Monday, March 25

Kaplan offers new way to prepare for MCAT


Pre-med students can practice online with bank of 1000 questions

Pre-med students taking the Medical College Admission Test this
August will have a new weapon in their test-taking arsenal, said
Justin Serrano, executive director of Kaplan Test Prep in a
statement last week.

Kaplan Test Prep ““ which offers test preparation resources
from a high school to a graduate level ““ has launched the
MCAT Question Bank, or QBank, an online test aid program.

Most medical schools require pre-med students to take the MCAT
for medical school admission. The MCAT tests knowledge in
biological sciences, physical sciences and verbal reasoning.

According to a press release, QBank allows users to access a
database of 1,000 MCAT-style questions.

Students can customize practice tests and drills based on
specific needs, interests and performance, and can consult Kaplan
experts by e-mail for help.

QBanks have been launched in the past for students taking the
United States Medical Licensing Exam and the National Board Dental
Examination and have been growing in popularity.

"We now have more Step 1

Qbank test-takers than there are 2nd year medical
students/test-takers," said Karen Blass, a press aide for Kaplan,
noting that many international medical graduate students also use
QBank.

The MCAT QBank’s introduction stems from the growing
number of students taking the MCAT.

“The struggling economy and job market have contributed to
an increase in the number of students applying to graduate
programs,” Serrano said.

“With this increased competition, standardized test scores
are more crucial than ever, and busy students are looking for new
prep options to gain the competitive edge over their peers,”
Serrano added.

The press release cited the American Association of Medical
College’s statistics that the number of MCAT takers increased
from 29,571 in August 2001 to 31,942 in August 2002, a first-time
increase since 1996.

Although the number of test-takers may have increased, Lily
Fobert, an admissions officer for the David Geffen School of
Medicine, said applications to the school at UCLA have been
declining since 1995.

Fobert said 2002-2003 saw approximately 1,400 fewer applicants
than 1995.

And while some pre-med students think that QBank would be
helpful, many said an online test aid would not replace more
conventional “paper and pencil” ways of studying.

“The MCAT is still a paper and pencil test. It helps when
you have study materials that come close to the actual test,”
said third-year physiological science student Theresa Kim.

“It’s different on a computer,” Kim added.

Kaplan’s QBanks can be found at www.kaptest.com.

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