Mastering the AAMC PREview Exam

As the medical field continues to evolve, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has introduced a new requirement for aspiring medical students: the PREview Professional Readiness Exam. This exam aims to evaluate a premed’s non-academic qualifications, such as empathy, professionalism, communication skills, and ethical decision-making abilities. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the details of the aamc preview exam, including who needs to take it, how it’s scored, and effective strategies for preparation.

Understanding the PREview Exam

The PREview exam is a situational judgment test developed and administered by the AAMC. It was created to assess a premed’s awareness of effective and ineffective professional behaviors that are essential for success in medical school, residency, and their future career as a physician.

Unlike traditional exams that focus solely on academic knowledge, the PREview exam presents hypothetical scenarios that students may encounter in medical school. Examinees are required to evaluate the effectiveness of various behavioral responses to these scenarios using a multiple-choice format.

Who Needs to Take the PREview Exam?

Not every premed needs to take the aamc preview exam. Whether or not you need to take the test depends on the requirements of the medical schools you’re applying to. In 2023, only 8 medical schools required the PREview exam, while 11 schools recommended it. However, the AAMC anticipates a significant increase in adoption from schools in the future, with estimates suggesting that over 80% of applicants will apply to at least one school that requires or recommends the exam.

It’s crucial to regularly check the list of participating schools on the AAMC website, as more institutions may be added closer to the application deadlines.

Exam Format and Scoring

The aamc preview exam consists of 30 scenarios with 186 multiple-choice questions. Examinees are required to rate the effectiveness of various behavioral responses to each scenario on a 4-point scale, ranging from “very ineffective” to “very effective.”

The exam takes 75 minutes to complete, with an additional 15-40 minutes allocated for administrative activities and instructions. Scores range from 1 to 9, with 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest. Your score is based on how closely your effectiveness ratings align with those of medical educators who established the scoring key during the exam’s development.

In addition to your total score, you’ll receive a confidence band and a percentile rank, which indicate the range in which your score lies and the percentage of examinees who scored the same or lower than you, respectively.

Preparing for the PREview Exam

While it’s impossible to study for the aamc preview exam in the traditional sense, there are effective strategies to prepare for it. The AAMC provides sample scenarios and practice tests that reflect the actual exam format and content. Working through these practice materials is essential to familiarize yourself with the types of situations you’ll encounter and to understand the scoring rationale.

Additionally, it’s recommended to simulate the exam environment by completing practice tests within the allotted 75-minute timeframe. Familiarizing yourself with the remote-proctored online experience, reviewing the exam’s policies and procedures, and watching the AAMC’s Test Day Experience video can also help ensure you’re fully prepared for the actual test day.


The AAMC’s PREview Professional Readiness Exam represents a significant shift in medical school admissions, emphasizing the importance of non-academic qualifications alongside academic excellence. By understanding the exam format, scoring process, and effective preparation strategies, premeds can enhance their chances of success on this new assessment and take a step closer to their dreams of becoming future physicians.