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MCAT
Practice Test 9






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Association of American Medical Colleges



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Physical Sciences
Time: 70 minutes
Questions: 1-52

Most questions in the Physical Sciences test are organized into groups, each containing a descriptive passage.
After studying the passage, select the one best answer to each question in the group. Some questions are not
based on a descriptive passage and are also independent of each other. If you are not certain of an answer,
eliminate the alternatives that you know to be incorrect and then select an answer from the remaining
alternatives. Indicate your selected answer by marking the corresponding answer on your answer sheet. A
periodic table is provided for your use. You may consult it whenever you wish.































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reproduction of materials from the Practice Test in any form (electronic, voice, or other means). If there are
any questions about the use of the material in the Practice Test, please contact the MCAT Information Line
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1
H
1.0

Periodic Table of the Elements

2
He
4.0
3
Li
6.9
4
Be
9.0

5
B
10.8
6
C
12.0
7
N
14.0
8
O
16.0
9
F
19.0
10
Ne
20.2

11
Na
23.0
12
Mg
24.3



13
Al
27.0
14
Si
28.1
15
P
31.0
16
S
32.1
17
Cl
35.5
18
Ar
39.9
19
K
39.1
20
Ca
40.1
21
Sc
45.0
22
Ti
47.9
23
V
50.9
24
Cr
52.0
25
Mn
54.9
26
Fe
55.8
27
Co
58.9
28
Ni
58.7
29
Cu
63.5
30
Zn
65.4
31
Ga
69.7
32
Ge
72.6
33
As
74.9
34
Se
79.0
35
Br
79.9
36
Kr
83.8
37
Rb
85.5
38
Sr
87.6
39
Y
88.9
40
Zr
91.2
41
Nb
92.9
42
Mo
95.9
43
Tc
(98)
44
Ru
101.1
45
Rh
102.9
46
Pd
106.4
47
Ag
107.9
48
Cd
112.4
49
In
114.8
50
Sn
118.7
51
Sb
121.8
52
Te
127.6
53
I
126.9
54
Xe
131.3
55
Cs
132.9
56
Ba
137.3
57
La*
138.9
72
Hf
178.5
73
Ta
180.9
74
W
183.9
75
Re
186.2
76
Os
190.2
77
Ir
192.2
78
Pt
195.1
79
Au
197.0
80
Hg
200.6
81
Tl
204.4
82
Pb
207.2
83
Bi
209.0
84
Po
(209)
85
At
(210)
86
Rn
(222)
87
Fr
(223)
88
Ra
(226)
89
Ac†
(227)
104
Rf
(261)
105
Db
(262)
106
Sg
(266)
107
Bh
(264)
108
Hs
(277)
109
Mt
(268)
110
Ds
(281)
111
Uuu
(272)
112
Uub
(285)

114
Uuq
(289)

116
Uuh
(289)


*
58
Ce
140.1
59
Pr
140.9
60
Nd
144.2
61
Pm
(145)
62
Sm
150.4
63
Eu
152.0
64
Gd
157.3
65
Tb
158.9
66
Dy
162.5
67
Ho
164.9
68
Er
167.3
69
Tm
168.9
70
Yb
173.0
71
Lu
175.0

90
Th
232.0
91
Pa
(231)
92
U
238.0
93
Np
(237)
94
Pu
(244)
95
Am
(243)
96
Cm
(247)
97
Bk
(247)
98
Cf
(251)
99
Es
(252)
100
Fm
(257)
101
Md
(258)
102
No
(259)
103
Lr
(260)
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Passage I
Students constructed the electrical circuit shown
below to study capacitors. A battery with a voltage of
10 V is connected through a switch to a capacitor and
a 500-Ω resistor. The capacitor is constructed from
two flat metal plates, each with a surface area of 5.0 ×
10
–5
m
2
. The plates are separated by 1.0 × 10
–3
m, and
the space between the plates is a vacuum. The
connecting wires have no resistance. After the switch
is closed and the capacitor is fully charged, a particle
with a charge of 8.0 × 10
–19
C and a speed of 1.0 m/s
is injected midway between the capacitor plates.

Figure 1 Circuit

1. Which of the following graphs best illustrates how
charge accumulates on the plates of the capacitor
after the switch is closed?
A )

B )
C )
D )


2. If the speed of the charged particle described in the
passage is increased by a factor of 2, the electrical
force on the particle will:
A) decrease by a factor of 2.
B) remain the same.
C) increase by a factor of 2.
D) increase by a factor of 4.

3. Making which of the following changes to a circuit
element will increase the capacitance of the
capacitor described in the passage?
A) Replacing the 500-Ω resistor with a 250-Ω resistor
B) Replacing the 10-V battery with a 20-V battery
C) Increasing the separation of the capacitor plates
D) Increasing the area of the capacitor plates

4. A charged particle with a mass of m and a charge
of q is injected midway between the plates of a
capacitor that has a uniform electric field of E.
What is the acceleration of this particle due to the
electric field?
A) Eq/m
B) Em/q
C) mq/E
D) Emq

5. Another capacitor, identical to the original, is
added in series to the circuit described in the
passage. Compared to the original circuit, the
equivalent capacitance of the new circuit is:
A) 1/2 as great.
B) the same.
C) 2 times as great.
D) 4 times as great.

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6. Which of the following best describes the motion
of a negatively charged particle after it has been
injected between the plates of a charged, parallel-
plate capacitor? (Note: Assume that the area
between the plates is a vacuum.)
A ) It moves with constant speed toward the positive
plate.
B ) It moves with constant speed toward the negative
plate.
C ) It accelerates toward the positive plate.
D ) It accelerates toward the negative plate.

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Passage II
Gasoline is a mixture of nonpolar hydrocarbons
that reacts with oxygen in an automobile engine to
produce energy, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. If
the gasoline burns too rapidly, a metal piston can be
slammed against a metallic part, resulting in a
“knocking” sound and a reduction in engine
efficiency. The octane rating of a gasoline is a
measure of its antiknock qualities. The higher the
octane rating of a hydrocarbon mixture, the slower it
burns and the smoother the piston operates.
The octane rating scale derives its name from
isooctane (C
8
H
18
), a hydrocarbon with good
antiknock qualities. A 90:10 mixture of isooctane and
heptane (C
7
H
16
) has an octane rating of 90.
Oxygenates are oxygen-containing compounds that
can be added to a gasoline to increase the octane
rating. Two oxygenates currently in use are MTBE
and ETOH. Data for these oxygenates and two other
potential additives are shown in Table 1. A
disadvantage of MTBE is that it has a strong and
offensive odor that humans can smell even at
concentrations below 0.26 ppm in air.
Table 1 Data for Gasoline Additives
Additive Formula
Octane
rating
Vapor
pressure
(torr, 25°C)
Heat of
formation
(kJ/mole)
MTBE C
4
H
9
OCH
3
110 25 –580
ETOH C
2
H
5
OH 115 58 –278
ETBE C
4
H
9
OC
2
H
5
112 20 –675
TAME C
5
H
11
OCH
3
111 15 –680

7. What type of intermolecular interaction can ETOH
undergo with water that MTBE can NOT?
A ) van der Waals
B ) Dipole–dipole
C ) Hydrogen bonding
D ) Covalent bonding

8. The formation of one mole of which oxygenate
shown in Table 1 releases the most energy?
A) ETOH
B) MTBE
C) ETBE
D) TAME

9. What are the coefficients for oxygen and carbon
dioxide, respectively, if the equation shown below
is balanced?

1CH
3
OCH
3
(ℓ ) + ? O
2
(g) → __ H
2
O(g) + ? CO
2
(g)
A) 2 and 1
B) 2 and 2
C) 3 and 1
D) 3 and 2

10. Which of the following nonoxygenated analogs
of MTBE is most likely to mimic MTBE in its
antiknock properties?
A) C
4
H
9
Si(CH
3
)
3
B) C
4
H
9
N(CH
3
)
2
C) C
4
H
9
SCH
3
D) C
4
H
9
P(CH
3
)
2

11. The entropy change for the combustion reaction
of gasoline is always greater than zero because
the:
A) number of gaseous molecules in the products
always exceeds the number of gaseous molecules
in the reactants.
B) enthalpy change is always positive.
C) temperature of the combustion is always more
than 100°C.
D) free energy change is always positive.

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12. Which compound shown in Table 1 evaporates
fastest at 30°C?
A ) MTBE
B ) ETOH
C ) ETBE
D ) TAME

13. If one mole of each additive shown in Table 1
undergoes complete combustion, which
compound requires the least amount of oxygen?
A) MTBE
B) ETOH
C) ETBE
D) TAME

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These questions are not based on a descriptive
passage and are independent of each other.

14. H
2
O is liquid at room temperature, whereas H
2
S,
H
2
Se, and H
2
Te are all gases. Which of the
following best explains why H
2
O is liquid at
room temperature?
A ) Hydrogen bonds form between H
2
O molecules.
B ) Oxygen lacks d orbitals.
C ) H
2
O has a lower molecular weight.
D ) H
2
O is more volatile.

15.


How do the pressures P
w
and P
m
compare,
measured at the bottom of two identical
containers filled to the levels shown in the figure
with water and mercury? (Note: Density of
water = 1 g/cm
3
; density of mercury = 14 g/cm
3
.)
A ) P
m
= 2P
w

B ) P
m
= 7P
w
C ) P
m
= 14P
w
D ) P
m
= 28P
w


16. If the second floor and the top floor of a building
are separated by a distance of 100 m, what is the
approximate difference between the air pressures
of the two levels? (Note: Air density = 1.2
kg/m
3
and gravitational acceleration = 10 m/s
2
.
Neglect the compressibility of air.)
A) 600 N/m
2
B) 800 N/m
2
C) 1000 N/m
2
D) 1200 N/m
2



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Passage III
The compounds nitric acid (HNO
3
), nitrous acid
(HNO
2
), acetic acid (CH
3
COOH), hypochlorous acid
(HClO), and ammonium nitrate (NH
4
NO
3
), are all
water soluble and produce acidic solutions. The K
a

values for these compounds are given in Table 1.
Table 1 K
a
Values
Compound K
a
, 25°C
HNO
3
Large
HNO
2
4.5 × 10
–4

CH
3
COOH 1.8 × 10
–5

HClO 3.2 × 10
–8

NH
4
NO
3
5.6 × 10
–10


The titration of these acids with sodium hydroxide
can be done using an indicator to signal the endpoint.
Table 2 contains information about some common
acid-base indicators.
Table 2 Indicator Properties
Indicator pH range
Acidic
color
Basic
color
Methyl
violet
0.15–3.2 yellow violet
Methyl red 4.4–6.2 red yellow
Phenol red 6.4–8.2 colorless purple
Nitramine
10.8–
13.0
colorless brown

17. Which of the following mixtures, with each
component present at a concentration of 0.1 M,
has a pH closest to 7?
A ) HClO(aq) and NaClO(aq)
B ) HNO
2
(aq) and NaNO
2
(aq)
C ) CH
3
COOH(aq) and NaCH
3
COO(aq)
D ) HNO
3
(aq) and NaNO
3
(aq)

18. Which of the following equations correctly
represents the dissolution of NH
4
NO
3
(s) in
water?
H
2
O
A ) NH
4
NO
3
(s) → NH
4
(aq) + NO
3
(aq)

H
2
O
B ) NH
4
NO
3
(s) → NH
4

(aq) + NO
3
+
(aq)

H
2
O
C) NH
4
NO
3
(s) → NH
2
+
(aq) + NO
2

(aq) + H
2
O

H
2
O
D ) NH
4
NO
3
(s) → NH
4
+
(aq) + NO
3

(aq)


19. When 2.0 mL of 0.1 M NaOH(aq) is added to
100 mL of a solution containing 0.1 M HClO(aq)
and 0.1 M NaClO(aq), what type of change in the
pH of the solution takes place?
A) A slight (<0.1 pH unit) increase
B) A slight (<0.1 pH unit) decrease
C) A significant (>1.0 pH unit) increase
D) A significant (>1.0 pH unit) decrease

20. What is the best explanation for the fact that a
solution of NaNO
2
(aq) is basic?
A) NO
2

is hydrolyzed with the formation of OH

(aq) ions.
B) Na
+
is hydrolyzed with the formation of OH

(aq)
ions.
C) NaNO
2
(aq) decreases the K
a
of HNO
2
(aq).
D) NaNO
2
(aq) increases the K
a
of HNO
2
(aq).

