Last Updated: March 25, 2021

MCAT Syllabus

MCAT is a standardized test administered by the AAMC to help medical schools identify students best suited for the school based on a common assessment. This is essential due to the importance of the sector and because of how the grading systems and syllabi changes from school to school.

MCAT does not have a traditional approach toward medicine and has a total of four sections which are interdisciplinary in nature ranging from biology to sociology and also including questions that test the student’s general critical thinking abilities and reasoning skills.

The four sections of the MCAT are Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.

MCAT Structure

SectionTimeNo. of Questions
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems 95 minutes59
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems 95 minutes59
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior 95 minutes59
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills 90 minutes53

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

This section essentially questions the student’s knowledge in biological and biochemical concepts but connects it to the reasoning skills students have in connecting these topics to deduce how the different processes affect biological organization within a living organism.

Syllabus

The syllabus for this section can be split into which disciplines are included, the foundational concepts required and the skills that are assessed based on scientific inquiry and other reasoning skills. All three sections overlap in every question of the section as designed by AAMC.

Discipline
Foundational Concepts

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

This section deals with the assessment of the student’s knowledge in basic chemistry and physics though it is linked to other biological systems like the biochemical function of human tissues etc.

Syllabus

The syllabus for this section is also split under the three testing-fields of discipline, foundational concept and scientific enquiry and reasoning skill. These sections overlap in every question in a way specifically designed by AAMC.

Discipline Foundational Concept-

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behaviour

This section deals with the knowledge of foundational concepts in how psychological, social, and biological factors influence people in their perception of the world.

Syllabus

Discipline- Foundational Concept-

Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning Skill

The questions in all the three core sections of the exam require a specific amount of scientific inquiry skills and reasoning skills. This is assessed through the depiction of the following characteristics in the presentation of the answer by the students.

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

This section does not have any specific subject-related content but is similar to most of the verbal reasoning tests available in academia. There will be passages and passage-related questions the candidate will have to answer. The passages will be just 500-600 words in length but will be complex and thought-provoking in nature.

Syllabus

The syllabus of this section will only contain relatively vague information regarding the fields from which the passages will be taken so that students can prepare accordingly. Core Content Passage Content

MCAT Prep