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MCAT Chemistry Exam

Date of Exam.

The MCAT exams are held throughout the year. Registration for the exam must be done well in advance. Please visit the AAMC website for the complete schedule.

MCAT Exam Grades

The Medical College Admission Test@ (MCAT@) is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess the examinee's problem solving, critical thinking, writing skills, and knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. Scores are reported in Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, Writing Sample, and Biological Sciences.

Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences

The Physical Sciences section consists pf papers in the following subjects:

  • General Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biological Sciences

The Physical Sciences section assesses problem-solving ability in general chemistry and physics, and the Biological Sciences section evaluates these abilities in the areas of biology and organic chemistry. Each section contains 7 passage-based sets of questions and 13 independent questions. Each passage-based set consists of four to seven questions.

The questions, both passage-based and independent, evaluate your knowledge of basic physical and biological science concepts and your facility at problem solving using these concepts. They do not test your ability to memorize scientific facts.

Study Packages

The study packages for MCAT Chemistry Exam have been designed to cover the complete MCAT syllabus for Chemistry. The sessions in Physics are adjusted from this package itself. The package can be customized as per your requirements.

Study Material.The study material for the MCAT Chemistry Exam is used by me for comprehension of the subject in detail. I use my own presentations which have been prepared keeping the requirements of the students in mind.

Chemistry Practice Quizzes. Ialso provideChemistry Quizzesfor MCAT Chemistry Exam which students can attempt in their own time and discuss with me during the sessions. Please feel free toContact Mefor any clarifications.

Study Topics.The study topics which are covered in theGeneral Chemistry,Organic ChemistryandPhysicsfor the MCAT exam have been given out below.

Atomic Structure
Quiz on Atomic Structure
  1. Chemical and Physical means Atomic masses
    • Chemical and Physical
    • Chemical and Physical
  2. Electron energy levels means Atomic masses
    • Chemical and Physical
    • Chemical and Physical
  3. Electron energy levels means Atomic masses
    • Chemical and Physical
    • Chemical and Physical
Study Topics MCAT Exam : General Chemistry


A. Electronic Structure

  1. Orbital structure of hydrogen atom, principal quantum number n, number of electrons per orbital
  2. Ground state, excited states
  3. Absorption and emission spectra
  4. Quantum numbers l, m, s, and number of electrons per orbital
  5. Common names and geometric shapes for orbitals s, p, d
  6. Conventional notation for electronic structure
  7. Bohr atom
  8. Effective nuclear charge

B. The Periodic Table: Classification of Elements into Groups by Electronic Structure; Physical and Chemical Properties of Elements

  1. Alkali metals
  2. Alkaline earth metals
  3. Halogens
  4. Noble gases
  5. Transition metals
  6. Representative elements
  7. Metals and nonmetals
  8. Oxygen group

C. The Periodic Table: Variations of Chemical Properties with Group and Row

  1. Electronic structure
    1. representative elements
    2. noble gases
    3. transition metals
  2. Valence electrons
  3. First and second ionization energies
    1. definition
    2. prediction from electronic structure for elements in different groups or rows
  4. Electron affinity
    1. definition
    2. variations with group and row
  5. Electronegativity
    1. definition
    2. comparative values for some representative elements and important groups
  6. Electron shells and the sizes of atoms


A. Energy Changes in Chemical Reactions: Thermochemistry

  1. Thermodynamic system, state function
  2. Endothermic and exothermic reactions
    1. enthalpy H, standard heats of reaction and formation
    2. Hess’s law of heat summation
  3. Bond dissociation energy as related to heats of formation
  4. Measurement of heat changes (calorimetry), heat capacity, specific heat capacity.
  5. Entropy as a measure of “disorder,” relative entropy for gas, liquid, and crystal states
  6. Free energy G
  7. Spontaneous reactions and ?Gº

B. Thermodynamics

  1. Zeroth law (concept of temperature)
  2. First law (?E = q + w, conservation of energy)
  3. Equivalence of mechanical, chemical,electrical, and thermal energy units
  4. Second law (concept of entropy)
  5. Temperature scales, conversions
  6. Heat transfer (conduction, convection, radiation)
  7. Heat of fusion, heat of vaporization
  8. PV diagram (work done = area under or enclosed by curve)