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Passage IV
One can sometimes obtain a fairly good
description of a phenomenon by focusing on a few
key characteristics of a system and ignoring the
subtleties. For example, in the flow of a liquid, fairly
decent results can sometimes be obtained by ignoring
the viscosity of the liquid. (Physicist Richard
Feynman called the approximation of viscousless
water “dry water.”)
An approximate expression for the fundamental
frequency f of liquid sloshing in a tank (as in Figure
1) is given by
f = (3gH)
1/2
/πL
where H is the height of the liquid, L is the length of
the tank, and g denotes the acceleration due to
gravity, 10 m/s
2
. This equation assumes that the liquid
lacks viscosity and surface tension, and that the liquid
surface is always flat throughout the sloshing cycle.
Calculations using these simplifying assumptions
result in uncertainties of about 10%.
The sloshing modes are called seiches. They have
been observed in lakes, bays, and swimming pools.
Amplitudes of seiches in Lake Geneva in Switzerland
have been observed as large as 5 ft. A seiche in Lake
Michigan in 1954 had an amplitude of some 10 ft and
swept away several people who were fishing from
piers. Such seiches can be caused by seismic
disturbances or sudden changes in the atmospheric
pressure above one region of a lake.

Figure 1 The fundamental sloshing mode of a tank
of liquid. The sloshing occurs between
extremes I and III, while II denotes the
equilibrium level.

21. Suppose that the atmospheric pressure suddenly
dropped at one end of a large lake, inducing a
seiche like that shown in Figure 1. The
atmospheric pressure differential between the two
ends of a lake is directly proportional to the:
A) frequency of the oscillations.
B) period of the oscillations.
C) wave speed.
D) amplitude of the oscillations.

22. The principal restoring force responsible for
maintaining the sloshing oscillations in a body
of “dry water” for which surface tension is very
small is the:
A) gravitational force.
B) viscosity of the water.
C) atmospheric pressure above the water.
D) hydrostatic pressure at the bottom of the
container.

23. Compute the period of oscillation for the
fundamental mode of a seiche induced in a lake
that averages a depth of 30 m, with a length of
6000 m over which the wave propagates.
A) 50π s
B) 200π s
C) 300π s
D) 400π s

24. The actual oscillating surface in Figure 1 would
not remain precisely flat; it would have a half-
sine-wave shape. Use this fact to determine the
wavespeed v of the fundamental mode of
oscillation.
A) v = (2gH)
1/2
B) v = (3gH)
1/2
C) v = (3gH)
1/2

D) v = 2(3gH)
1/2



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25. Assume that a pan of “dry water” is
momentarily disturbed. Which of the following
concepts best explains why the resulting sloshing
oscillations persist for a fairly long time?
A ) Energy conservation
B ) Momentum conservation
C ) Newton’s third law
D ) Archimedes’ principle

26. Regarding Figure 1, which velocity profile
depicted below best shows the variation in
velocities across the air–liquid interface of II just
after I has occurred?
A)


B)


C)


D)


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These questions are not based on a descriptive
passage and are independent of each other.

27. In which of the following does sound travel most
rapidly?
A ) Air (0°C)
B ) Water (10°C)
C ) Iron (20°C)
D ) Sound travels at approximately the same speed in
all of the above.

28.


A )
B )

C )
D )


29. Which action involves more work: lifting a
weight from A to B or lowering the weight from
B to A?


A) Lifting from A to B
B) Lowering from B to A
C) Equal work in both actions
D) No work is required using a pulley.

30. What is the standard emf for the galvanic cell in
which the following overall reaction occurs?

2Na(s) + Cl
2
(g) → 2Na
+
(aq) + 2Cl

(aq)
Half-reaction
E° red
(V)
Na
+
(aq) + e

→ Na(s) –2.71
Cl
2
(g) + 2e

→ 2Cl

(aq) +1.36
A) –1.35 V
B) +1.35 V
C) +4.07 V
D) +6.78 V

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31. Which of the following shows the electron
configuration of chlorine in NaCl?
A ) 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
4

B ) 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
5
C ) 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
6
D ) 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
4
4s
2

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Passage V
Earthquake lights (EQLs) have been reported for
centuries. These lights are seen in association with
seismic activity and have been reported at distances
hundreds of kilometers from the earthquake, and
often at sea or near large bodies of water. EQLs are
usually blue or bluish-white, but yellow lights have
occasionally been reported. The source of EQLs has
not been identified, but it has recently been suggested
that they are produced by sonoluminescence (SL), the
production of light by sound waves in a liquid.
SL occurs when bubbles form in the liquid during
the rarefaction phase of a sound wave and are then
rapidly compressed during the compressional phase
of the wave. The rapid compression causes a large
increase in the temperature of the gas inside the
bubble, causing light to be emitted. Both continuum
emission, with a blackbody spectrum, and line
emission from atoms and molecules have been
observed in the laboratory from SL in water.
SL has been produced in water in the laboratory
by sound waves carrying an energy density of about
10 erg/cm
3
. Advancing seismic wavefronts carry a
kinetic energy density e, given by
e = 2π
2
ρ(A/τ)
2

in which ρ is the density of the ambient medium, A is
the wave amplitude, and τ is the wave period.
Estimates of these quantities obtained from ground-
motion records of earthquakes give values for e that
are often consistent with the SL hypothesis.
The SL spectrum of pure water peaks at a
wavelength of 3.10 × 10
–7
m in the ultraviolet.
Dissolved salts might contribute to the yellow color.
Sodium has, in fact, a particularly strong
characteristic emission at 5.89 × 10
–7
m.

32. Which of the following statements could explain
the frequently bluish color of EQLs?
A) Sodium salts are common in the earth’s crust, and
sodium emissions can be quite bright.
B) In transparent substances, dispersion effects are in
general greater for longer wavelengths.
C) The ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by molecules
that then fluoresce at yet shorter wavelengths.
D) The ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by molecules
that then fluoresce at yet longer wavelengths.

33. During their compression, little heat is lost by
conduction from the hot vapor bubbles
responsible for SL effects because:
A) the process occurs too rapidly for heat loss to be
appreciable.
B) the heat is carried on the advancing wavefront.
C) the surrounding liquid is subjected to the same
compressional force.
D) convection predominates over other processes in
liquids at ordinary temperatures.

34. Heating of the vapor bubbles occurs during the
compression phase of the passing waves in SL
because:
A) the heat of vaporization of water is high and
serves as a barrier to the effect.
B) constructive interference in the wave motion is
greater than at other times.
C) work is being done on the vapor bubbles by
forces external to them at that time.
D) energy propagates primarily by means of
transverse waves at that time.

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35. Atomic hydrogen has a characteristic spectral
emission at a wavelength of 6.56 × 10
–7
m that
might contribute to EQLs. What color is this
characteristic H emission?
A ) Violet
B ) Blue
C ) Green
D ) Red

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Passage VI
Aluminum is obtained commercially by the
electrolysis of Al
2
O
3
, which is the major compound in
the ore bauxite. Pure Al
2
O
3
is obtained from bauxite
by the Bayer process.
The finely ground ore is treated with concentrated
NaOH (35–38%) for 6–8 hours at a high temperature
and pressure, converting Al
2
O
3
into Al(OH)
3
(aq),
which then reacts with NaOH(aq) to produce
Na[Al(OH)
4
] as shown in Equation 1.
Al(OH)
3
(aq) + NaOH(aq) → Na[Al(OH)
4
](aq)
Equation 1
The aqueous base converts the major impurity in the
ore, Fe
2
O
3
, into the insoluble Fe(OH)
3
, which is
removed by filtration.
After the impurity is removed, carbon dioxide is
passed through the mixture to precipitate Al(OH)
3
,
which is collected and dehydrated at 1000°C to yield
pure Al
2
O
3
(equations 2 and 3).
2Na[Al(OH)
4
](aq) + CO
2
(g) → Na
2
CO
3
(aq) +
2Al(OH)
3
(s) + H
2
O(ℓ)
Equation 2
2Al(OH)
3
(s) + heat → Al
2
O
3
(s) + 3H
2
O(g)
Equation 3
The Al
2
O
3
is mixed with Na
3
AlF
6
, a compound
that lowers the melting point of Al
2
O
3
from over
2000°C to about 950°C, making the electrolysis of the
molten salt commercially viable. Pure aluminum is
produced by the reaction shown in Equation 4.
2Al
2
O
3
(ℓ) → 4Al(s) + 3O
2
(g)
Equation 4

36. Aluminum belongs to what block of elements in
the periodic table?
A ) s
B ) p
C ) d
D ) f

37. What is the oxidation number of aluminum in
Na[Al(OH)
4
](aq)?
A) +1
B) +2
C) +3
D) +4

38. What is the geometry of the hexafluoroaluminate
ion (AlF
6
3–
)?
A) Octahedral
B) Tetrahedral
C) Trigonal bipyramidal
D) Hexagonal

39. Approximately how much Al
2
O
3
is required to
make 100 kg of Al?
A) 500 kg
B) 200 kg
C) 80 kg
D) 50 kg

40. In the reaction shown in Equation 1, Al(OH)
3
acts as what kind of acid or base?
A) Lewis acid
B) Lewis base
C) Brønsted acid
D) Brønsted base

41. At which electrode is aluminum produced in a
galvanic cell and in an electrolytic cell?
A) At the anode in both cells
B) At the cathode in both cells
C) At the anode in the galvanic cell and cathode in
the electrolytic cell
D) At the cathode in the galvanic cell and anode in
the electrolytic cell

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42. In the reaction shown in Equation 2, three moles
of Al(OH)
3
is chemically equivalent to what
volume of CO
2
(g) measured at 1 atm and 0°C?
A ) 11.2 L
B ) 16.8 L
C ) 22.4 L
D ) 33.6 L

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Passage VII
An experimental system is assembled to measure
the focal lengths of lenses and mirrors. The system
consists of objects, lenses, mirrors, and devices for
locating images. It is placed on a metered optical
bench. The system is operated in several
configurations.
Converging Lens
To measure the focal length of a converging lens,
an object is placed at A, the 0-cm mark of an optical
bench, and a converging lens is placed at B, the 30-
cm mark of the bench. This situation forms an image
at D, the 90-cm mark as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Optical bench
Convex Mirror
A convex mirror is inserted between the
converging lens (B) and the image position (D).
When the mirror is located at C (50-cm mark), the
light rays are reflected back along the incoming path,
as shown in Figure 2. The dashed lines between
points C and D indicate the path of light rays before
the convex mirror is inserted.

