MCAT tester apologizes for e-mails

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The company that administers the Medical College Admission Test is contacting students who received an e-mail erroneously informing them that their exam had been canceled after several people may have missed the exam last Saturday in Warwick.

A spokesperson for the testing company, Prometric, expressed regret for the confusion and said the company was reaching out to those who may have been affected. Prometric does not know how or why the e-mail was sent.

The Herald reported Monday that at least four Brown students received an e-mail last Friday stating that their MCAT exams, scheduled for the following day, had been canceled.

The e-mail originated from Prometric, the company administering the test, and was sent to takers of all exams at Prometric’s Warwick location. An employee in Warwick referred questions to the company’s national headquarters in Baltimore.

“We sincerely apologize for the mistake,” said Jodi Katz, a Prometric public relations manager reached there. “To be perfectly honest, there’s no simple way to explain it.”

Katz said Prometric was contacting recipients of the message by phone and e-mail to inform them of the error.

Michael Li ’10, a Brown student who originally received the false cancellation message, said he received one of those follow-up e-mails from the company on Tuesday, three days after the exam. “Clearly, since I took the test, it wasn’t a huge deal,” he said.

The Herald previously reported that three to four test-takers may have missed the MCAT in Warwick Saturday. It is unknown whether any Brown students missed the exam.

“We are working very closely with (the Association of American Medical Colleges) to reach out to each individual candidate whose exam was impacted,” Katz wrote Wednesday in an e-mail to The Herald. AAMC is the organization that oversees the MCAT.

Prometric is attempting to accommodate test-takers’ needs “in terms of timing,” Katz wrote. The next scheduled round of MCAT testing will take place on March 28.

Li said rescheduling could negatively affect a student who had prepared to take the test Saturday. “That would really suck to have to take that in March,” he added.