MCAT Chemical and Physical Foundations 1
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periodic table

A scientist, while examining mining samples from the coast of Columbia, comes across an element not previously discovered by humans. Extensive testing of the molecule reveals that it has an electronegativity similar to iron (Fe). If the properties of this element are revealed to be consistent with iron, what would the following values be in relationship to magnesium? Use the periodic table for reference.

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The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized exam used in the admissions process for nearly every medical school in the United States and Canada. Additionally, many health profession schools as well as graduate programs are accepting MCAT scores as part of their admissions process. To prepare for the MCAT, try our free MCAT practice tests.  For more serious preparation, see our review of best MCAT prep courses.

The MCAT was developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and evaluates candidates on the skills and knowledge identified by physicians, medical educators, and medical students as indicators for success in medical school. The MCAT is divided into the following four sections:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Performance on The MCAT Test is vital for any candidate wishing to gain entry into almost any American or Canadian medical school.

MCAT Content Description

The MCAT utilizes a multiple-choice, computer based format for its 85,000 annual test takers. It is designed to test applicants’ knowledge of a wide range of scientific disciplines including Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry, Biochemistry, General Biology, Psychology, Physics, and Sociology. 

More than just testing an applicant’s knowledge in these areas, the MCAT also tests reasoning and critical analysis skills. This means that applicants will be required to show proficiency in the application of these concepts. 

The MCAT sections are integrated within the entire test, meaning that there will not be separate sections for the different content areas tested. For this reason, it is very important to utilize all available MCAT practice tests in order to get a feel for the format.

MCAT Administration

The MCAT Test is administered at hundreds of testing sites across the United States and Canada, as well as some international locations. Be sure to register as soon as you know what date works for you, as testing centers have a limited capacity and operate on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Upon arrival to the testing center, applicants are to check-in with the test administrator. Here you will sign in, show your identification, create a digital scan of your palm, and take a test-day photograph. 

You will not need to bring any other materials with you, as you will be provided with a note-board booklet and fine point marker for all necessary calculations.