MCAT Exam Overview

Ace each section of the MCAT Exam

The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is required for admission to almost all U.S. medical schools and many Canadian schools. This rigorous exam will test your knowledge of physics, biology, biochemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry, sociology, and psychology. Additionally, it serves to assess your capacity for problem solving and critical thinking.

Click on the links below to learn more:

  1. MCAT Exam - Section by Section
    1. Biological Science Section
    2. Physical Science Section
    3. Behaviorial Science Section
    4. CARS Section
  2. 2023 MCAT Test Schedule
  3. How to improve your score
  4. Read our students' reviews
  5. Contact Dr. Donnelly about MCAT lessons

Designed to help better prepare future physicians for the rapidly advancing and transforming health care system, the current Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) was officially launched on April 17, 2015. The new improved MCAT exam preserves what works about the previous version of the exam, eliminates what was not working, and further enriches the MCAT exam by giving attention to the concepts tomorrow’s doctors will need.

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About MCAT Tutoring!

Getting into your top-choice medical school is a highly competitive process and so you'll want to prepare thoroughly for the MCAT. The MCAT exam is unlike any other standardized test. Even the most gifted students will often score poorly on this test unless they are aware of the correct approach to taking the MCAT.


Overview of the MCAT

Section by Section

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The MCAT Exam Structure

The MCAT contains 230 questions over 6 hours and 15 minutes. Each of the science sections will contain 10 passages with 4 to 7 questions each and 15 stand-alone questions. The CARS section has 9 passages with a total of 53 questions. Passages now place more emphasis on integrating topics, with general chemistry, physics, and biochemistry (for instance) all appearing within the same passage!

You will receive five scores from your MCAT exam: one for each of the four sections and one combined total score. Each of the four sections is scored from a low of 118 to a high of 132, with a midpoint of 125. Your total score is the sum of your four section scores and therefore will range from 472 to 528. The midpoint is 500. Click here for more MCAT scores details.

The Biological Sciences Section

Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems</span> section of the MCAT

The Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section of the MCAT is 95-minute long and contains 59 multiple-choice questions. This section asks you to combine your knowledge of foundational concepts in the biological and biochemical sciences with your scientific inquiry, reasoning, and research and statistics skills to solve problems that demonstrate readiness for medical school.

Understanding the processes unique to living organisms, such as growing and reproducing, maintaining a constant internal environment, acquiring materials and energy, sensing and responding to environmental changes, and adapting, is important to the study of medicine.

You will be tested on your knowledge of how cells and organ systems within an organism act both independently and in concert to accomplish these processes, as well as your ability to reason about these processes at various levels of biological organization within a living system. Cick for more MCAT Biology section details.

The CARS Section

CARS section of MCAT

The Critical Reading and Analysis (CARS) section of the MCAT is 90-minute long and contains 53 multiple-choice questions. This section includes passages from a wide range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities followed by a series of questions that lead you through the process of comprehending, analyzing, and reasoning about the material you have read.

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 ethics and philosophy, cultural studies, and population health. Click for MCAT CARS section details.

The Behavioral Sciences Section

Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior Section

The Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior section of the MCAT is 95-minute section contains 59 multiple-choice questions. This section tests your knowledge and use of the concepts in psychology, sociology, biology, research methods, and statistics that provide a solid foundation for learning in medical school about the behavioral and socio-cultural determinants of health and health outcomes.

Understanding the behavioral and socio-cultural determinants of health is important to the study of medicine.

You will be tested on your knowledge of the ways in which psychological, social, and biological factors influence perceptions and reactions to the world; behavior, and behavior change; what people think about themselves and others; the cultural and social differences that influence well-being; and the relationships between social stratification, access to resources, and well-being. Click for MCAT Behavioral Science section details.

The Physical Sciences Section

Chemical and Physical Foundations section of MCAT

The Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems section of the MCAT is 95-minute section contains 59 multiple-choice questions. This section asks you to combine your knowledge of foundational concepts in the chemical and physical sciences with your scientific inquiry, reasoning, and research and statistics skills to solve problems that demonstrate readiness for medical school.

Understanding the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of tissues, organs, and organ systems is important to the study of medicine.

You will be tested on your knowledge of the basic chemical and physical principles that underlie the mechanisms operating in the human body, and your ability to apply an understanding of these general principles to living systems. Click for more MCAT Physical Sciences section details.

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