MCAT Guideline and Paper Pattern
A Gateway To Medicine
“You give your BEST, He knits your NEST!”
“Yet another hurdle to cross!!!” These were the words echoing in mind while going through the last paper of Pre-Medical. It was a feeling of feebleness that was overcoming my passion to prepare my exhausted soul for another exam.
Yes another exam, MCAT!
It was a gateway to my destination. ‘DOCTOR’ was a word of inspiration and attraction for me ever since my childhood. It was my utmost desire for this profession that overwhelmed the tiredness of the hectic routine which I had during the preparation of my FSc. examination for four months. So, I stuck to my aim and with the mercy of ALLAH, I made the way to my destination.
MCAT ‘Medical College Admission Test’ is the word that shakes the nerves of every candidate yet it’s the only way that leads you to most noble profession and you get a chance of being called a ‘Doctor’.
Majority of the students who are going to take this test are always confused. So many questions which keep on roaming around in their minds during the whole preparatory phase should be answered first.
Why do the students get afraid of MCAT?
-It is the wish of majority of parents to make their child a doctor or an engineer without knowing that their child wants this or not? So it’s the stress that makes them afraid of MCAT and ultimately such students fail to make their way.
Is MCAT difficult to attempt?
-It is the psyche of all the students that they consider MCAT complicated. It isn’t difficult but different from FSC. Different in a sense that it’s a new way of study. A student needs to change his way of learning. It’s not just the matter of cramming the books but a new world of developing strong concepts. You have to study those specified topics with a new sight. Making strong concepts leads you to the success.
How much the level of confidence matters in clearing MCAT?
-Actually students are scared of competing a large number of candidates. They start degrading themselves and ultimately lose confidence and their intelligence goes wasted. For all such students, remember nobody is you. Develop a faith in yourself that you will be one of the selected candidates. So don’t allow other candidates, whether it’s a matter of 40 or 40,000, to suppress your abilities. Trust yourself and pray to ALLAH.
Should one join any academy for Entry Test Preparation or Self-Study should be preferred?
-It’s a big conflict. Many students consider that joining the academy is the wastage of time and they should prepare at home and the questions asked in different academies during MCAT preparation are difficult enough to shatter students’ confidence. But in reality, it might be helpful as the test is much easier than your expectations and this will help you perform well. Academy will help you to be regular in studies, in quick revision, in developing strong concepts, in building self-confidence, in understanding paper pattern and time management during the test. At home you will remain confused and won’t be able to study properly. So any good academy is recommended.
Which books should be studied for the preparation?
-Stick to your textbooks. Half of the MCQs are just lines of the textbook. So your first priority should be your textbooks of FSc. Still you need a book to prepare for the English portion then you can go for the KIPS MCAT ENGLISH BOOK. Practicing the past papers would also help.
How many times should one revise the syllabus?
-Give maximum time to studies. Revise the syllabus as much as you can. Revise vocabulary of English daily. Make a schedule and work accordingly.
How will the time be managed during test?
-This is the major issue that most of the students face during test. MCAT is all about time management. When you are well in time, it will reduce pressure on you and you will be relaxed. Attempt that section first which you think will take less time. Then gradually move towards the tough ones. Don’t spend more than one minute on a single MCQ. Just leave that MCQ which you think is difficult. Sometimes it happens that you get entangled in a simple question so instead of wasting much time, leave that question and move forward. You will get the answer with the passage of time or you may also get a clue of that MCQ in some other question. Spare some time at the end for those questions which you have left, think upon and solve them and also check are you done with all the questions or not.150 minutes are enough to solve 220 MCQs.
Is it compulsory to attempt the whole paper?
-No, not at all. Due to negative marking, attempt only those MCQs about which you are confident. Don’t make wild guesses. It can drag you towards danger.
How should the circles be filled?
-Well, This question is only added just to make you satisfied about the circle filling part in the test. Although it takes time and your concentration; yet it’s not much complex. Fill the circles with full attention. Bring 2-3 blue ball points with you to avoid any trouble. Even filling one circle inappropriately can be risky. Example, if you fill circle of question no. 2 in question no. 3 and so on, this will make the whole sequence incorrect. So be vigilant while filling the circles.
Physics = 44 MCQs
Chemistry = 58 MCQs
English = 30 MCQs
Biology = 88 MCQs
Total MCQs = 220
Marks of each MCQs = 5
Total marks = 1100
Negative marking = -1
Time allowed = 2.5 hours / 150 mins
Now let’s move towards the Subject wise guideline.
