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Test Assessment Program Report MCAT September 2009
Test Date: Thursday, September 10, 2009
This exam confirms the features we have come to see as standard for the MCAT CBT. In general, checking in to the center was reported as smooth and all the rules are expected to be followed (nothing in test area except I.D., can access belongings for food but not notes, signing in/signing out, scratch paper, etc.). . All sections contained seven passages. More details on the individual sections follow. Information that is different from previous TAP reports has been highlighted in yellow. Overall the test was reported to be about as difficult as the AAMC Practice Test 10.
General Test Experience and Overall Test Features
Check-in is as expected and takes anywhere from 5-30 minutes. Examinees are now required to turn their pockets inside out before entering testing area. ID check and fingerprint scanning is done each time an examinee exits or enters the testing room, and returning a little bit late from the break has no consequences; the test does not restart without the examinee present. The tutorial time remains at 10 minutes. A packet of colored scratch paper (4 pages) and 2 sharpened pencils are handed out at the start of the test and collected at the end of the test. The scratch paper is shredded. The amount of scratch paper seems sufficient for the entire exam, although more can be requested if needed. Noise reduction headphones were available at all cubicles.
there is no rightclick functionality. Note that if you leave the room and DO NOT click OK to end the section. both of which are still available on AAMC’s online practice tests. If you choose to end. highlights do NOT persist when moving from passage to passage. Test takers could also "Review All".A. the exam tools. and strikeouts DO persist. and the Review button. or choose to end the section. After clicking “Review Marked” or “Review Incomplete”. 2 . the testing location and staff. and neither questions nor answer choices could be highlighted. pop-up windows appear to announce time remaining and to announce the end of a section. strikeout (of the answer choices). If the test-taker chooses to MARK that questions. “Incomplete”. One bug that was noticed was that if another marked question was lower in the column in the same passage. The Review screen itself is very helpful.MCAT T. the outline becomes yellow. You have to click “OK” to make the window go away. As expected. In addition to passage text. At the bottom of the screen. and all equations could be highlighted. and BS. Tools include highlighting (of the passage text). and they can be scrolled independently. the left corner states “Passage ___ of ___”. NO chemical structures could be highlighted in any way. There was a space to add comments. questions are clearly indicated as “Marked”. individual cells in data tables could be highlighted. As stated before. from which you can either review your answers. An Exhibit button opens the periodic table. or "Review Incomplete" questions by choosing the appropriate button at the bottom of the page. This is true for all sections. The question currently being worked on by a test-taker is outlined with a bold red line. One pops up at the halfway point and says “You have used half of your time” and a second window pops up when there are 5 minutes remaining. Notably absent are the Search function and the Notes feature. both with the Previous and Next buttons and with the Review screen. test takers are brought to the passage containing the appropriate question. NOT the question lower on the page that was off the scroll screen. Two additional pop-up windows announce time remaining. and all the other questions associated with that passage were still visible. Moving around within the sections is reported as being very easy. VR.P. PS. and/or “Complete”. Clicking a second time removes the highlight or strikeout. the passages are on the left and the questions for that passage were grouped together on the right. Clicking “Next” from the last question brings you immediately to the Review screen. a pop-up window asks you to confirm before actually ending. questions. and the Mark button. it brings you to the next passage with a marked question. WS. Highlighting and striking out are both done by left-clicking. and the question itself would appear at the top of the right-hand column. Report September 2009 The layout of the passages. "Review Marked". Double clicking on any question number from the Review screen brings test takers directly to that question. and the user clicks the NEXT button to jump to the next marked question. The post-test survey was fairly short and had about 10 questions on how satisfied the user was with the computer test. Also along the bottom are the timer. and the registration process. Clicking the MARK button turns it red and changes it to MARKED (flags the question for later review). the proctor would end if for you. a Mark button. the Previous and Next buttons. and buttons has also not changed from the earlier tests.
electric fields. 4. force. Lots of conversion factors (g to moles. 13 freestanding questions. gases at STP.MCAT T. 2. 5. bond strength. No extremely small (4 questions) or extremely large (8 questions) passages. Copernicus vs. Difficulty level similar to AAMC 10. atomic radii. kinetic and potential energy. Henderson Hasselbalch. scientific realism vs. catalysts and Ea. pH. balancing reactions. 7 passages with an average of 5 questions per passage. Most passages had more than 5 paragraphs and required scrolling down to read. experiment/data analysis. 6. Verbal Reasoning Section Key Points 1. 2 KILLER passages. units of power. energy conversions. gravitational potential energy. convex lens. Ptolemy. About -10 questions required calculations. pyrometallurgy (thermite reaction). commercialization of holidays. There were no Roman numeral questions. with only 4 questions. spam and email. coordination complexes. retrieval questions. oral history and its validity. 2. etc. vocab/phrase in context. two of the questions were clearly Bio memory questions. voltage. One passage was small. laws of thermodynamics. One passage was G-Chem based but was a crossover with Biology.P.). right hand rule. electron spin. molecular geometry. A fair number of author’s point of view. capacitors. 7 passages with an average of 5 questions per passage. General Chemistry topics included: isotopes. magnetic fields. in three separate groups. oxidation of glucose. pressure. what would author no agree with. solubility. 3 . Roughly 40% Physics (2 passages and 6 FSQs) and 60% General Chemistry (5 passages and 7 FSQs). Details 3 NOW passages. experiment/data analysis. animal studies. electron energy levels. The Verbal passage topics included: brain differentiation and intelligence. scientific interpretism. Physics topics included: mass spectrometry. 3. Only 1 Roman Numeral Question. sound and sound waves. Report September 2009 Physical Sciences Section Key Points 1. equilibrium shifts. electronegativity. converging lens. periodic trends. product yield. H of formation of element. free body diagram. 3.A. 2 LATER passages.
Details Prompt topics were typical of MCAT essay prompts on politics. transmembrane transport. predicting products. Organic Chemistry topics included: epoxide ring opening. TLC. gene products. cardiac pacemaker cells. transcription. Huntington’s disease. bond angles. location of cellular processes. menstrual cycle and gonadotropins. mutations. delete. calculate cell proliferation rate. blood vessels. experiment/data analysis. 1H NMR. 3. radioisotope tracers. tRNA structure. autonomic dominance. 3 Roman numeral questions. ID of unknowns. cell receptors. end. Difficulty level similar to AAMC 10. Biological Sciences Section Key Points 1. reaction mechanisms. 2. mitosis. and arrow keys. 2. experiment/data analysis. 5. 4 . in three separate groups. bonding. Editing buttons and screen layout have not changed. Two passages (both O-Chem) were very small (only 4 questions) and two were large (7 questions). 4. liver functions. glycolysis. 3. taxonomy. Hardy Weinberg equilibrium.A. home. genetic recombination (crossing over). No spell check. 7 passages with an average of 5 questions per passage. age and experience. media. cell respiration. substitution reactions. hormones. Biology topics included: mRNA modification. membrane channels. reactive species. negative feedback.MCAT T. bone cells. No keyboard functionality except backspace. direct proportionality. pancreatic proteases. blood pH and CO2. chirality. Report September 2009 Writing Sample Section Key Points 1.P. Roughly 80% Biology (5 passages and 10 FSQs) and 20% Organic Chemistry (2 passages and 3 FSQs). evolution. hypoxia. kidney filtration. transfection experiments. and entertainment. action potentials. blood transport proteins. disulfide bridge. 13 freestanding questions.