The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a computer-based standardized multiple-choice exam, produced by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which serves as a prerequisite to getting into a majority of the medical schools in the United States. It is designed to assess a student’s ability in problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of science concepts and principles.

How is it structured?

The MCAT consists of four sections and they are administered, on test-day, in the order in which they are listed below:

  • Physical Sciences (PS)
  • Verbal Reasoning (VR)
  • Biological Sciences (BS)
  • Trial Section (optional)

The Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and Biological Sciences sections are in administered in a multiple-choice format. The passages and questions are predetermined, and thus are not adaptive – meaning they do not change in difficulty depending on the how the student is performing.


# of Questions

Time (min)

Physical Sciences5270
Verbal Reasoning4060
Biological Sciences5270
Trial Section (optional)3245

Total Time: 4 Hours and 5 minutes

How is it scored?

Students will receive scaled scores for three multiple-choice sections: Physical Sciences, Verbal Reasoning and Biological Sciences; as of 2013, the Writing Sample section is no longer administered and has been replaced with a optional Trial section at the end of the MCAT. Scaled scores for the three multiple-choice sections range from 1 to 15. There is no penalty for incorrect multiple choice answers and therefore our private Dolphin MCAT tutors encourage and advise our MCAT students to guess rather than leave an answer choice blank. The numerical scaled scores from each multiple-choice section are added together to give a composite scaled score; the maximum composite scale score attainable is 45, and a 30 or better is considered essential for acceptance to American medical programs. According to the AAMC Official Guide to the MCAT 2012, the average student currently accepted to an American medical school program achieved a composite score of about 31 on the MCAT. For this reason, we at Dolphin Academic Prep believe a 32 should be every student’s minimum goal so that they can be a cut above the rest.

Dolphin Academic Prep offers personalized MCAT tutoring!

The MCAT is the doorway in to medicine and therefore it’s essential that they are mastered as best as you possibly can. Dolphin Tutors provide a fully customized MCAT prep program tailored to your needs and varying schedules. Our talented private MCAT tutors meet one-on-one with you in the comforts of your home or another location of your choice. Our Directors provide free medical school consultations in which you’ll learn how our hand-picked, highly credentialed Dolphin MCAT tutors can help you achieve your test goals. While you may know that preparing for the MCAT isn’t simply a matter of repetition, drills and memorization, that doesn’t really give you the true sense of how to prepare. Simply taking practice exams may not be enough, as the MCAT exam covers a wide range of skills. Whether you’re looking for help with specific MCAT problems, for an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, for MCAT study strategies or insights into the material, or simply in need of a tutor to keep you motivated, reassured, and on track, one of our experienced, private MCAT tutors is available to help. As someone who knows how to excel on the MCAT and how to teach others to succeed on the test, your Dolphin MCAT tutor will engage you with the key concepts and skills needed for success on the test.

More information

Dolphin Academic Prep prides itself in being up-to-date with its information so that our students have the tools needed to do well on their test. In 2013 and 2014, the MCAT will no longer have a Writing Sample section, and instead will include trial sections of biochemistry, psychology, and sociology. Starting in 2015, the MCAT will have four total sections: (1) Biological and Biochemical Foundations, (2) Chemical and Physical Foundations, (3) Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations and (4) Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills.

We are here to answer your questions, so give us a call or send us an email to see how personalized MCAT tutoring with a private Dolphin Academic Prep tutor can start you on a pathway towards achieving your medical degree.