Know The Upcoming Changes to the MCAT W.E.F. 2015

December 30, 2013

The MCAT or the Medical College Admission Test is the single most important exam that you will need to take as an aspiring doctor. Students prepare for months for this exam as it has a major impact on the success of their medical school admissions. Considering it exerts such a tremendous influence, the authorities are continuously tweaking it so that it is always updated and relevant.

Students on ward rounds at the Regional Hospital Presently, the MCAT comprises of a total of 4 sections: Biological Sciences (BS), Physical Sciences (PS), Writing Sample (WS) and Verbal Reasoning (VR). To perform well in this test, you have to be able to memorize and apply the materials from these segments. If you’ve got your sight on a career in a medicine and you are planning on answering the MCAT, the best way to maximize your potential in this test is to familiarize yourself with the layout of the test, including any projected changes that are in the pipeline. At the moment, there are two significant changes that were planned. The first of these was put in place in 2013 and the second one is will be put in place in 2015.

With effect from January 2013 to the end of the year 2014, the MCAT no longer consists of the Writing Sample section. Instead, students answering the test will take a trial section, which is voluntary. This trial section will help the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to be prepared for its imminent changes in 2015.  While this segment will not affect your MCAT score in any way, you should be aware of it if you plan to take the MCAT in 2014. The other sections of the MCAT and the total exam time will remain the same.

The modification that the MCAT will undergo in 2015 will put in place some significant changes to this crucial examination. After much deliberation, the AAMC believed it was necessary to make these changes to reflect the recent changes in the education of medicine.

With effect from 2015, the MCAT will have 4 test sections:

  1. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
  2. Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  3. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  4. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

Each of the sections will be scored on a scale from 1-15.

  • Section 1, ‘Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills’ is a new section of the MCAT. It has been introduced as a way to test students on their analytic and diagnostic proficiency. Students will be provided several passages from an assorted range of topics. They will be given to analyze and apply the information they have read. Prior scientific knowledge is not a requirement for this portion of the test. 
  • Section 2 on ‘The Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior’ is a new section designed to test students on key social and behavioral ideas that are fundamental for a practicing physician. This section will draw upon ideas from sociology, psychology and behavioral biology.
  • Sections 3 & 4, ‘the Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems’  and ‘The Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems’ are designed to test students on their knowledge of scientific concepts.  Medical schools believe that it is essential for future doctors to understand concepts from the fields of biology, physics, general chemistry, biochemistry and organic chemistry.

If you are planning on taking the MCAT in 2015, it is advisable to consult the American Association of Medical Colleges for more details on these projected changes.