UHS has much simplified the syllabus of physics. The few specified topics can be prepared with much ease. Building crystal clear concepts can lead you towards success. The portion of Physics in the test has both the simple as well as tricky questions. It also contains numericals with simple evaluations which don’t require calculator. Prepare the topics according to their weightage as UHS has mentioned how many questions will be asked from a particular topic.
Prepare units and dimensions of different constants very well. The important topics include:
Weightlessness in an elevator
Energy stored in deformed material
Combinations of capacitors and resistors
All these topics should be prepared very well. Understand these topics and practice MCQs related to them. MCQs that include diagrams are also important. At least one MCQ about logic gates come in paper. Practice how to find the direction of electric field by Right Hand Rule. Overall Physics portion is not much difficult and by giving proper time for its preparation, you can easily get through it.
Although many students get perturbed from Chemistry yet this portion in the whole paper is the easiest one. Don’t make it problematic. Prepare it in a simplified way. Even in the academies, Chemistry is taught in a very difficult way, it will lower your morale and you will think that Chemistry MCQs wouldn’t be easy but believe me, this isn’t like that. After solving this portion, you will wonder how easy Chemistry is. But this doesn’t mean that you take it lightly. 58 MCQs constitute this subject and 290 marks have much value.
Now coming to the syllabus, UHS has compiled the whole 1st year into under the topic named ‘Physical Chemistry’. Out of 58 MCQs, 18 comprise this part. Stoichiometric calculations are very important. The formulas of 1st chapter should be on your fingertips. You should well understand H-bonding. Such questions about the types of bonding are a bit tricky. From chapter no.5, just cram everything about orbitals, their size, shapes, energy and most importantly Electronic Configuration. Trends in ionization energy, hydration energy, atomic radius and atomic mass across a group and a period are the most favorite topics of the examiner and can be solved only by learning the periodic table. Whenever such type of questions comes, always solve them by writing on a rough paper.
Let’s move towards the inorganic & organic Chemistry. Inorganic Chemistry portion is very brief. Very few topics are included in this section. Again the trends in Groups and Periods are very important. Organic chemistry is the chief portion of the test. You should learn by heart the Chemical equations, the catalysts, temperature of the reactions & various conversions. IUPAC naming is also important. Practice them as much time as you can. Learn the chemical reactions by writing them on a page daily. Amino acids comprise a major part of Organic Chemistry. 6 MCQs will be included from this part. So learn them well. The essential and non-essential amino acids, Sulphur containing amino acids and peptide bonds are important.
Whenever you think about English portion in MCAT, the first scary thought that blinks in your mind is the ‘Vocabulary’. But don’t worry, with regular and hard work, you can easily learn those 872 words. There are many ways to memorize the vocabulary. Make mnemonics of difficult words. Compile the words having same meanings into one list. This will help in quick revision. Practice all the rules of verb correction. Preposition is a bit tricky and last time in MCAT there were many MCQs regarding preposition correction. So focus on this. Sentence completion needs your full attention. If you are pretty perfect in vocabulary, you can do it as most of the words in option are the same as in vocabulary. I read this trick somewhere about sentence completion, I would like to share:
Reread the sentence with the answer choices made & check for the sentence completion in all aspects before marking the answer.
Eliminate that answer options that don’t seem fit.
Think of a word that seems correct in the blank before even looking at the options.
I hope it will help.
This portion is the handiest one. You would really enjoy while attempting the MCQs. My point of view about Biology is that don’t lose even a single mark in this portion. It can lead you to the victory because this is the major part of the paper. I suggest that this part should be solved first as this doesn’t need much time. But still be conscious while marking the correct answer because sometimes the options are quite similar to each other and in hurry you mark the wrong one. Regarding the syllabus, the chief topic is ‘The Human Physiology’. 36 MCQs will be from this topic so you should have perfect command over this. As far as other topics are concerned, prepare them according to the outline given by UHS. And yes, there might be 1 or 2 MCQs out of syllabus, don’t panic, think wisely and you will get the answer!
We know reading that guideline was a bit boring and you people might be stressful and must be making plans in your gentle minds to start studying like nerds without wasting a minute, right? We guess, yes!
But that’s not the way! Set some hours (5-8) daily for study and be sincere with your time, okay? We know there are some students who claim that stress is a good thing which keeps them on their toes, keeps them doing their best. That’s a lie! Stress makes us stupid. The more stressed, the more stupid. When we panic, we are the ones who are crazy. So take it easy. Relax, Breathe, Pray, Play and allow your brain to keep working. Depending on your brain that may or may not help much, but it will sure make you feel better.