MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test)

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is the entrance exam required for both MD (allopathic) and DO (osteopathic) medical schools.

The New MCAT

Beginning in April 2015, the new MCAT (last revised in 1991) will be administered to students applying to medical school for the Fall 2016 cycle. The most notable change to the exam is an added emphasis on the social sciences. The test also retains two sections devoted to the natural sciences and includes a new section that tests critical thinking skills.

To explain the reasoning behind these updates, Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, President and CEO of AAMC, writes, “Being a good doctor is about more than scientific knowledge. It also requires an understanding of people.  By balancing the MCAT exam’s focus on the natural sciences with a new section on the psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior, the new exam will better prepare students to build strong knowledge of the socio-cultural and behavioral determinants of health.”

If you will be taking the new MCAT, you will see these 4 sections on the exam:

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems MCAT2015

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

The first three sections will require you to demonstrate skills in 4 areas:

  • Knowledge of scientific concepts and principles
  • Scientific reasoning and problem solving
  • Reasoning about the design and execution of research
  • Data-based and statistical reasoning

The last section will require that you demonstrate critical thinking skills in these 3 areas:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Reasoning within the text
  • Reasoning beyond the text

If you are getting the feeling that this test will lean heavily toward the application of the concepts you have learned in your classes, you're on the right track.

The AAMC has created a number of resources for students who are preparing for MCAT2015. Many are free and the others are available for a nominal fee. Take advantage and start preparing now.

Official MCAT2015 Preparation Resources

MCAT content Khan Academy logo MCAT Guide Cover laptop for practice test

What's on the MCAT 2015 Exam?

Khan Academy MCAT Tutorial Videos

The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam, 4th Edition

Official MCAT2015 Sample Test

Free Free $30 $25
aamc.org/mcat2015exam https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat aamc.org/officialmcatguide2015 aamc.org/mcat2015sampletest

 Fee Assistance

 The AAMC also offers fee assistance for qualified test-takers. Benefits include:

  • Reduced MCAT registration and scheduling fees
  • AMCAS application fee waiver
  • Free, one-time access to The Official Guide to the MCAT© Exam (MCAT2015), Fourth Edition (ebook) and online practice questions, the Official MCAT2015 Sample Test, and the Official MCAT© Practice Question Sets
  • Complimentary access to the Medical School Admission Requirements database
  • ...and more

To learn more and apply for this benefit, visit AAMC.org/fap. These discounts cannot be retroactively applied once you have registered for the exam, so apply for FAP first.

AAMC has also negotiated a hotel discount program through Hampton Inns for test-takers who are traveling to take the exam. When you visit hamptoninn.com, include the special rate code of 0002673306 in the "corporate account" box.


 The current MCAT (administered for the last time Jan 23, 2015)

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is the required test for entering Medical School.  It is comprised of four sections: 

Physical Sciences:  General Chemistry and Physics
+  Time -  70 minutes
+  Format -  52 questions

Verbal Reasoning 
+  Time -  60 minutes
+  Format -  40 questions

Writing Sample
+  Time -  30 minutes each/ 60 minutes total
+  Format -  2 writing prompts

Biological Sciences: Biology and Organic Chemistry
+  Time -  70 minutes
+  Format -  52 questions

The MCAT is out of 45 with the Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning, and Biological Sciences scored on a scale from 1 - 15.  The Writing Sample is scored on a scale from J (lowest) to T (highest).  Therefore, a perfect score on the MCAT is a 45T.

NOTE:  To register for the MCAT or receive more information, go to the MCAT testing program which is offered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).  (Review the MCAT Essentials PDF available on the provided website.)  The MCAT information was gathered from the MCAT Premier Program .