About the MCAT

The MCAT exam is 230 questions long and takes a minimum of 6 hours and 15 minutes to complete (not including breaks, check in, etc). The MCAT  is separated into four sections: Chemistry & Physics, Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, Biology & Biochemistry, and Psychology & Sociology.

The MCAT is NOT a science exam primarily, rather it uses these subjects to test you on ten fundamental concepts and four essential skills. This is an important distinction. Memorizing scientific facts will not adequately prepare you for the exam. You must direct your efforts to mastering the skills and concepts and learn how to apply the facts critically.

The science sections each consist of 10 passages for a total of 59 questions. You are given 95 minutes to complete these sections. The CARS section is shorter with 9 passages and 53 total questions. You are given 90 minutes for this section. Each section is scored on a scale of 118-132 for a combined total score of 472 – 528. Learn more about the MCAT scoring system. The MCAT is offered 30 times per year and is taken at a local testing center. Learn more about the MCAT testing schedule.

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

Discipline:

  • First-semester biochemistry, 25% 
  • Introductory biology, 5% 
  • General chemistry, 30% 
  • Organic chemistry, 15% 
  • Introductory physics, 25% 

Foundational Concept: 

  • Foundational Concept 4, 40% (Physics)
  • Foundational Concept 5, 60% (Chemistry)

KrackU includes:

  • Chemistry, Physics, and Organic Chemistry Hyperbooks
  • 8 Chem Chapter Exams, 6 Phys Chapter Exams, 3 Orgo Chapter exams
  • 6 Chem/Phys Sectional Exams

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skill: 

  • Foundations of Comprehension, 30% 
  • Reasoning Within the Text, 30% 
  • Reasoning Beyond the Text, 40% 

Passage Content: 

  • Humanities, 50% 
  • Social Sciences, 50%

KrackU includes:

  • CARS Hyperbook
  • 3 CARS Chapter Exams
  • 6 CARS Sectional Exams

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

Discipline: 

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

Foundational Concept: 

  • Foundational Concept 1, 55% (Structure and Function of Cell)
  • Foundational Concept 2, 20% (Tissues and other cell communities)
  • Foundational Concept 3, 25% (Complex systems)

KrackU includes:

  • Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Laboratory Methods Hyperbooks
  • 11 Bio Chapter Exams, 8 Chem Chapter Exams, 3 Orgo Chapter exams, 3 Lab Chapter Exams
  • 6 Bio/Biochem Sectional Exams

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

Discipline: 

  • Introductory psychology, 65% 
  • Introductory sociology, 30% 
  • Introductory biology, 5% 

Foundational Concept: 

  • Foundational Concept 6, 25% (Interpret world)
  • Foundational Concept 7, 35% (Behavior)
  • Foundational Concept 8, 20% (Interaction)
  • Foundational Concept 9, 15% (Well-being)
  • Foundational Concept 10, 5% (Social stratification)

KrackU includes:

  • Psychology & Sociology Hyperbook
  • 9 Psych/Soc Chapter Exams
  • 6 Psych/Soc Sectional Exams

Foundational Concepts

Foundational Concept 1: Biomolecules have unique properties that determine how they contribute to the structure and function of cells and how they participate in the processes necessary to maintain life. 

Foundational Concept 2: Highly organized assemblies of molecules, cells, and organs interact to carry out the functions of living organisms.

Foundational Concept 3: Complex systems of tissues and organs sense the internal and external environments of multicellular organisms, and through integrated functioning, maintain a stable internal environment within an ever-changing external environment.

Foundational Concept 4: Complex living organisms transport materials, sense their environment, process signals, and respond to changes using processes understood in terms of physical principles. 

Foundational Concept 5: The principles that govern chemical interactions and reactions form the basis for a broader understanding of the molecular dynamics of living systems.

Foundational Concept 6: Biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors influence the ways that individuals perceive, think about, and react to the world. 

Foundational Concept 7: Biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors influence behavior and behavior change. 

Foundational Concept 8: Psychological, sociocultural, and biological factors influence the way we think about ourselves and others, as well as how we interact with others. 

Foundational Concept 9: Cultural and social differences influence well-being. 

Foundational Concept 10: Social stratification and access to resources influence well-being. 

Scientific Reasoning and Problem Solving

Skill 1: Knowledge of scientific concepts and principles.

Skill 2: Scientific reasoning and problem-solving.

Skill 3: Reasoning about the design and execution of research.

Skill 4: Data-based and statistical reasoning.

More Information

In addition to the above, the AAMC publishes a list of all the specific topics that the MCAT could potentially cover. Examkrackers painstakingly ensures that each topic is elaborated upon fully in our texts and software. To view this page, see the AAMC checklist.