MCAT Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry Tested in MCAT

MCAT consists of three multiple choices based sections, Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences. A writing section requires you to write two essays on the given topic. Organic Chemistry forms a part of the Biological Sciences section and requires you to study about various chemical reactions and equations. Knowledge of Organic Chemistry is necessary for solving the questions in the Biological Sciences section. It is considered as a difficult subject by most test takers. You need to understand the basics first, if you are good with your organic chemistry basics, then learning Organic Chemistry for MCAT will be fun.

Learning Organic Chemistry requires a good memory power. You need to remember the various chemical reactions, the nomenclatures, the functional groups etc. As organic chemistry includes different structures, you need to practice drawing the different shapes included in the arrangement of molecules and atoms. It requires you to identify the various patterns that are formed as a result of various chemical processes.

Organic Chemistry Tested in MCAT

MCAT Organic Chemistry tests your knowledge of:-

  • Covalent Bonds- sigma and pi bonds, multiple bonding, stereochemistry
  • Molecular Structures- spectroscopy
  • Hydrocarbons- alkanes, free radicals, bicyclic molecules
  • Separations and Purifications- extraction, distillation, chromatography, recrystalization
  • Biological Molecules- carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and proteins, their structure, nomenclature, classification and reactions
  • General Concepts etc. – classification of organic compounds, their reactions, structure, nomenclature.

The list mentioned above includes only a part of the syllabus that is tested in the Organic Chemistry. Every topic that you have learned till your undergraduate level of study is tested in MCAT. You cannot skip a topic considering it as unimportant. Every topic and every concept has its own importance when you are taking MCAT.

Different Types of MCAT Organic Chemistry Questions

Organic Chemistry in MCAT includes different types of questions relating to the general concepts, trends, stabilities, analysis and separations etc.

A passage may be given explaining about a reaction or structure followed by a set of 4-7 questions related to the passage. The answers for the questions are available within the passage itself. Apart from passage based questions, Organic Chemistry section also contains questions which are not related to any passage. A question followed by their answer choices are provided, from which you have to select the correct answer.

Even though this section forms only about 25% of the entire test, it is approached with a certain amount of fear. It may be due to the amount of chemical reactions and chemical names, which you need to remember. A carefully planned study will help in understanding the concepts better. While learning a reaction or equation, write and learn, rather than simply memorizing. Learning by writing helps in recollecting the equation fast compared to the learning method of cramming.

In order to prepare for this section, you need to begin with the basics. Make note of the nomenclatures and functional groups, isomers, bonding, spectroscopy etc. Once you are ready with the basics your attention should shift to the various reactions like, substitution reactions, elimination reactions etc. After this comes the topic like biological molecules, advanced reactions including aldol condensation etc.

This step by step approach will help you to understand organic chemistry well. Learn a chemical reaction or a nomenclature every day. By the end of your preparation you will be thorough with all the reactions and descriptions.

Preparation for Organic Chemistry doesn’t require you to take a very advanced course, the basics are only tested. What you have learned in school is only tested. Recollecting the various chemical reactions that you did in the science practical labs will help you in understanding a chemical reaction better.