, you get 33 of 40 total, or 82.5% correct. Now say that the questions didn't match and you can't know the correct response so you can't get 7/7. They throw the passage out and you have 26 of 33 for the remaining, or 78.79% correct. So not giving you the opportunity to answer those can hurt you. Or vice versa it could've helped you if you did terrible and got all 7 incorrect. I don't see how they can standardize it so well with such a small number of questions with the new format on top of removing more questions.
 
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deleted106503

I'm pretty sure its standardized by passage or form so I don't think it will make much of a different when it comes to the scaled score. 75% on every form won't correspond to an 8.

Well, I think we agree that it won't make zero difference including or not including that passage for the test takers. It will make a difference, but as to how much, it would vary by person imo. Extreme cases would be if someone missed all 33 of 33 of the other questions, but would've got 7/7 if that passage had the correct questions. In that case, it would make all the difference. The opposite is if someone had the other 33 questions correct and would've gotten all the removed 7 correct so it didn't change anything. The gap between those two is pretty much every student and I think you could make a bell curve of students affected the least and most.

Other than that, there's one huge factor in there. Depending on where the passage was placed, a test taker could've spent more time than normal on that set trying to figure out what was going on. Wasted time will of course reduce the amount of time left on the other questions. On top of that, the test taker could've panicked and messed up the remaining questions they had. I know my proctor called "5 minutes" on the second writing sample when there was in fact 15. I actually corrected her and it was verified by the second proctor in the room. Needless to say, even though I knew there were 15 minutes instead of 5, I went into a little panic when she actually called "5 minutes" as I was writing (and not near complete). It took a couple minutes for me to settle down. I can't imagine what a test taker was going through when they saw a different set of questions in front of them. I know VR was my weakest part entering the exam and was already nervous enough. That would've really, really messed me up.

And I know people will say "well, you could've voided and gotten a refund." I'll just point to what I said earlier. People devote a lot of time to studying and taking practice exams at specific times right up to the test day. I went into the August MCAT with the mindset that I would not void unless something very odd happened (i.e. I had to leave the test site for other matters). I put too much time, effort, and money to just void at the drop of a hat.
 
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deleted106503

bowtie (bb), I'd do this if I was the AAMC: score all tests, but exclude that particular passage from those specific problem sites. Allow the affected students to see their score by individual section (not just like 30M, but 10, 10, 10, M) and THEN give them the option of a void, plus a refund, plus a retest. From what I've read in the posts above, it seemed like the AAMC was making the test takers follow the AAMC rules regarding the MCAT and voiding while the AAMC didn't follow their own rules by providing the proper test. It's not bending over backwards for the AAMC to allow a student to void after seeing their score given the circumstances.
 

DrBowtie

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Well, I think we agree that it won't make zero difference including or not including that passage for the test takers. It will make a difference, but as to how much, it would vary by person imo. Extreme cases would be if someone missed all 33 of 33 of the other questions, but would've got 7/7 if that passage had the correct questions. In that case, it would make all the difference. The opposite is if someone had the other 33 questions correct and would've gotten all the removed 7 correct so it didn't change anything. The gap between those two is pretty much every student and I think you could make a bell curve of students affected the least and most.

Other than that, there's one huge factor in there. Depending on where the passage was placed, a test taker could've spent more time than normal on that set trying to figure out what was going on. Wasted time will of course reduce the amount of time left on the other questions. On top of that, the test taker could've panicked and messed up the remaining questions they had. I know my proctor called "5 minutes" on the second writing sample when there was in fact 15. I actually corrected her and it was verified by the second proctor in the room. Needless to say, even though I knew there were 15 minutes instead of 5, I went into a little panic when she actually called "5 minutes" as I was writing (and not near complete). It took a couple minutes for me to settle down. I can't imagine what a test taker was going through when they saw a different set of questions in front of them. I know VR was my weakest part entering the exam and was already nervous enough. That would've really, really messed me up.

And I know people will say "well, you could've voided and gotten a refund." I'll just point to what I said earlier. People devote a lot of time to studying and taking practice exams at specific times right up to the test day. I went into the August MCAT with the mindset that I would not void unless something very odd happened (i.e. I had to leave the test site for other matters). I put too much time, effort, and money to just void at the drop of a hat.
I meant to say it won't make ANY difference in the numerical score by throwing out the questions. It can still be standardized.

