MCAT Physics

Everything about the Physical Sciences Section of MCAT

The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is a test to ascertain the suitability of a candidate for the schools of Medicine. It is a standardised test that has four sections. The four sections of the test are:

  • Physical Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Writing Sample




The questions of the test are multiple-choice questions that are designed to assess the aptitude and ability of a candidate aiming for Medical school admission. The test is designed mainly for the medical schools of the United States and the governing body or the administrator of the test is the AAMC i.e. the Association of American Medical Colleges.

About MCAT Physics and the Physical Sciences section:

The Physical Sciences, as the name suggests, include Physics and Chemistry subjects. This section aims at assessing the candidate's knowledge of chemicals, elements, bonding structure of elements, atomic structures, energy, thermodynamics, thermo-chemistry, electronics and kinetics, equilibrium, solution chemistry, acids and bases, electrochemistry, translational motion, electronic circuit movements etc. It is a combined section for all the aspects of physics and chemical sciences. The questions are rigorous and the course structure is very exhaustive. This is the link to the PDF presentation of the elements of the section. https://www.aamc.org/students/download/85566/data/bstopics.pdf

The Physical Sciences section of the MCAT has 52 questions. It takes approximately 70-75 minutes to solve the section. Physics section includes a variety of questions from all aspects of the subject. Chemistry is also included in the Physical Sciences section. There are 9 broad categories in the Chemistry section. Physics has 11 broad categories.

Details of all the categories of questions in the MCAT physical sciences section:

MCAT Chemistry: Divided into 9 broad categories. The 9 broad categories are:
  • Electronic Structure and Periodic Table: Further subdivided into 3 categories.
  • Bonding: Further subdivided into 2 categories
  • Phases and Phase Equilibria: Further subdivided into 3 categories.
  • Thermodynamics and Thermochemistry: Further subdivided into 2 categories.
  • Rate Processes in Chemical Reactions: Kinetics and Equilibrium
  • Solution Chemistry: Further subdivided into 2 categories
  • Acids and Bases: Further subdivided into 2 categories
  • Electrochemistry

Details of all the subcategories are available at the official website www.aamc.org

MCAT Physics: Divided into 11 broad categories.

The 11 broad categories are:

  • Translational Motion
  • Force and Motion, Gravitation
  • Equilibrium and Momentum: Further subdivided into 2 categories
  • Work and Energy: Further subdivided into 2 categories
  • Waves and Periodic motion: Further subdivided into 2 categories
  • Sound
  • Fluids and Solids: Further subdivided into 2 categories
  • Electrostatics and Electromagnetism: Further subdivided into 3 categories.
  • Electronic Circuit Elements: Further subdivided into 3 categories
  • Light and Geometrical Optics: Further subdivided into 2 categories
  • Atomic and Nuclear Structure: Further subdivided into 2 categories

Details of all the subcategories are available at the official website www.aamc.org

The MCAT Physical Sciences section not only includes Physics but it has a very exhaustive section on Chemistry also. Every element of Physics and Chemistry are part of the syllabus of the test. Physics and Chemistry are just broad subjects and the details in which they are studied in the MCAT is what makes the test such an intense science examination. The questions do not have negative marks, so you should be prepared to answer all the questions even if you are not very sure of the answers. Physical Sciences being a scientific section, it does not expect you to answer in any elaborate way. The options that are given are very clear and you should be swift in choosing the correct answer.




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