The MCAT Test Pattern

The MCAT exam consists of the four sections,
The physical sciences, The biological sciences, Verbal Reasoning and Writing Skills.
The physical sciences section comprises of questions that test students’ proficiency in physics and general chemistry, whereas the biological sciences tests biology and organic chemistry concepts. The verbal reasoning is all about evaluating students’ skills in comprehending and answering questions that are based on a text.

Administration of the exam:
The first section to appear on the exam is the Physical sciences section, which consists of 77 questions and 100 minutes to answer them. Next in turn is the verbal reasoning section that has 60 questions and a total time of 85 minutes to finish it. After the two sections, the applicants can take a 10 minute break. The break used to last for 60 minutes during the pencil-and-paper test, but the computer based test offers only a 10 minute break after which the test will resume. After the break, the writing section will have to be answered by the students. Here, two 30-minute writing samples have to be written by students who have a total of 60 minutes for completing both. Students have to choose the topic they have to write from a choice of only two topics. The two writing samples are separately timed. Each essay is graded on a scale of 1-6. The scores of the two essays are added and converted to a scale from J to T where, J is the lowest grade and T is the highest. After taking the writing section, students can choose to take a 10 minute break if they want to. It is optional and can be availed if desired. Finally comes the biological section where 77 questions appear and have to be completed within 100 minutes. They will consist of questions from biology and organic chemistry.
The MCAT exam is a tough one, so the scoring on the exam is slightly complicated too. The scores for the three multiple choice sections range from 1 to 15. The writing samples are graded by both a human and a computer. The scores are recorded by both and the four scores (for both essays given by both the human and the computerized scoring system) are averaged and scaled from J to T. There is no negative marking in the examination, so students can attempt to guess answers to questions that they are not familiar with as it would not cause them an infraction. An easy way to score well on this test is to try to balance the scores in all three sections. While studying, if all three sections are given equal importance, concentration and time then it will become easier to combat the questions without any struggle. The average score on the MCAT is around 35P, so a student who scores higher than that has a tremendous advantage as his score would be a good one. Any score below this might not land one a good school, so it would be better to take the test again.


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