I see you point about messing up timing and everything, but other things happen that can do that. Idiotic proctors, construction etc.

I don't see a parallel to the SAT case since the error was caught and acknowledged in a very short time frame.

What would the damages be for? I just don't see the suit having any grounds.
 

mc4435

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I understand that a lot of people are frustrated that the problem happened, but I don't understand what they expect to get out of a lawsuit. Suing AAMC implies that you don't think they handled the situation the best way they could have. They offered: a refund, a retesting, a void, a scoring of the test. I don't understand what else there is to do??? Besides just hand you over a 45 score, which is what I feel like is the only thing that will make you happy at this point. But it's not going to happen. And neither is getting money out of the AAMC - why should they pay you? Would you really be happy if you got money out of this? That would fix the problem?

I realize that the test didn't go 100% as easily as it could have for you. But that's the way the MCAT has been for years - many people claim that how well you do on the test depends on if you get an easier form than others. I just feel like it's a bit of an opportunistic way to act - becoming a doctor is not going to be easy and it's not going to be fair. It will be easier for some and harder for others, but we can't just start suing people over it.


Oh, and let's not forget that the AAMC was still able to provide an accurate score after all, making this whole thing even that much more ridiculous.
 

theothernguyen

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I do not see how suing and getting money will help you get back into the zone in terms of taking the test, so the suit is useless in this manner. However, I believe that it is useful in making AAMC wake up to what has happened, and I think it would be better if they just sued for legal fees and the ability of test takers to consider a retake or refund after the score is released, or something along that. I don't think money is an issue here.
 

estairella

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I understand that a lot of people are frustrated that the problem happened, but I don't understand what they expect to get out of a lawsuit. Suing AAMC implies that you don't think they handled the situation the best way they could have. They offered: a refund, a retesting, a void, a scoring of the test. I don't understand what else there is to do??? Besides just hand you over a 45 score, which is what I feel like is the only thing that will make you happy at this point. But it's not going to happen. And neither is getting money out of the AAMC - why should they pay you? Would you really be happy if you got money out of this? That would fix the problem?

They only offered a refund on the test, not on the amount of time most people spent studying for it. $2000 a month x 3 months x 500 students = $3 million.

You know how they could have handled the situation better? Not have made that reviewing error. I firmly believe that an organization which charges over $100 PER TEST has the financial ability to reduce the probability of error to null. One person checking the test probably has a 1/100 chance of missing an error as big as this, if you hire a team of 50 people, that's 1 in 100^50, in other words, 1 in a GOOGOL chance.

I realize that the test didn't go 100% as easily as it could have for you. But that's the way the MCAT has been for years - many people claim that how well you do on the test depends on if you get an easier form than others. I just feel like it's a bit of an opportunistic way to act - becoming a doctor is not going to be easy and it's not going to be fair. It will be easier for some and harder for others, but we can't just start suing people over it.

Actually, the test is standardized. How well you do should NOT depend on if you get an easier form than others. Many people claim I'm Jesus and the second coming is RIGHT NOW. Yeah, why aren't you quaking?

Oh, and let's not forget that the AAMC was still able to provide an accurate score after all, making this whole thing even that much more ridiculous.

If it's true that some later proctors told students "You should ignore that part" instead of "You should try your best", then it is impossible to provide accurate score. Jim James who "tried his best" missed the last passage because he spent a long time trying to figure out the screwed up passage. Suzy Susan who skipped that passage right away barely had time to finish the rest, inflating her score.

See the problem?

I'm not personally a fan of frivolous lawsuits, especially when people cry "emotional distress", but in this case...
a) AAMC screwed up, not the student
b) time and money were irreplaceably lost for which AAMC has provided no compensation

It's a solid case, as far as I can tell. No, life isn't fair. You could have the greatest dreams and aspirations and I could visit your house tonight, kick down your door, and shoot you dead in your sleep.

That's why we have this thing called justice.
 

estairella

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this becomes a double-edged sword then-->if more people pre-read the test, then there are more chances of a "security breach."
:cool:

House said people for four days with absolutely no outside communication in a facility with 50 offline computers and an in-house kitchen staff. Three days prior to the test (to test all the forms, rotate in groups), and the day of the testing administration.

Pay them $250 a day, that's $50,000 in total.

~2500 people took the test on Jan27th, 2500 * $100 = $250,000 - $50,000 = $200,000.

Of course, I bet that would be a "bad financial decision" from some MBA graduate in the AAMC.
 
