What is going to be changed in MCAT 2015 question pattern?

Certification: Admission Tests MCAT - Medical College Admission Test


Major changes brought in the MCAT system 2015

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) refers to a computer-based globally standardized examination that has been especially designed for the prospective medical students of the United States as well as Canada. The question format of the MCAT exam includes several sections. Those are: assess problem solving, written analysis, scientific concepts & principles, critical thinking, etc. The MCAT exam is offered at the Prometric centers for at least 25 times in every year. The candidates who aspire to get admission in a medical school take the MCAT exam before applying in the medical schools.

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) had brought significant changes in the current structure of the MCAT test on the 5th Comprehensive Review of the MCAT exam. These proposals were finalized in the spring session of the year of 2012 and took approval from the Board of Directors of the AAMC.

The new structure of the MCAT exam is expected to be first managed from the spring session of the year of 2015. The current MCAT exam is undergoing reform in order to assist the process of developing tomorrow’s health professionals, especially doctors who will direct the fast advancing and frequently transforming modern health care system. Under the new structure of the MCAT 2015 exam, the first candidates will be those who are planning to take admission in the medical schools of the United States and Canada in the fall session of the year of 2016.

Major changes brought in the question pattern of the MCAT 2015 exam

In the new structure of the MCAT 2015 exam, the Natural science related sections reflect the recent changes of the current medical education. Adding to this, in the new structure of the MCAT exam, the social science as well as behavioral science related sections, including, biological, psychological and social foundations of human behavior, recognizes the significance of socio-cultural as well as behavioral determinants of the health issues and diverse health outcomes. The new structure of the MCAT 2015 exam will also include Critical Analysis as well as Reasoning Skills measuring section that will reflect the fact that the current education system of the medical schools wishes to provide admissions to the well-rounded applicants, who can come from diverse educational backgrounds.

The exam duration is about 4.5 to 5 hours; whereas, the total exam duration will be about six hours excluding the additional period for taking breaks during the MCAT exam.  The new scoring scale of the MCAT 2015 exam is 1-15, which have not changed from the current version of the MCAT exam. The new structure of the MCAT 2015 exam will not include any writing section. The previous writing section has been already removed from the January of the year of 2013. The new structure of the MCAT test includes four sections:

  1. Biological and Biochemical Foundation of Living Systems

    ‘Biological and Biochemical Foundation of Living Systems’ section of the MCAT 2015 exam will validate the extent of knowledge of the examinees about vital issues regarding biology, such as,  how cells, tissues and organ systems act independently inside an organism; how the biological and biochemical processes occur inside an organism; etc. This section will include about 65 questions. The stipulated time for this section is 95 minutes. The question format will be multiple choice questions along with four options or answer choices.

  2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

    ‘Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems’ section of the MCAT 2015 exam will validate the extent of knowledge of the examinees regarding the fundamental level principles of chemistry and physics those are associated with the mechanisms which operate within each human body. This section will include about 65 questions. The stipulated time for this section is 95 minutes. The question format will be multiple choice questions along with four options or answer choices.

  3. Psychological, Social and Biological Foundation of Behavior

    ‘Psychological, Social and Biological Foundation of Behavior’ section of the MCAT 2015 exam will validate the extent of knowledge of the examinees regarding the practical application of psychological, sociological, biological concepts. This section will also measure the aptitude of the students on re-search methods as well as statistical procedures. These subjects are expected to provide a strong foundation to learn about the behavioral issues as well as socio-cultural determinants regarding health issues and various health outcomes in the medical schools. This section will include about 65 questions. The stipulated time for this section is 95 minutes. The question format will be multiple choice questions along with four options or answer choices.

  4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

    ‘Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skill’ section of the MCAT 2015 exam will validate the extent of knowledge of the examinees in critical reasoning. This section includes some passages on a wide range of discipline, such as, humanities, sociology and social problems, behavioral science, etc. the question format instructs the examinees to critically evaluate the provided information in the passages in order to answer the questions. This section will include about 60 questions. The stipulated time for this section is 90 minutes. This section will include about 10 reading passages and each passage will be followed by 5-7 numbers of questions. The word span of the reading passages will be about 500 to 600 words. The question format will be multiple choice questions along with four options or answer choices.

In general, in the new structure of the MCAT 2015 exam, the question format will measure 35% of straight knowledge as well as 65% of exploitation of knowledge in order to define a clearer picture of the readiness of the potential applicants to undertake the rigors and pressure of the medical schools.


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