University of Dayton: Roadmap to the MCAT

One of the main criteria for selection of students to medical school is their performance on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).  In 2015, the MCAT will change significantly, for the first time since 1991. The modifications reflect changes in both healthcare and an ever-evolving body of medical knowledge.  MCAT 2015 will include a new section focusing on the psychological, social and biological foundations of behavior.  The exam will test ways these areas influence various factors such as perception, reactions, and behavior as well as psychological, social and cultural differences that influence well-being.  The MCAT also includes a “critical analysis and reasoning skills” section, which will test students’ ability to analyze, evaluate and apply information. Finally, two natural science sections will test concepts typically taught in introductory biology, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics.

The Office of Premedical Programs has recently completed a course-mapping project in which content areas from MCAT 2015 were identified as being covered in specific University of Dayton courses. The following documents were developed as a result of this project involving faculty from the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, and Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work. These faculty were provided the MCAT course-mapping tool and were asked to identify within their courses where specific MCAT content are covered. The results of these analyses were compiled by the Office of Premedical Programs.

"University of Dayton: Roadmap to the MCAT" provides basically two documents. The first document titled "Course Listing with Associated Topics" lists courses from the natural and behavioral science departments along with identified MCAT content areas covered in each of these classes. It is expected that this document will be helpful to students and faculty. Students will be able to track and archive materials relevant to the MCAT as they complete these courses. They can also go back over course materials later and pull and archive these portions of the courses. Clearly, these materials will later be helpful for students as they organize and plan their study schedule for the exam.

The second document is titled "Topic List with Associated Courses." It provides a comprehensive listing of all of the content categories in the three identified sections of the MCAT. For each content category, specific courses are listed that include one or more topics or sub-topics in that content category. The degree to which a specific topic is covered in a particular course will vary greatly and it is important that the reader look at the more detailed description of content in any given course in the main "Course Listing with Associated Topics" section.

This compilation is not intended to be the sole resource for preparation for the MCAT. Instead it is intended as a useful tool to assist in organizing and archiving MCAT related course materials and to help students begin their MCAT study as they are introduced to relevant materials, building a personal portfolio of these materials throughout their undergraduate studies.