MCAT Sociology : Everything You Need to Know

June 25, 2024

minute read

Sociology is another aspect of the MCAT that you should not take lightly if you are keen on getting a solid MCAT score and being admitted to the medical school of your choice. Without preparing for the MCAT sociology, you won't be able to get a high score. 

For the science portions of the MCAT, it is assumed that you have the prior background required, but most pre-med students lack sufficient background in sociology. In fact, some students have aced the science sections of the MCAT but miserably scored below average on the MCAT psych/soc section. 

You've come to the right place if you're concerned that you might not be able to perform well on the MCAT sociology. 

This article will discuss everything you need to know about MCAT sociology.

MCAT Sociology: Everything You Need to Know

Sociology is a branch of study that focuses on culture-related aspects of daily living and society, human social behavior, and social interaction patterns. It uses a variety of approaches for empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a corpus of knowledge about social change and social order.

Sociology has gradually broadened its scope to include other subjects and institutions because the relationship between individual agency and social structure affects all aspects of human behavior, including the institution of medicine and health, the economy, the military, control systems, and punishment.

The MCAT includes sociology because the medical field views it as essential knowledge that prospective doctors must learn to provide the best care to a varied patient population and comprehend how social interactions affect health.

The percentage of sociology on the MCAT's psych/soc section is 30%. 

It means that sociological information is present in 18 of the 59 test questions.

Sociology Topics to Study for the MCAT

Sociology has many facets, not all of which will be evaluated on the MCAT. 

You must familiarize yourself with the subjects that will be covered on the MCAT while studying for it.

Here is a list of the topics that you need to study for the MCAT sociology:

12 Tips and Tricks to Ace MCAT Sociology

Knowing the top MCAT sociology study techniques will help you ace the exam and understand the topics and ideas covered in the sociology section. 

As you prepare for MCAT sociology, here are a few tips and tricks you should apply.

While Preparing for MCAT Sociology…

Be Aware of the Sociology Subjects in the MCAT

It has been claimed that this section's content is murkier than the subject in the other scientific parts. 

Don't be shocked if you run into a subject on a practice exam that you have never heard of. Similarly, do not be alarmed if a term you anticipated would be covered in a question does not appear on the test.

Analyze Your Sociology MCAT Knowledge and Lack of Knowledge

Examine what you already know and what you do not, and then change your study plan as appropriate. 

You could discover that you do not need to spend as much time studying this section as you had anticipated, but do not draw any conclusions before taking a few practice exams and evaluating your actual results.

Get Ready for Experiments and Data on Sociology

The AAMC typically subjects students to sociological experiments. This means that rather than just learning vocabulary, you must be able to apply your knowledge to problems that are similar to those in experiments. 

As you complete practice passages, get into the habit of choosing the experiment's independent and dependent variables and any appropriate controls.

Keep a Sociology Journal for the MCAT

To help you narrow down your selections on test day, keep track of the terms you see as answer choices in practice problems and on practice tests

Then take another note if you see these terms again. The ones that keep appearing could be more likely to occur on exam day. Take note of those.

Improve Your Skills in Interpreting Graphs, Tables, and Charts

Charts and graphs will be present in the MCAT sociology (and psychology) section. That is guaranteed. 

Make sure you understand every feature of each graph and figure in a chapter once you have finished reading it. Which function does this serve? The more skilled you get at it, the more quickly you will be able to read graphs and figures when there isn't a time limit.

Read Public Health Journals 

We suggest skimming primary research studies on health disparities to gain a basic understanding of sociology and health. Then, even if you merely go through these publications for a short period, you will become familiar with social perspectives on health. 

Additionally, you will begin to see trends in health-related topics. For example, on the MCAT, you may encounter passages on health issues linked to poverty, gender differences, aging, or environmental exposures.

Each Day, Memorize 40 Terms for MCAT Sociology

You will advance quickly if you master 40 MCAT sociology concepts every day. Using a set of flashcards that combines sociology and psychology is a good strategy, but make sure they don't shortchange you on sociological terminology. A third or more of the pack should be dedicated to sociology.

Pass Practice Tests

Answering practice questions concerning MCAT sociology is essential for a high score, just like every other exam section. Many students use third-party assessments as a part of their preparation. 

These tests are quite appropriate, but we suggest you use all AAMC resources available to you. This includes scenarios and questions from practice tests. Given that the same organization produced them, they will be very similar to the MCAT.

Test Days Tips for MCAT Sociology…

When Unsure of a Term, Look for Context Clues

Even though you may have committed the definitions to memory, you can still feel unprepared when brand-new words are used in your next practice test. 

Understanding how to use context clues and the process of elimination to cope with new topics is a vital skill to have.

Often, you just need to go over the questions and look for the words or phrases that will tell you what the correct answers are. But, again, this is a skill that needs to be practiced.

Recognize the Skills Being Tested

When answering MCAT sociology questions, it can be helpful first to understand the question type or the abilities being tested. 

For instance, you can concentrate on recalling specifics linked to that subject to help you reply to the question if you can tell that a question is examining your comprehension of sociology principles.

In contrast, if you know that a question is evaluating your problem-solving skills, you will not waste time on information recall. Instead, focus on analysis and use your knowledge to find the answer.

Know the Definitions of Key Terms 

For many questions on the MCAT sociology, comprehension of language frequently used in these topics is essential. You can only apply what you have learned to relevant contexts if you know their definitions. 

For example, you might come upon a question about cognitive dissonance or hindsight bias. If you do not understand the definitions of these terms, you will not be able to answer the question effectively.

Keep Track of the Time

Remember that the MCAT psych/soc section takes 95 minutes to finish. With 59 questions to answer, most of which require critical thinking skills, you should learn how to manage your time. 

Skip questions that are taking you longer to answer. Just go back to these questions after you have answered the rest. 

Even after you have gone back to these questions, you still have no idea what the correct answer is… guess.

MCAT Sociology Preparation Resources

Aside from employing the most effective and proven strategies and techniques for the MCAT sociology, we recommend using MCAT sociology prep resources while studying for the MCAT. 

Below is a list of a few MCAT sociology prep resources you should check out:

Additional FAQs – MCAT Sociology: Everything You Need to Know

Is There Sociology on the MCAT?

Yes, there is sociology on the MCAT. 

The MCAT psych/soc section covers 30% of sociology. 

It means that there are 18 questions in this section that are about sociology. This may not be a lot, but it accounts for your overall MCAT score. So make it a point that you study for MCAT sociology as you would in the other subjects required for the MCAT.

How Do I Study for the MCAT Sociology?

You can study for the MCAT sociology by first identifying the sociology concepts tested for the MCAT. 

Secondly, aside from knowing the topics, you must learn how to apply them in relevant situations. 

Lastly, knowing how to interpret graphs, tables and charts are also beneficial in this part of the MCAT. Make sure you are proficient in these abilities before taking the MCAT.

What Sociology Classes Should I Take for the MCAT?

You will undoubtedly perform better on the MCAT if you enroll in an introductory sociology course during the first semester. 

However, giving yourself enough time to study the necessary ideas will help you master the MCAT sociology even if you did not sign up for a first-semester sociology course before taking the test. 

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