Introduction to the MCAT Biological Sciences Test

The MCAT, short for Medical College Admissions Test, is a battery of tests involving a combination of analytical skill, scientific reasoning, and subject knowledge for individuals who are applying to become medical students. Not surprisingly, the MCAT Biology section is one of the most difficult and important portions of the exam, requiring test-takers to contend with a variety of MCAT Biology topics. When it comes to Biology, the MCAT will be challenging even for good students. The MCAT Bio test is accepted – and required — by the majority of United States medical colleges, so it is important to do well. It is also important to do the Biology MCAT only once, as all scores will automatically be reported to your chosen list of medical schools!

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MCAT Biological Sciences Test Format

All sections of the MCAT are administered on the computer. Although basic background knowledge of the subject matter is helpful, the information you need for each question will be contained in the written passages between question sets. In the case of the Biology test, there are 10 problem sets of up to 10 questions per set, plus an additional 15 questions used to evaluate the effectiveness of the test. The Biological Sciences section is the last part of the test that you will take on MCAT day. By the time you reach the MCAT Biology section you will already have tested for over three hours; but, you receive an hour lunch break in the middle of the day, followed by an hour of essay writing and then the Biology MCAT.

Preparing for the MCAT Biological Sciences Test and MCAT Biology Topics

Unlike some of the standardized tests that are used at lower levels of education, MCAT Biology topics are derived more closely from the information in basic, college-level Biology courses. The first step toward preparing for the MCAT Biology section is to take pre-requisite courses in Biology, just as you would take Chemistry and Physics as part of the Physical Sciences exam. The Biology MCAT section requires you to read and interpret passages to answer questions about fundamental cellular processes. You should be knowledgeable about vertebrates and microbes and understand the foundational topics of cellular biology, as well as the function and interaction of vertebrate body systems.

Special Considerations for Taking MCAT Bio

Even if you know your MCAT Biology topics well, the MCAT is an extremely long test. Likewise, you will be very closely monitored throughout your time at the testing location to ensure the integrity of the process. It is important to be well rested and to pack a healthy lunch on the day of the exam, but you should also think carefully about strategic issues. In addition to carefully reviewing the subject areas that are on the test, you should aim to complete the MCAT in spring rather than take a fall testing date. This will give you the chance to complete your medical school applications in the summer or early fall so that you can be competitive with the deadlines for the vast majority of medical schools. It also gives you the opportunity to retest if you need to.

 MCAT Bio Requires the Right Preparation

If you have completed all of your science course pre-requisites before you take the MCAT, you are in a good position compared to the majority of test-takers. However, time can easily erode your knowledge of these areas. The best way to ensure that you will be successful is to seek out a structured academic improvement and test preparation product such as the one offered by EduNova. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of reviewing the material more quickly and effectively, rather than reviewing the texts and materials from your classes one at a time. The more confident you are of your knowledge, the better you’ll do!