About the MCAT2015

Background Test Information

The new MCAT exam (aka MCAT2015) is structurally similar to the old version (pre-2015) with some major additions to content, particularly psychology and sociology curriculum. The MCAT now contains four sections, each scored on a scale of 118 to 132 for a cumulative score range of 472 to 528.


Test Format

The MCAT 2015 has four sections:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

The breakdown of timing and number of questions is as follows:


Number of Questions

Time (minutes)

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems 59 95
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems 59 95
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior 59 95
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills 53 90

  6 Hours 15 Minutes


Science Content

How is the exam broken down in terms of subjects?


Exam Sections

Subject Bio and Biochem Chem and Physics Psych and Sociology Totals
Biology 65% 2% 10% 26%
Biochemistry 25% 25%   17%
General Chemistry 4% 33%   12%
Organic Chemistry 6% 15%   7%
Physics   25%   8%
Psychology     60% 20%
Sociology     30% 10%

Note: the Critical Analysis and Reasoning skills section is missing from the table above because there's no core content tested on that section! Everything you need to anwer the questions will be given to you in the passage.

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

  • Amino acids description, classification, and key reactions
  • Protein structures, conformations, and separation techniques
  • Nonenzymatic protein functions
  • Enzymatic protein structure, function, kinetics, and regulation
  • Nucleic acid structure and function
  • DNA replication methods, repair, basics of the genetic code, and eukaryotic chromosome organization
  • Transcription
  • Translation
  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene regulation
  • Recombinant DNA and biotechnology methods
  • Mendelian genetics and other factors in gene variability, mutations
  • Meiosis and Mitosis
  • Apoptosis and oncogenes
  • Evolution
  • Basic thermodynamics and electrochemistry
  • Carbohydrate descriptions and key reactions
  • Lipid descriptions and key reactions
  • Key metabolic pathways: glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, pentose phosphate pathway, ETC, Krebs Cycle, fatty acid and protein metabolism
  • Metabolic and hormonal regulation mechanisms
  • Plasma membrane structure and function
  • Eukaryotic organelles, cytoskeleton
  • Eukaryotic tissue types
  • Cell theory
  • Prokaryotes: structure, classification, growth and physiology, genetics
  • Viruses: structure, life cycles
  • Reproductive system, embryogenesis, and development
  • Nervous system structure and function, nerve cells
  • Endocrine system: hormones and their sources, mechanisms of hormone action
  • Respiratory system
  • Circulatory system
  • Lymphatic system
  • Immune system
  • Digestive system
  • Excretory system
  • Muscles and skeletal system
  • Skin system

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

  • Translational motion, equilibrium, work, and energy
  • Fluid statics and dynamics
  • Gases
  • Electrostatics and circuits
  • Electrochemistry
  • Sound and electromagnetic waves
  • Molecular structure and absorption
  • Optics
  • Atomic nucleus, radioactive decay, electronic structure, and periodic table description and trends
  • Stoichiometry
  • Acids and bases, titration
  • Ions and solubility
  • Covalent and intermolecular bonding
  • Separation and purification methods
  • Nucleic acid, amino acid, protein, lipid, carbohydrate structures, key reactions, and descriptions
  • Aldehydes and ketone descriptions and key reactions
  • Alcohol descriptions and key reactions
  • Carboxylic acid descriptions and key reactions
  • Acid derivative descriptions and key reactions
  • Phenols and biological aromatic heterocyclic compound basics
  • Enzyme functions and kinetics
  • Bioenergetics (thermodynamics)
  • Phosphorous-containing compounds
  • Chemical kinetics

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

  • Vision, hearing, and other sensory processing (physiological and psychological)
  • Perception, attention, cognition, consciousness, and memory
  • Emotion, stress
  • Biological bases of behavior (brain structure and function, genetics, development)
  • Personality, psychological disorders, motivation, attitudes
  • Social influences, group processes, culture, and socialization
  • Habituation and dishabituation, associative learning, observational learning
  • Theories of attitude and behavior change
  • Self-concept and identity, formation of identity
  • Social thinking (attributing behavior to persons or situations), prejudice and bias, stereotypes
  • Elements of social interaction, self-presentation, social behavior, and discrimination
  • Theoretical approaches to understanding social structure, social institutions, and culture
  • Demographic structure of society, demographic shifts and social change
  • Spatial inequality, social class, health and healthcare disparities


Questions? We're here to help!

Ask Us