highstakes

Want to be a doctor? A lawyer? COVID-19 cases are rising, but these high-stakes exams are in-person only

Most facilities that offer standardized tests have canceled test dates or offered remote testing as COVID-19 cases rise. But two major tests are still offered only in-person.

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and some states’ bar exams require sit-down testing, even in coronavirus hot spots. In the case of the bar, rooms can have hundreds of people.

The exams serve as high-stakes gateways for two of the country’s most prestigious, highest-pressure and lucrative fields: They determine who gets into medical school and whether law school graduates can be cleared to become attorneys.

Tests are typically held in-person to prevent cheating and protect the integrity of the exams. For test takers, in-person exams mean a decision between caution, as coronavirus cases in the USA surpass 4.1 million,  and achieving what for some has been a lifelong dream.

During the pandemic, the Association of American Medical Colleges canceled MCATs scheduled for

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