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MCAT 2015 Information

What's New About the MCAT 2015?

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MCAT 2015 Information
Getty Images | Martin Poole

MCAT 2015 Test Information

When you dreamed of becoming a physician as a child, chances are good you never wagered on taking the MCAT 2015 exam. Nope. You thought you'd go straight to medical school with your "Take two of these and call me in the morning" routine. Well, the good news is that the MCAT 2015 exam will make sure you can move beyond that whole spiel when you actually practice medicine. The bad news is that the test is a doozy, and you'll spend the better part of your year prepping for the thing.

MCAT 2015 Basics

  • Approximately 6.25 hours of actual testing time
  • Approximately 261 multiple choice test questions
  • Four separate scores given – one for each section
  • Scores will be reported in a similar manner to the current 1 – 15 scale

MCAT 2015 Sections

Unlike its predecessor, the MCAT we all know and love, the MCAT 2015 exam will have four sections on it instead of just three. Exams from 2012 and earlier used a Writing portion, but it became obsolete as of January, 2013.

Click the links for details about the section content categories, foundational concepts tested and skills required to get a top notch score for each of the four test sections.

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

  • 67 questions
  • 95 minutes of testing

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

  • 67 questions
  • 95 minutes of testing

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

  • 67 questions
  • 95 minutes of testing

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)

  • 60 questions
  • 90 minutes of testing

MCAT 2015 Test Questions

The questions you'll see on the MCAT 2015 will vary in difficulty and skills assessed. Some of the questions will refer to a reading passage, a chart, a graph, a table, a picture or a diagram, but others will simply stand alone. Each question will provide four answer choices marked ABC or D.

As each test section is separate from the others, the skills and content on which you'll be assessed will not intermingle. So, you're not going to see a Critical Analysis question followed by a Biological and Biochemical Foundations question side by side. That would make the exam incredibly difficult, and it's tough enough as it is!

MCAT 2015 Skills Assessed

This exam wants to be sure you have the skills necessary to perform well in medical school and in your future career as a physician. The test writers want to be sure you can actually "do" science and not just spout forth facts about all things "sciencey." Hence, the skills you'll need to be able to display are varied in difficulty and range.

  • Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning Skills: These are the skills assessed by the three sciences sections: Biological, Chemical and Psychological. They range from reasoning about the design and execution of research to problem-solving based on graphs and charts.
  • Comprehending and Reasoning Within and Beyond the Text: These are the skills assessed in the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section. These skills range from determining the main idea to extrapolating new information and applying it to the passage based on the author's bias and usage of support.

MCAT 2015 Required Course Work

Obviously, you're not going to score well on the MCAT 2015 if you're not prepared. Your undergraduate work should include all of the pre-med prerequisites in order to fully prepare you for this exam. Make sure you're well-versed in the topics from these courses:

  • 1st semester Biochemistry
  • Two semesters of Introductory Biology
  • Two semesters of General Chemistry
  • Two semesters of Organic Chemistry
  • Two semesters of Introductory Physics
  • 1st semester Introductory Psychology
  • 1st semester Introductory Sociology
  • 1st semester Introductory Biology

And although the CARS section does not require any specific knowledge as everything can be learned from the passage itself to answer the questions, it does take some preparatory work with reading comprehension. The text itself is multi-faceted and more difficult than the Critical Reading section of the SAT, Reading on the ACT, or even your medical textbooks, for instance.

MCAT 2015 Preparation

The AAMC has released an interactive tool to help you get the big picture along with The Official Guide to the MCAT 2015Exam. Check the website often for updates! You'll be able to access a second full-length practice test in 2015. But rest assured, many test preparation companies like The Princeton Review and Kaplan will be one step ahead of the game and will provide practice materials as soon as they're privy to all of the content of the exam.

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