MCAT Correlation to USMLE

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MCAT Correlation to USMLE

Postby DrDave » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:46 am

Moving popular discussions from my old forums. There was a question inquiring whether anyone had information on people who did poorly on the MCAT but did well on the USMLE.

To summarize my response, I gave my own experience and then some limited literature on the validity of the MCAT and USMLE.

First, from what I recall, both tests explore both conceptual abilities and factual knowledge. The MCAT seemed to focus more on ability to integrate concepts from chemistry, biology, and physics, as well as a section to test reading comprehension. The year I took the MCAT was the first year for the essay, so I'm not sure how, if at all, med schools have started to incorporate those results.

USMLE, especially step I, seemed to test more factual knowledge. In my case, I do better with concepts than with specifics - therefore, my MCAT score was generally better than my Step I scores were. Step II and Step III seemed to get more concept based as you go along, and I did better with each Step. Again, this is my own opinion based on my experience. Also, the tests have likely changed some over time.

Also, in general there is going to be some correlation on these tests based on test taker characteristics - intelligence, test taking skills, test anxiety, and the fact they cover similar content areas - mostly the sciences.

As I think about it, I think I'll create one forum here specific for the MCAT related questions, as that seems to be a very common topic.
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Re: MCAT Correlation to USMLE

Postby DrDave » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:46 am

Okay - I'm still working out how I want to set up the site and provide the information I'm collecting. So, here's some links to abstracts of articles I found related to this question:

<links removed as I no longer host the abstracts>
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