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The MCAT exam is required of all students seeking entry into medical schools across the United States. Students usually take the exam their junior year. Students taking the MCAT in 2013 or 2014 can find information here. The MCAT is changing in 2015 to reflect changes in modern medicine. More information about the 2015 MCAT can be found here. Below are some answers to FAQ's regarding the new MCAT.

What is different about the new exam?

The natural sciences sections of the MCAT 2015 exam reflect recent changes in medical education. They test the concepts in biology, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics that medical school faculty rate as most important to entering students’ success. Though undergraduate course offerings differ by institution, these concepts are covered in many undergraduate schools in introductory sequences in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics and in first-semester biochemistry courses.

The MCAT 2015 exam includes a section on the social and behavioral sciences: Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior. This section tests your knowledge of important introductory psychology and sociology concepts, as well as the introductory biology concepts that relate to mental processes and behavior. The addition of this section to the exam recognizes the importance of socio-cultural and behavioral determinants of health and health outcomes.

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section asks you to analyze, evaluate, and apply information provided by passages from a wide range of social sciences and humanities disciplines. It does not require specific knowledge of these disciplines, but it tests the analysis and reasoning skills you need for medical school, and may prompt you to read broadly as you prepare. Along with many others, passages about ethics and philosophy, cultural studies, and population health are included.

What is the test structure?

The MCAT 2015 exam has four test sections:
1) Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
2) Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
3) Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
4) Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

How is the test scored?

Scores are reported on a scale similar to the current 1-15 scale, and a separate score is recorded for each of the four test sections: four sections, four scores.

What knowledge base does the test reflect?

The Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems and the Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems sections are designed to test your knowledge in the following:

  • introductory-level biology
  • organic and inorganic chemistry and physics concepts
  • introductory biochemistry concepts
  • cellular/molecular biology topics
  • basic research methods and statistics concepts |
  • scientific inquiry and reasoning, research methods, and statistics skills as applied to the natural sciences

The Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section is designed to test your knowledge and use of the concepts in psychology, sociology, and biology that provide a solid foundation for learning in medical school about the behavioral and socio-cultural determinants of health. These include:

  • concepts from introductory psychology
  • concepts from introductory sociology 
  • biology concepts that relate to mental processes and behavior
  • basic research methods and statistics concepts
  • scientific inquiry and reasoning, research methods, and statistics skills as applied to the social and behavioral sciences

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section is designed to test your knowledge in:

  • comprehension, analysis, and reasoning skills 
  • ethics
  • philosophy
  • cultural studies
  • population health
  • a wide range of social and humanities disciplines

 

Where can I find more information?

You can find more information about the MCAT 2015 exam at the following websites.
For prospective examinees:
www.aamc.org/mcat2015
For pre-health advisors and other baccalaureate faculty:
www.aamc.org/mcat2015/admins
For medical schools admissions officers and faculty:
www.aamc.org/mcat2015/admins

How can I prepare?

Students can find prep resources at:

Students should also familiarize themselves with the official MCAT website.