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What’s On The MCAT; What You Need To Know About MCAT


For the past 30 years, passing the MCAT has been a prerequisite for gaining admission into your college of choice to pursue a medical career. With the total test scores ranging from 472 to 528, failure to make good grades forfeits your college application and that may either be a cause to divert or wait for another year. In the spirit of making the best grades possible for once and for all, students do not only want to know what’s on the MCAT but also want to find out the surest way of passing the test. In this post, I take you through what to expect from the various sections of the test to support your preparation plan. Let’s dive in.

Doctor and laptop
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Section 1; Biological And Biochemical Foundations Of Living Systems

In this section, your critical thinking skill is tested along with your fundamental knowledge of biological and biochemical concepts. You are tested to solve critical problems by using those 3 essential tools. You can expect that most questions under this section are built around living organisms and the processes unique to several living organisms. These processes include, but are not limited to, growth, reproduction, homeostasis, adaptation, irritability, energy creation, energy acquisition, energy sensing, and energy usage. Overall, this section is designed to;

  • Test your knowledge on introductory level biology, and inorganic and organic chemistry
  • Test university level first-semester biochemistry concepts
  • Topics around molecular and cellular biology
  • Test your skills of the basic research statistics and research methods
  • Test you to showcase your scientific reasoning skills and research methods

You answer a total of 59 questions in this sector within 95 minutes.

Section 2; Chemical And Physical Foundation Of Biological Systems

Under this section, you combine your knowledge of the fundamental physical and chemical concepts to solve real scientific problems. Your fundamental understanding of the biochemical functions, the physical, and the mechanical functions of the human cells, tissues, systems, and organs are tested. You are asked about the underlying principles and technicalities behind the mechanical operation of the human body. Expect that these questions won’t be straightforward but otherwise intertwined enough to test your thinking skills and rational capacity. The aim of this section is to;

  • Test your understanding of introductory-level organic and inorganic chemistry
  • Task you on introductory-level biology
  • Test basic molecular biology and research cum statistics concepts
  • Task you to demonstrate your reasoning, inquiry, and research skills

This is another 59-questions sector you get over in 95 minutes max.

Section 3; Psychological, Social, And Biological Foundation Of Behaviour

As the name suggests, this is where everything you’ve learned so far about human psychology is brought to test. Fundamentally, all that is required of you here is to critically solve the problems that arise from the psychological interaction of humans with the world. This section prepares future doctors to understand the influence of behavior on health and how to best deal with various social and human issues with medicine. Overall, you are;

  • Tested on sociology, psychology, and biology
  • Tested on biological patterns that are related to mental faculties
  • Tested on the most basic research skills and methods

Section 4; Scientific Inquiry And Reasoning Skills

All that is expected of you here is to demonstrate four scientific reasoning and inquiry skills in the 3 previously mentioned sections. Your knowledge of scientific principles and concepts is tested alongside your scientific problem-solving skills and reasoning. You’ll be asked to demonstrate and reason about the execution and the design of researches.

Section 5; Critical Analysis And Reasoning Skills

Finally, this is the part that is similar to verbal reasoning. Your communication skills are tested alongside your thinking and reasoning capability. You are asked to read and analyze passages from various fields of discipline and answer critical questions in the most comprehensive manner.

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