MCAT 2015 Section Breakdown: Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

This is Part 2 of a series breaking down each section for the MCAT 2015. Starting in April 2015 no more broad straight-forward sections, now it’s 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. These revamped sections are not just a mouthful to say they are dense and all-encompassing sections designed to test a wider range of your knowledge than the MCAT before. The Biological and Biochemical Foundations section will consist of around 60 passage-based and freestanding questions and you will have 95 minutes to answer them. These questions will being testing you specifically from courses you taken like First-semester Biochem, Intro Biology, General Chem, and Organic Chem. but keep in mind the integration factor of MCAT 2015 so really it’s so much more. Check out the approximate percentage breakdown of the section below:

o First-semester biochemistry, 25%
o Introductory biology, 65%
o General chemistry, 5%
o Organic chemistry, 5%

If you’re a biology major thinking, ‘Well I can relax like a little studying for THIS section, amirite?’ Nope. The key thing to remember in all this is integration. Each section is integrating nearly all the classes you might have taken in college to better assess your knowledge as a whole and how you relate it to the medical field. There is also an emphasis of research practices and procedures to keep in mind. For example you might be presented with an experiment and asked why they chose this particular protein and why not this other one. That kind of question integrates research methods while also testing your biological and chemical structures and properties of proteins knowledge too. If this sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. 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 complete video introduction to the section below:

The Biological and Biochemical Foundations section is concerned with Foundational Concepts 1, 2 and 3. Learn in depth what Foundational Concept 1 entails, which will make up about 55% of the section here. Foundational Concept 2, which makes up the other 20% of the section here. Foundational Concept 3, which makes up the other 25% of the section here. Thankfully, MCAT Cracker is designed to emulate the real test in both look and in difficulty. 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. Below is a sample passage-based question, which you don’t even need the passage to answer!

Freestanding questions can actually have a lot of unnecessary information or really be fairly straightforward like this sample one below. With these MCAT Cracker streaming tutorials, not only do you get explanations of the answers but also a review of the subject at hand ☺! Plus you can still upgrade your MCAT Cracker account and unlock the all the practice tests for $39 instead of the regular $99!

This section of the MCAT 2015 is not to be underestimated especially considering the move towards everything integrated! Don’t panic! With MCAT Cracker and practice, practice, practice, this section of the rest of this new MCAT beast can be dominated!


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We specialize in one thing: helping pre-medical students ace their MCAT and get into medical school.