The 3 Essential Courses To Take Before the MCAT

2 min


The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a prerequisite to medical school admissions, typically associated with anxieties for students needing to pass the test. Whichever university you seek to enroll in, preparation is essential to set yourself up for an excellent score. Many students do not pass because of inadequate time studying or unfamiliarity with course material to prepare them for the test. 

Taking particular courses is essential to interact with the material that will equip you with the requisite knowledge to pass the exam. Such preparatory courses include biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics. Having a foundational understanding of the courses gives you an upper hand to ace the MCAT.   

1. Biochemistry

Biochemistry is the science of examining chemical processes in living organisms. As the name suggests, the subject combines biology and chemistry. Foundational knowledge of biochemistry is vital to pass the MCAT. The main topics include macromolecules, kinetics, thermodynamics, and the plasma membrane.  

You will be glad to note that the MCAT is only likely to ask reasoning questions on the subject rather than technical depth. Understanding the concepts should hence take precedence over cramming the informational material. The biochemistry topics make up a significant percentage of the test score (25 percent), therefore worthy for focusing on to increase your chances of passing. 

Other critical parts of the subject to focus on are vocabularies, relationships, and definitions of concepts in the science subject. Acronyms are also vital to learn because the test is likely to ask about three and one-letter initials of common protein-generating amino acids.   

2. Cell Biology 

Cell Biology subjects cover cell structures and functions based on the principle that a cell is a functional unit in all living organisms. The course enables a learner to understand the tissues and organisms that make up a cell unit. 

The biology course has three main topics:

  • Enzymes and metabolism
  • DNA & protein synthesis
  • Eukaryotes.    

The enzymes and metabolism topic covers the structure, functions, and activities of enzymes in cells. There is also a sub-topic of metabolism covering general features of metabolic pathways, fats and proteins in the system, among other related sub-topics. The topic elaborates on how enzymes control metabolic pathways.  

Under the DNA and protein synthesis, sub-topics include:

  • DNA structure and function
  • Replication 
  • Repair
  • Reconstruction 

Foundational knowledge of the biology subject topics is essential to pass the MCAT being the most tested subject.  There are around 59 questions on biology, taking up a significant proportion of the test questions. 

The topics you should focus on studying are:

  • The nervous system
  • Musculoskeletal systems
  • Respiratory and cardiovascular systems
  • Reproduction and development systems

Others include the immune, endocrine, digestive, and excretory systems.  

3. Genetics

Genetics courses focus on DNA, genes, and heredity factors. The subject entails knowledge of the genetic structure of humans, animals, plants, and also bacteria. 

The main topics under genetics include: 

  • Mendelian concepts
  • Meiosis and genetic variability
  • Analytic methods

Each of the three sections also include sub-topics under them. Mendelian concepts of genetics cover breakdowns and structures of discrete units of inheritance. There are up to 11 sub-topics for review under this concept topic. 

The genetics course has many concepts and principles to master and having background knowledge gives you an advantage. Taking a lesson in genetics increases your grasp of the subject and ease of handling the questions. 

On the MCAT, the genetics topic comes under the general biology section. Essential sections to familiarize yourself with include molecular structure & function of genes, gene behavior in the context of a cell or organism, etc.    

To master the complex concepts, you should consider taking a preparatory course before taking the MCAT. Choose the best MCAT prep course and benefit from tutoring for better mastery. This can help you feel more confident going into testing day.

Prepare Well and Pass the MCAT

Preparation is essential to pass the MCAT. You should not be intimidated by seemingly complex subjects because all you need is concise preparatory materials and adequate time studying. In-depth preparation for the MCAT also gives you adequate knowledge for a good start at med school and succeeding.   

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