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If you are interested in studying for the MCAT in a convenient virtual classroom, Varsity Tutors can place you in a San Diego MCAT prep course today. The MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, is a standardized exam that applicants to the majority of medical schools in the United States (including local schools such as the University of California San Diego School of Medicine) are required to take. The test is rigorous, but a good score could help you differentiate yourself from all of the other applicants.

Test prep is important, and a San Diego MCAT class could be a great way to build your study skills heading into the exam. Our live virtual platform facilitates face-to-face interaction over the internet, making you feel like you're attending a physical class without the logistical hassle of a commute. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of this service.

What topics might I go over in a San Diego MCAT course?

The MCAT is a computer-based, multiple-choice exam that consists of four sections. Each section is scored on a scale from 118-132, and your four section scores are added together to produce a final score from 472-528. Any section may contain unscored experimental questions that will not affect your score. The exam has a total testing time of six hours and 15 minutes, though you will be seated for approximately seven and a half hours, including breaks. Here is a closer look at what you can expect on each section of the MCAT.

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

This section consists of 10 sets of passage-based questions plus 15 independent items. Some of the topics covered include how tissues, organs, and organ systems work in the human body; basic biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, and the role of physics in bodily systems. You are also expected to know how to read the Periodic Table of Elements. You have 95 minutes to answer 59 questions on this section.

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

This section contains 53 passage-based questions divided between nine different passages. Unlike the rest of the test, items on this portion of the exam are more English-related than science. Passages are drawn from the humanities (such as literature or history) and the social sciences (like economics or sociology), but you aren't expected to have any prior knowledge of any of these areas. Instead, your reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, and analytical thinking skills are put to the test. More specifically, you'll need to draw inferences based on what you read, identify how new information could affect the meaning of a passage, and apply the information you've learned in different contexts in order to succeed. You have 90 minutes to answer 53 questions on this section.

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

This section follows the same basic format as the first section, containing 10 sets of passage-based questions followed by 15 stand-alone items. Some of the subjects covered include how an organism's cells work together at the micro-level to achieve macro-level processes such as growth and reproduction, how organisms respond to stimuli, and how organisms go about acquiring the energy and materials they need to survive. You will again have 95 minutes to answer 59 items on this portion of the MCAT.

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

This section also follows the standard formula of 10 sets of passage-based items followed by 15 independent questions, producing a total of 59 questions over a testing session lasting 95 minutes. Some of the topics in this section include mental health, how behavior impacts health, introductory psychology, introductory sociology, and the relationship between social stratification, access to resources, and overall well-being.

What are the benefits of taking a San Diego MCAT course?

Every San Diego MCAT course is taught by a teacher who has been vetted by Varsity Tutors, so you know your instructor will be a great communicator with extensive knowledge of the exam for you to draw upon. Since you can communicate in real time, asking for help is as easy as raising your hand. Your instructor is also available for private discussions outside of your normal meeting time if you feel that you need help with a particular concept.

Many students downplay the benefits of having others in the classroom. For example, working with your new friends can help you develop a more comprehensive understanding of the concepts on the exam. If somebody else comes up with a mnemonic device to remember the biochemistry behind the human heart, they can share it with the rest of the class. Likewise, you can explain something to another student to reinforce your own understanding of the topic. You also save money, as you are splitting the cost of instruction with everybody else in your class to make your San Diego MCAT class more affordable.

On a test that lasts over six hours, intellectual endurance is also an important skill to work on. You might want to look into the possibility of taking a practice test under realistic test-taking conditions to get your brain accustomed to focusing for so long. Taking practice exams can also help you build a familiarity with the test's electronic interface, potentially mitigating any test anxiety you're experiencing. If you're still a little nervous, your instructor may demonstrate meditation techniques you may use to calm your nerves during the actual exam.

At Varsity Tutors, we understand how valuable your time is. We can set you up in classes lasting either two or four weeks to make it easier to find something that works for you. There are also new classes starting every week, so it's always a great time to jump in and start pursuing your academic goals.

Can I sign up for a San Diego MCAT course today?

Simply utilize the contact info on this page to reach out to an educational consultant who can walk you through how to select the San Diego MCAT class that makes the most sense for you. Varsity Tutors would be delighted to answer any questions you may have!

Contact us today to connect with a top San Diego MCAT instructor