Content of MCAT
What are the Contents of MCAT
The Medical College Admission test (MCAT) is a standardized test of five and a half hours duration, which is geared not only towards testing your scientific knowledge but it also lays great emphasis on testing your critical analysis and reasoning skills. Although MCAT involves multiple-choice type of questions, it is important that you are aware of the test's content for optimal preparations.
Test Sections in MCAT:
The content of MCAT covers the basic Sciences and Maths skills which will be tested through four sections which are as follows:
- Physical Sciences
- Verbal Reasoning
- Writing Section
- Biological Sciences
- MCAT Physical Sciences:
The content in Physical Sciences section involves questions from Maths, Physics and General Chemistry. You should be familiar with all equations and constants which you have studied in your undergraduate course along with those listed specifically in the content outline. Some of the necessary constants and conversion factors, in addition to the periodic table of elements, will be provided with the test questions. The multiple-choice questions will be based on passages which can be in any of the four formats namely-
Information Presentation- These passages will be in the form of textbook or journal articles, to test your understanding and evaluation of given information.
Problem Solving- These passages will describe problems in Physics or General Chemistry and the questions based on these passages will assess your problem solving abilities.
Research Study- These passages will be based on methods and results of research and the questions are designed to test your understanding of the project.
Persuasive Argument- These passages may express single viewpoint or two opposing points of view and the questions are designed to test your ability, to evaluate the validity of the argument.
MCAT Verbal Reasoning:
The Verbal Reasoning section is designed to test your ability to understand, evaluate and apply information from the given passages. These passages are 500-600 words long and the content for these passages can be from humanities, social sciences and from areas of natural sciences which have not been tested on MCAT Physical and Biological Sciences. Each passage will be followed by 5-10 multiple-choice questions. Even though the content for these passages is from a broad range of subjects, you will not be tested on specific subject knowledge; instead the questions will be of general nature. MCAT Biological Sciences:
The Biological Sciences section involves basic questions from Biology and Organic Chemistry, which you have been taught during your under graduation course. Questions will be based on given passages, the format of which will be identical to those given in the Physical Sciences section. Although the list for the topics in Biological Sciences is given in the official website, it is not necessary that you will be tested on each and every concept or principle that is included on the list. However, this section will focus primarily on the two major groups of living organisms i.e. the vertebrates and the microbes, so your focus for this section should primarily be on the concepts and information which are common to the life processes of these organisms. Similarly the content for Organic Chemistry concentrates on your knowledge of organic compounds and reactions.
MCAT Writing Section:
The Writing section requires you to write two essays of 30-minutes' duration each. There is a list released by AAMC for Writing Sample items, which include topic statements and instructions. This list is very useful for the preparation of this section as MCAT will have topics which will be similar to the topics presented in the list.
When preparing for the test, you should remember that the content may differ from your undergraduate course in a number of ways as the main focus of the test is upon areas which are prerequisites for the study of medicine.Hence, organizing your content wisely is important for performing well in the test.
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