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The MCAT Composition and Scoring

This article will focus on: what is tested in the MCAT, how are the questions asked, how is it scored?

Just in case you guys didn’t know, the MCAT is the medical college admissions test and its pretty much THE test you need to take in order to apply to medical school in the US (exceptions are to some international schools).The MCAT requires you to have a basic understanding of the sciences (General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Biology) and it requires that you have a good reading comprehension. Oh, you’ll also need to know how to write!

The test IS multiple choice, but it is NOT like a regular multiple choice. The questions are often tied up to a passage. This means that a passage (literally 4-5 paragraphs of stuff) is presented. From this passage and your basic knowledge, you need to derive with the equations as well as a way to answer the questions preceding the passage. It is kind of like a reading comprehension with science terms. Of course, you’re not a doctor yet, so the passages will never be anything that requires you to diagnose the problem. Then, there are some questions that are not attached with a passage.

In the verbal section questions are always pertaining to the passage. There are no analogies nor fill in the blanks. It is straight up, read and answer the questions pertaining to what you just read. To me, this verbal section is the easiest to do on the exam since the answer is right there in front of you. To practice for it, I would have to say – lots of practice!

Er go…


(based from American Medical College Application Service)

Physical Sciences – 70 mins for 52 questions (scored 1-15)

Verbal (Reading Comprehension) – 6o mins for 40 questions (scored 1-15)

Writing – two 30 min essays (scored J-T, with T being highest)

Biological Sciences – 70 mins for 52 questions (scored 1-15)

You will have a 10 min break or so in between these sections. You can get a free practice test #3 through the AAMC website.

How is it scored?

Like any other standardized test, your results are deeply reflected among those who took the test on that day.

The average, according to Kaplan is 24 (8 per section), with no indication of the standard deviation.

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