It’s T minus four days until exam day, and Travis Driscoll is practically living at his desk.
“Each day, I’m easily here for five hours,” he says. “I haven’t done much of anything else but studying for the last two months.”
Driscoll is one of 13,000 medical school applicants across the U.S. taking the new Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT. He’s got stacks of science books on his desk to help him prepare, and a rainbow of biochemistry charts pasted to the walls: glycolysis, citric acid cycle, electron transport chain, mitosis, meiosis and DNA replication.
He also has a thick prep book on psychology and sociology -– new ground for this year’s MCAT takers.
The test has been thoroughly revamped and is now three hours longer. It takes 7 ½ hours to complete, including breaks, and covers four new subjects, including a combined section on psychology and sociology, that account for a quarter of the overall score.
Photo credit: April Dembosky/KQED