This is Part 1 of a series breaking down each section for the MCAT 2015. As you know, starting in April 2015 a completely revamped MCAT rolls out and the changes to what you need to know are huge! Instead of the broad bland sections of Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Verbal Reasoning the MCAT 2015 will have, 1) Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, 2) Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, 3) Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations and 4) Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. So it’s pretty evident that this isn’t going to be a straightforward section just testing your knowledge on chemistry and physics but really an integration of so much more. The changes reflect a shift of focus on a more holistic approach to medical education and testing how students can apply their ALL their knowledge to the medical field.
The Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems will consist of around 60 passage-based and freestanding questions and you with have 95 minutes to answer them. Keeping in mind the integration overhaul, this section will basically be testing you on a number of the courses you’ve taken including: Intro-level Biology, Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, and Cell/Molecular Biology. Whoa, it’s been a while since you thought about those classes, huh? Well MCAT Cracker has got it all figured out and will help you practice, practice, practice. You can read the AAMC full overview of the section here and check out MCAT Cracker’s video introduction guide below:
On MCAT Cracker you take MCAT 2015 practice tests that simulate the look and feel of the new MCAT and that emulate the difficulty level of the real thing. Each practice test is complete with streaming tutorials and explanations of answers to really give you the edge in studying for the MCAT 2015. Also each explanation gives you a breakdown of the Foundational Concept and Content Category the test question comes from. FYI the Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems section is concerned with Foundational Concepts 4 and 5. Learn in depth what Foundational Concept 4 entails which will make up about 40% of the section here and Foundational Concept 5 which makes up the other 60% of the section here. Below is a sample chemistry question to give you an idea of what you’ll be facing. The wording and phrasing of the question is meant to be tricky but really it’s just asking about protein and protein interaction. Breaking down the question is half the battle and MCAT Cracker helps you practice not only that but also gives a great review of the subject matter at hand.
Besides your knowledge of the subjects, remember you are also being tested on your scientific reasoning, analytical problem solving, and research methods. This new integrated system is highly intimidating and studying for it is no easy task. But with the right practice (and more practice, practice, practice) you can breakdown the questions, remain calm, and conquer! P.S. right now you can upgrade your MCAT Cracker account and unlock the all the practice tests for $39 instead of the regular $99!