MCAT Mapping Guide

In 2015, the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) began to include the social and behavioral sciences (Section 3 Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior). Sociological content constitutes thirty percent of Section 3. This material is organized under four Foundational Concepts with a range of subtopics known as “Content Categories.” The four Foundational Concepts are:

  • Foundational Concept 7: Biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors influence behavior and behavior change.
  • Foundational Concept 8: Psychological, sociocultural, and biological factors influence the way we think about ourselves and others, as well as how we interact with others.
  • Foundational Concept 9: Cultural and social differences influence well-being.
  • Foundational Concept 10: Social stratification and access to resources influence well-being.

This guide links the four MCAT Foundational Concepts and Subtopics to appropriate text chapters. It is organized in a chapter by chapter manner. It first summarizes the main topics covered in each chapter, and then shows the relevant MCAT topics below the summary. Each chapter entry also contains resources that allow students to understand and explore specific topic areas in more detail. These resources include tutorials, graphics, fact sheets, news, and journal articles. Some of these resources fill in material that a chapter covers only briefly but that the MCAT includes in the Content Category area. Many of the resources make explicit connections to health.

Because each chapter covers theoretical perspectives, they are introduced as the primary material of Chapter 1 and highlighted where they become particularly salient or detailed in the chapters that follow.

The MCAT also tests four different scientific inquiry skills. These are also detailed at the end of this document. Chapter Two is crucial for developing students proficiency’s in this skill based area.