WHAT IN THE WORLD IS MCAT?!

Source: AAMC

If you are like me, then your knowledge of the MCAT is very scarce.
Even though my dream is to become a pediatric doctor (specific field pending ;)) MCAT was always something I would do in the future, and now that the time is approaching I have sought out as much help and information as I can.

First, what is the MCAT?
The MCAT stands for The Medical College Admission Test and it is crucial for your acceptance to your dream university!


It contains the following:

  • Four Sections: Chem/Phys (C/P), Bio/Biochem (B/B), Psych/Soc (P/S), Critical Analysis & Reasoning (CARS)
  • In each section: 44 passage-related questions, 15 standalone questions, 59 total
  • 7.5 hours long: 8 min examinee agreement, 10 min tutorial, 95 min C/P, 10 min break, 90 min CARS, 30 min break, 95 min B/B, 10 min break, 95 min P/S, 5 min void question, 5 min optional satisfaction survey
  • All multiple choice, computer based
  • Each section scored 118-132, for a total of 472-528
  • Exam dates Jan-Sept,

What topics will be included?

  • Biology: DNA, genetics, evolution, biotechnology, eukaryotic cell, prokaryotes vs. eukaryotes, viruses, reproductive system, embryology, nervous system, endocrine system, circulatory system, respiratory system, digestive system, immune system, lymphatic system, muscular system, skin system and skeletal system
  • Biochemistry: Enzymes, bioenergetics, metabolic regulation, pentose phosphate pathway, lipid metabolism, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, citric acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, nucleotides and nucleic acids, amino acids, peptides, proteins, protein structure and function, carbohydrates and lipids
  • Physics: Translational motion, force, equilibrium, work, energy, periodic motion, fluids, electrostatics, electromagnetic radiation, electrical circuits, circuit elements, light, magnetism, sound, matter, atoms, nuclear decay, electronic structure, atomic and chemical behavior, thermodynamics, optics
  • Organic chem: Key functional groups/compounds, nomenclature, stereochemistry, hybridization, nucleophilic substitution (not elimination), molecular structure and absorption spectra, aldehydes and ketones, alcohols, carboxylic acids, acid derivatives, mass spectrometry, polycyclic and heterocyclic aromatic compounds, phenols, separations and purification
  • General chem: Gas phase, electrochemistry, molecular structure, stoichiometry, acid/base equilibria, solubility, ions in solutions, titration, covalent bond, liquid phase, intermolecular forces, kinetics, equilibrium, water, molecules, thermochemistry
  • Psych & Soc: Sensory processing, the senses, perception, attention, cognition, consciousness, memory, language, emotion, stress, personality, psychological disorders, motivation, attitudes, beliefs, psychological, biological and social factors that affect behavior, personality, self and identity formation, prejudice and bias, stereotypes, social class, stratification, social mobility, poverty, culture, and health and healthcare disparities

Resources

  1. AAMC Material 
    1. Stands for American Medical College Application Service (AAMC), they are a service dedicated to help medical students and provide study material to applicants. So be sure to apply.
  2. Kaplan Books
    1. Primary content review for C/P, B/B. Additional questions organized by chapter available online.
    2. General chem: 12 chapters
    3. Organic chem: 12 chapters
    4. Biochem: 12 chapters
    5. Biology: 12 chapters
    6. Physics and math: 12 chapters
  3. Jack Westin CARS
    1. Most representative practice passages and questions for CARS section other than official AAMC question packs
  4. Pre-made decks specialized for MCAT via Reddit
    • u/penguin pajama: corresponds to Kaplan chapters
    • u/MileDown: great for all sections, ~3k cards, includes 300 pg KA P/S doc, equations
    • u/Cubene: corresponds to 300 page KA document (psych)

Lastly don’t forget to schedule your time and organize your studying, don’t over overwork yourself!

Also, it is better to study 4 months prior to the exam date to help you retain your information correctly. Creating a schedule and taking necessary breaks is key to acing the exam!

I know it is a threatening exam BUT it is going to be a SUCESS and we will be the doctors of TOMORROW!

From premed to physician: Pursuing a medical career : Career Outlook : U.S.  Bureau of Labor Statistics
Source: Bureau of Labor
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