Changes for the 2015 MCAT Natural Sciences Sections

Changes for the 2015 MCAT Natural Sciences Sections

Introduction

Physics

Chemistry

Biology of the Cell

Biology of Organ Systems (Physiology)

Biochem & Genetics/Evolutionary Bio

Introduction

Table of Contents

Layout of this document: I have divided the sections into their component foundational concepts, renaming their AAMC names to match those of the undergraduate classes most likely to teach the concepts. Each section has two columns:

Left: Previously on the old exam outline but not in the new.

Right: New testable topics not previously on the old exam.

Method: This list was generated by doing a line-by-line analysis of the content outlines for both versions of the exams. Areas that were redundant were edited down to a more manageable summary or notation by my judgment as a teacher. The dataset was acquired from the following sources:

Copyright info: This data was excerpted and paraphrased from the AAMC’s materials. Those materials were published as part of a more comprehensive set of PDFs by them. I offer the work I did on this analysis as open-source, since the original dataset was owned by the AAMC, in the interests of useful knowledge about this rite of passage.

Physics

Table of Contents

Dropped from 2014

Added for 2015

GRAVITY (not mentioned like it used to be - falling bodies also not listed)

Gravitational Potential Energy the only explicit mention in the new outline

Momentum & Collisions (not mentioned)

 

SHM

PE of spring (Energy of point object systems)

  • Waves
  • Sound
  • Superposition of Waves/Beat Frequency
  • Waves
  • Sound
  • Shock Waves
  • Light
  • Polarization: Circular in addition to Circular

Mass Spec - (orig from Orgo) & Other spectrometry

  • Atomic Structure
  • Paramag & Diamag
  • Heisenberg
  • Photoelectric effect

  • Pressure in Moving Fluids
  • Venturi Effect (explicit)
  • Pitot tube

PHY now covers circulatory flow & P

  • Gases
  • Boltzmann k = R/Na
  • Electrostatics
  • Dipole behavior, still necessary to understand the mechanism of dielectric effect on capacitors
  • Gauss’ Law
  • Electrostatic induction

Circuits: Power not explicit

Circuits: Meters

Concentration Cells

Lead-storage and NiCad batteries

AP conduction in insulated and non-insulated wires

Chemistry

Table of Contents

Dropped from 2014

Added for 2015

Thermo & Kinetics?

Solid Ions: Lattice Energy, attraction b/w ions

BUT, Still  cover “Ions in solutions.” The energy considerations of dissolution and precipitation depend on Lattice Energy

  • Orgo non-living chemistry → Chem        
  • bonding, structures of molecules using common Bio-atoms, stereochemistry.

  • Separation and Extraction
  • Proteins
  • Quant. Analysis
  • main types of Prot Chrom.

Biochemistry of Nucleotides and NA (synthesis, degradation, other uses)

OC synthesis of amino acids: Strecker & Gabriel.

Non-enzymatic Protein Function (Binding, Immune System, Motor)

Terpenes now on Biosystems

  • Lipids
  • Structural
  • Phospholipids and phosphatids
  • Sphingolipids (BC)
  • Waxes
  • Signals/cofactors
  • Fat-soluble vitamins
  • Steroids
  • Prostaglandins (BC)

Di & PolySacch (BC)

Keto-enol tautomerism of monosaccharides (was main orgo, now just BC)

Aromatics are back: redox of phenols and biologic aromatic heterocycles.

Enzymes: BC: classifying enzymes by rxn type

Michaelis-Menten kinetics

Bioenergetics: Thermo re: ATP, bio redox

Biology of the Cell

Table of Contents

Dropped from 2014

Added for 2015

Organelles: Peroxisomes

  • Proks:
  • Parasitic & Symbiotic rel’ns.
  • Chemotaxis
  • Genetics: Transposons

  • Viruses
  • Prions and viroids: subviral particles

Cell Cycle outta control in cancer, oncogenes and apoptosis

  • Embryo
  • Environment–gene interaction in development
  • Devt
  • Cell migration
  • Pluripotency: stem cells
  • Existence of regenerative capacity in various species
  • Senescence and aging

Biology of Organ Systems (Physiology)

Table of Contents

Dropped from 2014

Added for 2015

  • Neuro:
  • Biosignalling
  • Gated channels
  • Receptor enzymes
  • GPCRs

  • Endo
  • Neuroendocrinology: relation between neurons and hormonal systems
  • Hormone action
  • Regulation by second messengers

  • Respiratory
  • Structure of lungs and alveoli
  • Thermoregulation: nasal and tracheal capillary beds; evaporation, panting
  • Particulate filtration: nasal hairs, mucus/cilia system in lungs
  • Alveolar gas exchange
  • Diffusion, differential partial pressure
  • Henry’s Law (GC)
  • pH control
  • Regulation by nervous control
  • CO2 sensitivity

