Skip to Content

Association of American Medical Colleges

What's on the MCAT2015 Exam?

Use this resource to find out everything you‘ll need to know to prepare for the new exam. Take a tour of the materials—watch video tutorials and view sample questions and explanations.

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Section

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section

Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More

Content in this section also contains Scientific Inquiry & Reasoning Skills.

Content in this section also contains Scientific Inquiry & Reasoning Skills.

Content in this section also contains Scientific Inquiry & Reasoning Skills.

Download the entire exam content PDF

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section


 
Foundational Concept 1

Biomolecules have unique properties that determine how they contribute to the structure and function of cells, and how they participate in the processes necessary to maintain life.

 
Foundational Concept 2

Highly-organized assemblies of molecules, cells, and organs interact to carry out the functions of living organisms.

 
Foundational Concept 3

Complex systems of tissues and organs sense the internal and external environments of multicellular organisms, and through integrated functioning, maintain a stable internal environment within an ever-changing external environment.

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Section


 
Foundational Concept 4

Complex living organisms transport materials, sense their environment, process signals, and respond to changes using processes that can be understood in terms of physical principles.

 
Foundational Concept 5

The principles that govern chemical interactions and reactions form the basis for a broader understanding of the molecular dynamics of living systems.

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section


 
Foundational Concept 6

Biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors influence the ways that individuals perceive, think about, and react to the world.

 
Foundational Concept 7

Biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors influence behavior and behavior change.

 
Foundational Concept 8

Psychological, sociocultural, and biological factors influence the way we think about ourselves and others, as well as how we interact with others.

 
Foundational Concept 9

Cultural and social differences influence well-being.

 
Foundational Concept 10

Social stratification and access to resources influence well-being.

Scientific Inquiry & Reasoning Skills

for natural, social sciences sections

 
Skill 1: Knowledge of Scientific Principles

  • • Demonstrate understanding of scientific concepts and principles.
  • • Identify the relationships between closely-related concepts.

 
 
Skill 2: Scientific Reasoning and Problem-solving

  • • Reason about scientific principles, theories, and models.
  • • Analyzing and evaluating scientific explanations and predictions.

 
 
Skill 3: Reasoning about the Design and Execution of Research

  • • Demonstrate understanding of important components of scientific research.
  • • Reason about ethical issues in research.

 
Skill 4: Data-based Statistical Reasoning

  • • Interpret patterns in data presented in tables, figures, and graphs.
  • • Reasoning about data and drawing conclusions from them.

 
 
General Mathematical Concepts and Techniques

Questions on the Exam from the natural and social sciences section will ask you to use certain mathematical concepts and techniques

   

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section


 
Skill 1: Foundations of Comprehension

  • • Understanding the basic components of the text.
  • • Inferring meaning from rhetorical devices, word choice, and text structure.

 
Skill 2: Reasoning Within the Text

  • • Integrating different components of the text to increase comprehension.

 
Skill 3: Reasoning Beyond the Text

  • • Applying or extrapolating ideas from the passage to new contexts.
  • • Assessing the impact of introducing new factors, information, or conditions to ideas from the passage.

 
Passage Types

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills passages come from a variety of humanities and social sciences disciplines.