Preparing for the MCAT

The MCAT exam has four test sections (learn more here):

  • 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

The new MCAT re-designed in 2015 represents a new way of thinking in terms of standardized exams (sample exam questions). There is a greater emphasis on critical thinking skills and scenarios that represent current medical research. Students will be expected to analyze and draw conclusions from data represented in graphs and tables. Thus, a strong laboratory and research background will greatly aid pre-medical students in topics of science literacy and data analysis; along with a good understanding of basic statistics. Learn more here

Supplement content review and practice questions with readings from the biomedical literature. I recommend that students read one or two journal articles per week during their prep period to gain more insight into how medical experiments are designed, implemented and ultimately analyzed. Focus on understanding these central concepts, rather than the minutiae of the articles. -US News and World Reports, Anubodh Varshney, MD

It is strongly recommended that students plan to spend a significant portion of the semester prior to taking the MCAT doing MCAT prep (often students who have AP credits or additional coursework will under-load this semester, particularly if they are taking a formal MCAT prep course. However, the option of under-loading should be discussed fully with your major advisor as each student's academic needs are unique. The MCAT should be taken in April or May (latest June) as the Director and Chair of the Health Professions Advisory Committee strongly encourage you to submit a competitive application to AMCAS in early June. 

MCAT Prep at Sewanee

Sewanee has partnered with Kaplan to bring a certified Kaplan instructor to Sewanee. This MCAT instructor will teach Kaplan’s MCAT Prep – In Person PLUS course on Sewanee’s campus throughout the academic year. This program provides both classroom instruction and individual coaching. It includes 516 instructional and practice hours; 12 practice tests; 3 hours of individual sessions with your MCAT Coach; personalized coaching aimed at time management and the development of your optimal study plan; The MCAT Channel; 130 Science Review interactive videos; insight into the medical school admissions process; and two online courses (valued at $499 each) covering the foundations of psychology, sociology, and biochemistry.

Information about how to register for the Sewanee Kaplan course:

Please register here and submit payment here. Registration is $1800 for Sewanee students and is due Oct. 1st. You will receive online access and your study books in October to begin to prepare for the MCAT. Classes will meet mid-October to early March. You will have “homework” in between classes online and will be expected to keep up and attend ALL classes. You will continue to have access to practice MCAT exams and Kaplan web content until you take your exam in April/May (recommended for 2019 applicants).

Please know that Sewanee students are getting up to a $1500 discount for this program. There are also limited scholarships for financial aid for qualified pre-medical students that display a commitment to the pre-medical program and who demonstrate significant financial need.  To apply for a scholarship please fill out the registration form (link above as well) by Sept. 15th. The scholarship will pay $1000 of the $1800 fee; thus the scholarship recipient is still responsible for $800 of the course fee.  We also have one full fee ($1800) scholarship available.  Payment is due for scholarship students October 1st. (News about awards will be sent by Sept. 20th).

Please note this course is recommended for students intending to take the MCAT exam in April/May 2018. You can sign up for the MCAT here (NOTE: the 2019 testing dates might not be up yet). Typically these would be junior and senior Sewanee students. Scores are generally accepted for 3 years. If you are applying for the 2019 cycle, you will want to complete your MCAT in April/May and apply by June 1st (AMCAS application cycle for 2019 will open in early May).   

Look for questions on the screens outside the Office of Medical and Health Programs, or sign up to receive a link to the daily question. Each correct response earns you an entry into a weekly drawing for a Stirling’s gift card. On weekends you can earn up to 5 entries by answering the Super Question, a passage-based question set. 

Register to receive emails about MCAT preparation.

MCAT Prep Resources

Good MCAT prep resources include: