The Ultimate MCAT Guide
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standard, multiple choice question examination meant for students who wish to apply to med schools. MCAT is a 7½ hour exam with extensive knowledge-based questions. Many potential candidates for this exam feel intimidated not only because of the exam duration but also because of its detailed course, which requires a lot of hard work and reinforcement in order to ace it. But, to ace this exam, you must first be fully accustomed to the syllabus, MCAT prep course outlines, concepts and of course how to manage and divide your time.
The MCAT exam is categorized into four sections…
1. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems:
This section correlates your knowledge of the basic physical sciences with that of the biological sciences. It talks about the chemical and physical principles related to human body mechanisms.
This section is just not limited to Chemistry or Physics, but also is about life science- biology.This section also tests your grip on biochemistry. There are 59 questions that you are supposed to attempt in a time of 95 minutes. You are given a periodic table, but the use of a calculator is prohibited. The rest of this section has questions from passages offered on the exam, and they require both the information from the passage and other content knowledge.
2. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
The second section, unlike the first one, majorly focuses on Biology and science related to it. It tests the concepts of processes that foster life, like growing, repairing, reproducing, gaining energy, and more. It also includes a detailed study of cells and organ systems within an organism and how they act both independently to allow the life processes to occur.
Apart from biology, this section also examines your knowledge about organic chemistry and general chemistry tested, as those disciplines are a background to the biochemistry. There are 59 questions that you are supposed to answer in 95 minutes.
3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
This section comprises 59 questions again, which are supposed to be completed in 95 minutes. This is one of the unique test sections as it is not directly about medical science but more about applied and social science. These are the newest subjects designed to be tested on the MCAT and are now introduced because of their increasing significance in the field of a medical study.
This section is a new yet crucial addition to the MCAT exam as it assesses whether you can implement research and statistical principles concerning the behavioral and sociocultural determinants of health. You are expected to integrate and weigh psychological, sociological, and biological bases in parallel.
4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
With 53 patterned questions related to the passage, the last MCAT section is supposed to be covered in 90 minutes. The other three sections depend upon knowledge rather than perception. The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section doesn’t test any of your prior content knowledge. All information needed to answer questions is included in the passage. It tests your ability and mind to analyze arguments and find the underlying assumptions and inferences.