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The MCAT Essentials for Testing Year 2020
Congratulations! Reading The MCAT Essentials is the first step in preparing to take the MCAT exam and toward a rewarding and fulfilling career in medicine. TheMCAT Essentialsis your guide to the official policies and procedures for taking the MCAT exam. The MCATEssentials provides you with information about registration, scheduling your exam, test-day policies, post-test-day procedures, and the rules in place to protect the integrity of the exam. It also includes information about AAMC MCAT preparation resources as well as other helpful resources. The information in this guide is necessary for a smooth registration, scheduling, and testing experience. At the time of registration and on test day, you will be asked to certify that you have read and agree to comply with the policies and procedures contained within The MCAT Essentials. The MCAT Essentials subject to change from year to year. If you are a returning examinee, you must read the current version of this guide. The version applicable to you is the version in effect at the time of your registration. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) provides the MCAT exam with the assistance of its test delivery administrator, Pearson VUE. You will find contact information throughout this guide if you have questions. All of us at the AAMC wish you the best and much success as you move forward toa career in medicine!
What Is on the MCAT Exam?
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) has been part of the medical school admissions process for over 90 years. Almost all medical schools in the United States and many in Canada require applicants to submit recent MCAT scores, and many health professions and graduate programs accept MCAT scores in lieu of other standardized tests. In conjunction with its member medical schools, the AAMC develops and administers the MCAT exam multiple times each year at hundreds of test sites throughout the United States and Canada, as well as select locations throughout the world. The MCAT exam tests concepts that medical school faculty, residents, and medical students rate as important to entering students’ success. The MCAT is a standardized, computer-based exam with content divided into four multiple-choice sections. The exam is administered at Pearson VUE test centers.
The MCAT exam has four multiple-choice test sections:▪Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems▪Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems▪Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior▪Critical Analysis and Reasoning SkillsThe first three sections above are organized around 10 foundational concepts or “big ideas” in the sciences. They draw from disciplines in academic-year-long courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory physics, and introductory biology, and from introductory courses in biochemistry, psychology, and sociology. Multiple choice questions in these sections will ask you to combine your scientific knowledge from multiple disciplines with your scientific inquiry and reasoning skills. The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section includes questions that test your ability to comprehend and analyze information you read in passages taken from a wide range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. This section requires no specific outside content knowledge. Each section of the exam includes some “field-test” or experimental questions (i.e., questions being considered for future use that do not count toward your total score).