  1. Molecular weight
  2. Empirical formula versus molecular formula
  3. Metric units commonly used in the context of chemistry
  4. Description of composition by percent mass
  5. Mole concept, Avogadro’s number
  6. Definition of density
  7. Oxidation number
    1. common oxidizing and reducing agents
    2. disproportionation reactions
    3. redox titration
  8. Description of reactions by chemical equations
    1. conventions for writing chemical equations
    2. balancing equations including redox equations
    3. limiting reactants
    4. theoretical yields

  1. Reaction rates
  2. Rate law, dependence of reaction rate on concentrations of reactants
    1. rate constant
    2. reaction order
  3. Rate-determining step
  4. Dependence of reaction rate on temperature
    1. activation energy
      1. activated complex or transition state
      2. interpretation of energy profiles showing energies of reactants and products, activation energy, ΔH for the reaction
    2. Arrhenius equation
  5. Kinetic control versus thermodynamic
  6. Catalysts, enzyme catalysis
  7. Equilibrium in reversible chemical reactions
    1. law of mass action
    2. the equilibrium constant
    3. application of Le Châtelier’s principle
  8. Relationship of the equilibrium constant and ?Gº


A. Ions in Solution

  1. Anion, cation (common names, formulas, and charges for familiar ions
  2. Hydration, the hydronium ion

B. Solubility

  1. Units of concentration (e.g.,molarity)
  2. Solubility product constant, the equilibrium expression
  3. Common-ion effect, its use in laboratory separations
  4. Complex ion formation
  5. Complex ions and solubility
  6. Solubility and pH

  1. Electrolytic cell
    1. electrolysis
    2. anode, cathode
    3. electrolytes
    4. Faraday’s law relating amount of elements deposited (or gas liberated) at an electrode to current
    5. electron flow, oxidation and reduction at the electrodes
  2. Galvanic (voltaic) cell
    1. half-reactions
    2. reduction potentials, cell potential
    3. direction of electron flow


A. Electronic Structure

  1. Brønsted–Lowry definition of acids and bases
  2. Ionization of water
    1. Kw, its approximate value
    2. pH definition, pH of pure water
  3. Conjugate acids and bases
  4. Strong acids and bases (common examples; e.g., nitric, sulfuric)
  5. Weak acids and bases (common examples; e.g., acetic, benzoic)
    1. dissociation of weak acids and bases with or without added salt
    2. hydrolysis of salts of weak acids or bases
    3. calculation of pH of solutions of weak acids or bases
  6. Equilibrium constants Ka and Kb
  7. Buffers
    1. definition, concepts (common buffer systems)
    2. influence on titration curves

B. Titration

  1. Indicators
  2. Neutralization
  3. Interpretation of titration curves


A. Gas Phase

  1. Absolute temperature, K
  2. Pressure, simple mercury barometer
  3. Molar volume at 0°C and 1 atm = 22.4 L/mol
  4. Ideal gas
    1. qualitative
    2. ideal gas law (PV = nRT)
      1. Boyle’s law
      2. Charles’s law
      3. Avogadro’s law
  5. definition
  6. Deviation of real-gas behavior from idealgas law
    1. qualitative
    2. quantitative (van der Waals equation)
  7. Partial pressure, mole fraction
  8. Dalton’s law relating partial pressure to composition

B. Intermolecular Forces

  1. Hydrogen bonding
  2. Dipole interactions
  3. London dispersion forces

C. Phase Equilibria

  1. Phase changes, phase diagrams
  2. Freezing point, melting point, boiling point, condensation point
  3. Molality
  4. Colligative properties
    1. vapor pressure lowering (Raoult’s law)
    2. boiling point elevation
    3. freezing point depression
    4. osmotic pressure
  5. Colloids
  6. Henry’s law