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For any of you naysayers out there, save your antagonist remarks for another thread, you'll be wasting your time try to discourage me. If you look at the thread "Questions/passage didn't match!!" you'll see that many before you have already attempted to convince me that; I'm wasting my time, there no legal case here etc. Obviously there is a legal case as several law firms have decided to collaborate in taking this on, law firms that just won an $11 million settlement in a standardized test case (http://www.fairtest.org/empltoc.htm).

I hope you reviewed what past basis for lawsuits have had b/c the suit you are referring to has nothing to do with a "test" taking situation. This was for compensation for teachers who were told they failed an exam when they didn't. Not exactly the best precedent for case law (the future SAT lawsuit is based on the same premise of the scoring error).


You have a right to be pissed, I'm sure I would be. But seriously ... wasting time and effort on something like this that really won't have ton of merit in helping you get into school. I know someone has to take the initiative for AAMC to stand up to their mistake. I think that they should give the a refund for all as well as the option for a free test in my opinion. Which maybe a lawsuit will require (if this even goes to court or should I say "when"). I just hope that those who did get this passage don't get jaded by their experience and it ruins their life try to get compensation where you've spent more time and effort crying about your "horrible" situation rather than just getting on the horse again. As well as not all student will probably stand firm against this mistake (read: join the suit) so I wonder if the numbers will help.

I wonder if AAMC will chalk this up to "experimental passages" :smuggrin: Stuff like this happens all the time but you never hear about it b/c its not on a wide basis like this when the questions are THAT far off base. But did AAMC make a mistake? Sure they did ... but what do you want for compensation other than retaking the test and the chance to void? I could go on but I'm sure some people would take offense to my viewpoint that if you can't stand the pressure ... not to be harsh or cynical but that I was being realistic. (we all know that not all pre-meds are type B personalities! :laugh: )

When it comes down to this world, **** happens and sometimes when you get lemons you have to make lemonade. Or as most people do, just claim damages and then you can hope to get paid if you have been injured. :rolleyes:
 

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MCAT Test-Publishing Oversight Remedied
If you were among the examinees who sat for the MCAT on January 27, you may have noted a passage that did not relate to the subsequent questions. Please be assured that we will be able to provide you with valid scores after eliminating the problem items.

Approximately four percent of examinees voided the exam at the test center. If you were among this group, we understand that you may now wish to reverse this decision based on the knowledge that valid scores can be still be obtained.

We also realize, though, that some of you may believe your performance was negatively impacted, regardless of the validity of the scores, and would now like to void the test. If you would like to pursue this opportunity, you will receive a full refund and the voided test will not count against your yearly maximum attempts of three.

For those of you who voided your exam and now wish to obtain your scores, or for those who did not void your exam and now wish to do so, please know that the AAMC has mailed letters to all affected examinees with instructions for taking advantage of these options. Please allow for mailing time. The deadline for the AAMC to receive your reply is February 15, 2007.

The MCAT staff wishes to assure all examinees that publishing errors occur very infrequently and that technological systems are in place to quickly identify and rectify the situation. This particular problem has been resolved and should not recur. Please contact MCAT Examinee Services if you have any questions: (202) 828-0690.


For your reading pleasure for those unaware of what the AAMC is doing about their screw up.
 

Beau Geste

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Being reimbursed for monetary expenses related to studying is not going to happen, especially since the AAMC now offers many different test dates that put you at the same advantage for application. Sure you scheduled a certain date, but you weren't studying for a particular test out of the many random ones you could have been given. And by this logic, students who cancel shortly before or with no warning should have to pay AAMC for their wasted time.

Stuff happens. The courts do acknowledge that mistakes are made everyday without malicious intent. The AAMC has offered to make good on the MCAT for those who were affected as discussed many times before.

My money is on this lawsuit going nowhere. And anyone who thinks they're going to be compensated for "aggravation" can think again.
 

babycapybara

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i agree that a lawsuit might be extreme, but i also don't think what the aamc is offering is enough. if you will read all the posts about this subject by the people involved, you'll see that for many students there isn't an option to retake the test until june as many april sites are full. In my opinion the best thing for the aamc to do is offer a retake now. why should we have to wait until june or july because of their mistake?
 

mc4435

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They only offered a refund on the test, not on the amount of time most people spent studying for it. $2000 a month x 3 months x 500 students = $3 million.

