Tests taken on computer

By Christine Won

The old nightmares of SATs and ACTs return in college in the form of MCATs, LSATs and GREs.

Good news, though – for MCATs and GREs you will never again suffer a heart attack because you forgot to bring No. 2 pencils as you ran out the door at the crack of dawn one unfortunate Saturday morning.

These ancient pains-in-the-butt are conforming to the technology of the 21st century, and pencils are no longer required because the tests have been computerized.

The Medical College Admission Tests (MCATs) recently announced they are retiring the old paper and pencil in favor of becoming solely computer-based beginning January 2007. The MCAT will be delivered exclusively at Thomson Prometric computer-based testing sites.

MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice exam assessing the examinee’s problem solving, critical thinking and writing skills as well as his or her knowledge of science concepts and principles necessary in the field of medicine.

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    The computerized MCAT means the number of test administrations will increase from twice a year to 22 per year. The computerizing will also cut the test time in half. Also, scores will be reported in 30 days rather than 60 days. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) asserts MCAT will still retain its assessment powers.

    Paper formats of the MCAT were offered on campus up until 2006.

    However, MCATs are not currently being offered on campus because of this shift. For more information on the new testing format and complete list of testing sites, visit the AAMC Web site.

    The Graduate Record Examinations (GREs), not to be left behind, also promise to introduce significant changes September 2007, according to its Web site.

    GREs measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills.

    For students taking GREs, a Computer-Based General Test Center is available at the Fred H. Turner Student Service Building located at 610 E. John St. in room G-1. For more information, call 217-244-1342.

    At the University’s Testing Center, more than 2,000 students per year take the GREs, said Abbie Broga, director of the Testing Center.

    The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day standardized test measuring the examinee’s reading and verbal reasoning skills.

    Students taking the LSATs can still choose to take it on the campus by registering on the Web.

    Find more entrance test information online

    MCAT: Medical College Admission Test


    LSAT: Law School Admission Test


    GRE: Graduate Record Examinations