Figure 2 Convex mirror
Diverging Lens
The convex mirror is removed from the setup, and
a diverging lens is placed at position C (50-cm mark)
so that the new image is observed at E (110-cm
mark), as shown in Figure 3.


Figure 3 Diverging lens

43. Changing which of the following will change the
focal length of the convex mirror in Figure 2?
A) Index of refraction of the mirror
B) Radius of curvature of the mirror
C) Position of the lens at B
D) Focal length of the lens at B

44. As the light passes from the air into the glass, it
makes an angle θ
a
in air and an angle θ
l
in the
lens material, relative to the normal at the
surface. What equation relates the angles θ
l
and
θ
a
?
A) θ
a
= θ
l
B) 1/θ
a
= 1/θ
l
C) n
a
sin θ
a
= n
l
sin θ
l
D) n
a
/sin θ
a
= n
l
/sin θ
l

45. The converging lens in Figure 1 is removed and
the diverging lens is placed in position B, as
shown in the figure below. Which of the
following best describes the light rays from the
diverging lens in this configuration?

A) Converging rays
B) Parallel rays in and out
C) Reflected rays diverging
D) Diverging rays

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46. If a very bright light source shines on a mirror,
the mirror may become warm because:
A ) all of the light is reflected, and, by momentum
conservation, the molecules in the mirror move,
producing heat energy.
B ) some of the light passes through the mirror, and,
by energy conservation, potential energy is
produced.
C ) some of the light is absorbed by the mirror, and,
by energy conservation, thermal energy is
produced.
D ) none of the light is reflected, and, by energy
conservation, mass is converted to energy.
47. Visible light travels more slowly through an
optically dense medium than through a vacuum.
A possible explanation for this could be that the
light:
A) is absorbed and re-emitted by the atomic structure
of the optically dense medium.
B) is absorbed and re-emitted by the nucleus of the
material in the optically dense medium.
C) bounces around randomly inside of the optically
dense medium before emerging.
D) loses amplitude as it passes through the optically
dense medium.

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These questions are not based on a descriptive
passage and are independent of each other.

48. If the magnitude of a positive charge is tripled,
what is the ratio of the original value of the
electric field at a point to the new value of the
electric field at that same point?
A ) 1:2
B ) 1:3
C ) 1:6
D ) 1:9

49. A 7-N force and an 11-N force act on an object at
the same time. Which of the following CANNOT
be the magnitude of the sum of these forces?
A ) 2 N
B ) 8 N
C ) 12 N
D ) 18 N

50. A student plans to add HCl to a solution
containing Pb(NO
3
)
2
(aq). To determine how
much Pb
2+
will precipitate from solution when
the HCl is added, the student needs to know
which of the following?
A ) K
a
for HCl
B ) K
a
for HNO
3
C ) K
sp
for PbCl
2
D ) K
eq
for the reaction Pb
2+
+ 2 e

Pb

51.


A block of weight W is pulled across a rough
floor by a rope that exerts a force T on the block.
The frictional force between the floor and the
block is F. Which of the following expressions
equals the frictional force F when the block
moves with a constant speed?
A) T
B) W – T
C) T sin θ
D) T cos θ

52. When an element undergoes β decay, a nuclear
neutron is converted to a nuclear proton as the
nucleus emits an electron. What happens to the
atomic number and atomic mass of an element
that undergoes β decay?
A) The atomic number increases, but the atomic
mass stays approximately the same.
B) The atomic number stays the same, but the atomic
mass decreases.
C) Both the atomic number and the atomic mass
decrease.
D) The atomic number decreases, but the atomic
mass stays approximately the same.
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24 of 62

Verbal Reasoning
Time: 60 minutes
Questions: 53-92

There are seven passages in the complete Verbal Reasoning test. Each passage is followed by several
questions. After reading a passage, select the one best answer to each question. If you are not certain of an
answer, eliminate the alternatives that you know to be incorrect and then select an answer from the remaining
alternatives. Indicate your selected answer by marking the corresponding answer on your answer sheet.

































This document has been encoded to link this download to your member account. The AAMC and its Section
for the MCAT hold the copyrights to the content of this Practice Test. Therefore, there can be no sharing or
reproduction of materials from the Practice Test in any form (electronic, voice, or other means). If there are
any questions about the use of the material in the Practice Test, please contact the MCAT Information Line
(202-828-0690).
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Passage I
A phenomenon such as “female fiction” does not
exist, but in the 1960s there began to appear novels
about the “female experience” by both male and
female writers. It is necessary to separate these books
from anything called “female fiction,” which would
suggest that the culture bifurcates into two distinct
experiences, one male and one female. That such
experiences differ, there can be no disagreement; but
that such experiences overlap, there should also be no
disagreement. I concur with Elaine Showalter’s
statement:
Women writers should not be studied
as a distinct group on the assumption that
they write alike, or even display stylistic
resemblances distinctively feminine. But
women do have a special literary history
susceptible to analysis, which includes
such complex considerations as the
economics of their relation to the literary
marketplace, the effects of social and
political changes in women’s status upon
individuals, and the implications of
stereotypes of the woman writer and
restrictions of her artistic autonomy.
There is by now a sizable body of fiction that
focuses on female experiences or conditions, in which
women must find their way personally,
professionally, socially, in what is basically a
patriarchy. This term we may define as any society in
which men control authority and determine the roles
women should or should not play.
An example of the female imagination at work
comes in the following way. In Jane Eyre, Bertha, the
“madwoman in the attic,” is presented as the element
that must be eliminated in order for Rochester and
Jane to complete their destiny together. Imprisoned in
the upper reaches of Thornfield, she is a threat to
foreground order and stability, a principle of chaos, in
fact. Since Charlotte Brontë was writing a romance,
Bertha could become expendable.
In a society more oriented to the overall female
experience, Jean Rhys in Wide Sargasso Sea
perceived in Bertha the characteristic victim of a
male-dominated society, a woman moved around as
an object, living out others’ sense of her experience,
not her own, and becoming mad as the sole way of
breaking through an unyielding situation. In this view,
Bertha’s plight is more archetypically female than
Jane’s, by far, since Jane is moving in a fairy tale of
sorts in which elements yield to her, whereas Bertha
has moved in the real world of power. There is, I feel,
no male novelist who could have picked up the thread
of Bertha’s existence and turned it into an emblem, as
Jean Rhys did; and here alone we note the way the
female novelist can perceive aspects of experience
that remain (at least in our era) outside the reach of
the male writer. Reading back from Rhys, we
experience Jane Eyre differently.
More recently, Virginia Woolf has become a
powerful influence in analyses of the female
experience by U.S. writers. Not only her fiction and
literary essays but a book such as A Room of One’s
Own (1929) have served to reinforce what many
women writers were already saying. Woolf offered,
also, something of an aesthetic, in that she asserted
women had to develop a prose of their own. After
mentioning Newman, Sterne, Dickens, Thackeray,
among others, she says: “The weight, the pace, the
stride of a man’s mind are too unlike her own.” She
quotes a typical early-nineteenth-century sentence and
adds: “That was a man’s sentence; behind it one can
see Johnson, Gibbon, and the rest. It was unsuited for
a woman’s use.” She sums up: “There is no reason to
think that the form of the epic or of the poetic play
suits a woman any more than the sentence suits her.
But all the older forms of literature were hardened
and set by the time she became a writer. The novel
alone was young enough to be soft in her hands.”

53. The passage discussion of male and female
experience assumes that:
A) female experience is entirely different from male
experience.
B) there is a degree of similarity between female and
male experience.
C) male experience is inferior to female experience.
D) female experience almost always influences male
experience.

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54. According to the author, a characteristic of many
novels of female experience is that they:
A ) portray women struggling to achieve identity in a
patriarchy.
B ) display a distinctively feminine prose style.
C ) present female characters from a male point of
view.
D ) portray female characters as emblems.

55. In the second to last paragraph, the author asserts
that the novelist Jean Rhys:
A ) reworked the character of Bertha in a way no
male writer could have.
B ) created a new literary form based on adaptations
of older works.
C ) created a distinctively feminine prose style that is
difficult for male writers to imitate.
D ) misunderstood Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre.

56. The author suggests that Bertha’s imprisonment
in the upper reaches of Thornfield:

I. could have been explored equally well by
male or female novelists.
II. provided Jean Rhys with an archetypal
symbol of the plight of women.
III. functioned for Charlotte Brontë primarily
as a plot device.
A) I only
B) I and II only
C) I and III only
D) II and III only

57. According to the passage, Virginia Woolf
believed the novel was more suitable to women
writers than was the epic or the poetic play
because the:
A) novel was a more recent and thus more flexible
genre.
B) novel did not depend on “a man’s sentence” for
its effect.
C) epic and poetic play were newer genres.
D) epic and poetic play required that women develop
a prose of their own.