Why would the AAMC reimburse you for a prep class that you didn't HAVE to take? No one made you take that, and it's completely possible for you to take the test without it. Take the situation to a hypothetical extreme to make this point clear: if I paid a private tutor $5 million to prepare me for the test, would AAMC be responsible for reimbursing me that 5 million? No, because they never made me spend that money, which was completely unnecessary for me to spend in the first place. The only money they made me spend was the $210 to register for the test, for which the AAMC has gladly offered a refund.

I'm not personally a fan of frivolous lawsuits, especially when people cry "emotional distress", but in this case...
a) AAMC screwed up, not the student
b) time and money were irreplaceably lost for which AAMC has provided no compensation

With this same principle as above, the AAMC never made you study for the test for even one minute. In fact, it's technically possible that someone could walk into the test without having ever studied and not miss a single question. So should the AAMC have to pay for you studying for 4 months? No, because you didn't HAVE to in order to take the test. Take it to an extreme again to see how ridiculous the idea is: should the AAMC be reimbursing you for your entire college education, which undoubtedly contributed to the knowledge that you were counting on going into the test? No way.
 
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deleted106503

...I think that they should give the a refund for all as well as the option for a free test in my opinion...

I agree with you on that. I don't see how anyone would want to sue for millions and I wouldn't agree with that. IMO, the AAMC should score all exams with the bad passage and allow the test takers to see their scores by section. If they're not happy, allow them to void the test, which is something the AAMC hasn't done in the past. If the test taker is happy, then there's no problem. If they're not happy, provide a full refund PLUS a free exam in the future at the most convenient time for the test taker--not AAMC. So I guess the total cost would be $210 per refund plus $210 per free exam. A little over $200k if it affected 500 people.
 

Beau Geste

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I agree with you on that. I don't see how anyone would want to sue for millions and I wouldn't agree with that. IMO, the AAMC should score all exams with the bad passage and allow the test takers to see their scores by section. If they're not happy, allow them to void the test, which is something the AAMC hasn't done in the past. If the test taker is happy, then there's no problem. If they're not happy, provide a full refund PLUS a free exam in the future at the most convenient time for the test taker--not AAMC. So I guess the total cost would be $210 per refund plus $210 per free exam. A little over $200k if it affected 500 people.

That will never fly in a court of law. The whole point is to make someone "whole". They become "whole" by either getting a refund and not taking the exam, or by taking it at another date. The law does not entitle you to get something for free because of a mistake like that.

I should go MD/JD :smuggrin:
 
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deleted106503

That will never fly in a court of law. The whole point is to make someone "whole". They become "whole" by either getting a refund and not taking the exam, or by taking it at another date. The law does not entitle you to get something for free because of a mistake like that.

I should go MD/JD :smuggrin:

Well, the courts may not be able to force that, but many businesses still give refunds as well as the good/service for free at that point or a later time. I think the AAMC should still do it regardless of what the courts rule. Better to get it settled out of court regardless to save time and money.

For the businesses that are at fault, they usually provide the customer a refund as well as the good or service for free at a later date. Why? Because they don't want to lose that customer. The business will take their lumps now to keep a repeat customer.

Why won't the AAMC probably do this? Because they're a monopoly and they know it. They don't have to do jack **** unless someone tries to sue them. That's my problem with the AAMC. Tens of thousands are literally forced to use their service to get into a med school in the US. That's why I prefer there be another option to the MCAT. Sort of like ACT and SAT choices for undergrad. I'm not a fan of the AAMC if you have already noticed. :)

Imagine if this mistake happened with the SAT. The students would get a refund most likely. What would they do? Sign up for the SAT again? I doubt it. I'd go to the ACT instead. This can't happen for the MCAT and you're forced to pay again for the same garbage service. That's pretty f'd up imo...
 
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mc4435

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I agree with you on that. I don't see how anyone would want to sue for millions and I wouldn't agree with that. IMO, the AAMC should score all exams with the bad passage and allow the test takers to see their scores by section. If they're not happy, allow them to void the test, which is something the AAMC hasn't done in the past. If the test taker is happy, then there's no problem. If they're not happy, provide a full refund PLUS a free exam in the future at the most convenient time for the test taker--not AAMC. So I guess the total cost would be $210 per refund plus $210 per free exam. A little over $200k if it affected 500 people.


That is not a viable solution because of this situation: someone who was really not prepared for the test and did bad in general (NOT due to the error) could see their score and have the option of voiding if they got the messed up test. I wouldn't exactly call that fair.
 
