Breakdown of MCAT Test
MCAT is considered to be the passport to medical school. It is a high stake exam for all those who want to pursue a career in medicine. This is at par with the other graduate level examinations in the country and hence, one needs to be prepared well in order to crack the test. Before you register and sit for the test, it is important to have a clear idea about the exam type and the question pattern. Additionally, knowing the breakdown in the right fashion shall help you to study accordingly and focus on particular study groups to fetch more marks.
MCAT Sections Breakdown-Knowing the Basics Right
MCAT happens to be a computer based test which is conducted all over the US and Canada to judge and test the skill of medical school aspirants. Apart from being an entrance test, it also serves to be a standardized test for upcoming healthcare professionals. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) is the functioning body behind the exam and its associated activities.
Before you take the test, you need to start the preparation at least three months prior to the desired exam date. Knowing the test breakdown is necessary to approach the questions in the right manner. Classified broadly, it has four different sections, namely Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, Writing Sample and Biological Sciences. Let's have a quick look at each section type and the nature of questions.
Section 1-Physical Sciences
Considering the breakdown pattern, this section has a total of 52 questions (all multiple-choices in nature) and tests your skill on subjects like physics, chemistry and maths in general. The section is filled up with an equal number of questions on physics and chemistry and contains a total of 7-9 passages (which are just about 300 words long) carrying 4-8 questions. Apart from that, there are also 13 separate questions which are more of "mixed bag" in nature and test your general knowledge.
Section 2-Verbal Reasoning
This section functions to assess a candidate's ability to gather information, analyze and comprehend data for a logical conclusion. The section is an important part of the test as it represents idea from subject groups like humanities and social sciences. The section is usually long with 7-8 passages which contain about 600 words and is backed by a total of 5-10 multiple choice questions.
Section 3-Writing Sample
The third section is the Writing Sample section where you will be asked to write two essays. The time allotted for writing each essay is 30 minutes and you will be judged on the quality of your writing. Usually, the topic is an argumentative type where the author needs to address issues, voice his opinion and support statements with relevant examples. A grammar, spelling and punctuation check should be done before you submit your paper.
Section 4-Biological Sciences
The last section of the test is the Biological Sciences section where you need to spend around 70 minutes to answer all questions. In total, there are 52 questions in this section which are multiple choices in nature and assess a student's knowledge level in matters concerning organic chemistry and biology. About sixty percent of the section is filled with questions from the field of biology and is segregated into 7 passages (which are not more than 250 words long) having 4-8 questions. Additionally, there are thirteen standalone questions which are randomly picked and do not belong to any particular subject group or knowledge base. To sum up, the test takes around five-and-a-half hours to be completed.