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Situational Judgment Test announcement & FAQ

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) educates aspiring physicians and scientists to serve society using a community-based, patient-centered, interprofessional and evidence-based model of education that is committed to inclusion, promotes discovery and utilizes innovative techniques.

To further enhance our holistic review process during the 2022 admission cycle, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the online Situational Judgment Test (SJT), administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). AAMC’s SJT assesses the pre-professional competencies that our Admissions Committee believes are essential for success at our medical school.

The AAMC SJT exam is an opportunity for applicants to showcase personal and professional characteristics – beyond academic scores – that make them a great fit for GCSOM. SJT scores will be considered in our admissions process and decisions.

Applicants can choose from ten dates from June through September 2021 to take the exam. This exam will be free and administered online using remote proctoring for the 2022 application cycle. Free preparation materials are available through the AAMC, and a full-length practice test will be available in Spring 2021.

We encourage you to review all our application requirements here.

Information about the AAMC SJT exam, including preparation materials, test registration, requests for accommodations, and important dates and deadlines is available here.

Frequently asked questions

1. Why is GCSOM participating in the AAMC SJT?
We are committed to enhancing the health of people by training students who are skilled, compassionate and socially responsible. Our students have a solid academic foundation, strong interpersonal and communication skills, and demonstrate empathy, ethics and cultural humility. We believe the AAMC SJT exam provides an opportunity to assess these critical pre-professional competencies and may enhance our holistic process.

2. Why is GCSOM using the AAMC SJT instead of CASPer?
We felt the AAMC SJT was a good fit for our holistic process because it was designed to measure pre-professional competencies that are critical for success at GCSOM, and the AAMC has conducted research to establish the psychometric properties and validity of the AAMC SJT.

3. How will GCSOM use my SJT scores?
We will consider SJT scores as one part of our admissions process.

4. Will it negatively affect my application/admissions evaluation if I don’t take the SJT?
No, applicants are not required to take the AAMC SJT. Your application will be considered complete if you do not have an AAMC SJT score. While the Admissions Committee may see that you did not take the AAMC SJT, they will be instructed to disregard missing AAMC SJT scores.

5. Will the Admissions Committee see my SJT scores?
Yes, members of the Admissions Committee will see your SJT scores as one part of our admissions process.

6. I already got invited to complete a secondary application or an interview, should I still take the SJT?
Yes, applicants are strongly encouraged to take the AAMC SJT. Doing so will give you an opportunity to display your knowledge of effective and ineffective behaviors across eight core competencies for entering medical students, which include service orientation, social skills, cultural competence, teamwork, ethical responsibility to self and others, reliability and dependability, resilience and adaptability, and capacity for improvement.

7. My application was rejected by GCSOM before I took the AAMC SJT. If I take the exam, will GCSOM reconsider my application?
No, application decisions are final.

8. Will I have access to my AAMC SJT score and will there be an interpretation of my results?
Yes, AAMC SJT scores will be released to examinees in July-October depending on the exam date. A confidence band and percentile rank will also be reported with each total score. Please refer to the AAMC SJT website for more details.

9. When will GCSOM receive my AAMC SJT score?
AAMC SJT scores will be released to examinees and GCSOM in July-October depending on the exam date. Please refer to the AAMC SJT website for more details.

10. Will other schools, not part of the 2021 administration, have access to my AAMC SJT score?
Schools not part of the 2021 administration will not have access to your AAMC SJT scores for the AMCAS 2022 admissions cycle. The AAMC will retain your AAMC SJT score report indefinitely. If you reenter the medical school application process in a future application year, the AAMC will provide your AAMC SJT score report to any program to which you apply that accepts or requires the AAMC SJT exam as part of their application process.

11. What does my AAMC SJT score mean?
The AAMC SJT results in a total score, which reflects your understanding of pre-professionalism and potential to learn and develop pre-professionalism skills. Higher scores reflect a higher level of understanding. The AAMC collaborated with medical educators, including faculty, admissions officers, and student and diversity affairs officers to develop the scoring key for the SJT (i.e., the key effectiveness rating for each response). Scores are based on the extent to which your effectiveness rating for each response aligns with medical educators’ ratings for each response. Full credit is awarded for an item if your response matches the medical educators’ rating. Partial credit is awarded if your rating is close to the medical educators’ rating.

12. Where can I find more information about the AAMC SJT?
For more details about the AAMC SJT, including registering, preparing, taking the exam and receiving your scores, visit the AAMC SJT website.

13. If I took the SJT in 2020 and 2021, what scores will the medical schools see?
If you decide to retake the AAMC SJT in 2021, AAMC will report both your 2020 and 2021 SJT scores to the schools you designate on test day.

14. If I took the SJT in 2020 should I take it again in 2021?
If you decide to retake the AAMC SJT in 2021, AAMC will report both your 2020 and 2021 SJT scores to the schools you designate on test day. In addition, if you took the SJT test in the 2021 cycle, it is not required to retake it again this cycle. However, if you would like to retake it to improve your score, you are welcome to do so.

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