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Passage II
What makes clouds turn into rain? More
specifically, the question is: How do the tiny droplets
of a cloud coalesce into water drops big enough to fall
as rain?
The beam of a searchlight pointed upward at night
shows that even apparently clear air is actually a
“soup” of particles. The air may contain anywhere
from 10,000 to 100,000 particles per cubic inch.
When the relative humidity is high, water vapor
condenses on many particles and begins to form
droplets; this condensation accounts for the haziness
of the air on a muggy day and for the poor visibility
you may have noticed while flying in an airplane
below a cloud. An actual cloud materializes when the
humidity reaches a certain critical value which turns
most of the dust particles into water droplets. Under
the right conditions, the cloud droplets combine
rapidly into raindrops; a concentration of 10,000
cloud droplets per cubic inch yields one raindrop per
10 cubic inches. There are two general theories about
the way this takes place.
One is the ice-crystal theory. In the cold upper
regions of a high cloud, the droplets are supercooled.
If ice crystals are present, they evaporate the droplets
and then absorb the vapor, much as crystals of
calcium chloride and other drying agents absorb
moisture. The ice crystals, feeding on the cloud
droplets, may grow to a large size and either fall as
snow or melt into rain. But rain can fall from warm
clouds as well as cold. How is it generated in clouds
that lack ice crystals and supercooled droplets?
We must find some other mechanism that can
combine droplets into big drops, bringing us to the
second theory, which suggests that large particles
grow into raindrops by sweeping up the smaller
droplets. The big particles form comparatively large
cloud droplets, which, as they move through the
cloud, pick up the smaller droplets in their path, just
as a rolling drop of mercury gathers up any mercury
drops it encounters. Thus the larger dust nuclei in a
cloud can grow to the size of a raindrop. A cloud will
produce rain, according to this theory, when it
contains sufficient moisture and a suitable number of
giant nuclei.
We are therefore led to two interesting questions:
What are the giant nuclei, and where do they come
from? First, there can be no doubt that winds blowing
over the oceans pick up a substantial load of salt
particles. Second, it is equally plain that the winds
transport a great deal of salt from the sea over the
land. Systematic surveys have verified that salt
particles, large and small, are spread through the
atmosphere, from the ground up into high altitudes.
Next, there is statistical evidence of a relationship
between the amount of salt carried inland from the sea
and the amount of salt in our rainfall. Salt greedily
takes up water from the air, as anyone who has dealt
with a salt shaker on a humid morning is well aware.
A salt crystal kept in damp air collects enough water
to dissolve completely into a droplet. All of this
certainly seems to indicate that salt particles act as
nuclei to produce raindrops and precipitation. The
idea gains further support from the finding that the
number of drops per unit volume in rain over the sea
is about the same as the number of salt particles in
ocean air.

58. In order for the process described in paragraph
3 to occur, the temperature of ice crystals in a
cloud must be higher than that of:
A) calcium chloride crystals.
B) the upper regions of the cloud.
C) the lower regions of the cloud.
D) the supercooled droplets.

59. On the sole basis of the passage, one could
conclude that it might be possible to reduce the
rainfall in a region by:
A) warming the clouds.
B) decreasing the number of particles in the air.
C) cooling the clouds.
D) increasing the amount of salt in the clouds.

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60. The passage assertion that salt is largely
responsible for rainfall from warm clouds is
based on evidence that:

I. salt particles are spread throughout the
atmosphere.
II. the amount of salt in rainfall is related to
the amount of salt carried inland from the
sea.
III. the number of drops per unit volume in
rain over the sea is similar to that of salt
particles in ocean air.
A ) III only
B ) I and III only
C ) II and III only
D ) I, II, and III

61. Which of the following statements most strongly
challenges the author’s assertions about the way
raindrops are formed in clouds at subfreezing
temperatures?
A) Humidity in a region must be extremely high in
order to turn most of its dust particles to water
droplets.
B) A concentration of 10,000 cloud droplets per
cubic inch yields one raindrop per 100 cubic
inches.
C) No ice crystals are present in the upper regions of
clouds at high altitudes.
D) Calcium chloride crystals do not absorb as much
moisture as do ice crystals.

62. Assume that a particular inland region in a warm
climate receives a great deal of rain. Given the
information in the passage, which of the
following proposed explanations of this
phenomenon is the LEAST plausible?
A) There is very little wind over the region.
B) There is an especially high percentage of salt
particles in the region’s atmosphere.
C) The region is located near an ocean.
D) There is an especially high percentage of large
particles in the clouds over the region.


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Passage III
Americans were raised with a sentimental
attachment to rural living and with a series of notions
about rural people and rural life that I have chosen to
designate as the agrarian myth. The agrarian myth
represents a kind of homage that Americans have paid
to the fancied innocence of their origins.
Like any complex of ideas, the agrarian myth
cannot be defined in a phrase, but its component
themes form a clear pattern. Its hero was the yeoman
farmer, its central conception the notion that he is the
ideal man and the ideal citizen. Unstinted praise of
the special virtues of the farmer and the special values
of rural life was coupled with the assertion that
agriculture, as a calling uniquely productive and
uniquely important to society, had a special right to
the concern and protection of government. The
yeoman, who owned a small farm and worked it with
the aid of his family, was the incarnation of the
simple, honest, independent, healthy, happy human
being. Because he lived in close communion with
beneficent nature, his life was believed to have a
wholesomeness and integrity impossible for the
depraved populations of cities.
In origin the agrarian myth was not a popular but
a literary idea, a preoccupation of the upper classes,
of those who enjoyed a classical education, read
pastoral poetry, experimented with breeding stock,
and owned plantations or country estates. It was
clearly formulated and almost universally accepted in
America during the last half of the eighteenth century.
By the early nineteenth century it had become a
mass creed, a part of the country’s political folklore
and its nationalist ideology. The roots of this change
may be found as far back as the American
Revolution, which, appearing to many Americans as
the victory of a band of embattled farmers over an
empire, seemed to confirm the moral and civic
superiority of the yeoman, made the farmer a symbol
of the new nation, and wove the agrarian myth into its
patriotic sentiments and republican idealism.
To what extent was the agrarian myth actually
false? When it took form in America during the
eighteenth century, its stereotypes did indeed
correspond to many of the realities of American
agricultural life. There were commercial elements in
colonial agriculture almost from the earliest days, but
there were also large numbers of the kind of
independent yeomen idealized in the myth.
Between 1815 and 1860, the character of
American agriculture was transformed. The
independent yeoman, outside of exceptional or
isolated areas, almost disappeared before the
relentless advance of commercial agriculture. The
cash crop converted the yeoman into a small
entrepreneur, and the development of horse-drawn
machinery made obsolete the simple old agrarian
symbol of the plow. Farmers ceased to be free of what
the early agrarian writers had called the “corruptions”
of trade. They were, to be sure, still “independent,” in
the sense that they owned their own land. They were a
hardworking lot in the old tradition. But no longer did
they grow or manufacture what they needed: They
concentrated on the cash crop and began to buy more
and more of their supplies from the country store.
The triumph of commercial agriculture not only
rendered obsolete the objective conditions that had
given to the agrarian myth so much of its original
force, but also showed that the ideal implicit in the
myth was contesting the ground with another, even
stronger ideal—the notion of opportunity, of career,
of the self-made man. The same forces in American
life that had given to the equalitarian theme in the
agrarian romance its most compelling appeal had also
unleashed in the nation an entrepreneurial zeal
probably without precedent in history, a rage for
business, for profits, for opportunity, for
advancement.

63. The central argument of the passage is that the
agrarian myth:
A) has no factual basis in the realities of American
agricultural life.
B) is a sentimental representation of the role that
agriculture played in American life.
C) accurately reflects the nature of American
agriculture, both in the past and today.
D) understates the negative aspects of life on the
farm in America.

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64. The passage suggests that the agrarian myth
originated:
A ) in literature.
B ) on country estates in Europe.
C ) on small farms owned and worked by yeoman
farmers.
D ) among the urban elite who romanticized the
virtues of the simple life of the farmer.

65. Based on the passage, the agrarian myth assumes
that:

I. yeoman farmers are wholesome and
honest.
II. yeoman farmers are morally superior to
most citizens.
III. agriculture deserves special treatment
from the government.
A ) I only
B ) I and II only
C ) II and III only
D ) I, II, and III

66. Based on the passage, the agrarian myth
became part of a mass creed because:
A ) the country’s nationalist ideology stood in need of
the kind of patriotic sentiments that the agrarian
myth could provide.
B ) farmers were credited with having played a major
role in the American victory in the Revolutionary
War.
C ) most of the American population lived on family
farms during the late eighteenth century.
D ) the yeoman farmer, as an ideal, corresponded to
many of the realities of American life in the late
eighteenth century.

67. According to the passage, the agrarian myth
implied that yeoman farmers were:
A) honest entrepreneurs.
B) classically educated.
C) sentimentally patriotic.
D) happy and industrious.

68. Which of the following assertions, if true,
would most weaken the main point of the
passage?
A) The contribution made by American farmers to
victory in the Revolutionary War has been greatly
exaggerated.
B) The agrarian myth was what might be called “a
noble lie”: it was false but generally beneficial.
C) The agrarian myth played a part in the thinking of
only a handful of Americans during the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
D) American farmers during the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries had very little in common
with the idealized yeoman farmer of the agrarian
myth.

69. What does the passage suggest about whether
or not the agrarian myth was false?
A) It was clearly false, because it bore little
resemblance to actual farm life in America at the
time.
B) Very few people lived the life idealized in the
myth.
C) It conformed to reality only in its commercial
elements.
D) Its stereotypes corresponded to many of the
realities of early American agricultural life.


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Passage IV
Nature is extraordinarily fertile and ingenious in
devising means, but it has no ends that the human
mind has been able to discover or comprehend.
Perhaps, indeed, the very conception of an end or
ultimate purpose is exclusively human; but at least it
must be said that the most characteristically human
effort is to transform a means into an end.
Sensibility and intelligence arose in the animal in
order to serve animal purposes, for through the first, it
was able to distinguish those things that favor the
survival of it and its race, and through the second, it
was able to go about in a more efficient manner to
secure them. Both were, like all things in nature,
merely means toward the achievement of that
humanly incomprehensible end, mere survival. But
the philosopher-artist has detached both from their
natural places.
When sensibility has been detached from its
animal setting, it may develop into a quest for that
self-justifying beauty which is humanly valuable but
biologically useless. When intelligence is detached, it
not only tends to paralyze natural impulse by
criticizing natural aims but develops certain
intellectual virtues which are biological vices. We are,
for example, inclined to regard skepticism, irony, and
above all, the power of dispassionate analysis as the
marks of the most distinctly human intelligence. We
admire anyone whose reason is capable of more than
scheming, whose logic is not the mere rationalization
of desires.
But intelligence as detached as this is a vital
liability. It puts its possessor at a disadvantage in
dealing with those whose intelligence faithfully
serves their purpose by enabling them to scheme for
their ends and to justify to themselves their desires.
Such is the animal function of intelligence, and
whenever it develops beyond this level, it inhibits
rather than aids that effective action in the pursuit of
natural ends which was the original function of mind.
The same process occurs in every nation that has
developed a national mind capable of detachment and
has passed beyond that stage of invigorating delusion
which could make it fancy itself master by right of an
inherent superiority. One after another, the great
nations of history have founded on aggression the
civilization that then supported for a time, but for a
time only, great periods of human culture, that
flourished at their height just as the substructure
crumbled. Animals made humans possible, and
conquerors prepared the way for poets and
philosophers, but neither poet nor philosopher can
survive long after the conquest.
Nor need we be surprised to see nations enfeebled
by civilization as though by vice. That detachment
of mind from its function which makes philosophy
possible and which encourages dispassionate analysis
is exactly parallel to the detachment of the sexual
functions from their purposes, which results in the
cult of the senses. Thought for thought’s sake is a
kind of perversion. Civilizations die from
philosophical calm, irony, and the sense of fair play
quite as surely as they die of debauchery.
Nor can it be said that to understand this paradox
of humanism helps us in any way to solve it. The
analysis that we perform is, indeed, itself an example
of one of those exercises of the mind that is perverse
because it does not serve as a means toward a natural
end. And when we have admitted that the human
ideal is one that the human animal cannot even
approach without tending to destroy itself, we have,
by that very admission, diminished our biological
fitness.

