The 2014 MCAT

The current MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) is a standardized exam required for entry to most U.S. medical schools. Both morning and afternoon administrations are offered for the current test, with a total "appointment" time of just over 4 hours. Actual testing time is 3 hours 20 minutes. An optional 45-minute trial section is also offered, which increases “appointment” time to 5 hours, and seat time to 4 hours. This version of the MCAT will be administered through January 2015. The test day itinerary goes as follows:

Physical Sciences Section
• 70 minutes
• 52 questions

Optional Break (10 minutes)

Verbal Reasoning Section
• 60 minutes
• 40 questions

Optional Break (10 minutes)

Biological Sciences Section
• 70 minutes
• 52 questions

Optional Break (10 minutes)

Trial Section (optional)
• 45 minutes
• 32 questions

The Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Biological Sciences Sections consist entirely of multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices for each question.
 
The Physical Sciences Section

The Physical Sciences Section consists of a series of 7 passages on physics and inorganic chemistry topics. Each passage is followed by a set of multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices. In addition, there are 13 freestanding multiple-choice questions. The science background knowledge required is equivalent to the knowledge acquired by taking two semesters each of introductory undergraduate physics and general chemistry.

The Verbal Reasoning Section

The Verbal Reasoning Section consists of a series of 7 passages with an average of 500-600 words per passage on humanities, social science, and natural science topics. Each passage is followed by a set of multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices. Most questions require an understanding of the main idea of the passage. No outside knowledge is required.

The Biological Sciences Section

The Biological Sciences Section consists of a series of 7 passages on biology and organic chemistry topics. Each passage is followed by a set of multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices. In addition, there are 13 freestanding multiple-choice questions. The science background knowledge required is equivalent to the knowledge acquired by taking two semesters each of introductory undergraduate biology and organic chemistry.

The Trial Section

The Trial Section is an optional section used by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) to assess the validity and difficulty of questions for the 2015 MCAT. There are 32 multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices. No preparation is needed for this section. It is not required, will not receive a section score, and will not affect your overall MCAT score.

The MCAT is administered by The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). More information can be obtained at AAMC.org.


The 2015 MCAT

The new MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) is a standardized exam required for entry to most U.S. medical schools. A new version of the MCAT, which includes changes to both content and format, will be administered beginning in April 2015. The most significant change to content is the addition of biochemistry, psychology, and sociology material. The passages within each test section have greater health and medical relevance, and the passages and questions connect fields of science. Passage text is excerpted from the research literature and 20% of questions test research skills, inviting the student to prepare for the practice of evidence-based medicine.

The 2015 MCAT is a full-day test, with a total "appointment" time of 7 hours 30 minutes. Actual testing time is 6 hours 15 minutes. The test day itinerary goes as follows:

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (“Physical Sciences”) Section
• 95 minutes
• 59 questions

Optional Break (10 minutes)

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (“CARS”) Section
• 90 minutes
• 53 questions

Optional Mid-Exam Break (30 minutes)

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (“Biological Sciences”) Section
• 95 minutes
• 59 questions

Optional Break (10 minutes)

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior (“Psychosocial”) Section
• 95 minutes
• 59 questions

The Physical Sciences, CARS, Biological Sciences, and Psychosocial Sections consist of multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices for each question.
 
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Sciences Section

The Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Sciences Section consists of a series of 10 passages on general chemistry, biochemistry, physics, organic chemistry, and biology topics. Each passage is followed by a set of 4 or 5 multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices. In addition, there are 15 freestanding multiple-choice questions. Many physical science passages and questions are biologically or medically relevant, making connections between fields of science. Questions invite the student to apply basic science concepts to new situations. Passages describe experiments and 20% of questions evaluate research skills. The science background required is equivalent to the knowledge acquired by taking two semesters each of introductory undergraduate general chemistry, physics, organic chemistry, and biology, as well as one semester of undergraduate biochemistry.

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section consists of a series of 9 passages with an average of 500-600 words per passage on humanities and social science topics, including public health and medical ethics. Each passage is followed by a set of multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices. Most questions require an understanding of the main idea of the passage. No outside knowledge is required.

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section

The Biological Sciences Section consists of a series of 10 passages on biology and biochemistry topics. . Each passage is followed by a set of 4 or 5 multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices. In addition, there are 15 freestanding multiple-choice questions. Many biological science passage make connections between topics and invite the student to apply basic science concepts to new situations. Most passages are drawn from the research literature, and 20% of questions evaluate research skills. The science background required is equivalent to the knowledge acquired by taking two semesters each of introductory undergraduate biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry, as well as one semester of undergraduate biochemistry.

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section

The Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section consists of a series of 10 passages on psychology, sociology, and biology topics. Each passage is followed by a set of multiple-choice questions with four possible answer choices. In addition, there are 15 freestanding multiple-choice questions. Passages and questions connect psychosocial and health related topics, inviting the student to apply basic social science concepts to new situations. The background required is equivalent to the knowledge acquired by taking one semester each of introductory undergraduate psychology and sociology, and two semesters of introductory undergraduate biology.

The MCAT is administered by The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). More information can be obtained at AAMC.org.