Use the MCAT Biological Sciences section to generate great MCAT scores. Whether it’s MCAT biology or MCAT organic chemistry the basics you learn here will give you a solid foundation in your preparation for medical school.
For the MCAT Biological Sciences section you are given 70 minutes to answer 52 questions. Most of your questions will come from introductory biology and organic chemistry with a somewhat greater emphasis on biology. The breakdown is actually 70-80% biology with the remainder being chemistry MCAT orgo. So if you hate organic chemistry you won’t be seeing a lot of it.
The Biological Sciences is the last section of the MCAT where you will be tested on your understanding of biological sciences along with your ability to interpret data and analytical reasoning.
Basic Directions and Tips
There are going to be several problem sets on this portion of the MCAT exam each consisting of a short passage or a data set followed by multiple choice questions based on the problem set. Also, you will be asked to answer about 12 discrete multiple choice questions that are not based on a passage or data set.
A tip to getting an above average MCAT score is to give yourself 10 minutes to complete the discrete questions first. You want to do this because these questions just test your basic knowledge of biological science and should not require much work.
Why do the discretes first?
You want to complete these questions because they are easier and will get you ready to handle the questions from the problem sets which require much more analysis. Plus, by answering the discretes within 10 minutes you can devote the rest of your time to the passage based questions.
We all know it would be a shame to spend all of our time concentrating on the passages and then running out of time for the easier discrete questions. Dont make this mistake if you want to achieve a great MCAT score.
Still in Premed Classes
If you are still in your premed courses you should consider yourself very lucky.
My premed advisors have always said it is best to use the MCAT Biological Sciences topic guideline while enrolled in biology and organic chemistry because you can see where you need to focus your studying.
Also I would highly recommend you purchase this concise study guide that gives a complete review of all the content you’ll need to know for the MCAT. Simply click on the link and scroll to the bottom of the page to get your Biological Sciences review started.
The outline below will help you get a better sense of which Biological Science topics are going to be seen on the MCAT exam.
MCAT Biology Topics
Molecular Biology: Enzymes and Metabolism
- Enzyme Structure and Function
- Control of Enzyme Activity
- Basic Metabolism
Molecular Biology: DNA and Protein Synthesis
DNA Structure and Function
- DNA Structure and Function
- DNA Replication
- Repair of DNA
- Recombinant DNA
- Genetic Code
Molecular Biology: Eukaryotes
- Eukaryotic Chromosome Organization
- Control of Gene Expression in Eukaryotes
- Mendelian Characteristics
- Meiosis and Genetic Variability
- Analytic Methods: Hardy-Weinberg & Test Cross
- Virus Structure
- Viral Life Cycle
- Prokaryotic Cell: Structure, Bacteria
- Prokaryotic Cell: Growth and Physiology
- Prokaryotic Cell: Genetics
Generalized Eukaryotic Cell
- Membrane-Bound Organelles
- Plasma Membrane
Specialized Eukaryotic Cells and Tissue
- Nerve Cell/Neural
- Muscle Cell/Contractile
- Other Specialized Cell Types
Nervous and Endocrine Systems
- Endocrine System: Hormones
- Endocrine System: Mechanisms of Hormone Action
- Nervous System: Structure and Function
- Nervous System: Sensory Reception and Processing
Reproductive System and Development
- Reproductive System
- Developmental Mechanisms
- Comparative Anatomy
MCAT Organic Chemistry Topics
The Covalent Bond
Molecule Structure and Spectra
Separations and Purifications
Oxygen Containing Compounds
- Aldehydes and Keytones
- Carboxylic Acids
- Acid Derivatives (Acid Chlorides, Anhydrides, Amides, Esters)
- Keto Acids and Esters
- Amino Acids and Proteins
- Phosphorus Compounds
General Concepts in Organic Chemistry
- Classification of Organic Compounds According to Functional Groups
- Reactions, Reaction Mechanisms, and the Principles Involved
- Structure and Stereochemistry of Organic Compounds
- IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Compounds
- Multistep Synthesis/Retrosynthesis
MCAT Content Review
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