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deleted106503

That is not a viable solution because of this situation: someone who was really not prepared for the test and did bad in general (NOT due to the error) could see their score and have the option of voiding if they got the messed up test. I wouldn't exactly call that fair.

Well, I wouldn't call it fair what the AAMC put some students through with the wrong passage, would you?

And FWIW, it's always better to let the students who really did bad that time to get off scott free than to screw students who were truly hurt. Does that sound familiar? Yeah, just like our legal system and prisons. To keep from putting innocent people in prison, some of those who are guilty are actually free. The gov't would rather have a few criminals out free than have them in prison along with innocent people.
 

estairella

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Why would the AAMC reimburse you for a prep class that you didn't HAVE to take? No one made you take that, and it's completely possible for you to take the test without it. Take the situation to a hypothetical extreme to make this point clear: if I paid a private tutor $5 million to prepare me for the test, would AAMC be responsible for reimbursing me that 5 million? No, because they never made me spend that money, which was completely unnecessary for me to spend in the first place. The only money they made me spend was the $210 to register for the test, for which the AAMC has gladly offered a refund.

I was basing $2000 on lost wages per month (maybe a little extreme, some study less, some earn less, but then some study more and some earn more). Time is money, while many people can hold a full-time job and take care of 3 kids while studying for five exams, many people can't. When I took the pen-and-paper in August, I chose between a) studying for the MCAT, b) doing an NSERC. For me, it was either/or. The value (monetary and experiential-wise) of the NSERC was lost towards MCAT studying. I am not saying the MCAT should compensate each individual for their own specific losses, but they should recognize that there has been SOME loss and compensate accordingly (3 months of loss to be exact; see below).

With this same principle as above, the AAMC never made you study for the test for even one minute. In fact, it's technically possible that someone could walk into the test without having ever studied and not miss a single question. So should the AAMC have to pay for you studying for 4 months? No, because you didn't HAVE to in order to take the test. Take it to an extreme again to see how ridiculous the idea is: should the AAMC be reimbursing you for your entire college education, which undoubtedly contributed to the knowledge that you were counting on going into the test? No way.

Umm, have you read the AAMC MCAT Student Manual? They themselves recommend you spend ~3 months studying for the exam, which is what I based 3 months on.

-----------------

Let's take it to another extreme, let's say someone (whibbitts) decides to retake the test, for free, from AAMC. The earliest date he manages to book is June. The SAME PROBLEM OCCURS, except this time in a PS section.

Now, according to you, the AAMC should just do what is "reasonably just" - give whibbits the exact same option as the first time. So, let's see, he'll either take it or book it for NEXT January, in which case that's a year's worth of stress all for nothing. Hmm, and you don't see any problem with that?

After all, if you think the problem is acceptable once, what makes it unacceptable the second time? (AAMC could claim "a streak of bad luck"). Innocent mistake, right?

There is *NOTHING* preventing AAMC from making the same mistake again except
a) pressure from its representative medical colleges/universities (a faulty test is a nonstandardized test is a test that can't be used for admissions)
b) threat of financial loss (i.e. lawsuit)

megboo: I believe in US civil court, you don't need malicious intent to be held liable for damages. Willful ignorance will do. It's not a hard case to argue that such a big mistake (we're not taking about a question with no correct answer here) should have been caught and was not.

-----------------

Look, I'm realistic. I don't know how far this lawsuit will get (I'm Canadian and we're a much less ligitious folk) but probably not very far. However, I do firmly believe that what the AAMC has done so far was insufficient given the amount of trouble they caused. I'm sure the "premed" thing to do is to suck it up, ignore it and keep working hard, because I'm sure we'll all had times when that's what it feels like we're doing. But I think there also times when it's appropriate to stand up and make your voice heard.

If whibbitts is not afraid to stand up to the AAMC (one of the "gateways" to medicine), then maybe he won't be afraid to stand up to pharmaceutical companies looking to make a quick buck or political-think-tanks looking to change public perception either. And that deserves respect, in my opinion.
 

Beau Geste

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Well, the courts may not be able to force that, but many businesses still give refunds as well as the good/service for free at that point or a later time. I think the AAMC should still do it regardless of what the courts rule. Better to get it settled out of court regardless to save time and money.

