The MCAT, or the Medical College Admission Test, is a required test for those who are interested in going to medical schools in the United States and Canada. The MCAT test itself, a 5 hour computer exam, is offered as many as 25 times every year. The scores on this test range from 3J (lowest) to 45(T). The mean score of those who take the MCAT is approximately 24, with a score of 8 in each section. The average applicant to medical school had an average MCAT score of 28.1P while the average accepted medical student had an average of 30.9P. There are 4 sections in the MCAT. Physical Sciences (PS), Biological Sciences (BS), and Verbal Reasoning (CR) are multiple choices while Writing Sample (WS) represents the score of your essays. Each multiple choice section has maximum score of 15. Your total MCAT Tests score is simply the sum of scores from all of your sections.
Physical Sciences section is composed of 52 questions with 70 minutes of work time. Score for this section range from 1(lowest) to 15(highest). This section covers topics in general first year physics. While the topics themselves are not tested to its depth, a variety of subjects are tests. From the fundamentals of mechanics to electromagnetic fields to optics to fluid dynamics, the physics portion of the Physical Sciences section can be easily prepared with a 1 year course in the subject area. Topics in first year general chemistry are also tested in this section. Atomic structure, election distribution, acid-base titration, gas laws and other topics are all commonly tested. The Physical Sciences section is generally known to be very straight forward and perhaps the easiest section for science majors.
Biological Sciences section is composed of 52 questions with 70 minutes of work time. Score for this section range from 1(lowest) to 15(highest). Although it is advertised that only subjects from first year molecular biology are covered, many students report great success with taking physiology and high level genetic courses, since the topics are not strictly limited to those covered in an introductory molecular biology course, which also differs depending on the institution of which you attend. The harder portion of this section, those questions testing the knowledge of organic chemistry, are what commonly cause headache to premed students. Mastering the concepts of organic chemistry is necessary for students to ace this section.
Verbal Reasoning section is composed of 40 questions with 60 minutes of work time. Score for this section range from 1(lowest) to 15(highest). This is very similar to the critical reading section on the SAT, where students must read through passages and understand the meaning while being able to identify any grammar and usage errors.
The Writing Sample section is composed of 2 essays with 60 minutes of total work time. Score for this section range from J(lowest) to T(highest). The format to this section has always remained the same throughout the history of the MCAT. Students are given a statement, and then the student must carefully craft response to that statement, analyzing the parts and integrating it as a whole.
Retaking the MCAT tests is a great choice for those who felt unprepared or unable to demonstrate their mastery over their knowledge during their first test taking session. However, with that being said, if you do retake the test, it is absolutely necessary to show improvement over the MCAT.
In order to achive a high MCAT score and enter your best med schools, preparing for the MCAT tests early and well. Choosing the best MCAT prep books are very helpful as well.