70. Which of the following statements best
summarizes the central problem addressed by the
passage?
A) Truth and beauty are unattainable illusions.
B) Sensibility and intelligence are biologically
useless.
C) Unbiased thought is inconsistent with human
survival.
D) We are most fully human when we behave like
animals.
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71. Which of the following statements, if true,
would most directly undermine the author’s
central argument?
A ) Some highly developed civilizations are
peaceable.
B ) Aggressive people are often much admired.
C ) Nonhuman animals often behave altruistically.
D ) Logic is not always the mere rationalization of
desires.

72. Suppose that persons of average intelligence
tend to have higher incomes than those of very
intelligent persons. The author would be most
likely to argue that this difference exists
because:
A ) competitive success reduces one’s interest in art
and philosophy.
B ) intelligence and competitive success are
unrelated.
C ) the more intelligent one is, the more one despises
material success.
D ) a highly developed intelligence inhibits
competitive action.

73. Which of the following passage contentions
might it be possible to refute by clear
counterexamples?
I. The intelligence of poets tends to paralyze
natural impulse.
II. Transforming means into ends is the most
characteristically human effort.
III. The great nations of history were founded
on aggression.
A) II only
B) III only
C) I and II only
D) I and III only

74. Some research into unconscious motivation
suggests that even apparently impartial thought
processes may be deeply self-serving. What is
the relevance of this consideration to the
author’s argument?
A) It weakens the distinction drawn between
“animal” and “human” uses of intelligence.
B) It challenges the assumption that humans value
dispassionate analysis.
C) It supports the observation that intellectual
detachment is biologically useless.
D) It strengthens the contention that some uses of
intelligence are biological vices.

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Passage V
The perception of a color when one hears words is
the most common example of the phenomenon of
synesthesia. Synesthesia can be visual-tactile, visual-
gustatory, tactile-visual, or almost any combination of
two senses, but reports are dominated by visually
related synesthesias, and olfactory and gustatory
synesthesias are less common. Two possible reasons
for this difference are the proximity in the cortex of
the visual areas to the auditory and motor areas, the
areas implicated in taste and olfaction being relatively
distant, and the fact that vision dominates normal
behavior and is therefore more likely to form
associations with the other senses.
The nature of the color-word associations made
by synesthetes is surprising. The link is not between
meaning and color, or sound and color, but between
the visual appearance of the first letter of the word
and color. Thus, a subject reporting the perception of
red on hearing the word photograph would also report
perceiving red on hearing the word palladium but a
different color on hearing the word fish. The
experience is described more accurately, then, as a
color-grapheme association than as a color-word
association. This association is not so far removed
from the normal experience of linking the letters of a
word with its sound. For example, it takes longer to
decide that enough and bough do not rhyme than to
make this decision about rough and how.
The finding that the association is graphemic in
color-word synesthesia greatly constrains the possible
explanations of the experience. Grapheme perception
is not present at birth and only begins to develop
when a child is learning to write. This fact opens up
the possibility that color-grapheme synesthesia
emerges during a critical period of maximum
plasticity in the visual system, when it is involved in
learning to link letters with sounds and strings of
letters with objects.
Evidence from neuropsychological studies also
points to the visual system. In 1893, Phillipe reported
that 30 out of 150 blind subjects reported colored
hearing after losing the sense of sight, a finding that is
consistent with the remedial plasticity that occurs
following cortical damage. In another case, a seeing
person who had been synesthetic lost that experience
after suffering brain damage that also resulted in color
blindness. These findings suggest that color-
grapheme synesthesia depends on activity within the
visual cortex that is initiated by the responding of
certain cells specialized to integrate such features as
color and shape.
A different view suggests that subcortical limbic
areas are more important for synesthesia. A crucial
part of the reasoning behind this hypothesis lies in the
argument that only humans can make cross-modal
associations. This argument is mistaken. It is widely
known that monkeys can make cross-modal
associations, and it is by no means clear that the
cortex is not involved. For example, Haenny recorded
from neurons in cortical visual area V4 while
monkeys were performing orientation discrimination
tasks and found that many neurons responded to the
visual orientation of the stimuli, as one might expect
from this visual area, but that many were also
sensitive to the tactile orientation of a grooved plate if
its orientation was relevant to the task. Further
evidence implicating visual areas in cross-modal
transfer comes from a study in which monkeys were
impaired in the learning of tactile-visual associations
following lesions of the cortical area dedicated to the
processing of tactile sensations.

75. Which of the following research findings would
undermine the argument about the development
of color-word synesthesia?
A) Left-handed children are especially likely to be
synesthetic.
B) Color-word synesthesia can develop in literate
adults.
C) Color-word synesthesia can accompany the
earliest attempts to read.
D) Damage to the visual cortex seldom results in
synesthesia.

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76. According to the author’s explanation, one pair
of words that would be likely to evoke the same
synesthetic experience is:
A ) know and no.
B ) knit and kit.
C ) snuff and enough.
D ) cite and site.

77. The author implies that visual synesthesia can
occur because certain neurons respond to the
co-occurrence of a particular color and shape.
A plausible hypothesis is that such cells
evolved because they increased processing
speed in the identification of:
A ) dangerous predators on the basis of incomplete
visual information.
B ) group members by either their appearance or their
vocalizations.
C ) appropriate foods by any combination of
characteristics.
D ) environmental forms and patterns associated with
the home territory.

78. As the word is used in the passage, a grapheme
is best described as:
A) the synesthetic element of a letter.
B) the written representation of a syllable.
C) one of the units of a spoken word.
D) one of the units of a written word.

79. Which of the following phenomena is an example
of synesthesia?
A) Thinking of the sound of words while silently
reading
B) Hearing a loud note when seeing the word
trumpet
C) Mentally generating a tune while following
written notes
D) Visualizing a scene while listening to a
description

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Passage VI
Poussin had come to Rome one or two years after
Guercino had left it. And a few years later
(presumably about 1630), he produced the earlier of
his two Et in Arcadia ego compositions. Being a
classicist, Poussin revised Guercino’s composition by
adding the Arcadian river god Alpheus and by
transforming the decaying masonry into a classical
sarcophagus.
But in spite of these improvements, Poussin’s
picture does not conceal its derivation from
Guercino’s. In the first place, it retains to some extent
the element of drama and surprise: The shepherds
approach as a group from the left and are
unexpectedly stopped by the tomb. In the second
place, there is still the actual skull, placed upon the
sarcophagus above the word Arcadia, although it has
become quite small and inconspicuous and fails to
attract the attention of the shepherds, who seem to be
more intensely fascinated by the inscription than they
are shocked by the death’s-head.
After another five or six years, however, Poussin
produced a second and final version of the Et in
Arcadia ego theme, the famous picture in the Louvre.
And in this painting we can observe a radical break
with the medieval, moralizing tradition. The element
of drama and surprise has disappeared. Instead of two
or three Arcadians approaching from the left in a
group, we have four, symmetrically arranged on
either side of a sepulchral monument. Instead of being
checked in their progress by an unexpected and
terrifying phenomenon, they are absorbed in calm
discussion and pensive contemplation. The form of
the tomb is simplified into a plain rectangular block,
and the death’s-head is eliminated altogether.
Here, then, we have a basic change in
interpretation. The Arcadians are not so much warned
of an implacable future as they are immersed in
mellow meditation on a beautiful past. In short,
Poussin’s Louvre picture no longer shows a dramatic
encounter with Death but a contemplative absorption
in the idea of mortality. We are confronted with a
change from thinly veiled moralism to undisguised
elegiac sentiment.
When read according to the rules of Latin
grammar (“Even in Arcady, there am I”), the phrase
had been consistent and easily intelligible as long as
the words could be attributed to a death’s-head and as
long as the shepherds were suddenly and
frighteningly interrupted in their walk. These
conditions are manifestly true of Guercino’s painting,
and they are also true, if in a considerably lesser
degree, of Poussin’s earlier picture.
When facing the Louvre painting, however, the
beholder finds it difficult to accept the inscription in
its literal, grammatically correct, significance. In the
absence of a death’s-head, the ego in the phrase might
seem to refer to the tomb itself. But it is infinitely
more natural to ascribe the words to the person buried
therein. Such is the case with 99 percent of all
epitaphs.
Thus Poussin himself, while making no verbal
change in the inscription, invites, almost compels, the
beholder to mistranslate it by relating the ego to a
dead person and by connecting the et with ego instead
of with Arcadia. The development of his pictorial
vision had outgrown the significance of the literary
formula, and we may say that those who, under the
influence of the Louvre picture, decided to render the
phrase Et in Arcadia ego as “I, too, lived in Arcady,”
rather than as “Even in Arcady, there am I,” did
violence to Latin grammar but justice to the meaning
of Poussin’s art.

80. As used in the passage, the term elegiac is closest
in meaning to:
A) piously hopeful.
B) serenely reflective.
C) profoundly grieving.
D) poetically praising.

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81. Suppose that a painting contained words with
no apparent relevance to the scene depicted.
The passage suggests that in discussing this
painting, the passage author would be most
likely to:
A ) assume that the artist intended to puzzle the
viewer.
B ) interpret the scene on the basis of the words.
C ) interpret the words on the basis of the scene.
D ) discuss the scene without reference to the words.

82. By the end of the eighteenth century, the
inscription on Poussin’s second Arcadia
painting was translated as “Even in Arcady,
there am I” only in England. In conjunction
with passage information, this fact most
strongly implies that in comparison with other
Europeans, the English were:
A ) less familiar with Latin grammar.
B ) less receptive to medieval moralizing.
C ) more sophisticated in their response to art.
D ) more influenced by the Guercino painting.

83. Suppose that when Poussin’s Louvre painting is
cleaned, a skull is discovered on the tomb. This
discovery means that the author’s thesis about
this painting:
A ) has been confirmed.
B ) is more plausible.
C ) is less plausible.
D ) has been disproved.

84. According to the author, which details of
Poussin’s Louvre painting support the belief
that it reveals his decision to reject the
moralizing tradition in art?

I. A classical tomb
II. A pagan river god
III. A symmetrical composition
A) II only
B) III only
C) I and II only
D) I and III only

85. What is the significance to the passage
argument of the information that the shepherds
are already at the tomb rather than approaching
it?
A) It shows that they are not surprised by the
reminder of death.
B) It indicates the classicism of Poussin’s vision.
C) It ensures that the viewer interprets the inscription
as an epitaph.
D) It emphasizes the simplicity of the tomb.