For the businesses that are at fault, they usually provide the customer a refund as well as the good or service for free at a later date. Why? Because they don't want to lose that customer. The business will take their lumps now to keep a repeat customer.

Why won't the AAMC probably do this? Because they're a monopoly and they know it. They don't have to do jack **** unless someone tries to sue them. That's my problem with the AAMC. Tens of thousands are literally forced to use their service to get into a med school in the US. That's why I prefer there be another option to the MCAT. Sort of like ACT and SAT choices for undergrad. I'm not a fan of the AAMC if you have already noticed. :)

Imagine if this mistake happened with the SAT. The students would get a refund most likely. What would they do? Sign up for the SAT again? I doubt it. I'd go to the ACT instead. This can't happen for the MCAT and you're forced to pay again for the same garbage service. That's pretty f'd up imo...

Williams, most companies don't do both. Not as a general rule. I've had cancelled flights, rude customer service reps, etc. and have maybe gotten a free meal, but it's not like it cost the company very much. For the SAT, if this sort of thing happened, there would be the same general outcomes. SAT would not refund money if the student opted to keep his/her score or retake. Services were rendered.

I realize you're not a fan, which is why courts mediate this sort of thing rather than those who are off on a witch-hunt for the AAMC. There are two sides to this situation, and it looks like the AAMC is doing everything it can in light of the situation. Except maybe making exclusive re-take dates for those affected.

I'm not a fan of having to jump through hoops in applications either, and the AAMC is part of that. But just looking at this situation, it is what it is. You can see some good examples of contract cases on any of the network afternoon judge shows, and this is a contract case. I have had to educate myself on general contract issues because I provide a fee-for-service business, so I do know what I'm talking about. Really.
 

Beau Geste

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I was basing $2000 on lost wages per month (maybe a little extreme, some study less, some earn less, but then some study more and some earn more). Time is money, while many people can hold a full-time job and take care of 3 kids while studying for five exams, many people can't. When I took the pen-and-paper in August, I chose between a) studying for the MCAT, b) doing an NSERC. For me, it was either/or. The value (monetary and experiential-wise) of the NSERC was lost towards MCAT studying. I am not saying the MCAT should compensate each individual for their own specific losses, but they should recognize that there has been SOME loss and compensate accordingly (3 months of loss to be exact; see below).

you would never recoup lost wages on something that is not mandatory.


Umm, have you read the AAMC MCAT Student Manual? They themselves recommend you spend ~3 months studying for the exam, which is what I based 3 months on.

The aamc also clearly states its refund-retake policy, which you agree to by taking the test.

megboo: I believe in US civil court, you don't need malicious intent to be held liable for damages. Willful ignorance will do. It's not a hard case to argue that such a big mistake (we're not taking about a question with no correct answer here) should have been caught and was not.

this was not willful ignorance. In fact, in small claims courts, this case would be over in a heartbeat since everyone who takes the test agrees to the AAMC's terms and conditions, including page 15 of the MCAT Essentials document where they clearly state their policy on remedies for errors. The top paragraph of the second column specifically states what they will do in a condition like this.

-----------------

However, I do firmly believe that what the AAMC has done so far was insufficient given the amount of trouble they caused.

I disagree. They have done what's outlined in their policy. That doesn't mean I :love:the AAMC, but I also think pre-meds do need to suck it up and learn to read what they agree to. Understand your options for weather cancellations, adverse testing conditions, and messed-up administrations such as this. Read the fine print.
 

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whibbits, are you voiding or keeping your score?

I'll be keeping my score. I really have no choice as I'm a small business owner and already sacrificed way too much time/money in preparing for the MCAT the first time. Taking it again in June is not an option.

I really enjoy all the thoughtful discussion everyone has contributed to this post - thank you. Discussion and dialogue within the community are the only real ways to reach to equitable solutions to problems. I wrote and called the AAMC staff several times to discuss the situation but only received automated responses or unfulfilled promises to get back to me soon. They refused to enter into any form of dialogue whatsoever and so left me with no recourse other than forcing them to come to the table with a lawsuit.

I think there are a variety of resolution options the AAMC could have offered that would have been more just - many of them have already been offered in this posting (or is it "thread" - believe it or not I had never used an online forum till January, 27th).

I also enjoy the speculation as to whether there is a valid legal case here or not. Hopefully it never sees a court room but I'm pretty sure that the 2 large law firms that will be representing the disgruntled MCAT slaves know the law better than any of us, and seeing as they are taking this case on contingency, I'd say they think there's something here.

