Think You'd Do Well on the MCAT? Take This Quiz!


By: Khadija Leon

6 Min Quiz

Image: Asiseeit / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Medicine is one of the most difficult fields of study that a person can take up, not only because of the amount of time it takes to get the degree, but the demand that it places on a person, both mentally and physically. At every turn, you are tested, the first of which is the MCAT.

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a computer-based standardized examination taken by prospective medical students who live in Canada, Australia, the United States, and the Caribbean. It is designed to test the taker's critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as their knowledge of important scientific concepts. 

The test is approximately seven and a half hours long (including breaks) and is scored on a range of 472 (being the lower end) to 528 (on the higher end), the average being 500. It was designed when the dropout rate of medical students significantly increased during the 1920s as a way to decrease the rate. 

How well would you perform if you sat the MCAT? Will you be on your way to medical school, or will you be rethinking your career options? There is only one way to find out, and that is by taking this quiz!

In noncompetitive inhibition, the inhibitor binds to the allosteric site on an enzyme while in uncompetitive inhibition, it binds to the enzyme-substrate complex. What will happen if you increase the substrate concentration in each situation?

As the substrate concentration increases, more binding will take place between the enzyme and the substrate, leading to more complexes being formed. This created more opportunity for the uncompetitive inhibitor to bind. The concentration of the noncompetitive inhibitor is not going to change as it binds to the enzyme and not the substrate.


All of the following are complementary base pairs except _______________.

Nucleotides base pairs are held together by hydrogen bonds. Cytosine is always bonded to guanine, while adenosine can be bonded to either tyrosine or uracil. These base pairs exhibit complementarity.


Molecule X acts by binding to the final enzyme in the electron transport chain (cytochrome oxidase). What will happen if a large amount is injected into a human?

The electron transport chain (ETC) takes high-energy electrons and pass them through a series of enzymes where oxygen is the final acceptor. If this process is blocked, aerobic respiration is stopped, eventually killing the organism.


What is the name of the hormone which is responsible for the reabsorption of water from the kidneys?

Antidiuretic hormone, also called arginine vasopressin, is a hormone which is secreted by the posterior pituitary. When it is released, it conserves water by reducing the loss of it in urine through water reabsorption.


How does the gravitational force between objects change if the distance between the two is doubled?

According to Newton’s law of the universe, the gravitational force between objects is proportional to the sum of their masses and inversely proportional to the squared distance between them. So if the distance is doubled, the force will decrease by the squared value.


What does a deficiency of vitamin B-1 cause?

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) is a brain disorder which is caused by a lack of thiamine, also known as vitamin B-1. Chronic alcoholism is the most common cause of this disease and it can lead to ataxia, vision problems and Korsakoff psychosis.


A man suffering from a rare disorder which results from a mutation in his mitochondrial DNA is worried about his future children. If he does reproduce, what will the resulting phenotype be?

Mitochondrial DNA disorders follows maternal inheritance, which means that they are passed from mother to offspring. Since a male is affected, none of his children will inherit the mutated gene.


A man is stranded on an island and has not had any food or water for the last 24 hours. Which of these hormones is not going to be elevated if a sample of blood is drawn?

A person who is dehydrated and starved is expected to have both low nutrients and low blood pressure. As a result, the body’s physiological response is to release hormones to increase it. ADH and Aldosterone will help to raise the blood pressure while Cortisol increases nutrient availability. Insulin is released after meals and lowers blood glucose levels.


Which of the following groups of people are least likely to be recommended iron supplements?

Supplemental iron is usually given to treat people who are suffering from anemia and is also recommended to people who are pregnant, vegetarians, teens with heavy menstrual periods and women who are lactating. The requirements are not as important for postmenopausal women.


What kind of bonds exist between the hydrogen and oxygen elements in a water molecule?

The bond which exists in a water molecule are polar covalent bond. Polar molecules have a weak partial negative charge at one region (oxygen) and a partial positive charge at the other (hydrogen). Covalent bonds are bonds in which one or more pairs of electrons are shared by two atoms.


MAPs (microtubule-associated proteins) are known for stabilizing microtubules. There are mice which have mutations, which causes decreased function of the proteins, causing the degradation of the microtubules. Which of these cellular activities is going to be affected as a result?

Microtubules are central to a number of cellular processes, many of which involve movement—for example, mitosis and meiosis. Muscle movement is dependent on actin and myosin, the Krebs cycle depends on mitochondria, and transcription is regulated by enzymes.


After running some tests, a young girl is found to have retained a form of fetal hemoglobin. How is she different from normal individuals?

Fetal hemoglobin has a higher affinity for oxygen than adult hemoglobin, and it binds and holds oxygen more tightly. All the other answers are wrong.


Which of the following sites is the most common place where disc herniations occur?

Spinal disc herniation is caused by excessive strain or trauma to the spine which causes a tear in the outer fibrous ring of the intervertebral disc and ultimately results in the bulging out of the soft central portion. The most common site where this occurs (up to 95%) is at the L4-L5 or L5 -S1 region.


After performing the breast augmentation surgery, the surgeon sued the patient for defamation of character. What does defamation mean?

Defamation is the action of damaging or slandering the reputation of a person.