86. Which of the following statements, if true,
would most weaken the author’s reasoning
about the historical significance of the changes
introduced in Poussin’s second Arcadia
painting?
A) Guercino’s Arcadia painting contains as many
classical elements as do either of Poussin’s
versions.
B) The skull in Guercino’s Arcadia painting is small
and inconspicuous.
C) The painting was completed by one of Poussin’s
students.
D) Many of Poussin’s later paintings have strongly
moralistic themes.


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Passage VII
Chemistry and physics began with the observation
of gross phenomena, such as those relevant to
cooking, distillation, medicine, falling bodies, and
celestial movements. These sciences reached the level
of mathematical abstraction only after a long period
of detailed familiarity with concrete phenomena. The
behavioral and social sciences must now pass through
a phase in which a core of concrete facts relevant to
the mind and to society slowly accrue before they can
arrive at meaningful abstract formulations of their
problems. When that stage has been reached, they
may reexamine their relation to the natural sciences
and perhaps become partly anchored in physiology,
ecology, and other biological sciences.
Science and the technologies derived from it can
best contribute to civilization not through a further
expansion of the mega-machine but by helping in the
maintenance of the ecological balance and in the
development of human potentialities. This change
will be made difficult by attitudes inherited from the
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We have
trained our social reflexes for technological
“advances,” however trivial their goals and
deleterious their long-range effects. Instead of
conveying a teleological quality, the word progress
now means just moving on, even though the forward
motion is on a road that leads to disaster or despair.
Worthwhile goals for social progress must be
formulated before planning can provide a desirable
and enjoyable structure for the human effort.
Concern with the future used to be expressed in
the form of literary exercises, or at best of purely
social utopias, formulated on the basis of certain
theological, political, or economic beliefs, shared by
the members of the utopian group. Utopias are no
longer fashionable today, partly because we lack a
stable ground of generally accepted values to provide
the hard foundation on which to construct viable
social systems. It may be also that the eclipse of
human beings’ normative functions results from the
acceptance by many scientists and sociologists of the
view that the world of science and technology sets its
own “arising ends.” A tired resignation to the
imperatives of economics and scientific technology
along with the collapse of the old metaphysics may
account for this acceptance. In any case, the tendency
during recent decades has been to limit planning to
the here and now. The future is imagined not as a
really new venture but as a mere extension of the past.
To escape from this static and paralyzing view of
civilized life, it will be necessary to construct multiple
models of possible futures different from the present
state of affairs and to imagine courses of action that
would bring such futures into being. Since
anticipations govern the policies of change, they
paradoxically, but very effectively, become the
causative agents of change. Causative anticipations
differ from predictions in that the future they describe
must not only be “possible” but also embody
considerations of the “desirable.” They imply value
judgments as to what is desirable or not, good or bad,
and thus inevitably give a direction to the social and
scientific enterprise.
Contemporary humanity seems to be poised
between passive acceptance of scientific technology
for its own sake, violent rejection of it, and conscious
use of it for some ultimate concern. The social
ferment that is beginning to agitate the community of
scientists gives hope that humanity still has a chance
to control its destiny by imposing a direction on the
scientific endeavor and, in particular, by consciously
planning the scientific technology that will shape the
modern world.
87. Which of the following statements, if true,
would most weaken the author’s argument
about the way society should plan for the
future?
A) Having a goal firmly in mind decreases the
chances of achieving that goal.
B) People tend to be less happy living in societies
with planned economies.
C) People tend to be less happy living in
technologically advanced societies.
D) People tend to be happier living in
technologically advanced societies.

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88. Which of the following factors is NOT part of
the author’s explanation of the reason that
utopian thinking is now unfashionable?
A ) The lack of consensus about what is desirable
B ) The idea that science will furnish itself with goals
C ) The collapse of the old metaphysics
D ) The failure of utopian social experiments in the
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

89. Implicit in the author’s ideas about the future
and the role of science is the belief that
judgments about what is good or bad are:
A ) best decided democratically.
B ) inappropriate for scientists to make.
C ) best decided by historical research.
D ) an appropriate part of scientific planning.


90. The author expresses hope that society will
impose pressure on the scientific community to
create a better future as a result of:
A) the restructuring of political systems.
B) a greater trust in the ability of the scientific
community.
C) the failure of the behavioral and social sciences.
D) greater focus on science as an agent of change.

91. As used in the passage, teleological most nearly
means:
A) religious.
B) purposive.
C) innovative.
D) unorthodox.

92. According to the passage, a precondition for
effective scientific planning is the:
A) formulation of desirable social goals.
B) suspension of value judgments.
C) formulation of a single, unified plan for success.
D) acceptance and trust of the scientific community
by society.

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Writing Sample
Time: 60 minutes
2 Prompts, separately timed:
30 minutes each

This is a test of your writing skills. The test consists of two parts. You will have 30 minutes to complete each
part. Use your time efficiently. Before you begin writing each of your responses, read the assignment carefully
to understand exactly what you are being asked to do. Because this is a test of your writing skills, your
response to each part should be an essay of complete sentences and paragraphs, as well organized and clearly
written as you can make it in the time allotted.
































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93. Consider this statement:

The primary goal of every business should be to maximize profits.

Write a unified essay in which you perform the following tasks. Explain what you think the above
statement means. Describe a specific situation in which maximizing profits might not be the
primary goal of a business. Discuss what you think determines whether or not the primary goal of
a business should be to maximize profits.



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94.

Consider this statement:

A politician’s lifestyle should reflect his or her political views.

Write a unified essay in which you perform the following tasks. Explain what you think the above
statement means. Describe a specific situation in which a politician’s lifestyle might not reflect his or
her political views. Discuss what you think determines whether or not a politician’s lifestyle should
reflect his or her political views



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42 of 62


Biological Sciences
Time: 70 minutes
Questions: 95 – 146

Most questions in the Biological Sciences test are organized into groups, each containing a descriptive passage.
After studying the passage, select the one best answer to each question in the group. Some questions are not
based on a descriptive passage and are also independent of each other. If you are not certain of an answer,
eliminate the alternatives that you know to be incorrect and then select an answer from the remaining
alternatives. Indicate your selected answer by marking the corresponding answer on your answer sheet. A
periodic table is provided for your use. You may consult it whenever you wish.































This document has been encoded to link this download to your member account. The AAMC and its Section
for the MCAT hold the copyrights to the content of this Practice Test. Therefore, there can be no sharing or
reproduction of materials from the Practice Test in any form (electronic, voice, or other means). If there are
any questions about the use of the material in the Practice Test, please contact the MCAT Information Line
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43 of 62

1
H
1.0

Periodic Table of the Elements

2
He
4.0
3
Li
6.9
4
Be
9.0

5
B
10.8
6
C
12.0
7
N
14.0
8
O
16.0
9
F
19.0
10
Ne
20.2

11
Na
23.0
12
Mg
24.3



13
Al
27.0
14
Si
28.1
15
P
31.0
16
S
32.1
17
Cl
35.5
18
Ar
39.9
19
K
39.1
20
Ca
40.1
21
Sc
45.0
22
Ti
47.9
23
V
50.9
24
Cr
52.0
25
Mn
54.9
26
Fe
55.8
27
Co
58.9
28
Ni
58.7
29
Cu
63.5
30
Zn
65.4
31
Ga
69.7
32
Ge
72.6
33
As
74.9
34
Se
79.0
35
Br
79.9
36
Kr
83.8
37
Rb
85.5
38
Sr
87.6
39
Y
88.9
40
Zr
91.2
41
Nb
92.9
42
Mo
95.9
43
Tc
(98)
44
Ru
101.1
45
Rh
102.9
46
Pd
106.4
47
Ag
107.9
48
Cd
112.4
49
In
114.8
50
Sn
118.7
51
Sb
121.8
52
Te
127.6
53
I
126.9
54
Xe
131.3
55
Cs
132.9
56
Ba
137.3
57
La*
138.9
72
Hf
178.5
73
Ta
180.9
74
W
183.9
75
Re
186.2
76
Os
190.2
77
Ir
192.2
78
Pt
195.1
79
Au
197.0
80
Hg
200.6
81
Tl
204.4
82
Pb
207.2
83
Bi
209.0
84
Po
(209)
85
At
(210)
86
Rn
(222)
87
Fr
(223)
88
Ra
(226)
89
Ac†
(227)
104
Rf
(261)
105
Db
(262)
106
Sg
(266)
107
Bh
(264)
108
Hs
(277)
109
Mt
(268)
110
Ds
(281)
111
Uuu
(272)
112
Uub
(285)

114
Uuq
(289)

116
Uuh
(289)


*
58
Ce
140.1
59
Pr
140.9
60
Nd
144.2
61
Pm
(145)
62
Sm
150.4
63
Eu
152.0
64
Gd
157.3
65
Tb
158.9
66
Dy
162.5
67
Ho
164.9
68
Er
167.3
69
Tm
168.9
70
Yb
173.0
71
Lu
175.0

90
Th
232.0
91
Pa
(231)
92
U
238.0
93
Np
(237)
94
Pu
(244)
95
Am
(243)
96
Cm
(247)
97
Bk
(247)
98
Cf
(251)
99
Es
(252)
100
Fm
(257)
101
Md
(258)
102
No
(259)
103
Lr
(260)

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Passage I

A classic example of a negative feedback control
system in mammals is the regulation of hypothalamic
and pituitary secretions by hormones from the gonads
(ovaries or testes).
The adult reproductive system is ultimately
regulated by the neuropeptide gonadotropin-releasing
hormone (GnRH). GnRH is released from the
hypothalamus of the brain and transported via a
portal-vessel system to the anterior pituitary. Here
GnRH stimulates pituitary cells to secrete the two
gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-
stimulating hormone (FSH), which then act on the
gonads, causing them to produce steroid hormones.
When the sex steroids enter the circulation, they “feed
back” to the hypothalamus and pituitary, inhibiting
further release of GnRH and gonadotropins.
All living vertebrates except the Agnatha (the
jawless fishes) have a functional hypothalamic-
pituitary axis (a portal-vessel system connecting the
two structures) that is similar to the mammalian
system. The Agnatha have no direct vascular
connection between the hypothalamus and the
anterior pituitary, and there is no evidence that the
hypothalamus secretes hormones that regulate
pituitary function. Two hypotheses have been
suggested to explain this difference.
• Agnathans represent an ancestral state, and a
vascular connection evolved later in the
vertebrate lineage.
• Agnathans represent a degenerative state, and
a previously existing vascular connection was
lost in this specialized group.

95. A researcher studies sections of embryonic
agnathan brains and discovers a transitory stage
in which a pituitary portal system develops. In
regard to the evolution of the vertebrate
neuroendocrine axis, this finding best supports
the hypothesis that adult agnathans:
A) represent a degenerative state.
B) represent an ancestral state.
C) resemble adult mammals.
D) resemble embryonic mammals.