If AAMC digs in their heels and decides to fight a protracted legal battle rather than come to a quick resolution, I will probably never see what I consider a fair resolution to my particular MCAT problem. However, it could set a precedent that at least brings them to the table a little faster next time their error disrupts 800 lives.
 

DrBowtie

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I was basing $2000 on lost wages per month (maybe a little extreme, some study less, some earn less, but then some study more and some earn more). Time is money, while many people can hold a full-time job and take care of 3 kids while studying for five exams, many people can't. When I took the pen-and-paper in August, I chose between a) studying for the MCAT, b) doing an NSERC. For me, it was either/or. The value (monetary and experiential-wise) of the NSERC was lost towards MCAT studying. I am not saying the MCAT should compensate each individual for their own specific losses, but they should recognize that there has been SOME loss and compensate accordingly (3 months of loss to be exact; see below).



Umm, have you read the AAMC MCAT Student Manual? They themselves recommend you spend ~3 months studying for the exam, which is what I based 3 months on.

-----------------

Let's take it to another extreme, let's say someone (whibbitts) decides to retake the test, for free, from AAMC. The earliest date he manages to book is June. The SAME PROBLEM OCCURS, except this time in a PS section.

Now, according to you, the AAMC should just do what is "reasonably just" - give whibbits the exact same option as the first time. So, let's see, he'll either take it or book it for NEXT January, in which case that's a year's worth of stress all for nothing. Hmm, and you don't see any problem with that?

After all, if you think the problem is acceptable once, what makes it unacceptable the second time? (AAMC could claim "a streak of bad luck"). Innocent mistake, right?

There is *NOTHING* preventing AAMC from making the same mistake again except
a) pressure from its representative medical colleges/universities (a faulty test is a nonstandardized test is a test that can't be used for admissions)
b) threat of financial loss (i.e. lawsuit)

megboo: I believe in US civil court, you don't need malicious intent to be held liable for damages. Willful ignorance will do. It's not a hard case to argue that such a big mistake (we're not taking about a question with no correct answer here) should have been caught and was not.

-----------------

Look, I'm realistic. I don't know how far this lawsuit will get (I'm Canadian and we're a much less ligitious folk) but probably not very far. However, I do firmly believe that what the AAMC has done so far was insufficient given the amount of trouble they caused. I'm sure the "premed" thing to do is to suck it up, ignore it and keep working hard, because I'm sure we'll all had times when that's what it feels like we're doing. But I think there also times when it's appropriate to stand up and make your voice heard.

If whibbitts is not afraid to stand up to the AAMC (one of the "gateways" to medicine), then maybe he won't be afraid to stand up to pharmaceutical companies looking to make a quick buck or political-think-tanks looking to change public perception either. And that deserves respect, in my opinion.

This is a completely different and hypothetical situation. Different actions would have to be taken obviously.
 
D

deleted106503

...You can see some good examples of contract cases on any of the network afternoon judge shows, and this is a contract case...

They're actually all retired judges and it's not actually a real court case that is recorded on state records. :) Just an arbitration where the two (real) parties want a resolution. Neither party has to pay the actual amount ruled upon since the show puts aside a certain amount of money (mainly from paid sponsors for tv) that is given to the party that is ruled to recieve money. :) But they do follow the actual laws and the retired judges do treat the cases as if they were in the real court of law.
 

dr.kicia

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like i said elier this law suit is a waste of time. No one will reimbure your lost wages, because you are taking the MCAT with a choice. No one tells you you should stop working for 3 month and prepare for the MCAT. If ppl could sue for lost wages for doing something they have free will to choose i would be a milionaire.
What will you gain from this? Money? Satisfaction in the rare instance if you win?
I don't think it is worth putting your doctor future at risk. And if you have time to sue AAMC you may as well commit 3 hrs a day to study and retake MCAT at the later date. If you were prepared on Jan 27th you will be even more prepared later.
OP look how much time you spend for writing on here, calling law firsm and trying to get this law suit going. Do you think this is good for the business you have and your family. You would probobly took less time just to review the info and retake the test.

Though i wish you all the best i think you will never win this case.
 

Beau Geste

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They're actually all retired judges and it's not actually a real court case that is recorded on state records. :) Just an arbitration where the two (real) parties want a resolution. Neither party has to pay the actual amount ruled upon since the show puts aside a certain amount of money (mainly from paid sponsors for tv) that is given to the party that is ruled to recieve money. :) But they do follow the actual laws and the retired judges do treat the cases as if they were in the real court of law.

