Chemical and Physical Foundations Section

The formal name of this section is Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems. Since that’s a mouthful, we will just call it the Chem/Phys section. The MCAT contains integrated sections which means that the subjects are not tested independently, but include overlapping areas of concentration, more closely reflecting the way you’ll encounter these subjects in medical school.

While the Chem/Phys section may superficially appear to be a section that’s testing the “physical sciences,” it’s actually far more complex. The physical sciences are being tested in the context of the biological sciences, which is a departure from the traditional way we learn these sciences. As a first step, you should plan on completing a sequence in general chemistry and introductory physics. The section is 95 minutes in length, with 59 questions, 15 of which are standalone, non-passage-related, discrete questions. The rest of the section contains passages which have questions which rely on both information from the passage and outside content knowledge to solve. A significant amount of biochemistry also appears in this section.