COVID-19 Responses from Associations
Communication Sciences & Disorder
NAAHP Clearninghouse Website for COVID19
COVID Responses from Individual Programs
- MD and DO programs agreeing to accept pass/fail unconditionally
- DO School Responses
- MD School Responses – no longer being updated
- Dental School Responses
- Physician Assistant School Responses
- Veterinary School Responses
- Optometry School Responses
- Podiatry School Responses
- Pharmacy School Responses
Optional COVID-19 Questions in AACOMAS
- Did your school move to offering only online curriculum during the COVID-19 crisis?
- Did you have an opportunity to receive a letter grade for any of your courses taken during the COVID-19 crisis?
- The third is an open response essay question prompting applicants to describe how COVID-19 has impacted their pathway to medical school. The question is open ended and allows applicants up to 2500 characters for them to describe any academic, personal, financial or professional barriers that COVID-19 may have presented for them.
Changes to the 2021 AMCAS® Application Cycle Dates
The AAMC understands the many challenges faced by applicants as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The AAMC, with input and feedback from the admissions community, has decided to delay transmitting AMCAS® applicant data to medical schools by two weeks.
The application will open for applicants to begin completing their applications on May 4. Applicants will then be able to begin submitting their applications to AMCAS for processing on May 28. Transmission of these applications to medical schools has been moved from June 26 to July 10. This delay will give applicants additional time to complete their applications during this rapidly changing situation due to COVID-19. AMCAS does not expect this two-week delay to impact operations, including application processing and verification. Learn more and find updates on operations due to coronavirus restrictions on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and AMCAS page.
AAMC Fee Assistance Program Expands Income Eligibility Requirements Due to COVID-19
The AAMC strongly believes that the various costs associated with applying to medical school should not be a barrier. We are especially committed to helping aspiring physicians navigate the process during these especially challenging times due to COVID-19. With the economic situation we are facing, the AAMC has adjusted the eligibility criteria for our Fee Assistance Program. You may now be eligible for the 2020 Fee Assistance Program benefits if each household reported on your application has a 2019 total family income that is 400% or less than the 2019 national poverty level for that family size (previously set at 300% or less). Learn more.
As we quickly approach the April 30 launch date for the 2020-21 CASPA application cycle, I wanted to provide two quick but important updates to the application that have come as a result of COVID-19.
First, for those applicants who are unable to obtain official transcripts, CASPA will grant an exception and allow them to upload unofficial transcripts instead. Applicants will be shown on-screen text that provides detailed instructions for how to take advantage of the new Transcript Hardship option. This exemption should only be pursued if applicants are unable to have their official transcripts sent to CASPA from any regionally accredited, post-secondary college or university they attended. Furthermore, this exception should not be used to circumvent any administrative holds that have been placed on student accounts that prevent the distribution of official transcripts. More information about this process is available in the CASPA Applicant Help Center.
Second, PAEA has added a COVID-19 hardship essay to the CASPA application which will allow applicants to express how the pandemic has impacted their pathway to becoming a PA. This essay is optional, will be up to 2500 characters in length, and PAEA will continue to have the essay in CASPA for at least the next 5 application cycles.
Testing Center Responses
DAT Updates from ADEA
Is the DAT being administered?
Yes, beginning in May, the DAT is being administered by Prometric at a 50% capacity as it has been deemed an essential test. 50% of administrations in May and June were canceled; the cancelations were random based on the desk number assigned. The only way for appointments to be scheduled or rescheduled is through Prometric’s website. Here is the link for the DAT: www.prometric.com/test-takers/search/ada
Where is updated information about testing located?
- Here is the page where Prometric lists test centers that are closed: www.prometric.com/closures
- Here is the page where Prometric lists test centers that are open: www.prometric.com/site-openings
Will the ADA provide the DAT at home or at dental schools?
The ADA is discussing all options. At this time, neither option is a short-term solution and applicants should register for an on-site administration.
What is ADEA AADSAS doing in response to the testing administration shortage?
ADEA continues to have conversations with the dental schools about a collective response to the DAT and other COVID-19 related interruptions. The focus has been on supporting applicants and reducing anxiety. As other decisions are made, we will share the information in this community and with prospective applicants. All prospective applicants are encouraged to subscribe to the ADEA GoDental newsletter to receive updated information. The application will still open on May 12.
MCAT Updates from AAMC
|After reviewing state and local guidance, the AAMC and Pearson VUE have determined we are able to deliver the MCAT exam safely and in compliance with local requirements at this time. We will resume MCAT testing in all U.S. and Canadian locations on 6/19 and 6/20. We notified students today that their exams will continue as scheduled. We anticipate that testing will continue going forward, but we will be monitoring the health and safety guidance closely through September.|
|Students continue to have the option to reschedule their exam at no cost or cancel it for a full refund in the MCAT Registration System. Please encourage students to make the testing decision they feel most comfortable with and remind them that there are plenty of available appointments. If they prefer to test later this year, there are still many test dates remaining in 2020 with more than 14,000 appointments in June and July and more than 60,000 appointments in August and September.|
|The AAMC’s decisions about when to cancel or hold exams are informed by medical education and infectious disease experts in addition to the local advisories. We have worked with Pearson VUE to put in place rigorous health and safety measures at test centers to protect examinees. These include social distancing between workstations, during check-in, and in the common areas. Test center staff will conduct enhanced disinfecting procedures of workstations and equipment as well as the common areas and check-in points. All examinees and test center staff are required to wear masks. Gloves will be optional and hand sanitizer and tissues will be made available. You can read more about these health and safety precautions on Pearson VUE’s website.|
|Medical schools are putting in place flexible timelines and processes during this application cycle and are adjusting their policies to accommodate applicants who receive their MCAT scores later in the cycle. Please see the updated COVID-19 related admissions policies from MSAR.|
|We want to thank you for your patience during this especially challenging and difficult time. Please visit our MCAT Coronavirus page for more information and FAQs.|
We know how greatly your life has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to say that this is a frustrating and challenging time is an understatement. Preparing for the MCAT exam and applying to medical school takes sustained effort and careful planning over several years. The challenges of COVID-19 have regrettably made it difficult to provide more information to you sooner as you make plans to take the MCAT exam. We thank you for your patience and are glad to share these updates that will help you move forward with your plans for taking the MCAT exam and applying to medical school.
