Organic Chemistry and the New MCAT

Exactly how much organic chemistry is on the MCAT?

As a premed student, organic chemistry is likely one of the most difficult sciences you’ve encountered. Why take such a difficult course? Because you need it for the MCAT!

However, in 2015, when the MCAT exam changed, the amount of organic chemistry appeared to decrease, making students wonder just how much time they should dedicate to the topic.

Implication: “is it even worth it?”

The answer is tricky. So instead of telling you how much to study… let’s break it down.

The MCAT has a total of 4 sections covering 8 disciplines:

  • Physics
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Verbal Reasoning (CARS)

Organic chemistry is just ONE of the eight subjects you have to study.

But it gets better:  orgo shows up in just the first and third section of the 7.5 hour exam.

Section 1: Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems is just 15% organic chemistry with the other 85% comprised of general chemistry, biochemistry, physics and biology.

Section 3: Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems is just 5% organic chemistry with the other 95% comprised of general chemistry, biochemistry and biology.

After a quick calculation organic chemistry appears to be just 5% of the entire exam!

But… don’t let the 5% estimate give you a false sense of security.

Biology is the most highly tested topic, but when you run the math it makes up just 18.75% of the MCAT.

Sounds low?

The math is somewhat misleading.

First of all, when medical schools evaluate your application, they look at more than just your total score. They look to see how you scored in each section, making organic chemistry suddenly more valuable. Consequently, even though it’s a small part of just two sections on the MCAT, skipping orgo study will tank your score in these sections, making you look bad.

The most important thing to recognize is just HOW organic chemistry is tested.

Read the full article:


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