What germ layer does the digestive tract and the respiratory tract develop from?

The lining of the digestive tract as well as the respiratory tract develop form endoderm. The skin and the nervous system develop from ectoderm, and the muscle tissue develops from mesoderm.


Which of the following is false in regard to neurons and action potentials?

All of the answers are true except (C). Neurotransmitters are released from the axons at the end of the neuron and not its dendrites.


Which of the following is not true of the DNA molecules?

DNA is a molecule which contains the genetic instructions for growth and development in living organisms. It is composed of two chains of nucleotides coiled to form a double helix structure which constitutes the human chromosome.


A person takes their vacation from New York to a tropical beach in Mexico in the month of January. What is going to happen as a result of this increased environmental temperature?

An increase in environmental temperature is compensated for when the sympathetic nervous system stimulates the eccrine sweat glands. Water is secreted through the skin, where it evaporates, thereby cooling the body.


Which of the following is most likely to be the optimum pH of pepsin?

Every enzyme has an optimum pH in which they work best. Pepsin, which is the chief digestive enzyme, can be found in the stomach where it breaks down proteins. The stomach is an acid environment, and the enzyme has an optimal pH of 2.


What is the name of a compound which acts as an acid or a base?

An amphoteric compound is a molecule which can act as both an acid and a base. An isomer is two compounds which have the same chemical formula but have a different arrangement of atoms. A monomer is a molecule that can be bonded to other identical molecules. Neutral substances​ show no acidic or basic properties.


What is the name of the fat-soluble vitamin which plays a role in coagulation?

Vitamin K is a cofactor necessary for the carboxylation of the glutamic acid residues in the vitamin K-dependent proteins which are involved blood coagulation.


How many electrons can be found in the third shell of an atom?

An electron shell can be described as an orbit followed by the electrons around an atom’s nucleus. Each shell can contain a fixed number of electrons—the first: 2; the second: 6; and the third: 18. The general formula is 2(n2) .


Which of the following cranial nerves does not directly act on the eye?

Cranial nerve VII, the facial nerve, controls muscles of facial expression and conveys taste sensation from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue. Cranial nerve II is the nerve in your eye which transmits visual information. Cranial nerve III is the oculomotor nerve which innervates most of the muscle for eye movement, and cranial nerve VI is the abducens nerve which controls movement of the lateral rectus muscle causing outward gaze.


Which of these muscles is not a part of the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is the name of a group of four muscles which provide stability and strength during movement of the shoulder. These muscles include the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, ​and subscapularis.


The fermentation of a sugar results in the production of ethanol and ____________.

The fermentation of sugar results in the formation of ethyl alcohol or ethanol and carbon dioxide gas (COs). The carbon dioxide, which is produced, bubbles through the liquid​ and later dissipates into the air.


What is the first stage of cognitive development which was suggested by Jean Piaget?

Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist who is best known for his theory of cognitive development. It suggests that children move through 4 different stages of mental development: Sensorimotor from birth to 2 years; preoperational from age 2 to 7; concrete operational from age 7 to 11; and formal operational from age 12 and up.


Which of these factors affects the population size?

The size of a population is dependent on a number of factors, including birth and immigration, which increases the population, and death and emigration, which decreases the population.


Which of the following mechanisms uses ATP in order to transport molecules across cell membranes?

Active transport is the pumping of molecules and/or ions through a membrane against their concentration gradient. This process requires energy in the form of ATP. Diffusion, osmosis, and facilitated diffusion are all examples of passive diffusion.


What is the main stimulus which determines a person’s circadian rhythm?

The circadian rhythm is a biological process which spans a 24-hour interval. It responds to changes in the light in the organism’s environment.


What part of the adrenal gland is responsible for secreting adrenaline?

The adrenal glands are a pair of gland located at the top of both kidneys. Multiple hormones are produced there, some which regulate metabolism, blood pressure and the immune system. It is made up of two parts, the cortex and the medulla each of which produces its own hormones. One of the hormones produced by the medulla is adrenaline.


Which of the following diseases is caused when plaques of misfolded proteins accumulate in the brain?

Alzheimer’s disease causes changes in memory, thinking and reasoning, as well as decision-making and behavior. It is caused by the accumulation of fragments of beta-amyloid proteins forming plaques or tau proteins forming neurofibrillary tangles.


The inability to form new memories is referred to as _____________________.

Anterograde amnesia is the loss of the ability to create new memories. Retrograde amnesia is the loss of memory for information that was acquired​ before the onset of amnesia. Implicit memory is a type of long-term memory which does not require conscious thought. Explicit memory is also a type of long-term memory which requires conscious thought.


What kind of signaling occurs when cells communicate with each other via direct contact?

Juxtacrine signaling is the way cells communicate with each other through direct contact. Paracrine signaling occurs between cells across a short distance. Intracrine signaling occurs inside of the target cell and endocrine signaling occurs between cells over a large distance.


What does implantation (reproduction) mean?

Implantation is the process by which the blastocyst is embedded into the endometrium. It then is differentiated into the three germ layers—the endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm.


Which of these elements forms a disulfide bond when combined?

A disulfide bond is a covalent bond which is form by oxidizing two SH groups attached to cysteine molecules. The functional group then becomes ‘R-S-S-R’.


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