A. The Ionic Bond (Electrostatic Forces Between Ions)

  1. Electrostatic energy
  2. Electrostatic energy
  3. Electrostatic force

B. The Covalent Bond

  1. Sigma and pi bonds
    1. hybrid orbitals (sp3, sp2, sp, and respective geometries)
    2. valence shell electron-pair repulsion VSEPR) theory, predictions of shapes of moleculesn
  2. Lewis electron dot formulas
    1. resonance structures
    2. formal charge
  3. Partial ionic character
    1. ole of electronegativity in determining charge distribution
    2. dipole moment
Study Topics MCAT Exam : Organic Chemistry
A. Sigma and Pi Bonds
1. Hybrid orbitals (sp3, sp2, sp, and their     respective geometries)
2. Valence shell electron-pair repulsion     (VSEPR) theory, predictions of shapes of     molecules
3. Structural formulas
4. Delocalized electrons and resonance in ions and molecules
B. Multiple Bonding
1. Its effect on bond length and bond energies
2. Rigidity in molecular structure
C. Stereochemistry of Covalently Bonded      Molecules
1. Isomers
     a. constitutional isomers
     b. stereoisomers (e.g. diastereomers,       enantiomers, cis and  trans isomers)
     c. conformational isomers
2. Polarization of light, specific rotation
3. Absolute and relative configuration
     a. conventions for writing R and S      forms
     b. conventions for writing E and Z      forms
4. Racemic mixtures, separation of      enantiomers
A. Absorption Spectroscopy
1. Infrared region
     a. intramolecular vibrations and      rotations
     b. recognizing common  characteristic      group absorptions, fingerprint region
2. Visible region
     a. absorption in visible region      yielding complementary color
     b. effect of structural changes on      absorption
3. Ultraviolet region
     a. electron and nonbonding electron       transitions
     b. conjugated systems
B. Mass Spectrometry
     1. Mass-to-charge ratio (m/z)
     2. Molecular ion peak
C. 1H NMR Spectroscopy
     1. Protons in a magnetic field,       equivalent  protons
     2. Spin–spin splitting
A. Extraction (Distribution of Solute Between Two Immiscible Solvents)
B. Distillation
C. Chromatography (Basic Principles Involved  in Separation Process)
    1. Gas–liquid chromatography
    2. Paper chromatography
    3. Thin-layer chromatography
D. Recrystallization (Solvent Choice from      Solubility Data)
A. Alkanes
1. Description
         a. nomenclature
         b. physical properties
2. Important reactions
         a. combustion
         b. substitution reactions with         halogens, etc.
3. General principles
         a. stability of free radicals, chain               reaction mechanism, inhibition
         b. ring strain in cyclic compounds
         c. bicyclic molecules
1. Description
        a. nomenclature
        b. stereochemistry, physical         properties
2. Important reactions
        a. amide formation
        b. reaction with nitrous acid
        c. alkylation
        d. Hofmann elimination
3. General principles
        a. basicity
        b. stabilization of adjacent         carbocations
        c. effect of substituents on basicity        of aromatic amines
A. Alcohols
1. Description
     a. nomenclature
     b. physical properties
2. Important reactions
     a. substitution reactions
     b. oxidation
     c. pinacol rearrangement in         polyhydroxyalcohols, synthetic uses
     d. protection of alcohols
     e. reactions with SOCl2 and PBr3
     f. preparation of mesylates and tosylates
     g. esterification
     h. inorganic esters
3. General principles
     a. hydrogen bonding
     b. acidity of alcohols compared to other          classes of oxygen-containing          compounds
     c. effect of chain branching on physical          properties
B. Aldehydes and Ketones
1. Description
       a. nomenclature
       b. physical properties
2. Important reactions
       a. nucleophilic addition reactions at        C=O bond
           i. acetal, hemiacetal
           ii. imine, enamine
        b. reactions at adjacent positions
           i. haloform reactions
           ii. aldol condensation
           iii. oxidation
        c. 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds, internal              hydrogen bonding
        d. keto–enol tautomerism
        e. organometallic reagents
        f. Wolff–Kishner reaction
