The “Social and Behavioral Sciences” section is a new addition to the upcoming MCAT 2015. This section might catch a lot of pre-meds off guard since this material is completely new. Luckily, for starters, AAMC put together a nifty webinar for pre-meds to get a general ideas of what they should be focusing on in their studies.
The American Psychological Association (APA) also put together a very useful PDF document that applies to both students and educators, explaining why this section is being added and what to expect. The APA narrows it down to five specific foundational concepts that this new MCAT section will focus and build on:
- The biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors relating to just just how individuals react to these things in the context of health services and the society at large. In other words, just how these three specific qualities influence perceptions and the application of medical science throughout the world.
- How biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors influence behavior and changes in behavior.
- How biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors affect how we look at ourselves and how we look at others.
- How cultural and social differences influence our own well-being and our quality of life.
- The effects of social stratification and access to resources and how the distribution of medical resources affects well-being regionally and around the globe.
Because of these changes, all pre-meds really need to take an introductory sociology course and psychology course and know how to apply this material to their studies in the physical sciences. What the MCAT hopes to do is bridge the gap between the social sciences and physical sciences and this shouldn’t catch you off guard if you prepare yourself.
Because of the changes to the new MCAT for 2015, my colleague Prof. Kevin delaPlante and I will be creating an in-depth studying program for the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) section of the test. You might want to check it out considering it is full of information and material that will definitely benefit you during what is usually one of the more stressful parts of the MCAT exam for students. You really do need guidance on this section because you need to train yourself to read different so that you can excel on this section and I am here to help!