Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section

Beginning in January 2015, the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section will be one of the four sections of the MCAT. This new section is extremely comprehensive and will require many hours of dedicated study.

Overview of the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section

The Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems portion of the MCAT asks you to answer questions by combining your knowledge of biological and biochemical concepts with your scientific inquiry and reasoning skills. This portion of the MCAT will test processes that are exclusive to living organisms, including:

  • Growing and Reproduction
  • Maintaining a Constant Internal Environment
  • Acquiring Materials and Energy
  • Responding to Environmental Changes
  • Adaptation

This portion of the MCAT aims to test your knowledge of introductory-level biology as well as organic and inorganic chemistry. It also tests first-level biochemistry concepts, introductory cellular and molecular biology, basic research methods and statistics concepts, and will require you to demonstrate your scientific inquiry, reasoning, research methods and statistics skills in relation to natural sciences.

The Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section consists of 59 questions that are a combination of discrete and passage-based questions. You will have 95 minutes to complete this section of the test.

Breakdown of the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Section

The following is an estimate of how many questions you can expect to be asked about a discipline, foundational concept, or scientific inquiry and reasoning skill in the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section of the MCAT:

Discipline

  • 25% First-Semester Biochemistry
  • 65% Introductory Biology
  • 5% General Chemistry
  • 5% Organic Chemistry

Foundational Concept

  • 55% Foundational Concept 1
  • 20% Foundational Concept 2
  • 25% Foundational Concept 3

Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning Skill

  • 35% Skill 1
  • 45% Skill 2
  • 10% Skill 3
  • 10% Skill 4

These figures should be used as only a guide and may vary from test to test. Percentages are rounded to the nearest 5%.

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