Everything about the New MCAT

What is the New MCAT?

The new MCAT is all set to be introduced in 2015. This is the latest addition to the test also known as MCAT 2015. This is the pattern that the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) has come up with and it is completely different from the current pattern of the test. The AAMC association believes that improving the pattern will bring about better quality premed students into medical colleges. The health care system is changing in a big way today and this attempt to change the quality of premed students of the future has to be done to keep pace with this dynamic system. The association conducted a survey that lasted around 3 years and reached the conclusion that this change was needed. The AAMC site contains information with regards to the new format of MCAT.

What Are the Features of the New MCAT

  • The Natural Sciences Section of MCAT: Most changes are being made in the Natural Sciences section of the test, mainly because these changes are directly related to the changes in the medical education. Questions are being made more logical than factual. This means that knowing an answer is not enough. What is important is to know how you arrived at the answer. Such questions have been improved upon in order to test the logical abilities of the test taker, in a better manner.

  • Section on Behavioral Sciences: This section includes subjects like Psychology that study the social and biological foundations of human behavior. The basic tenets of this section are to introduce to the test taker the important and introductory social and psychological concepts which are intrinsically connected to the biological concepts such as mental processes and behavior. This section would also expect the test-taker to know many aspects of socio-cultural and determinants of behavior as well as health and health outcomes.

  • Section on Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills: This section is also a new section that is proposed to be added in the new format of the test. This section tests the analytical, evaluative and application capabilities of the students. In simple words, this section tests the ability of a student to process information or sets of information, which are very necessary for success at medical school. This section will contain passages from a wide range of subjects such as social sciences, humanities etc. The requirement will be for you to analyze and evaluate these passages and apply the information provided in them to answer specific questions directly or by inference. You need to read the passages carefully and understand the questions before you answer.

Sections for New MCAT

There will be four sections in the new format of MCAT, namely:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems-65 items in 95 minutes
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems-65 items in 95 minutes
  • Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior-65 items in 95 minutes
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills-60 items in 90 minutes

Scores for New MCAT

The scoring pattern for the new format of MCAT will be similar to that of the present scoring system. Scores will be reported on a scale just like the present system. The scales will be of 1-15. A separate score will be reported for the four sections individually, which means, four scores. From the above analysis of the new test format it has been made evident that this revised style expects students to possess a strong background of scientific knowledge and principles. The new format also reflects the new changing face of education in the 21st century, which relies more on logic and reasoning than blind collection of data. Your MCAT preparation too must change with this changing process of education.