Medical College Admission Test

About the MCAT

Why take the MCAT? The MCAT is designed to test more than just your academic knowledge. This multiple-choice, computer-based exam will test your content knowledge in General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, General Biology, Biochemistry, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, and critical analysis and reasoning skills.

Important Notes: Medical schools will be able to view MCAT scores from every exam attempt.

The MCAT can be retaken up to three times in a single testing year, four times within two-consecutive years, and up to seven times in a lifetime.

There is no defined waiting period between tests. However, you may only register for one MCAT testing session at a time, and you must wait 48 hours following your exam day to be able to register for a new seat.

 


MCAT Integrated Sections

The MCAT is broken into 4 integrated sections, meaning the subjects will overlap among the 4 sections. The four test sections include:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
    • Number of Questions: 59 total - 44 passage-related questions; 15 standalone, non-passage-related questions

    • Minutes to complete section: 95 minutes

  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
    • Number of Questions: 59 total (44 passage-related questions; 15 standalone, non-passage-related questions)

    • Minutes to complete section: 95 minutes

  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
    • Number of Questions: 59 total - 44 passage-related questions; 15 standalone, non-passage-related questions

    • Minutes to complete section: 95 minutes

  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
    • Number of Questions: 53 passage-related questions

    • Minutes to complete section: 90 minutes

Each section is scored on a scale of 118 to 132, with a mean and median score of 125. Total score possible ranges from 472 to 528, with a mean and median score of 500.

 


Foundational Concepts Covered

The first three sections of the MCAT (two natural science sections and the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section) will ask that you demonstrate four scientific inquiry and reasoning skills on the exam. They are:

  • Knowledge of Scientific Concepts and Principles
    • Reasoning about scientific principles, theories, and models
    • Analyzing and evaluating scientific explanations and predictions
  • Scientific Reasoning and Problem Solving
    • Demonstrating understanding of important components of scientific research
    • Reasoning about ethical issues in research
  • Reasoning about the Design and Execution of Research
    • Interpreting patterns in data presented in tables, figures, and graphs
    • Reasoning about data and drawing conclusions from them
  • Data-based and Statistical Reasoning
    • Interpreting patterns in data presented in tables, figures, and graphs
    • Reasoning about data and drawing conclusions from them 

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

The fourth section asks you to critically analyze information from a wide range of social sciences and humanities disciplines. Specific knowledge of these disciplines is NOT required for this section; all of the information you will need appears in the passages provided. Among the areas from which content is drawn are:

  • Humanities
    • Passages in the humanities are drawn from a variety of disciplines including: Architecture, Art, Dance, Ethics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Popular Culture, Religion, Theater
  • Social Sciences
    • Social science passages are also drawn from a variety of disciplines including: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Economics, Education, Geography, History, Linguistics, Political Science, Population Health, Psychology, Sociology

Passages from the social science disciplines tend to center on the interpretations, implications, or applications of historical accounts, theories, observations, or trends of human society as a whole, of specific population groups, or of countries. They may also be multifaceted.

Please Note

  • MSU University Requirements, Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities (IAH) and Integrative Students in Social Science (ISS), cover a variety of these disciplines

 


Course Plans for MCAT Preparation

MCAT Course Guide Plan 1

The following is a list of MSU courses that cover information tested on MCAT 2015 to prepare MSU students to take the test in Spring of their junior year. This is a guide only and there may be other courses necessary for your major. It is HIGHLY recommended that you discuss your plan for preparing for the MCAT with your preprofessional advisor.

Year 1 - Fall

MTH 103: College Algebra
Followed by MTH 124, CEM 141, STT Course

PSY Course
See Preprofessional Advisor to discuss options

Year 1 - Spring

MTH 124: Survey of Calculus I
Followed by PHY 231

CEM 141: General Chemistry
Taken concurrently with CEM 161
Followed by CEM 142, 251, 255, BS 161

CEM 161: Chemistry Laboratory I
Taken concurrently with CEM 141
Followed by CEM 162

