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MCAT2015: Something New

In celebration of the launch of our MCAT2015 Question of the Day (the first one out there!), we wanted to do something a little different than what you’ll find on the blogosphere about the new MCAT2015.

Pretty much every premed blogger and MCAT prep company has offered their two cents on the upcoming MCAT in 2015. Yes, the exam is going to be (much) longer and thus more challenging. The format is probably going to remain very much the same (passages + discrete questions). But it’s too early to know too much else. But there are some things we do know…

Let’s talk about what’s going to be on the exam and how to start getting ready for it. The AAMC released a preview guide to the MCAT2015 which is a solid 150 pages of curriculum and example questions. There’s a ton of overlapping content between the old (current) MCAT and the MCAT2015, and a lot of young premeds right now are on the cusp of which exam they’ll take. If you’re reading this and you’re a freshman or a sophomore, you may end up actually preparing for both. Is that worthwhile? Probably – there’s not very much on the current MCAT that won’t show up on the new one. So we decided to offer you something actually useful: a list of content that is NEW on MCAT2015 as well as content that is on the current MCAT but will not be on MCAT2015.

But first… what’s on the new exam anyway? Here’s a table that might be helpful (we only bothered making it because nobody else bothered to make it yet)!

Exam Sections

Subject Bio and Biochem Chem and Physics Psych and Sociology Totals
Biology 65% 2% 10% 26%
Biochemistry 25% 25% 17%
General Chemistry 4% 33% 12%
Organic Chemistry 6% 15% 7%
Physics 25% 8%
Psychology 60% 20%
Sociology 30% 10%

Current Content that is NOT on MCAT2015

Biological Sciences

  • Comparative anatomy (chordate features, vertebrate phylogeny)
  • Fungi
  • Recrystallization
  • Alcohols (Note: some topics remain)
    • Pinacols
    • Halogenation
    • Inorganic Esters
  • Aldehydes and Ketones (Note: some topics remain)
    • 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds, internal hydrogen bonding
    • organometallic reagents
    • Wolff-Kishner reaction
    • Grignard reagents
    • Haloform reactions
  • Acid Derivatives (Note: some topics remain)
    • Hofmann rearrangement
  • Amines, except for what you need to know about imines and enamines in other sections
  • Phosphorous compound reactions (Wittig reaction), except for what you need to know about ATP and phosphoesters like DNA/RNA

Physical Sciences

  • Quantum numbers l, m, s
  • Ionic bond
  • Colloids
  • Uniform circular motion
  • Pulley Systems
  • Momentum, impulse, and collisions
  • Solids (elastic properties, shear, compression)
  • Gauss’s Law
  • Power in circuits
  • Alternating currents and reactive circuits
  • Fission, fusion, mass deficit

MCAT2015 Content that is NEW

Biochemistry

  • Mixed and Uncompetitive inhibition
  • Regulatory enzymes: allostery, covalently-modified enzymes, zymogens
  • Flavoproteins
  • Oncogenes
  • Gluconeogenesis, Pentose Phosphate Pathway, and regulation of these mechanisms
  • Fatty acid metabolism and biosynthesis
  • Chromatography: size-exclusion, affinity
  • Amino acids: Strecker Synthesis, Gabriel Synthesis
  • Lipids: sphingolipids, prostaglandins

Biology

  • Eukaryotic chromosome organization: Single copy vs. repetitive DNA, supercoiling
  • Eukaryotic gene regulation: Gene amplification and duplication, cancer formation, non-coding RNAs
  • Prokaryotic gene regulation: Jacob-Monod Model, gene repression, positive control
  • Biotechnology applications: DNA libraries, generation of cDNA, analyzing gene expression, determining gene function, stem cells, practical applications in medicine, therapy, pharma, forensics, environment, and agriculture, as well as safety and ethics implications of DNA technology
  • Genetics: synaptonemal complex, tetrad, composition of the Y chromosome, cytoplasmic/extranuclear inheritance, statistical methods
  • Other microbiology: transposons, prions and viroids, chemotaxis
  • Embryogenesis: neural crest, environment-gene interaction in development, differentiation and determination of cell type, cell-cell communication in development, stem cells, gene regulation in development, senescence and aging
  • Biosignalling: receptor enzymes, G protein-coupled receptors
  • Immune system: clonal selection, MHC complex

Chemistry

  • Electrochemistry: Nerst equation, electrolysis, Faraday’s Law, lead-storage batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries
  • Electronic structure: paramagnetism and diamagnetism, Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
  • Use of the Arrhenius Equation, Law of Mass Action

Physics

  • Viscosity: Poiseuille Flow
  • Venturi effect, pitot tube
  • Boltzmann’s constant
  • Van der Waals’ Equation
  • Electricity: circuit meters
  • Sound: shock waves
  • Coefficient of expansion

Organic Chemistry

  • Aldehydes and Ketones: hydride reagents, cyanohydrin, enolate chemistry, retro-aldol, kinetic vs. thermodynamic enolate, carbanions
  • Carboxylic acids: lactam, lactone formation
  • Phenols: oxidation and reduction
  • Biological aromatic heterocycles

Psychology and Sociology

  • Vision, hearing, and other sensory processing (physiological and psychological)
  • Perception, attention, cognition, consciousness, and memory
  • Emotion, stress
  • Biological bases of behavior (brain structure and function, genetics, development)
  • Personality, psychological disorders, motivation, attitudes
  • Social influences, group processes, culture, and socialization
  • Associative learning, observational learning
  • Theories of attitude and behavior change
  • Self-concept and identity, formation of identity
  • Social thinking (attributing behavior to persons or situations), prejudice and bias, stereotypes
  • Elements of social interaction, self-presentation, social behavior, and discrimination
  • Theoretical approaches to understanding social structure, social institutions, and culture
  • Demographic structure of society, demographic shifts and social change
  • Spatial inequality, social class, health and healthcare disparities

 

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