You have to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) if you are keen on taking up a career in the field of medicine. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is the agency responsible for developing and administering the MCAT. A number of medical colleges across the US and Canada accept the MCAT scores as a pre requisite for submission of applications for admissions. There is a lot of respect and admiration associated with professions related to medical sciences. This leads to tremendous competition for securing admission to reputed medical college programs. The MCAT scores play a pivotal role in determining a students chances of getting selected for admission.
The MCAT is designed to evaluate the intellect, skills and competence of a prospective medical student. The MCAT consists of four sections for streamlining the process of evaluation of suitable candidates. The four sections are the Physical Sciences section, Verbal Reasoning section, Writing Sample and Biological Sciences section. The MCAT questions asked vary from section to section. A brief introduction to the types of MCAT questions in respect of the four sections is given in the succeeding paragraphs.
Physical Sciences Section
There will be 52 MCAT questions presented to you in the Physical Sciences section. You will have 70 minutes to answer all the questions. All the MCAT questions asked will be succeeded by answers in the form of multiple choices. You will be required to choose the most appropriate answer from the choices given. The MCAT questions asked in this section of the MCAT are designed to test your problem solving skills in the subject areas of General Chemistry and Physics. You will be presented with approximately 8 passages followed by sets of questions related to the information given in the passages. In addition to these, you will also be required to answer about 10 independent MCAT questions.
The MCAT questions asked in this section do not deliberate upon evaluation of your memorizing capabilities; instead they are designed to test your problem solving skills. It is evident that in order to score high in this section, you should have mastery over the skills required for solving problems and this will be possible only if you possess excellent knowledge of the basic concepts of General Chemistry and Physics. The content tested by the MCAT questions is of the undergraduate level so you can collate study materials for this section of the MCAT accordingly.
Verbal Reasoning Section
This section consists of 40 MCAT questions which have to be answered in 60 minutes. The MCAT questions asked in this section evaluate your analytical abilities. You will be presented with seven passages in this section of the MCAT. These passages are based on either natural sciences, social sciences or humanities subject areas. Each passage is followed by approximately six MCAT questions. These MCAT questions will require you to analyze the information given in the passages before attempting to answer them.
The MCAT questions specific to the Verbal Reasoning section do not require you to be familiar with the content of the passage, rather they require you to be familiar with the critical analysis and reasoning skills associated with the subject area related to the content of the passage.
Writing Sample Section
Unlike the previous two sections, the Writing Sample section does not contain MCAT questions with multiple choice answers; instead this section requires you to write two essays. You will be given 30 minutes to write each essay. The Writing Sample section of the MCAT is a test of your knowledge of the rules and conventions of standard written English. You should have the ability to use your knowledge of the English language to frame an essay that proceeds logically and cohesively with due emphasis on a central idea. You need excellent writing skills in order to do well in this section of the MCAT.
The topics given to you for writing essays will not test your familiarity with the science subjects. The topics will be of a general nature and are given keeping in mind the awareness level of students attending undergraduate studies.
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