National MCAT Examinations
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The exam: 2013 & 2014
Verbal Reasoning: The Verbal Reasoning section of the MCAT is designed to assess your ability to understand, evaluate, and apply information and arguments presented in prose texts. The test consists of several passages, each 500 to 600 words long, taken from the humanities and social sciences and from areas of the natural sciences not tested on the MCAT Physical and Biological Sciences sections. Each passage is accompanied by 6 to 10 questions based on the information presented in the passage. Test questions do not cover a specific set of topics; all the information needed to answer each question is provided in the accompanying passage.
Physical and Biological Sciences: The MCAT Physical Sciences section is designed to assess reasoning in general chemistry and physics. The MCAT Biological Sciences section is designed to assess reasoning in biology and organic chemistry. Each section contains 10 to 11 problem sets, each about 250 words in length, that describe a situation or problem. Each problem set is followed by 4 to 8 questions. An additional 15 questions are independent of any passage and each other.
Neither the passage-related questions nor the independent questions test the ability to memorize scientific facts. Rather, both types of questions assess knowledge of basic physical and biological science concepts and your facility at problem solving in general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biology.
Writing Sample: The MCAT Writing Sample consists of two 30-minute essays. The Writing Sample is designed to assess skill in the following areas:
-developing a central idea;
-synthesizing concepts and ideas;
-presenting ideas cohesively and logically; and
-writing clearly, following accepted practices of grammar, syntax, and punctuation consistent with timed, first-draft composition.
Each Writing Sample item provides a specific topic that requires an expository response. Topics do not pertain to the content of biology, chemistry, or physics; to the medical school application process or reasons for the choice of medicine as a career; to social and cultural issues not in the the general experience of college students; or to religious or other emotionally charged issues. Topics do not assess subject matter knowledge.
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Required reading for students planning to take the MCAT examinations: [MCAT essentials]
MCAT registration, information and deadlines
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