This is the part I was referring to :)
 

Beau Geste

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like i said elier this law suit is a waste of time. No one will reimbure your lost wages, because you are taking the MCAT with a choice. No one tells you you should stop working for 3 month and prepare for the MCAT. If ppl could sue for lost wages for doing something they have free will to choose i would be a milionaire.
What will you gain from this? Money? Satisfaction in the rare instance if you win?
I don't think it is worth putting your doctor future at risk. And if you have time to sue AAMC you may as well commit 3 hrs a day to study and retake MCAT at the later date. If you were prepared on Jan 27th you will be even more prepared later.
OP look how much time you spend for writing on here, calling law firsm and trying to get this law suit going. Do you think this is good for the business you have and your family. You would probobly took less time just to review the info and retake the test.

Though i wish you all the best i think you will never win this case.

Good point. If the suit goes to court and he loses, will he sue the law firm? :smuggrin:
 
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deleted106503

Exactly!!! I don't think this law suit bares any grounds and think its actually kinda ridiculous.

We live in 'merica. Saying something like this case is ridiculous in the courts makes YOU sound ridiculous, lol. A lot of stupid crap actually goes to court and a ruling is made. Can you believe that if a father finds out "his" child isn't actually his because his wife cheated on him, he still has to pay child support if they divorce? That's what the court says. Pretty screwed up.

Or that caes in Georgia where that kid was put in jail for 10 years because he got a fellatio from a girl 2 years younger than he (he was 17, she was 15). Of course if they had anal or vaginal, he would've gotten much less than 10 years. For some reason, a fellatio just throws those judges into crazy mode.
 

theraball

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Exactly!!! I don't think this law suit bares any grounds and think its actually kinda ridiculous.

The silver lining to this whole sordid incident is that the op's name will be revealed, as a plaintiff, to hundreds of adcoms all across the country.

At a time when the AMA is trying to rein in medical malpractice litigation before it destroys the profession, here comes a group of applicants who want to sue over not a medical mistake but a clerical one. Undoubtedly someone will email the list of plaintiffs to every medical school; nothing wrong with that--it's public information. If you (op) believe what you're doing is right, you have nothing to worry about.

The final point that needs to be made is that these kids who are suing are mere pawns. It's the law firms that will make most of the money from any settlement. It's why they do what they do. The plaintiffs are merely a vehicle for the lawyers to "get" someone. This has nothing to do with justice or balance or fair play or even punishment. It has everything to do with money.

My advice to you, op, and others who are in this situation, is to suck it up, retake the MCAT if necessary, and make the most of your situation. AAMC has offered you a fair deal; what more can you ask from them? When (if) you get into medical school, and then rotations, and then residency, you will be constantly stepped on by your seniors. That's the ugly system that is American medical training. The MCAT mistake is going to be nothing but a little blip compared to the grueling experiences you will have later on. If you can't handle this situation with grace, I question your ability to survive later on.
 

gujuDoc

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The silver lining to this whole sordid incident is that the op's name will be revealed, as a plaintiff, to hundreds of adcoms all across the country.

At a time when the AMA is trying to rein in medical malpractice litigation before it destroys the profession, here comes a group of applicants who want to sue over not a medical mistake but a clerical one. Undoubtedly someone will email the list of plaintiffs to every medical school; nothing wrong with that--it's public information. If you (op) believe what you're doing is right, you have nothing to worry about.

The final point that needs to be made is that these kids who are suing are mere pawns. It's the law firms that will make most of the money from any settlement. It's why they do what they do. The plaintiffs are merely a vehicle for the lawyers to "get" someone. This has nothing to do with justice or balance or fair play or even punishment. It has everything to do with money.

My advice to you, op, and others who are in this situation, is to suck it up, retake the MCAT if necessary, and make the most of your situation. AAMC has offered you a fair deal; what more can you ask from them? When (if) you get into medical school, and then rotations, and then residency, you will be constantly stepped on by your seniors. That's the ugly system that is American medical training. The MCAT mistake is going to be nothing but a little blip compared to the grueling experiences you will have later on. If you can't handle this situation with grace, I question your ability to survive later on.

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: You my friend are RIGHT ON!!!!!! Thank god there are people with maturity and sense to realize such.
 
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