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What's on the MCAT Exam?

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section

Foundational Concept 1

Biomolecules have unique properties that determine how they contribute to the structure and function of cells, and how they participate in the processes necessary to maintain life.

Foundational Concept 2

Highly-organized assemblies of molecules, cells, and organs interact to carry out the functions of living organisms

Foundational Concept 3

Complex systems of tissues and organs sense the internal and external environments of multicellular organisms, and through integrated functioning, maintain a stable internal environment within an ever-changing external environment.

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Section

Foundational Concept 4

Complex living organisms transport materials, sense their environment, process signals, and respond to changes using processes that can be understood in terms of physical principles.

Foundational Concept 5

The principles that govern chemical interactions and reactions form the basis for a broader understanding of the molecular dynamics of living systems.

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Section

Foundational Concept 6

Foundational Concept 6sociocultural factors influence the ways that individuals perceive, think about, and react to the world.

Foundational Concept 9

Cultural and social differences influence well-being.

Foundational Concept 7

Biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors influence behavior and behavior change.

Foundational Concept 10

Social stratification and access to resources influence well-being.

Foundational Concept 8

Psychological, sociocultural, and biological factors influence the way we think about ourselves and others, as well as how we interact with others.

Scientific Inquiry & Reasoning Skills

Skill 1: Knowledge of Scientific Principles

Demonstrate understanding of scientific concepts and principles. Identify the relationships between closely-related concepts.

Skill 3: Reasoning about the Design and Execution of Research

Demonstrate understanding of important components of scientific research. Reason about ethical issues in research.

Skill 2: Scientific Reasoning and Problem-solving

Reason about scientific principles, theories, and models. Analyzing and evaluating scientific explanations and predictions.

Skill 4: Data-based Statistical Reasoning

Interpret patterns in data presented in tables, figures, and graphs. Reasoning about data and drawing conclusions from them.

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section

Skill 1: Foundations of Comprehension

Understanding the basic components of the text. Inferring meaning or intent from immediate sentence context.

Skill 2: Reasoning Within the Text

Integrating distant components of the text to infer an author's message, intent, purpose, belief, position, bias, assumptions. Recognizing and evaluating arguments and their structural elements (claims, evidence, support, relations)

Skill 3: Reasoning Beyond the Text

Applying or extrapolating ideas from the passage to new contexts. Assessing the impact of incorporating new factors, information, or conditions on ideas from the passage.

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