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Preparing for Entrance Exams in Health Sciences

Preparing for Entrance Exams in Health Sciences

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Preparing for Entrance Exams in Health Sciences

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  1. Preparing for Entrance Examsin Health Sciences Explore Center Love South 127 explorecenter@unl.edu 402-472-3605

  2. Entrance Exam • Different exams • Science based • General critical thinking and analytical ability • Timed, standardized, multiple-choice • Science based exams (MCAT/OAT/DAT/PCAT) • Designed to assess problem solving, critical thinking, and writing skills • Content areas can represent a combination of the subjects • Biological Sciences • Physical Sciences (not just physics) • Reading Comprehension/Verbal Reasoning • Writing • Perceptual Ability (DAT)

  3. Preparing for the Exam • Complete all content related course work for exam • Program prerequisites may not be same as EXAM prerequisites • Review materials will not teach the information if you do not already have it • Examples • PCAT requires 2 semesters of organic chemistry • MCAT has cell structure and physiology • DAT has cell structure/biology, math • Review topic guides and information materials to assess if all material has been covered • Examples

  4. Preparing for the Exam • Full-Length Practice Test • Assess what you know • Understand testing format • Learning style • Individual v. Commercial • Practice • Content • Timed conditions • Exam format (computer vs. paper/pencil)

  5. General Exam Details • Registration on line • Timing • Generally 1 year in advance of matriculation • Set dates (PCAT, MCAT) • Flexible scheduling (DAT, OAT) • Consider potential exam repeat – policies differ when you can sit for another exam

  6. General Exam Details • Fees • Range by exam • Good for single setting • Good for specific # of score releases also called Official Score Transcripts or Official Score Reports • Release scores • Centralized application (MCAT – allopathic; request release to AACOM, CASPA, VMCAS, or other services that accept MCAT) • Schools through centralized application (DAT, OAT, PCAT) • Schools specifically (PCAT if not participating in PharmCAS) • Advisers

  7. Break Down Specific Exam Details • Survey of attendees • Who will be taking • MCAT? • PCAT? • DAT? • OAT?

  8. MCAT

  9. MCAT Exam Details • Required for almost all U.S. medical schools • Check school specific information • Searchable MSAR guide available through AAMC www.aamc.org/students/mcat • ½ day, multiple choice exam • 3 content areas (scored 1-15 with 45 composite maximum) • Verbal Reasoning, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences • Writing Sample (scored J-T)

  10. MCAT Exam Details continued • Requires at least • 1 year each - general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics • College level reading and writing across curriculum • AAMC Website – great prep information • On-line practice exams • MCAT Essentials – the official MCAT exam policy guide as PDF on website • The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam • http://www.aamc.org/students

  11. MCAT Exam Details continued • Test Dates • 25 sessions in 2013 • Morning, afternoon, double administrations • Computer Based Test • Take up to 3 times per year • Only one registration open at a time • Fees • $270 • Scores reported in approx. 30-35 days

  12. MCAT 2015 • Essential information • Completely new MCAT • AVOID THE RUMOR MILL • Use www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/mcat2015/ as a resource for learning more about it • Preview Guide available • Videos with more information • Timeline for the new test roll out • BIOC will be required for this MCAT

  13. PCAT

  14. PCAT Exam Details • Not required for all schools • Check school specific information • Table 9 on PSAR guide on AACP website http://www.aacp.org/resources/student/pharmacyforyou/admissions/Pages/PSAR.aspx • ½ day, multiple choice exam • 5 content areas (48 questions each – 40 are scored and 8 are experimental) • Verbal Ability, Biology, Quantitative Ability, Chemistry, Reading Comprehension • (200-600 per subset; 400 average) • 1 writing section (scored 1.0-6.0) • Conventions of language and problem solving skills

  15. PCAT Exam Details continued • Requires at least • 1 year general biology • Includes topics in microbiology, genetics, anatomy and physiology • 1 year general chemistry • 1 semester organic chemistry (2 strongly recommended) • Includes basic BIOC processes • 1 semester calculus • Main Website - http://www.pcatweb.info • Candidate Information Booklet (CIB) • Practice Exam available at main website • Examinees who took the Official PCAT Practice Test scored higher on actual PCAT (per AACP)

  16. PCAT Exam Details continued • Test Dates • Offered 9 times a cycle • July (2 dates), September (5 dates), January (2 dates) • When you take exam depends on course work and last one accepted by schools • Fee (includes 3 score releases) • $199 • Unofficial score of multiple choice sections available at time of exam • Official M/C and Essays still scored by Pearson (within 6 weeks from day of test) • Request official scores to individual schools (if not PharmCAS) or schools through PharmCAS

  17. DAT

  18. DAT Exam Details • Required by all U.S. dental schools • ½ day (5 hours), multiple choice exam • Requires at least 1 year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry • ADA Website http://www.ada.org/dat.aspx • DAT Guide online has content and test information • DAT Sample Test Items • Practice test available

  19. DAT Exam Details continued • 4 content areas (score range 1-30; 17 average) • Natural sciences (biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry) (100 questions - 40, 30, 30 respectively) • Perceptual ability (two- and three-dimensional problem solving (90 questions) • Reading comprehension (science based) (50 questions) • Quantitative Reasoning (mathematical problems in algebra, numerical calculations, conversions, etc.) (40 questions) • Take as much biology and chemistry content as possible before the exam • Physics is required for dental school, not the DAT

  20. DAT Exam Details continued • Computer based exam • Examinees who have attended three or more tests must apply for special permission to retest • No set testing dates • 90 day wait period for re-examination • Fee - $360 • Releases scores to all selected on application • To register for exam, must first request DENTPIN • DENTal Personal Identifier Number • http://www.ada.org/prof/ed/testing/dentpin/index.asp

  21. OAT

  22. OAT Exam Details • Required by all U.S. optometry schools • ½ day, multiple choice exam • Requires at least 1 year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, college level math • ASCO Website http://www.opted.org/ https://www.ada.org/oat/index.html

  23. OAT Exam Details continued • 4 content areas (scored 200-400 per section; 300 average) • Natural sciences (biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry) (100 questions – 40, 30, 30 respectively) • Reading comprehension (science based) (40 questions) • Physics (40 questions) • Quantitative Reasoning (40 questions

  24. OAT Exam Details continued • Computer based exam • No set testing dates • No limit on # of times taking exam • 90 day wait period for re-examination • Fee • $226

  25. Contact Us! Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center “THE EXPLORE CENTER” Love South 127 402-472-3605 explorecenter@unl.edu