SOC Course
See Preprofessional Advisor to discuss options

Year 2 – Fall

STT Course
Statistics course, major department

CEM 142: General and Inorganic Chemistry
Taken concurrently with CEM 162

CEM 162: Chemistry Laboratory II
Taken concurrently with CEM 142

BS 161: Cell and Molecular Biology
Taken concurrently with BS 171
Followed by BS 162, PSL 310 and MMG 301

BS 171: Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory
Taken concurrently with BS 161
Followed by BS 172

Year 2 – Spring  

CEM 251: Organic Chemistry I
Followed by CEM 252 and MMG 301

BS 162: Organismal and Population Biology
Taken concurrently with BS 172

BS 172: Organismal and Population Biology Laboratory
Taken concurrently with BS 162

Year 3 – Fall

Study for MCAT

PHY 231: Introductory Physics I
Taken concurrently with PHY 251
Followed by PHY 232

PHY 251: Introductory Physics Laboratory I
Taken concurrently with PHY 231

CEM 252: Organic Chemistry II
Taken concurrently with CEM 255
Followed by BMB 401

CEM 255: Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Taken concurrently with CEM 252

PSL 310: Physiology for Pre-Health Professionals

Year 3 – Spring  

Study for MCAT

PHY 232: Introductory Physics II
Taken concurrently with PHY 252

PHY 252: Introductory Physics Laboratory II
Taken concurrently with PHY 232

MMG 301: Introductory Microbiology

BMB 401: Comprehensive Biochemistry

ANTR 350: Human Gross Anatomy for Pre-Health Professionals

 

 

MCAT Course Guide Plan 2

The following is a list of MSU courses that cover information tested on MCAT 2015 to prepare MSU students to take the test in Spring of their senior year. This is a guide only and there may be other courses necessary for your major. It is HIGHLY recommended that you discuss your plan for preparing for the MCAT with your preprofessional advisor.

Year 1 - Fall

MTH 103: College Algebra
Followed by MTH 124, CEM 141, STT Course

PSY Course
See Preprofessional Advisor to discuss options

Year 1 - Spring

MTH 124: Survey of Calculus I
Followed by PHY 231

CEM 141: General Chemistry
Taken concurrently with CEM 161
Followed by CEM 142, 251, 255, BS 161

CEM 161: Chemistry Laboratory I
Taken concurrently with CEM 141
Followed by CEM 162

SOC Course
See Preprofessional Advisor to discuss options

Year 2 – Fall

STT Course
Statistics course, major department

CEM 142: General and Inorganic Chemistry
Taken concurrently with CEM 162

CEM 162: Chemistry Laboratory II
Taken concurrently with CEM 142

BS 161: Cell and Molecular Biology
Taken concurrently with BS 171
Followed by BS 162, PSL 310 and MMG 301

BS 171: Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory
Taken concurrently with BS 161
Followed by BS 172

Year 2 – Spring  

CEM 251: Organic Chemistry I
Followed by CEM 252 and MMG 301

BS 162: Organismal and Population Biology
Taken concurrently with BS 172

BS 172: Organismal and Population Biology Laboratory
Taken concurrently with BS 162

Year 3 – Fall

PHY 231: Introductory Physics I
Taken concurrently with PHY 251
Followed by PHY 232

PHY 251: Introductory Physics Laboratory I
Taken concurrently with PHY 231

CEM 252: Organic Chemistry II
Taken concurrently with CEM 255
Followed by BMB 401

CEM 255: Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Taken concurrently with CEM 252

Year 3 – Spring  

PHY 232: Introductory Physics II
Taken concurrently with PHY 252

PHY 252: Introductory Physics Laboratory II
Taken concurrently with PHY 232

PSL 310: Physiology for Pre-Health Professionals

Year 4 - Fall  

Study for MCAT

MMG 301: Introductory Microbiology

BMB 401: Comprehensive Biochemistry

Year 4 – Spring

Study for MCAT

ANTR 350: Human Gross Anatomy for Pre-Health Professionals

 

Please Note:

  • Curriculum at MSU is designed for the completion of degree programs as opposed to the sole purpose of preparing a student for a standardized professional exam. Therefore not every concept tested within the MCAT can be covered just through taking MSU courses. The following subtopics are areas you must learn on your own utilizing external resources, (e.g., test prep courses, guides, tutors, professors).