96. Suppose a newly discovered fossil agnathan
skull (with its enclosed fossilized brain) shows
a fully vascular connection between the
hypothalamus and the pituitary. This finding
supports which of the following statements
about the evolution of the vertebrate
hypothalamic-pituitary axis?
A) Ancient agnathans possess degenerate axes.
B) Ancient agnathan axes are similar to existing bird
axes.
C) Existing agnathan axes are similar to ancient
vertebrate axes.
D) Mammals are more similar to existing agnathans
than to ancient agnathans.

97. Which of the following is a negative feedback
system involving the anterior pituitary?
A) LH suppression of estrogen release
B) LH stimulation of GnRH release
C) GnRH suppression of estrogen release
D) Estrogen suppression of LH release

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98. In the year 2010, a paleontologist provides
convincing evidence that existing agnathans
have been incorrectly classified and should
belong to an earlier and previously undescribed
vertebrate class. Fossils of this newly described
class lack a pituitary portal system. This finding
suggests that the new class of vertebrates
(including agnathans):
A ) represents a degenerative state.
B ) represents an ancestral state.
C ) represents a newly derived state.
D ) is similar to other classes of living vertebrates.

99. In the adult female rat, cyclical changes in sex
steroids secreted by the developing follicle
switch to a positive feedback mechanism
around the time of ovulation. The positive
feedback mechanism by which LH secretion is
affected can best be described as:
A) an inhibition of LH by progesterone.
B) an inhibition of LH by GnRH.
C) a stimulation of LH by LH.
D) a stimulation of LH by estrogen.

100. In an adult female mammal, a greatly decreased
production of FSH will most likely result in a
decrease in all of the following factors
EXCEPT:
A) progesterone production.
B) estrogen production.
C) GnRH production.
D) follicle maturation.

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Passage II

A patient had a persistent skin abscess. To
determine what microbial organism was responsible
and to choose an appropriate antibiotic treatment
path, the wound was cultured. After isolation of a
predominant microbial colony, a study of the
organism’s growth was initiated. The data collected
from this growth rate study are shown in Figure 1.
Nutrient culture medium was inoculated with the
microbes at point A and allowed to grow for several
hours. Standard culture plate counts were made every
hour for 17 hours, and all incubations took place
under the same conditions of temperature, moisture,
and oxygen concentration. Antibiotic Z was added to
the culture at point B.


Figure 1 Results of growth study

101. Which of the following organelles is(are) found
in both bacterial and eukaryotic cells?

I. Plasma membrane
II. Mitochondrion
III. Endoplasmic reticulum
A ) I only
B ) II only
C ) I and II only
D ) I and III only



102. Which of the following compounds could
contribute to the nitrogen requirement in the
growth medium?
A) Glucose
B) Glycerol
C) Glycine
D) n-Hexanoic acid

103. If antibiotic Z acts by inhibiting translation, its
cellular site of action would most likely be the:
A) nucleus.
B) cell membrane.
C) lysosomes.
D) ribosomes.

104. The approximate generation time (doubling
time) observed between points A and B in
Figure 1 is:
A) 30 min.
B) 1 h.
C) 2 h.
D) 5 h.


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105. A semilogarithmic plot of the data used to
generate Figure 1 would look like which of the
following graphs?
A )

B )

C )

D )

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These questions are not based on a descriptive
passage and are independent of each other.

106. When a biological membrane separates two
fluid compartments with different solute
concentrations, an osmotic pressure differential
between the two compartments can arise
because the membrane:
A ) dissolves only nonpolar substances.
B ) allows the passage of solute molecules only.
C ) allows the passage of solvent molecules but not
most solute molecules.
D ) has electrical charges that attract some solute
particles while repelling others.

107.

The above graph represents an action potential
recorded from the cell body of a neuron. What
type of ion movement is causing the
depolarization of the neuronal membrane at the
time denoted by the arrow?
A ) Sodium ions are moving into the neuron down a
concentration gradient.
B ) Sodium ions are being moved out of the neuron
via active transport.
C ) Potassium ions are moving out of the neuron down
a concentration gradient.
D ) Potassium ions are being moved into the neuron
via active transport.
108. Compound A is shown below.



Compound A
Which of the following structures has a
configuration that is identical to that of
Compound A?

A)

B)

C)

D)



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Passage III
Healthy kidneys function to excrete toxic
metabolic byproducts and return needed substances to
the bloodstream, thereby maintaining a relatively
constant blood plasma solute concentration. For
people with chronic renal failure, hemodialysis is a
life-sustaining procedure. Figure 1 shows features of
an early hemodialysis unit design. Figure 2 shows a
more recent, improved hemodialysis unit.

Figure 1 Early hemodialysis unit

Figure 2 Improved hemodialysis unit
Blood from the patient is pumped through a
dialysis filter, which is bathed in dialysate fluid that is
continuously pumped out of the dialyzing chamber.
After passing through the dialyzing chamber, the
blood is returned to the patient. The dialysis
membrane is made of a thin semiporous material,
which allows diffusion of solutes with molecular
weights up to 1000–2000 daltons, depending on the
size of the membrane pores. Protein molecules are too
large to diffuse through the membrane. After the
solutes have passed through the membrane, they are
washed away in the dialysate fluid; excess fluid and
waste products are thus removed from the patient’s
bloodstream. Table 1 lists concentrations of various
solutes in normal plasma, in plasma from a typical
renal failure patient before dialysis, and the range of
solute concentrations used in dialysate solutions.
Table 1 Solute Concentrations
Dialysate range
Solute
Normal
plasma
Renal
failure
Low High
Sodium
140
mEq/L
138
mEq/L
128
mEq/L
140
mEq/L
Chloride
100
mEq/L
92
mEq/L
95
mEq/L
110
mEq/L
Potassium
4.0
mEq/L
5.0
mEq/L
1.0
mEq/L
2.0
mEq/L
Bicarbonate
24
mEq/L
18
mEq/L
35
mEq/L
40
mEq/L
Urea
nitrogen
20
mg/100
mL
60
mg/100
mL
0 0
Creatinine
1
mg/100
mL
4
mg/100
mL
0 0
Solution pH 7.40 7.35 6.80 7.80

109. The osmotic concentration of plasma proteins
in the venous side of capillaries helps reduce
the amount of interstitial fluid in tissues by
inducing:
A) passive H
2
O diffusion along a concentration
gradient.
B) passive ion diffusion along an electrochemical
gradient.
C) facilitated ion transport along an electrochemical
gradient.
D) active H
2
O transport mediated by an
ATP-dependent pump.

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110. Capillaries in the kidney and elsewhere in the
body maintain fluid homeostasis by balancing
hydrostatic and osmotic pressures. Which of the
following is the initial effect of a blood clot
forming on the venous side of a capillary bed?
A ) Net fluid flow in the direction of interstitial spaces
will increase.
B ) Net fluid flow in the direction of interstitial spaces
will decrease.
C ) Capillary osmotic pressure will increase.
D ) Capillary osmotic pressure will decrease.

111. Which of the following changes in flow rate or
in solute concentrations would NOT occur if
the blood inflow rate were increased, increasing
the pressure in the dialysis chamber?
A ) The blood volume reaching the outflow tube per
unit time would increase.
B ) The osmotic concentration of proteins in the
dialysate fluid would increase.
C ) The osmotic concentration of proteins in the
blood outflow would increase or remain
unchanged.
D ) The filtration rate across the dialysis membrane
would increase.

112. Bicarbonate ions in the blood and the dialysate
are important for maintaining physiological
levels of:
A ) water.
B ) chloride.
C ) hydrogen ions.
D ) glucose.

113. Why are high concentrations of sodium
included in the dialysate (Table 1)?
A) To induce water movement from the blood into
the dialysate fluid
B) To maintain a high osmotic pressure in the
dialysate solution
C) To maintain isotonicity of the dialysate solution
with blood
D) To compensate for the urea nitrogen and
creatinine in the blood

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114. Which of the following figures (A–D) shows
expected solute filtration rates (mEq/mL-min)
as a function of molecular weight for two
dialysis membranes: Membrane 1 with large
pores and Membrane 2 with small pores?
A )
B )
C )
D )


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Passage IV
A group of students investigated the free radical
halogenation of 2,3-dimethylbutane I, Reaction 1.

Reaction 1
The reaction was monitored by gas
chromatography, which showed the initial formation
of the monobromo product II followed by the rapid
conversion to the dibromo product III. Data obtained
at one point in the reaction are given in Table 1. The
retention times of authentic samples of I, II, and III,
at equal concentrations, used as standards, are given
in Table 2.
Table 1
Reaction mixture
from Reaction 1
Retention
time (s)
Peak area
(cm
2
)
Peak 1 60 5
Peak 2 74 10

Table 2
Compound
(standards)
Retention
time (s)
Peak area
(cm
2
)
I 40 10
II 60 10
III 75 10

The bromination of 2,2-dimethylbutane IV was
attempted under the same conditions without success.

Reaction 2
Finally, the students carried out a competitive
bromination experiment using a mixture of II and V
(Reaction 3). The product of the bromination of
Compound II was the only product observed.

Reaction 3

115. Compound II can also be prepared by treatment
of 2,3-dimethyl-2-butanol with:
A) Br
2
/light.
B) Br
2
/CCl
4
.
C) NaBr.
D) HBr.

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116. Which of these cycloalkanes will undergo free
radical bromination most rapidly?
A )
B )
C )
D )


117. According to the gas chromatographic data in
Table 1, what is the composition of the reaction
mixture from Reaction 1?
A ) 33% II and 67% III
B ) 33% III and 67% II
C ) 45% II and 55% III
D ) 45% III and 55% II

118. What stereochemical outcome is expected in
the formation of Compound II?
A) It would be formed as a pair of enantiomers,
because invasion of the bromine radical can
approach from either side.
B) It would be formed as a pair of enantiomers,
because inversion is faster than carbon–bromine
bond formation.
C) It would be formed as a pair of diastereomers,
because the bromine radical can approach from
either side.
D) It is an optically inactive compound, because it
has no chiral carbon.

119. The
1
H NMR of Compound II would consist
of:
A) two singlets.
B) a doublet and a septet.
C) a singlet, a doublet, and a septet.
D) two singlets, a doublet, and a septet.

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Passage V
During metabolism, carbohydrates are converted
into many other biologically important oxygen-
containing compounds.
In glycolysis, phosphate esters and anhydrides are
particularly important. A phosphate ester can be
thought of as the product of the reaction between an
alcohol and phosphoric acid (Equation 1).

Equation 1
A phosphate anhydride is the product of the
reaction of an organic acid and phosphoric acid
(Equation 2).

Equation 2
The intermediates of the citric acid cycle are
carboxylic acids or their α-keto derivatives. One key
intermediate, pyruvate, is a molecular link between
glycolysis, the pathway in which it is produced from
the carbohydrate glucose, and the citric acid cycle, the
pathway in which it is metabolized to CO
2
.
Figure 1 shows the structures of some
intermediates in carbohydrate metabolism.