        g. Grignard reagents
3. General principles
       a. effect of substituents on reactivity of            C=O; steric hindrance
       b. acidity of α hydrogens; carbanions
       c. unsaturated carbonyl compounds, their        resonance structures
C. Carboxylic Acids
1. Description
      a. nomenclature
      b. physical properties and solubility
2. Important reactions
      a. carboxyl group reactions
          i. nucleophilic attack
          ii. reduction
          iii. decarboxylation
          iv. esterificationd
      b. reactions at α position
          i. halogenation
          ii. substitution reactions
3. General principles
      a. hydrogen bonding
      b. dimerization
      c. acidity of the carboxyl group
      d. inductive effect of substituents
      e. resonance stability of carboxylate        anion
D. Acid Derivatives (Acid Chlorides,     Anhydrides, Amides, Esters)
1. Description
       a. nomenclature
       b. physical properties
2. Important reactions
       a. preparation of acid derivatives
       b. nucleophilic substitution
       c. Hofmann rearrangement
       d. transesterification
       e. hydrolysis of fats and glycerides            (saponification)
       f. hydrolysis of amides
3. General principles
       a. relative reactivity of acid derivatives
       b. steric effects
       c. electronic effects
       d. Strain
E. Keto Acids and Esters
1. Description
        a. nomenclature
2. Important reactions
        a. decarboxylation
        b. acetoacetic ester synthesis
3. General principles
        a. acidity of α hydrogens
        b. keto–enol tautomerism
A. Carbohydrates
1. Description
      a. nomenclature, classification,           common names
      b. absolute configurations
      c. cyclic structure and conformations      of hexoses
      d. epimers and anomers
2. Hydrolysis of the glycoside linkage
3. Reactions of monosaccharides
B. Amino Acids and Proteins
1. Description
     a. a absolute configuration(s)a. a          absolute configuration(s)
     b. amino acids classified as dipolar           ions
     c. classification
           i. acidic or basic
            ii. hydrophobic or hydrophilic
2. Important reactions
      a. peptide linkage
      b. hydrolysis
3. General principles
      a. 1º structure of proteins
      b. 2º structure of proteins
C. Lipids
1. Description, structure
      a. steroids
      b. terpenes
      c. triacyl glycerols
      d. free fatty acids
D. Phosphorus Compounds
1. Description
      a. structure of phosphoric acids        (anhydrides, esters)
2. Important reactions
      a. Wittig reaction
Study Topics MCAT Exam : Physics
1. Dimensions (length or distance, time)
2. Vectors, components
3. Vector addition
4. Speed, velocity (average and     instantaneous)
5. Acceleration
6. Freely falling bodies
1. Center of mass
2. Newton’s first law
3. Newton’s second law
4. Newton’s third law
5. Concept of a field
6. Law of gravitation
7. Uniform circular motion
8. Centripetal force
9. Weight
10. Friction (static and kinetic)
11. Motion on an inclined plane
12. Analysis of pulley systems
13. Force
A. Equilibrium
1. Concept of force, units
2. Translational equilibrium
3. Rotational equilibrium
4. Analysis of forces acting on an object
5. Newton’s first law
6. Torques, lever arms
7. Weightlessness
B. Momentum
1. Momentum = mv
2. Impulse = Ft
3. Conservation of linear momentum
4. Elastic collisions
5. Inelastic collisions
A. Work
1. Derived units, sign conventions
2. Path independence of work done in     gravitational field
3. Mechanical advantage
4. Work–energy theorem
5. Power
B. Energy
1. Kinetic energy
2. Potential energy
a. gravitational, local
b. spring
c. gravitational, general
3. Conservation of energy
4. Conservative forces
5. Power, units
A. Periodic Motion
1. Amplitude, period, frequency
2. Phase
3. Hooke’s law
4. Simple harmonic motion, displacement as a sinusoidal function of time
5. Motion of a pendulum
6. General periodic motion (velocity, amplitude)
B. Wave Characteristics
1. Transverse and longitudinal waves
2. Wavelength, frequency, wave speed
3. Amplitude and intensity
4. Superposition of waves, interference, wave addition
5. Resonance
6. Standing waves (nodes, antinodes)
7. Beat frequencies
8. Refraction and general nature of diffraction
1. Production of sound
2. Relative speed of sound in solids, liquids and gases
