The new MCAT is the product of a comprehensive review (the fifth in the history of the MCAT) designed to craft an exam that is a "reflection of medical advancements, changes to the health care system, and the increasing diversity of the population". Read about the history of the MCAT2015 Exam and its development.
As you prep for this new test, you'll want to keep in mind the emphasis being placed on "deep knowledge" over knowing "discrete facts". Specifically AAMC aims to test four skills:
The new MCAT is divided into four sections with optional breaks in between.
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems — 59 items, 95 minutes
The content tested in this section traverses intro-level biology, organic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry, conceptes in biochemistry, topics in cellular and molecular biology, and basic research methods and statistics concepts. Additionally, questions test for skills including scientific inquiry and reasoning, research methods, and statistics. Both passage-based and discrete questions are present.
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems — 59 items, 95 minutes
This section addresses the mechanical, physical, and biochemical underpinings of biological systems and the chemical and physical principles that underlie these mechanisms. Both your understanding of these concepts and your ability to reason and apply your understanding are tested with both passage-based and discrete questions.
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior — 59 items, 95 minutes
This section covers concepts in psychology, sociology, and biology that are involved in behavioral and sociocultural determinants of health as well as basic research methods and statistics concepts. Questions are of both passage-based and discrete type.
Crirical Analysis and Reasoning Skills — 53 items, 90 minutes
This section asks you to critically analyze passages drawn from the social sciences and humanities. All questions are passage-based and aim to test comprehension, analysis, and reasoning, so all information needed to answer the questions is provided in the passage. Questions will be distributed across Foundations of Comprehension, Reasoning Within the Text, and Reasoning Beyond the Test.
Download the complete What's on the MCAT2015 Exam PDF from AAMC. (Take a deep breath first!)
|Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems||59||95 minutes|
|Break (optional)||10 minutes|
|Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills||53||90 minutes|
|Break (optional)||30 minutes|
|Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems||59||95 minutes|
|Break (optional)||10 minutes|
|Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior||59||95 minutes|
|Total||230||375 minutes (6 hrs 15 min) testing
425 minutes (7 hrs 5 min) with breaks
Each of the four sections are scored from 118 to 132 (a 15-point range), with a composite score ranging from 472 to 528. The midpoints lie at 125 (sections) and 500 (composite). Inline with an emphasis on well-rounded applicants, AAMC has highlighted positioning of students that will score at the "Top of the Curve", that is, students that score around 500.
The greater emphasis on overall performance balanced across the individual sections is granted further attention in the Score Report, which will include sectional scores, percentiles, confidence bands, and a graphical score profile.
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