Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)- An Overview

If you are thinking of studying medicine in the United States, then appearing for the Medical College Admission Test.(MCAT) becomes mandatory as most of the renowned educational institutes of the U.S. require candidates to submit their MCAT scores before considering them for admission.

A candidate mainly takes the MCAT if he/she is interested in joining any medical college to study the various different branches of medicine like allopathic, veterinary and podiatric medicine. The MCAT exam is tough and requires a lot of hard work and preparation. Therefore a candidate has to start preparing well in advance if he/she wants to score very well in this competitive test.

Test Structure:

The test is computer based and checks a candidate’s knowledge in science, analytical and critical thinking, quantitative aptitude, verbal reasoning and ability to write well. This test has a prearranged set of multiple choice questions which a candidate has to answer.

It generally checks the candidate’s ability to think clearly and deeply. A candidate must also have in-depth knowledge of the science subjects like physics, organic chemistry, biology and chemistry to answer all questions. The test is divided in several sections:

Verbal Reasoning section consists of 40 questions and the time allotted is 60 minutes. It checks a candidate’s ability to read the given questions critically and come up with logical reasons to draw conclusions on the given passage or questions. The candidate has to analyse deeply to understand the central idea of the given passage.

Physical Sciences section consists of 52 questions which a candidate has to solve in 70 minutes. This section tests the candidate’s basic knowledge in subjects like physics, chemistry and has questions on reasoning and data interpretation. A candidate has to study topics like light and optics, nuclear physics, thermodynamics, quantum numbers, acids, bonding, reaction types, etc.

Biological Sciences section also has 52 questions and the time given is 70 minutes. This section tests a candidate’s knowledge in biology and organic chemistry. The topics covered in this section include cell division, viruses, nervous system, muscular systems, hydrocarbons, amino acids, stereochemistry, spectroscopy, etc.

The Writing section requires a candidate to write two essays which again requires a candidate to apply his/her analytical reasoning skills. Ability to communicate clearly and effectively through writing is also tested in this section. Total time allotted to this section is 60 minutes.