MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences Flashcards
New to the 2015 MCAT is the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section that tests students’ understanding of how psychosocial factors impact biology, behavior and behavioral differences, and how people consider their relationships to themselves and to their larger surroundings. In addition, this section requires students to understand how socioeconomic status, access to healthcare and health insurance, and level of health literacy can affect a person’s overall physical and psychological well-being. For those college students who studied psychology, sociology, and to some degree, economics, you may recognize some material that as being familiar from your experience in such courses. For those students who did not study any of these topics, a review of medically relevant psychology and sociology will be necessary for this section of the MCAT and help you begin to equip themselves with the knowledge needed to treat a diverse patient population with varied cultural, religious, and lifestyle backgrounds. Whether you need MCAT tutoring in Atlanta, MCAT tutoring in Houston, or MCAT tutoring in San Francisco, working one-on-one with an expert may be just the boost your studies need.
As with the other three sections of the revised MCAT, this section contains fifty-nine questions that are a combination of passage-based and discrete questions, all to be answered within the span of ninety-five minutes. Introductory psychology will comprise sixty-five percent of the tested questions, while sociology and biology will account for thirty percent and five percent, respectively. Five foundational concepts will figure heavily in this section, all centered on how various biological, social, and psychological factors combine to drive human behavior individually and within social groups. In the first foundational concept area, students will be tested on how these factors lead people to think about and react to the world around them. Topics tested could include biological concepts such as sound, light, and the gustatory sense, but may also require knowledge of how people sense the environment, process traumatic life events, and weigh the benefits and consequences of following a certain action plan. The next foundational area asks students about how life factors can influence behavior and lead to behavioral change. Individual attitudes, group dynamics, and other social processes that affect human behavior can be considered. Varsity Tutors offers resources like free MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences Practice Tests to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an MCAT tutor.
Introspection and empathy are important skills to have as a physician. They allow physicians to self-identify how a diagnosis can impact a patient, including how a patient may communicate information within his or her social circles. In this foundational area, students may be asked about the stages of grief, how social networks can improve patient outcomes, and how different personality types may interact in the inter-professional environment comprised of physicians, nurses, technicians, and other support staff. The final two foundational areas focus on how social inequality and social structure can impact overall health. Students should have an understanding of the U.S. health care system, know how access to care and insurance can affect a patient’s ability to receive medical care, and have general knowledge that the same disease can affect ethnic groups differently. In addition to the MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences flashcards and MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences tutoring, you may also want to consider using some of our MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences Question of the Day.
Theories of language, memory formation and consolidation, consciousness, attention, and cognitive development may also figure heavily as discrete questions within this section. Students preparing to take the new MCAT will want to review how these psychological and social concerns can be tested in the content of determining human health behavior.
If you’re preparing for your MCAT and find yourself dreading the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section, Varsity Tutors’ free MCAT Social and Behavioral resources can help you learn and review the concepts pertinent to this section. While our MCAT Social and Behavioral practice tests and diagnostics can help you examine your current skills and abilities, you may not have time to incorporate such tests into your busy schedule as often as you might like. Our MCAT Social and Behavioral flashcards allow you to answer practice questions drawn from the entire section or one specific concept tested one at a time, wherever and whenever it best suits you. After you input your answer choice, the correct answer is revealed, as well as a full explanation of how it can be determined. Any flashcards you miss thus become learning opportunities, as you get the chance to examine and adjust your understanding and the approach you used for that particular question. By making good use of all of the free MCAT review content available on Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools site, you can prepare yourself to face the MCAT with confidence!