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    University of Southern California
    Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences
    ATTN: Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program
    3620 South Vermont Avenue, KAP 358
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-2520
    Tel: (213) 821-2354

MCAT 2015

Applicants to medical school are now required to take a new version of the MCAT Exam. The new exam requires applicants to demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed by physicians in a society that is increasingly diverse. This exam has several significant differences from the old exam, which had been in use since 1991. The writing section in the old exam was dropped in favor of a new section exploring applicants' awareness of social and behavioral influences on health. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), an appropriate background for this section may be obtained through an introductory course in psychology or sociology. An understanding of core topics in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) is still required and has been expanded to include biochemistry. These science topics are covered in two sections of the new exam. Finally, a section has been added to assess how applicants reason and think. A basic knowledge of statistics is also needed for the new exam. Overall, MCAT 2015 contains the following four test sections:

1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
3. Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations of Behavior
4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

More detailed information of the new exam and other helpful topics is available through the AAMC website:

Recommended Prerequisite Work for PPP Applicants

Because the academic focus of our program is the science core requirements for medical school, we recommend that students without prior exposure to topics in 3 and 4 above take two or more classes in disciplines such as psychology, sociology, philosophy, ethics or cultural studies, as recommended by the AAMC. Also, an introductory class in statistics or applied statistics (such as for business or the social sciences) will be helpful preparation for MCAT 2015.