Figure 1 Intermediates in carbohydrate metabolism

120. Which of the following compounds is the
precursor for the oxygen atoms in the
glycolysis intermediates?
A) Glucose
B) Atomic oxygen (O)
C) Molecular oxygen (O
2
)
D) Carbon dioxide (CO
2
)

121. Which of the following classifications apply to
dihydroxyacetone?

I. Alcohol
II. Ketone
III. Carbohydrate
IV. Acetal
A) I and II only
B) III and IV only
C) I, II, and III only
D) I, II, and IV only

122. Which of the following structures is the enol
form of pyruvate?
A)

B)

C)

D)


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123. A reaction in the citric acid cycle is shown
below. (The equation is not balanced.)



This reaction would be described as:

I. oxidation–reduction.
II. decarboxylation.
III. isomerization.
A ) I only
B ) II only
C ) Both I and II
D ) Both I and III

124. The four five-carbon carbohydrates shown
below
illustrate principles of carbohydrate
nomenclature.


Another five-carbon carbohydrate is xylulose.
Which of the following statements
apply(applies) to xylulose?

I. It is an isomer of deoxyribose.
II. It is an isomer of ribose.
III. It is an isomer of xylose.
A) I only
B) II only
C) I and III only
D) II and III only

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These questions are not based on a descriptive
passage and are independent of each other.

125. One characteristic common to arteries, veins,
and capillaries is the:
A ) presence of a layer of endothelial cells.
B ) presence of numerous valves that prevent the
backflow of blood.
C ) ability to actively dilate or constrict in regulating
blood flow.
D ) ability to supply surrounding tissues with
nutrients by filtration and diffusion.

126. Tissue that is very active metabolically, such as
skeletal muscle, contains large numbers of:
A ) nuclei.
B ) fat deposits.
C ) blood capillaries.
D ) lymphatic vessels.

127. The finches observed by Darwin on the
Galapagos Islands are an example of adaptive
radiation. In order to set up conditions that
would produce adaptive radiation, it would be
necessary to place members of:
A ) one species in one rapidly changing environment.
B ) one species in several different environments.
C ) several very similar species in the same
environment.
D ) several unlike species in one environment to
compete for the same resources.

128. Which of the compounds shown below can
form hydrogen bonds with water?
CH
3
–CH
2
–CH
3

Compound 1
CH
3
–CH
2
–NH
2

Compound 2
A) Compound 1 only
B) Compound 2 only
C) Both compounds
D) Neither compound

129. The term α-helix refers to what kind of protein
structure?
A) Primary
B) Secondary
C) Tertiary
D) Quaternary

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Passage VI

Bone remodeling is a cyclic process involving
bone resorption by osteoclasts (OC), followed by
bone formation by osteoblasts (OB). How this event
is triggered is uncertain. A new drug, Peptide A,
binds to specific sites on the plasma membranes of
OB, the bone-forming cells. Two experiments were
done to study Peptide A.
Experiment 1
Peptide A was added to the growth medium of
cultured OB. The medium and cells were analyzed 24
hours later. The only apparent effect of Peptide A on
OB was an increase in the production and secretion of
a peptide called osteoblatin. Figure l shows these
results. Upon further investigation, osteoblatin was
found to be 97% homologous to osteoactivin, a
peptide that markedly stimulates osteoclastic bone
resorption.

Figure 1 Effect of Peptide A on osteoblatin
Experiment 2
Growth medium with and without Peptide A (25
ng/mL) was then incubated with OB only, OC only,
or OB plus OC. After 24 hours, the medium and cells
were tested for the amount of osteoblatin secreted, for
bone-forming activity (OB activity), and for bone-
resorbing activity (OC activity). The results are
shown in Table 1.



Table 1 Effects of Peptide A
Group
OB
activity
(units)
OC
activity
(units)
[Osteoblatin]
(ng/mL)
1. OB only 10 NA 0
2. OB + Peptide A 9 NA 9
3. OC only NA 1 NA
4. OC + Peptide A NA 2 NA
5. OB + OC 11 1 0
6. OB + OC +
Peptide A
2 23 50
(NA = not applicable)
Peptide B competes with Peptide A for the same
plasma membrane receptors; however, Peptide B has
no effect on the OB, does not stimulate osteoblatin
production, and competitively inhibits Peptide A.

130. Which conclusion about Peptide A receptor
binding can be reached from Figure 1?
A) Peptide A requires 100% receptor binding to
produce the most osteoblatin.
B) Peptide A produces the most osteoblatin possible
at less than 100% receptor binding.
C) At 50% binding to its receptors, Peptide A
produces 50% of the maximal amount of
osteoblatin.
D) Peptide A continues to stimulate increasing levels
of osteoblatin production at over 50% receptor
binding.

131. When OB is incubated with a constant
concentration of Peptide A (25 ng/mL) and
increasing concentrations of Peptide B,
osteoblatin concentration:
A) increases exponentially.
B) increases linearly.
C) remains constant.
D) decreases.

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Sharing or reproducing this material in any form is a violation of the AAMC copyright 58 of 62
132. What can be concluded about Peptide A from
Experiment 2?
A ) It is ineffective in stimulating osteoclastic
activity.
B ) It acts directly on OC to increase bone resorption.
C ) It acts indirectly through OB to increase bone
resorption.
D ) It acts directly on OB to increase bone formation.

133. In Experiment 2, which three groups
demonstrated cell line viability and allowed the
determination of basal cellular activities?
A ) Groups 1, 2, and 3
B ) Groups 1, 3, and 5
C ) Groups 2, 4, and 6
D ) Groups 4, 5, and 6

134. To most effectively study the effect of Peptide
A on transcription of the osteoblatin gene, a
scientist should determine the:
A) sequence of the osteoblatin gene.
B) amount of osteoblatin mRNA in the cell.
C) amount of osteoblatin peptide in the cell.
D) total RNA in the cell.

135. The overall effect of Peptide A on bone is to:
A) increase bone mass.
B) decrease bone mass.
C) narrow haversian canals.
D) maintain constant bone mass.


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Sharing or reproducing this material in any form is a violation of the AAMC copyright 59 of 62
Passage VII
A new strategy of drug design uses nucleic acid
macromolecules to prevent the expression of a gene.
The target of the drug can be a gene in a bacterial cell,
a cancer cell, or a virus-occupied eukaryotic cell; the
macromolecular drug can be either produced within a
biological system or added to it. Normally produced
messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules are known as the
sense RNA. Antisense nucleic acids, which are
complementary to a portion of the sense mRNA, can
be synthesized. The antisense molecules will bind
specifically to the sense mRNA and prevent the
production of the natural gene product.
A problem encountered in the design of antisense
drugs was that oligonucleotides may only persist for a
matter of minutes before they are degraded by cellular
processes. Antisense drugs became feasible when
phosphorothioate analogs of the oligonucleotides
were developed; these analogs can exist for days or
weeks within the cell.
Genes that produce an antisense sequence can also
be synthesized and added to the genome of
organisms. In this manner antisense and sense RNA
molecules could be produced simultaneously—in
effect, preventing the production of the gene product
permanently.

136. When used as described in the passage,
antisense drugs prevent:
A ) DNA replication.
B ) RNA transcription.
C ) RNA translation.
D ) cell replication.

137. To be an effective therapy, an antisense gene
that is incorporated into a genome that contains
the target gene must be:
A) on the same chromosome as the target gene but
not necessarily be physically adjacent.
B) on the same chromosome as the target gene and
must be physically adjacent.
C) regulated in a similar manner as the target gene.
D)

coded on the same strand of DNA as the target
gene.

138. Phenylketonuria is a genetic disorder caused by
a mutation in the gene for the enzyme
phenylalanine hydroxylase, which eliminates its
enzymatic activity. Could an antisense drug
help individuals with this disorder?
A) Yes, if it binds to the mRNA of the phenylalanine
hydroxylase gene and prevents its translation
B) Yes, if it is incorporated into the chromosome and
prevents the expression of the phenylalanine
hydroxylase gene
C) No, because mRNA does not persist in the
cytoplasm of the cell
D) No, because blockage of phenylalanine
hydroxylase gene expression will not remedy the
original disorder

139. Which of the following nucleotide sequences
describes an antisense molecule that can
hybridize with the mRNA sequence
5′-CGAUAC-3′?
A) 5′-GCTATG-3′
B) 5′-GCUAUG-3′
C) 3′-GCUAUG-5′
D) 3′-GCAUAG-5′

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Sharing or reproducing this material in any form is a violation of the AAMC copyright 60 of 62
140. An effective and efficient method for the
delivery of an antisense gene could be:
A ) orally as an emulsified product.
B ) microinjection into individual body cells.
C ) intravenously as a nonantigenic, blood-stable
product.
D ) infection of an embryo by a virus modified to
carry the gene.

141. If oligonucleotides such as mRNA were not
degraded rapidly by intracellular agents, which
of the following processes would be most
affected?
A) The production of tRNA in the nucleus
B) The coordination of cell differentiation during
development
C) The diffusion of respiratory gases across the cell
membrane
D) The replication of DNA in the nucleus

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Sharing or reproducing this material in any form is a violation of the AAMC copyright 61 of 62
These questions are not based on a descriptive
passage and are independent of each other.

142. When muscles in the skin contract and cause
the hair of an animal to “stand on end,” the skin
could be functioning as a regulator of:
A ) pH.
B ) salt excretion.
C ) body temperature.
D ) skeletal muscle tone.

143. Of the isomeric alcohols (compounds 1–4),
which is most reactive in an S
N
1 reaction with
HBr?



A ) Compound 1
B ) Compound 2
C ) Compound 3
D ) Compound 4

144. If chromosomal duplication before tetrad
formation occurred twice during
spermatogenesis, while the other steps of
meiosis proceeded normally, which of the
following would result from a single
spermatocyte?
A) One tetraploid sperm
B) Four diploid sperm
C) Four haploid sperm
D) Eight haploid sperm


145. All of the following occur during normal
inspiration of air in mammals EXCEPT:
A) elevation of the rib cage.
B) relaxation of the diaphragm.
C) reduction of pressure in the pleural cavity.
D) contraction of the external intercostal rib muscles.

146. Radioactively labeled uracil is added to a
culture of actively dividing mammalian cells. In
which of the following cell structures will the
uracil be incorporated?
A) Chromosomes
B) Ribosomes
C) Lysosomes
D) Nuclear membrane



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62 of 62
Physical Sciences
1 (A) (B) (C) (D)
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3 (A) (B) (C) (D)
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52 (A) (B) (C) (D)

Verbal Reasoning
53 (A) (B) (C) (D)
54 (A) (B) (C) (D)
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Writing Sample
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Biological Sciences
95 (A) (B) (C) (D)
96 (A) (B) (C) (D)
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146 (A) (B) (C) (D)

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