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The goal of The Professional Graduate Test Prep Program component is to provide approximately 120 URM students with test-taking skills and science/verbal knowledge requisite to realizing marketable, competitive test scores for admission to Professional Schools. Students will prepare for standardized tests through tutoring and science/verbal review courses: MCAT, DAT, GRE, GMAT, PCAT, NCLEX, OAT and STEP I of National Medical Boards. Assessment of each student's academic record and prior standardized test scores will determine whether he or she will be placed initially in CAHMCP's Reading Development Program or is academically-ready for the Princeton Review/Kaplan Review. Each intensive, comprehensive course will be customized to CAHMCP's specifications to meet the test preparation needs of our student population. Students who do not take the national standardized exams the year of their program internship will be permitted to retake the review course in subsequent years.

Students are recruited from colleges/universities throughout the State of Illinois and across the country where significant numbers of Illinois residents are enrolled. Test prep participants residing thirty-five miles or more from our central offices are provided dormitory housing by the program. However, such students are responsible for their own food expenses.

In addition to program didactics, students are referred to several partner MODVOPPPP schools for “mock” interviews and “shadowing” of students and physicians. During the 2001 program year, DAT students spent two full days at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine and an additional day at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. These interactions provide students with keener insight into the dental school application process, refine their interviewing skills, and offer an opportunity to observe dental students at work in prosthetics/orthodontics labs.

Special support activities will include testing for students who indicate possible learning disabilities. Initial referrals are made to the University of Illinois-Urbana and Northwestern University for professional assessment. Over the years, it has been determined that approximately 15% of CAHMCP students evidence a documented reading disability. The standardized test scores for such students most frequently soar once appropriate testing accommodations are given.

The June 2002 Orientation Program agenda included presentations regarding academic financing options and scholarship availability given by Tom Yokom, Director of the Medical Scholarship Program of the Illinois Department of Public Health and representatives from the Army, Navy and Air Force Health Professions Recruitment Services. The July 2002 Annual Test Prep Seminar/Workshop was attended by current and prior Program Interns. Our presenters included: University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Jorge A. Girotti, Ph.D., Director of Medical School Admissions; Cornell Thomas, DDS from Southern Illinois University College of Dental Medicine; and Ann Shorock, Director of Admissions at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry. The Special Guest Speaker/Workshop Presenter was James L. Flowers, M.D., the most prominent and widely acclaimed Physician-Author in the area of MCAT Exam Preparation, who discussed specific MCAT questions in physics, biology and chemistry and provided in-depth explanations as to why a particular answer is correct. Moreover, he guided students through the process of preparing for standardized tests and the subtle “traps” of test taking.

Official national exam scores are reviewed with each student to determine, when necessary, precisely what subsequent remediation must be undertaken to improve his or her scores. Thus, it is not unusual for our participants who ultimately become successful MODVOPPPP students to have participated in our test prep activities through more than one cycle.

 

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