MCAT Practice Questions: Sociology

MCAT Practice Questions: Sociology

The MCAT will present you with 10 passages on psychology, sociology and related biology topics, and ask 4-7 questions about each passage. The questions will address the four skills listed, although not every passage will require you to use each skill. You will be asked to answer 15 discrete questions that are not associated with any passage. These will also be designed to test both your science knowledge and application of that knowledge based on the four SIRS skills. You can find more details on what you need to know about the overall structure of the MCAT here.

The Psych/Soc section of the MCAT is scored on a curved scale of 118-132, with the median score of all test takers set at 125. A given scaled score does not correlate to any specific number of right or wrong questions. Instead, each test administration is curved according to its level of difficulty and the performance of the test-takers on that day. The score for this section of the test is combined with the other three sections to give an overall score ranging from 472 to 528.


MCAT Practice Questions: Sociology

A group of men and women are going to be rated on their driving abilities. The role of gender is emphasized in the experiment and the women perform worse than the men. In another experiment, the role of gender is not mentioned and the ratings are comparable between the two groups. Which principle do these results support?

A. Institutional discrimination

B. Stereotype threat

C. Prejudice

D. The just-world hypothesis

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is:

Stereotype threat refers to the concept of people being concerned or anxious about confirming a negative stereotype of their social group. Stereotype threat can hinder performance, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Adult prison systems may attempt to change the behavior of inmates through all of the following mechanisms of socialization EXCEPT:

A. primary socialization.

B. secondary socialization.

C. anticipatory socialization.

D. resocialization.

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is:

Primary socialization is the teaching of acceptable actions and attitudes during childhood, which would occur too early to be part of the adult prison system. Resocialization, choice (D), is the process by which one changes behaviors by dis- carding old routines and patterns and transitions to new behaviors necessary for a life change. The prison environment is designed to change bad behavior into desired behavior, making this an incorrect choice. When entering prison, an inmate must also undergo secondary socialization, choice (B), learning the rules of the specific social environment of the prison. Finally, if the inmate is not incarcerated for life, attempts at anticipatory socialization, choice (C), must be made before releasing the inmate in preparation for life outside of the prison.


AMMC Sociology and Psychology Foundations

The AAMC has described the topics within the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section of the MCAT. These topics are subdivided into three Foundational Concepts, each of which has several sub-categories.

You can also visit the AAMC site to learn more about the MCAT Blueprint.

The Foundational Topics for the Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior are:

6) Biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors that influence the ways that

individuals perceive, think about, and react to the world.

6A. Sensing the environment

6B. Making sense of the environment

6C. Responding to the world

7) Biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors that influence behavior and behavior change.

7A. Individual influences on behavior

7B. Social processes that influence human behavior

7C. Attitude and behavior change

8) Psychological, sociocultural, and biological factors that influence the way we think about ourselves and others, as well as how we interact with others.

8A. Self-identity

8B. Social thinking

8C. Social interactions

9) Cultural and social differences that influence well-being.

9A. Understanding social structure

9B. Demographic characteristics and processes

10) Social stratification and access to resources that influence well-being.

10A. Social inequality

The most important factor you should consider about the Psych/Soc section of the MCAT is how well prepared you are for both the content and the critical reasoning required. To learn more about how to prepare for the test, click here.