  • Circulatory
  • Capillary beds as sources of PVR
  • Nervous & Endo Ctrl

  • Lymph
  • Prod’n of lymphocytes
  • Molecular details of Ag processing
  • Ag pres’n
  • Ab structure
  • Ag-Ab recognition
  • MHC
  • Clonal selection
  • Self vs non-self recognition
  • Autoimmunity

  • Digestive System
  • Endo control
  • H’s & their target tissues
  • Neuro control
  • Enteric NS

  • Muscular System
  • Muscle structure and control of contraction
  • T-tubule system
  • Contractile apparatus
  • Sarcoplasmic reticulum
  • Fiber type
  • Contractile velocity of different muscle types
  • Regulation of cardiac muscle contraction
  • Oxygen debt: fatigue

  • Skin
  • Hormonal control: sweating, vasodilation, and vasoconstriction

Biochem & Genetics/Evolutionary Bio

Table of Contents

Dropped from 2014

Added for 2015

  • Enzyme Control (as above, plus)
  • (Add’l) Types of Inhibition
  • Mixed inhibition
  • uncompetitive
  • Regulatory Enzymes
  • Allosteric
  • Covalently modified
  • zymogen

  • DNA
  • Replication
  • Specific enzymes involved
  • telomerase
  • Lab Techniques
  • Denaturation, reannealing, hybridization
  • Eukaryotic Chromosome
  • Single copy vs. repetitive DNA
  • Supercoiling
  • Heterochromatin vs. euchromatin

  • Central Dogma
  • Genetic Code
  • The triplet code
  • wobble pairing as source of degeneracy
  • Transcription
  • ribozymes, spliceosomes, snRNPs, snRNAs
  • Evolutionary importance of introns
  • Translation
  • Initiation & Termination Cofactors
  • Post-translational modification
  • Control of Gene Expression in Prokaryotes (BIO)
  • Operon Concept, Jacob–Monod Model
  • Gene repression in bacteria
  • Positive control in bacteria
  • Control of Eukaryotic Genes
  • Gene amplification and duplication
  • Cancer as a failure of normal cellular controls, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes
  • Regulation of chromatin structure
  • DNA methylation
  • Role of non-coding RNAs

  • Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology (BIO)
  • DNA libraries
  • Generation of cDNA
  • Expressing cloned genes
  • Gel electrophoresis and Southern blotting
  • DNA sequencing
  • Analyzing gene expression
  • Determining gene function
  • Stem cells
  • Practical applications of DNA technology: medical applications, human gene
  • therapy, pharmaceuticals, forensic evidence, environmental cleanup, agriculture
  • Safety and ethics of DNA technology

  • Mendelian Concepts
  • Viability of Hybrids

  • Meiosis & Other Sources of Genetic Variability
  • Meiosis
  • Tetrad & Synaptonemal Complex
  • Mutation
  • Types (Add’l): inversion, translocation, mispairing
  • Synapsis (crossing over) as mech. for variability

  • Genetics/Evo Analytic Methods (Add’l):
  • Gene mapping - crossover frequencies
  • Biometry: Statistical Methods
  • (Probably means basic biostatistics)
  • Evolution
  • Speciation & Species concept
  • Inter-species relationships
  • Classification of life
  • Rel’nship b/w ontogeny and phylogeny
  • Origin of life

  • Comparative Anatomy
  • Chordate features
  • Vertebrate phylogeny

  • Energy Metabolism
  • Bioenergetics
  • Thermo, Keq, Le Chatelier, ∆ G
  • Phosporyl Transfers & ATP
  • Biological redox rxns
  • Carbs
  • Metabolic Pathway Regulation
  • glycolysis/gluconeogenesis
  • Glycogen ↑ / ↓
  • Krebs Cycle details
  • enzymes, regulation, net yields
  • FA & Prot Metabolism
  • Description of molecules
  • Ketone bodies
  • Fat anabolism
  • Lipid & polysacc syntheses
  • non-template (comp to NA?)
  • Protein metabolism
  • Ox Phos
  • ETC
  • details of e- transfer: NADH/NADPH
  • flavoproteins
  • cytochromes
  • ATP synthase & chemiosmostic coupling
  • Net Yields
  • Regulation
  • Apoptosis & Oxidative Stress
  • Hormonal Regulation and Integration of Metabolism
  • Hierarchy of control
  • high-level
  • tissue-specific
  • Hormonal reg’n of fuel metab.
  • Obesity & BMI reg’n.

Table of Contents