1.) Registration for the updated 2020 MCAT Testing Calendar will open on May 7, 2020. Please visit our website for more information.
2.) We are increasing the number of test appointments in an attempt to provide enough seats for everyone who wants to test in 2020 and to allow for safe social distancing practices in the test centers.
• Three new dates will be added to the testing calendar (June 28, September 27, and September 28).
• Exams will be held three times per day on all test dates for the remainder of 2020. Standard start times will be 6:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. each day. There may be some variations by test center. More information about start times, including start times for examinees who currently have 8:00 a.m. appointments, will be provided prior to registration opening.
3.) We are temporarily shortening the exam to 5 hours and 45 minutes for the remainder of 2020 test dates to accommodate the number of appointments offered per day at each test center.
• Some of the field test questions in each section have been removed, and some administrative items, such as the tutorial and the end-of-day survey, have been reduced or removed to shorten the length of the exam.
• We encourage you to use the online “Practice with MCAT Exam Features” tool to familiarize yourself with the exam functionality prior to test day in lieu of the tutorial. Visit the free resources section of the MCAT Official Prep Hub.
• The exam will not be easier or harder than the full-length exam. You will still be tested on all four sections of the exam and are responsible for knowing the same concepts and skills covered on the full-length exam.
• Scores are not changing. You will receive five scores from the exam: one from each of the four sections and one combined total score, just like examinees who took the full-length test.
• Please visit our website to learn more about the shortened exam and access helpful FAQs.
4.) Scores will be reported within approximately two weeks for exams held from June 19 through August 1. MCAT scores from other test dates will be reported to examinees and medical schools in the typical time frame, which is about four weeks.
5.) Decisions will be made next week about the status of the May 29 exams and will be communicated by email. We will continue to follow local and state health guidance to determine which locations will be affected. At this time we anticipate testing in some centers, but not all.
6.) Please keep in mind that as the spread of COVID-19 continues to be volatile, and testing may be affected in specific locations, according to the local health guidance. The health and safety of every examinee is our priority, and it is possible examinees may need to reschedule their exam for another date if conditions are deemed unsafe by local authorities. Social distancing and health and safety measures will be in place at test centers when testing resumes. Please visit the Pearson VUE website to learn more.
7.) All rescheduling fees have been waived for all exam dates for the 2020 MCAT testing year until further notice.
8.) The AAMC has been working closely with medical school admissions officers since the start of this pandemic, and they are very aware of the impact of COVID-19 on the admissions process and the delay of MCAT scores in students’ applications. AMCAS has also delayed transmitting applicant data to medical schools by two weeks (moving from June 26 to July 10) to give applicants more time to complete their applications. Medical schools will be flexible with their application deadlines and make their review processes as fair and equitable as possible during this unprecedented admissions cycle.
Please visit our MCAT Coronavirus Page for more information and FAQs as well as other ways the AAMC can support you through the application process this year.
We are wishing you and your loved ones good health during this truly difficult time for our nation. As the next generation of physicians, you are needed now more than ever, and the AAMC is proud to support you at every step throughout your medical school journey.
The MCAT Program
Robust health and safety measures will also be in place at the test centers when testing resumes.
ETS now offering remote GRE testing
GOOD NEWS! To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the GRE® General Test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering a GRE General Test at home option. The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the GRE General Test taken at a test center. It is taken on your own computer at home and is monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®
ETS/GRE Website: www.ets.org/s/cv/gre/at-home
Prometric will be offering remote PA-CAT testing – message from Exam Master
We have arranged with Prometric to allow PA-CAT candidates to use their remote proctoring system, ProProctor, for PA-CAT examinations. Remote proctoring technology has gained more favor in recent years and is becoming more widely adopted for higher stakes examinations. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies, for example, is looking closely at whether remote live proctoring is an acceptable delivery method for computer-based testing.
While some remote proctoring technologies do not involve the use of live, remote proctors, at Exam Master we believe that only live remote proctoring can be a suitable alternative to in-person testing. The ProProctor system from Prometric offers the following features:
- 100% live-monitoring
- Comprehensive environment readiness checks
- Live security agents
- Proactive protocols including device lockdown
- Record and review functionality.
In short, if you have students who need or desire to take the PA-CAT when the testing window opens May 1st, they will be able to do so with the availability of live proctoring. Due to the rapid change in circumstances, we do expect live proctored PA-CAT seats to be available initially on a limited basis. However, Prometric is taking concerted steps to scale up its remote proctoring capability to meet the demand.
Penn State Prehealth Responses
Committee Interview and Letter Process COVID-19 Response
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Penn State Committee Letters for 2021 matriculation will be based upon a remote (Zoom) meeting with the applicant. Supporting documents are still required.
For students requesting interview dates, we are reducing the number of required letters of recommendation to 2*, rather than the usual 3. We recognize that getting LOR from a health professional or faculty member could take longer than usual. Please be in touch after April 15th if you are still having difficulty getting letters.
To schedule your interview, on or after April 1, please call either 814-863-3889 or 814-865-7620 between the hours of 10AM – 5PM EST. DO NOT call outside of these hours.
*This does not change the number of letters that should be submitted with your medical/dental school application.
Please visit our website for details on our committee interview process.