You know you need to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) in order to get into medical school, but do you know what is on the MCAT? The MCAT covers three areas of study: physical sciences, biological sciences, verbal reasoning, and writing samples.
Physical science covers general chemistry and physics. Biological sciences cover biology and organic chemistry. Verbal reasoning requires you to read passages, and the writing samples require you to write a comparative essay.
The physical sciences are the first section on the exam; you get 70 minutes to answer the questions. In this section, you will have 13 questions, and 7 passages to read and about which to answer questions. There are about four to seven questions per passage, making the physical section a total of about 41 to 62 questions long.
Verbal reasoning is the second section on the exam; you get 60 minutes to the questions.
The verbal reasoning section contains seven passages that are 600 words long. For each passage you will answer five to seven questions; therefore, the total number of verbal reasoning questions is thirty-five to forty-nine. These passages question your ability to understand the aims of the passages and interpret their significance.
Your writing sample is the third section of the exam; you have 60 minutes for this section.
The writing sample section is two 30 minute essays. These essays are not about science, the medical school application process, or why you are applying to medical school. In your essay you need to develop a central idea, synthesize concepts and ideas, present ideas cohesively and logically, and use proper grammar/syntax/punctuation.
The last section of the exam is the biological sciences section, which is 70 minutes long.
Like the physical sciences, in this section you will have 13 questions, and 7 passages to read and about which to answer questions. There are about four to seven questions per passage, making the biological section a total of about 41 to 62 questions long.
The physical and biological sections do not require you to dispense memorized information, but rather test your understanding by presenting problems requiring critical thinking for problem solving.
Did you know?
Over 70,000 students sit (take) the MCAT exam every year! The exam takes 4 hours and 25 minutes to complete, but with added breaks, explanations, etc. the exam takes 5 hours and 25 minutes (not including check-in time.)