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MCAT Physical Sciences Section
What does the MCAT Physical Sciences section cover?
The MCAT Physical Sciences section can be broken into two generalized categories: general chemistry and physics. When taking this section, test takers are often presented with passages that provide highly specific details about complex chemical processes or physical systems. Questions then require test takers to integrate the provided specific information with generalized physical science concepts to draw conclusions. Material in this section includes reaction chemistry, reaction thermodynamics and kinetics, experimental procedure, mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves, and optics. A periodic table is provided for this section, but all equations and formulas must be memorized. Passages will occasionally provide equations, but external applications will be required. Whether you need top MCAT tutors in New York, MCAT tutors in Chicago, or top MCAT tutors in Los Angeles, working with a pro may take your studies to the next level.
How many problems are on the MCAT Physical Sciences section, and how much time do I have to complete them?
The MCAT Physical section consists of 52 questions. 70 minutes are allotted for this section. Approximately 40 to 45 questions will be based on passages, and the remaining questions are stand-alone questions that do not provide background information.
Should I guess on the MCAT Physical Sciences section?
There is no guessing penalty on the MCAT. Scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly, and are not affected by questions skipped or answered incorrectly. It is a good strategy to answer every question on the exam, even if you must guess.
What kinds of problems are on the MCAT Physical Sciences section?
Questions in the MCAT Physical Sciences section can be passage-based or discrete. Discrete questions will generally be straightforward, asking about concepts or conclusions based on one to two sentences of prelude material. Passage-based questions vary in content and structure. Some passages provide information about certain processes, while others provide experimental setups or data for analysis. Be prepared to identify new information that is provided in the passages and draw connections to your experiences with college coursework and material. Many questions will require application of general chemical and physical concepts to specific scenarios described in the passages.
How should I study for the MCAT Physical Sciences section?
Use these MCAT Physical Sciences Questions of the Day to practice MCAT Physical Sciences problems and get a sense of which chemistry and physics concepts you know well, and which ones you need to learn. The Question of the Day may be either both passage-based or discrete to help you become familiar with testing format over time. You can use this tool to help identify specific subjects for review, allowing you to focus your studying and improve your MCAT mastery. Varsity Tutors offers resources like free MCAT Physical Sciences Diagnostic Tests to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an MCAT Physical Sciences tutor.
You can also use Varsity Tutors’ other free MCAT Physical Sciences resources to help you study, such free MCAT Physical Sciences Practice Tests, and free MCAT Physical Sciences Questions of the Day. Our free MCAT Biology resources are written by teachers, professors, content specialists, and tutors. Explanations are given for each question, so if you miss a question, you can find out where you went wrong. In addition to the MCAT Physical Sciences Practice Tests and MCAT Physical Sciences tutoring, you may also want to consider using some of our MCAT Physical Sciences flashcards.
How can I prepare for the MCAT Physical Sciences section?
There are several Full-Length MCAT Physical Sciences Practice Tests available through Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools. These complete practice tests can help you get a good idea of your current level of readiness. The full-length format of these free online practice tests may assist you in fine-tuning your test-taking speed, so you can be sure you’ll have enough time to finish the whole section on test day. The free practice tests also enable you to put together a review plan that meets your needs. The complete practice tests’ results pages show you which concepts you already understand, and which concepts could use further review. The results page also offers many other study resources, such as step-by-step explanations of the correct answers and links to further review on key concepts. Once you’ve done a thorough run-through of your study plan, you can assess your newfound skills by taking another Full-Length MCAT Physical Sciences Practice Test to evaluate your progress. There are also other free MCAT Physical Sciences Practice Tests that consist of a concept-specific selection of 10 to 12 questions to give you a cross-section of topics from the Physical Sciences section of the official MCAT. You might think of them as little quizzes, which you can use to hone your skills.
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