How to Succeed on the AAMC PREview Situational Judgement Test
What is the PREview exam?
Formerly known as the AAMC Situational Judgement Test, PREview stands for Professional Readiness Exam. According to test administrators, PREview aims to “assess examinees’ understanding of effective pre-professional behavior across eight core competencies for entering medical school.”
These eight core competencies are:
Ethical responsibility to self & others
Resilience & adaptability
Reliability & dependability
Capacity for improvement
PREview falls into the same category as the CASPer, a test that also asks situational judgement questions. Unlike CASPer, however, PREview explicitly includes medical-related scenarios and is a multiple choice test—there are no free typed response or video response sections on the PREview exam.
What is the format of PREview?
PREview consists of 30 scenarios. The AAMC advises: “Each scenario is a short paragraph describing a situation that medical students may encounter during medical school….For each scenario, you should assume the role of a medical student.”
After reading the scenario, you will be asked to rank four to eight different potential responses to the situation (1= “very ineffective”, 2= “ineffective”, 3= “effective”, 4= “very effective”).
You can assign the same rating to multiple different responses as you see fit.
Very ineffective (1): “The response will cause additional problems or make the situation worse.”
Ineffective (2): “The response will not improve the situation or may cause a problem.”
Effective (3): “The response could help but will not significantly improve the situation.”
Very effective (4): “The response will significantly improve the situation.”
Here’s an example of an official PREview sample question:
How is PREview graded?
For each scenario, the test presents different possible responses to the situation. The ratings you choose are graded against the ratings of experts. Your overall score for PREview will fall somewhere between 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest).
The official scoring key for the above example scenario:
How long is PREview?
The test itself is 75 minutes long. You will be asked to log into your exam session 15 minutes in advance, to check-in and complete the examinee agreement. There is an optional post-test survey you may take as well.
What schools ask for PREview?
Medical schools that require the PREview exam:
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (requires PREview or CASPer)
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine
University of California at Davis School of Medicine
University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine
University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine
Medical schools that recommend PREview:
Carle Illinois College of Medicine*
Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science*
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
Des Moines University Medicine & Health Sciences
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
George Washington University School of Medicine
Morehouse School of Medicine
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine
University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
University of Virginia School of Medicine*
*This school accepts PREview for research purposes only. Applicants are not required to take it for admissions purposes.
What do I need to take PREview?
You will need:
An AAMC account
Valid government-issued photo ID
Desktop or laptop with functional microphone
A compatible, up-to-date browser (Google Chrome preferred but Mozilla Firefox okay)
ProctorU Extension downloaded on your browser of choice
Mirror or reflective surface (e.g. phone with front-facing camera) to show proctor your monitor
Is PREview a proctored exam?
ProctorU is a remote proctoring software that allows a third-party to observe you while you take the test. A list of behaviors that are prohibited while taking the test:
Leaving your seat
Talking (even to yourself)
Eating or drinking
Use of electronic devices other than your test-taking device
Looking at books, notes, or other written materials
You can learn more about the experience and logistics of taking a remote-proctored exam by watching the AAMC PREview Test Day Video.
How much does PREview cost?
PREview requires $100 to schedule a test. The cost of rescheduling is $25, and cancellations will result in a 50% refund. You can send your score to as many schools as you want at no additional cost.
When should I take PREview?
For the 2022-23 test cycle, there are five test windows:
June 22 & 23
July 14 & 15
August 3 & 4
September 14 & 15
September 22 & 23
Some schools use PREview scores for comprehensive evaluations of your application. For that reason, it may be beneficial for applicants to take it in the summer.
How can I prepare for PREview?
Thankfully, the AAMC has a number of official resources to help you succeed at PREview.
AAMC PREview Sample: sample instructions & two sample questions
2022 AAMC PREview Examinee Preparation Guide: overview of exam & how to prepare
2022 AAMC PREview Practice Exam Booklet: official practice exam & scoring key
PREview Test Day Experience Video: overview of logistics, including ProctorU
What other steps can I take to prepare for PREview?
The AAMC has provided wonderful resources to help applicants prepare. Here are a few other resources that we suggest.
It can be helpful to learn the basics of medical ethics in case you are faced with medical scenarios. This blog post provides an overview.
It may also be useful to learn about responding to situational judgement questions, especially if you're also required to take the CASPer exam.
If you'll be taking the PREview, we wish you the best of luck!
Dr. Rajani Katta is the creator of Medical School Interviewing 101, the course that teaches students how to ace their interviews. She is also the author of the Multiple Mini Interview: Winning Strategies from Admissions Faculty, the Casper Test Prep Guide, and The Medical School Interview. Dr. Katta is a practicing dermatologist and served as a Professor of Dermatology at the Baylor College of Medicine for over 17 years.
Jennifer Li-Wang is the author of The Casper Test Prep Guide and a graduate of Rice University with a double major in English and the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (SWGS). Jenny grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico and in her free time enjoys reading and running her small crochet business.