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The New MCAT

WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Posts: 6,580Registered User Senior Member
edited August 2012 in Pre-Med Topics
Informative article in the NY Times about what will be covered in the new 2015 MCAT

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/education/edlife/pre-meds-new-priorities-heart-and-soul-and-social-science.html?_r=1&hp

There is a pretty good discussion of what will be included in the new social science section and why Intro Soc and Intro Psych might not be enough.

Kaplan estimates the new material on the MCAT (which includes the new science topics as well as the new human behavior section and revised reading section) will essentially double the number of classes required for pre meds.
Post edited by WayOutWestMom on
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Replies to: The New MCAT

  • TatinGTatinG Posts: 2,948Registered User Senior Member
    Wow and with the load of classes already required...I'm glad D will be taking the 2013 MCAT.

    I see the benefit of some psych knowledge, but soc...?
  • barefootbarefoot Posts: 260Registered User Junior Member
    that is the year i'll be taking it. i guess i'll have to consider taking intro soc and intro psych freshman year. i just hope my adviser can help me a little bit, but it seems many schools are still scrambling to develop a course plan for pre-meds reflecting the new mcat. lovely!
  • entomomentomom Posts: 23,658Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks for the link. D2 took Sociology this semester in preparation for the new MCAT. However, she could take it in 2014 after jr year....
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Posts: 6,580Registered User Senior Member
    D2 is taking her MCAT in Jan 2013 and thus will be required to take one of the new subtests as part of AMCAS's pilot program for the new MCAT. She was told it would be one of the following: human behavior, genetics or biochem. But she won't find out which one until test day.

    She had courses in genetics, biochem (both required by our state med school), medical anthro, medical ethics, ethics, philosophy of science (which focussed on ethical issues in the life sciences) and several in behavioral neuroscience. No psych or soc, though.

    It'll be interesting to see what she thinks. If she has any relevant comments after she takes the exam I'll pass them on here.
  • TatinGTatinG Posts: 2,948Registered User Senior Member
    My D will be taking the MCAT in spring, 2013. What is this pilot program? Is everyone in it? Is it just to test out the new subject areas or does it count? D has taken genetics and biochem and three neuroscience courses but I'm not sure what's meant by human behavior.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Posts: 6,580Registered User Senior Member
    https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/reserving/276580/differentexam.html
    What will be different about the MCAT exam in 2013 and 2014?

    If you plan to take the MCAT exam in 2013 or 2014, please note that the Writing Sample section will no longer be part of the exam. In its place, a voluntary, unscored trial section will be added to the MCAT exam starting in January 2013. These unscored questions within this trial section will come from one of the content areas that will be added to MCAT in 2015. These include psychology, sociology, and biochemistry. Including the trial section, the 2013 and 2014 total testing times will be the same as 2012. Examinees that volunteer to participate, and put forth a good faith effort, will be compensated. Please note that admissions officers will continue to receive Writing Sample scores from exams taken in 2012 and prior.

    It's not clear from this whether one can elect not to participate and simply take the traditional MCAT without the writing portion. D seemed to indicate she wasn't given much of choice.

    If you're interested in seeing what kind of content the human behavior section will include, the 2015 MCAT Guide is here:

    https://www.aamc.org/students/download/266006/data/2015previewguide.pdf

    Description starts on p.89
  • yodeloyodelo Posts: 1,074Registered User Senior Member
    I hate all these new sections on the MCAT, it makes the preparation process longer and more tedious, including taking more classes/self studying more material
  • LimitlessRxLimitlessRx Posts: 64Registered User Junior Member
    At least we will be better doctors? lol
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,572Registered User Senior Member
    Kaplan estimates the new material on the MCAT (which includes the new science topics as well as the new human behavior section and revised reading section) will essentially double the number of classes required for pre meds.

    Methinks Kaplan needs to back and check its math.

    Currently, there are 8 science courses + 2 English courses that most med schools require, i.e., 10. (And yes, many require 2 courses in math, but not all.) So, that's 10 or 12.)

    Adding genetics, biochem, sociology and psychology is plus 4. And lemme see, based on SAT math (which Kaplan teaches), 4/10 = 40% increase in courses, or 4/12 = something less than 40%. And since a doubling generally means 100% increase (at least based on SAT math), Kaplan's rep has an epic fail. :rolleyes:


    and, "fewer than half of Kaplan students" have taken psych or soc. Is that 10% or 49%? Is that both or just one? (Many premeds I know take Intro Psych for the easy A.)

    fwiw: my guess is that some/many med schools will drop second semester of organic and replace it with biochem.
  • AsterusAsterus Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    I really hope the medical schools adjust their requirements by next year. It's awfully confusing with all the controversy of the addition of Biochemistry and the less need for Organic Chemistry.
  • Kdog044Kdog044 Posts: 1,452Registered User Senior Member
    I really don't see it changing the number courses much for pre-meds, especially bio majors. My son's (bio major) school already requires genetics and biochem in addition to the year of orgo. Most schools have some type of distribution requirement where they have to take humanities and social science classes to get their degree. It may alter the classes they take, but not necessarily increase the number.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,572Registered User Senior Member
    ^^Exactly. For most premeds, this is much ado about nothing. For the pure science geeks, who hate on readin' a writin', this change will be a shock to their systems.
  • TheBrightKnightTheBrightKnight Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    Awesome, this gives me a new reason to major in Psychology
  • Scienceguy1Scienceguy1 Posts: 675Registered User Member
    I find it slightly irritating that they are putting in psych and soc, though I've taken intro courses in both and some upper level soc classes.

    I plan on taking the MCAT in the summer of 2014. Does anyone know if schools are requiring that applicants of said year need to take the new one? Prolly should make a thread about that heh.
  • kristin5792kristin5792 Posts: 2,033Registered User Senior Member
    Apparently a decision about whether all 2015 applicants will need 2015 MCAT will be issued sometime this month.
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