MCAT 2015 – Everything You Need to Know Now

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Session 43

Session 43

In today’s episode, Ryan talks with Owen Farcy, Director of MCAT 2015 at Kaplan and host of The Pulse, Kaplan’s monthly webinar series.

They talk all about the changes in MCAT, basically everything that you need to know as a student to prepare for the new MCAT, whether or not you should take the new MCAT or whether you need to take it earlier than you were expecting.

Don’t forget to check out this page to say thanks to Kaplan for coming on the podcast.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Owen:

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you solely dedicated to medicine?
  • Are you willing to essentially give up the next 5-10 years of your life to focus on the educational process?

Life experience as the edge of nontraditional students: But show how special you are!

Why is the MCAT changing now?

  • Current MCAT has really been around for a long time
  • Science has changed drastically the last time AAMC went closely at the blueprint for the MCAT and so MCAT seeks to address these changes

Big changes to expect from MCAT 2015:

  • Removal of the writing sample
  • Addition of three new subjects: Biochemistry, Psychology, and Sociology (Add three additional semesters’ worth of work prior to the MCAT)
  • Duration of the test from 4 hours to 7.5 hours
  • Raw skills for Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning Skills focused more on research findings (your ability to interpret charts and research that you’re reading)

Factors for the addition of behavioral sciences:

  • The way medicine is practiced now is very different than it was
  • Team-based approach to medicine
  • Understanding interpersonal dynamics is important in the MCAT
  • Understanding a multicultural background
  • Understanding why we make the decisions we make
  • A look at preventive care system and chronic disease system
  • The idea of patient autonomy

The common misconception students have about the MCAT that the MCAT is a science test.

It’s a critical thinking test that has a lot of scientific content on it.

The scoring scale system for the new MCAT

How Kaplan is keeping up with the changes:

  • Making students aware of the drastic changes coming
  • Brand new MCAT course
  • Taking a broad look of what’s happening in education in general to create a course that will carry them through the 21st century

Taking the current MCAT versus the new one?

  • The fear of the unknown
  • Think carefully which version of the test really caters toward your skill set

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

  • Take a deep breath. It does seem stressful. But take a step back and consider where you’re at.
  • Start planning for it right now. Reach out to your premedical advisor and make sure you know which courses at your university should you be taking to start preparing for it.

Links and Other Resources:

Kaplan’s MCAT 2015 Page with sign up for the MCAT 2015 Practice Test

The Pulse – Monthly Pre-med Webinar Series

Save $225 on the Princeton Review’s MCAT Ultimate or MCAT Self-Paced Prep Course through March 30th 2016 by going to

If you need any help with the medical school interview, go to Sign up and you will receive parts of the book so you can help shape the future of the book. This book will include over 500 questions that may be asked during interview day as well as real-life questions, answers, and feedback from all of the mock interviews Ryan has been doing with students.

Are you a nontraditional student? Go check out

For more great content, check out for more of the shows produced by the Medical School Headquarters including the OldPremeds Podcast and watch out for more shows in the future!

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