What You Actually Need to Study for the New MCAT What You Actually Need to Study for the New MCAT

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As a pre-med student who is going to have the face the 2015 MCAT you are hungry for information about the test. Here at Next Step we are more than happy to keep you up to date with easy to digest information on the next iteration of the test. We wanted to provide you with a breakdown of the test in terms of how many questions you should expect to see for each subject, concept, and skill type.

Based on the AAMC’s official material, here’s what you’ll see:

Whole MCAT: 230 Questions
Sciences: 177 Questions (there are 53 questions in the new reading section)

But what sciences get the most coverage?  What do you really need to study?  Do you really need to FREAK out about organic chemistry?  And what is up with that new section….

We went through the data and put together some charts to help breakdown exactly what subjects, concepts, and skills are tested by the science sections of the new MCAT.

For the three science sections of the test here is what you can expert in terms of subjects tested:

MCAT_Science_Section_Question_Breakdown

When you actually lay it out like that, one shocker comes right to the front: your entire year of slaving away at organic chemistry amounts to a paltry 11 or 12 questions out of 230. Seeing this, we now feel comfortable telling students that organic chemistry can be downgraded to “1 semester needed, 2 semesters optional”.

The other big eyebrow-raiser is what a huge shift in content this is: two of the top three most important topics (psychology/biochemistry) are brand new to the test. Biology/biochemistry/psychology makes up over half the test. And physics, the subject that most students struggle the most with has now been relegated to next-to-last. That leaves organic chemistry to easily take the award for “most work put into coursework with least payoff on the MCAT.”

For a more detailed look into the sections, we have broken down each by subject and concept tested.

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

Bio_Sciences_Topics

Bio_Sciences_Concept_Breakdown

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

 Physical_Sci_Topic_Breakdown

Physical_Sci_Concept_Breakdown

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

Psych_Section_Topics

Psych_Section_Concepts

As you are aware the MCAT is designed to test different types of skills in addition to content knowledge. These skills are general knowledge, reasoning ability, experimental design, and interpretation and usage of data and statistics. The number of questions that test each skill are equally distributed across all three of the science sections:

Skills_Breakdown

If you haven’t yet signed up take the MCAT before it changes, it is likely you will be taking the new MCAT sometime in 2015. But don’t be scared. We will strive to keep you informed with the most relevant and up to date information on the test change. We are also prepared to teach the new test so if you want to discuss your prep plans click below to request a consultation and we will be in touch shortly.

Next Step Test Preparation is the national leader in one-on-one MCAT tutoring.

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