Effects of race and test preparation resources on standardized test scores, a pilot study

Am J Surg. 2022 Oct 28;S0002-9610(22)00677-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.10.047. Online ahead of print.


Background: Little research exists on the relationship between pre-examination resources, race, and standardized test outcomes. This study aimed to determine the effect of test preparation resources and race on test scores.

Methods: We surveyed medical students at an allopathic institution on the use of test preparation materials and their test scores. Students were grouped by self-identified race. Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) students were defined as Black/African American (AA), Hispanic/Latino (HL), Native American (NA) and multiple races. Univariate analysis and linear regression were used for statistical analysis.

Results: 192 students completed the survey (response rate = 33%). URiM students reported more MCAT attempts than other students. No differences between scores existed between races. There was no association between scores and the use of test preparation resources.

Conclusions: We found that URiM students took the MCAT more times than their peers; however, we found no racial/ethnic differences in examination preparation resources or scores.

Keywords: Medical college admission test (MCAT); Standardized testing; Test preparation resources; Underrepresented in medicine (URiM); United States Medical licensing examination (USMLE).