MCAT Topics

Physics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biology Subjects on the MCAT

The undergraduate courses that are reflected in the Chem/Physics section of the MCAT include introductory General Chemistry (30%), introductory Physics (25%), introductory Organic Chemistry (15%) and first-semester Biochemistry (25%). Introductory Biology (5%) is also included in this section of the test. A periodic table is available during the MCAT, but a calculator is not.

In order to study effectively for the Chemical and Physical Foundations of Living Systems section, you should thoroughly understand these topics:

Physics subjects to study for the MCAT:

  • Units and Dimensional Analysis 
  • Kinematics         
  • Work and Energy
  • Fluids   
  • Waves and Sound           
  • Light and Optics
  • Thermodynamics            
  • Electrostatics    
  • Circuits
  • Magnetism
  • Atomic and Nuclear Phenomena

General Chemistry subjects to study for the MCAT:

  • Atomic Structure             
  • The Periodic Table          
  • Bonding and Chemical Interactions
  • Stoichiometry   
  • Chemical Kinetics            
  • Equilibrium
  • Thermochemistry           
  • The Gas Phase   Solutions
  • Acids and Bases Redox Reactions              
  • Electrochemistry             

Organic Chemistry subjects to study for the MCAT:

  • Nomenclature  
  • Isomers Bonding
  • Alcohols and Ethers       
  • Aldehydes and Ketones
  • Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives
  • Nucleophiles and Electrophiles  
  • Redox reactions
  • Nitrogen-Containing Compounds
  • Phosphorus-Containing Compounds       
  • Spectroscopy    
  • Laboratory Techniques and Separations

Biochemistry & Biology subjects to study for the MCAT:

  • Amino Acids
  • Peptides and Proteins   
  • Enzymes             
  • Nonenzymatic proteins
  • Carbohydrate structure
  • Carbohydrate metabolism          
  • Lipids and lipid metabolism
  • DNA and RNA   
  • Biological Membranes  
  • Regulation of metabolism

Macromolecules

  • Amino Acids & Protein Structure
  • Oxygen Transporters
  • Enzymes
  • Zymogens
  • Connective Tissue Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Nucleic Acids
  • Lipids

The Cell

  • Biological Membranes
  • Prokaryotes
  • The Eukaryotic Cell
  • Signal Transduction

Metabolism

  • Glycolysis
  • Citric Acid Cycle
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Pentose Phosphate Pathway
  • Glycogen Metabolism
  • Fatty Acid Metabolism
  • Amino Acid Degradation & the Urea Cycle
  • Integration of Metabolism

Molecular Biology & Genetics

  • Gene Expression
  • Cellular Reproduction
  • Transmission Genetics
  • Recombination & Mutation
  • Evolution
  • Human Genetics
  • Viruses & Prions
  • The Molecular Biology Laboratory

Development

  • Tissues & Histology
  • Human Embryology

Human Physiology

  • Nervous System
  • Sensory Systems
  • Endocrine System
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Blood
  • Respiratory System
  • Lymphatic System & Immunity
  • Urinary System
  • Digestive System & Nutrition
  • Reproductive System