3. Intensity of sound (decibel units, log scale)
4. Attenuation
5. Doppler effect (moving sound source or  observer, reflection of sound from a moving object)
6. Pitch
7. Resonance in pipes and strings
8. Harmonics
9. Ultrasound
A. Fluids
1. Density, specific gravity
2. Archimedes’ principle (buoyancy)
3. Hydrostatic pressure
      a. Pascal’s law
      b. pressure versus depth
4. Poiseuille flow (viscosity)
5. Continuity equation
6. Concept of turbulence at high velocities
7. Surface tension
8. Bernoulli’s equation
B. Solids
1. Density
2. Elastic properties (elementary properties)
3. Elastic limit
4. Thermal expansion coefficient
5. Shear
6. Compression
A. Electrostatics
1. Charges, conductors, charge conservation
2. Insulators
3. Coulomb’s law
4. Electric field
      a. field lines
      b. field due to charge distribution
5. Potential difference, absolute potential at      point in space
6. Equipotential lines
7. Electric dipole
      a. definition of dipole
      b. behavior in electric field
      c. potential due to dipole
8. Electrostatic induction
9. Gauss’s law
B. Magnetism
1. Definition of the magnetic field B
2. Existence and direction of force on charge     moving in magnetic field
C. Electromagnetic Radiation (Light)
1. Properties of electromagnetic radiation      (general properties only)
      a. radiation velocity equals constant c in       vacuo
      b. radiation consists of oscillating      electric and magnetic fields that are      mutually  perpendicular to each other      and to the propagation direction
2. Classification of electromagnetic spectrum     (radio, infrared, UV, X-rays, etc.)
A. Circuit Elements
1. Current ( sign conventions, units)
2. Battery, electromotive force, voltage
3. Terminal potential, internal resistance of     battery
4. Resistance
      a. Ohm’s law (I = V/R)
      b. resistors in series
      c. resistors in parallel
      d. resistivity
5. Capacitance
      a. concept of parallel-plate capacitor
      b. energy of charged capacitor
      c. capacitors in series
      d. capacitors in parallel
      e. dielectrics
6. Discharge of a capacitor through a resistor
7. Conductivity theory
B. Circuits
  1. Power in circuits
C. Alternating Currents and Reactive Circuits
  1. Root-mean-square current
  2. Root-mean-square voltage
A. Light (Electromagnetic Radiation)
1. Concept of interference, Young’s     double-slit experiment
2. Thin films, diffraction grating, single-slit      diffraction
3. Other diffraction phenomena, X-ray      diffraction
4. Polarization of light
5. Doppler effect (moving light source or      observer)
6. Visual spectrum, color
      a. energy
      b. lasers
B. Geometrical Optics
1. Reflection from plane surface (angle of     incidence equals angle of reflection)
2. Refraction, refractive index n, Snell’s     law 
3. Dispersion (change of index of     refraction with     wavelength)
4. Conditions for total internal reflection
5. Spherical mirrors
      a. mirror curvature, radius, focal length
      b. use of formula (1/p) + (1/q) = 1/f with           sign conventions
      c. real and virtual images
6. Thin lenses
      a. converging and diverging lenses,           focal length
      b. use of formula (1/p) + (1/q) = 1/f with           sign conventions
      c. real and virtual images
      d. lens strength, diopters
      e. lens aberration
7. Combination of lenses
8. Ray tracing
9. Optical instruments
A. Atomic Structure and Spectra
1. Emission spectrum of hydrogen (Bohr     model)
      a. quantized energy levels for electrons
      b. calculation of energy emitted or          absorbed when an electron changes           energy levels
B. Atomic Nucleus
1. Atomic number, atomic weight
2. Neutrons, protons, isotopes
3. Nuclear forces
4. Radioactive decay (α, β, γ, half-life, stability, exponential decay, semilog plots)
5. General nature of fission
6. General nature of fusion
7. Mass deficit, energy liberated, binding energy

Study Material for AP Chemistry
1. Chemical Foundations
1.1 Scientific Methods Open .pdf presentation
1.2 Units of Measurement Open .pdf presentation
1.3 Uncertainty in Measurement Open .pdf presentation
1.4 Significant Figures and Calculations Open .pdf presentation
1.5 Dimensional Analysis Open .pdf presentation

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