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MCAT2015 Test Sections

The MCAT2015 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, and

4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Scores will be reported on a scale similar to the current 1-15 scale, and a separate score will be recorded for each of the four sections: four sections, four scores. The following provides a summary of the four test sections of the MCAT2015 exam, including the approximate number of questions and approximate number of minutes allotted to complete each section.

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

67 items, 95 minutes*

This section asks you to combine your knowledge of foundational concepts in the biological and biochemical sciences with your scientific inquiry, reasoning, and research and statistics skills to solve problems that demonstrate readiness for medical school.

Understanding the processes unique to living organisms, such as growing and reproducing, maintaining a constant internal environment, acquiring materials and energy, sensing and responding to environmental changes, and adapting, is important to the study of medicine. You will be tested on your knowledge of how cells and organ systems within an organism act both independently and in concert to accomplish these processes, as well as your ability to reason about these processes at various levels of biological organization within a living system.

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

67 items, 95 minutes*

This section asks you to combine your knowledge of foundational concepts in the chemical and physical sciences with your scientific inquiry, reasoning, and research and statistics skills to solve problems that demonstrate readiness for medical school.

Understanding the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of tissues, organs, and organ systems is important to the study of medicine. You will be tested on your knowledge of the basic chemical and physical principles that underlie the mechanisms operating in the human body, and your ability to apply an understanding of these general principles to living systems.

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

67 items, 95 minutes*

This section tests your knowledge and use of the concepts in psychology, sociology, biology, research methods, and statistics that provide a solid foundation for learning in medical school about the behavioral and socio-cultural determinants of health and health outcomes.

Understanding the behavioral and socio-cultural determinants of health is important to the study of medicine. You will be tested on your knowledge of the ways in which psychological, social, and biological factors influence perceptions and reactions to the world; behavior, and behavior change; what people think about themselves and others; the cultural and social differences that influence well-being; and the relationships between social stratification, access to resources, and well-being.

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

60 items, 90 minutes*

This section asks you to critically analyze information from a wide range of social sciences and humanities disciplines. Specific knowledge of these disciplines is not required for this section; all of the information you will need appears in the passages provided. Among the areas from which content is drawn are ethics and philosophy, cultural studies, and population health.

*The number of questions and minutes are approximate.

Preview Guide for the MCAT2015 Exam (Second Edition)

Preview Guide for MCAT2015

The updated guide describes the new MCAT exam's content and format. It also lists and discusses the new exam’s conceptual framework in detail, and provides topic lists and sample test questions.


An Open Letter to Pre-Med Students from the AAMC President

AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D.

Dr. Kirch explains why the coming changes to the MCAT® exam will make it an even better exam by helping medical schools identify not only the students who are the most academically prepared to become physicians, but also those who have the potential to become the best doctors in a changing health care system.


MCAT2015 Timeline

Timeline of MCAT2015 Exam

Download the timeline 


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