At the beginning of this page, you’ll discover a button granting complete access to the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (MCAT) practice test. Immediately beneath, there’s a chance to delve into an extensive practice test designed for in-depth review. These tests are essential for showcasing your abilities, identifying areas needing enhancement, and honing your study approach.

To further boost your preparation, especially in areas needing more focus, we have designed specialized quizzes. These quizzes are meticulously tailored to cover specific facets of the MCAT exam, offering a focused and effective study experience.

MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Domain Exams

The Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems is a critical section of the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), designed to assess a candidate’s understanding of the foundational concepts necessary for a career in medicine. This section focuses on the processes that make life possible and is structured around four primary content areas: Biochemistry, Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry. 

Each of these domains contributes to the section’s emphasis on the biological, biochemical, and physiological principles that underlie the mechanisms operating in the human body, as well as the impact of these principles on living organisms.

Domain 1: Biochemistry

  • Percentage of Exam: 25%
  • Focus Areas: This domain covers the structure and function of proteins and enzymes, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. It emphasizes the biochemical processes involved in the energy production, metabolism, and genetic information flow within cells.

Welcome to your MCAT Bio Domain 1: Biochemistry

Domain 2: Biology

  • Percentage of Exam: 65%
  • Focus Areas: Biology questions delve into cellular and molecular biology, human physiology, genetics, and evolution. This includes the structure and function of cells, organ systems, and the principles of genetics and evolution that explain organismal diversity.

Welcome to your MCAT Bio Domain 2: Biology

Domain 3: General Chemistry

  • Percentage of Exam: 5%
  • Focus Areas: This domain reviews the principles of chemical reactions, including the phases of matter, the periodic table, chemical bonds, thermodynamics, and kinetics. It provides the chemical foundation necessary to understand the biochemical processes.

Welcome to your MCAT BIO Domain 3: General Chemistry

Domain 4: Organic Chemistry

  • Percentage of Exam: 5%
  • Focus Areas: Focuses on the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds. This includes an understanding of the mechanisms of organic reactions, as well as the synthesis and the identification of molecules.

Welcome to your MCAT BIO Domain 4: Organic Chemistry

Exam Domain% of ExamFocus Areas
Biochemistry25%Structure and function of proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates; biochemical processes in energy production and metabolism.
Biology65%Cellular and molecular biology, human physiology, genetics, and evolution.
General Chemistry5%Principles of chemical reactions, matter phases, periodic table, chemical bonds, thermodynamics, and kinetics.
Organic Chemistry5%Structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds; mechanisms of organic reactions.

Additional Important Information

  • Test Format: The section is presented in a multiple-choice format and is one of four sections on the MCAT.
  • Total Questions and Time: It contains 59 questions, which candidates have 95 minutes to complete.
  • Scoring: Scores for each of the four sections of the MCAT range from 118 to 132, with the total MCAT score ranging from 472 to 528.
  • Preparation Tips: Candidates should integrate content review with practice questions and full-length practice tests. Focusing on high-yield topics and understanding how to apply scientific knowledge and reasoning skills in a medical context are crucial.
  • Resources: Official resources include the AAMC website, Khan Academy for MCAT, and various prep books from reputable publishers that provide in-depth content reviews, practice questions, and test-taking strategies specific to the MCAT.

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (MCAT) Exam Breakdown

The Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section is one of the four sections of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), a standardized examination designed to assess the examinee’s problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine.


  • Purpose: This section tests your understanding of the processes that foster life, including the principles of biology and biochemistry. It emphasizes the concepts of biological and biochemical foundations of living systems and processes. This includes understanding how living systems use energy, how they grow, reproduce, and maintain a stable internal environment, how they respond to their environment, how they adapt, and the molecular, genetic, and cellular building blocks that make up living systems.
  • Format: The section consists of 59 questions to be answered in 95 minutes. It includes both passage-based and discrete questions. The passage-based questions require the examinee to read and analyze a given piece of text, while the discrete questions are stand-alone and test specific scientific concepts directly.
  • Content Areas:
    • First, the section covers the basics of biological and biochemical concepts at the cellular and molecular level, including genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and microbiology.
    • Second, it extends to human biology, focusing on the structure and function of organs and organ systems, and how these systems interact to maintain homeostasis.
    • Lastly, it includes questions on the process of evolution and the diversity of life forms, emphasizing how evolutionary processes contribute to the continuity and change of living organisms.

How to Become Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (MCAT) Certified

To become certified in the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems for the MCAT, you essentially need to prepare for and achieve a strong score in this section of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This section tests your knowledge and understanding of basic biological and biochemical concepts as well as your ability to apply these concepts in complex scenarios. Here are steps and resources to guide you:

  1. Understand the Exam Content and Structure: Familiarize yourself with the content and structure of the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section. This section assesses your understanding of biological and biochemical concepts, the processes that support living organisms, and the ability to reason scientifically.
  2. Official Guide and Resources: Start with the official guide from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which provides detailed information about the MCAT, including the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section. Use the AAMC’s official resources, practice exams, and question banks.
  3. Review Courses and Materials: Consider enrolling in MCAT review courses offered by reputable organizations like Kaplan or Princeton Review. These courses provide structured study plans, review materials, and practice tests specifically designed to prepare you for the exam.
  4. Study Books and Review Materials: Purchase study books that focus on the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems. Books by Examkrackers, Kaplan, and The Princeton Review are highly recommended for in-depth study.
  5. Practice Tests and Questions: Regularly take full-length practice tests and practice questions, particularly those focusing on biological and biochemical foundations. This will not only help you understand the test format but also identify areas where you need further review.
  6. Join Study Groups and Forums: Engage with other MCAT test-takers through forums like Reddit’s r/MCAT or Student Doctor Network. These platforms can provide support, answer questions, and offer advice on preparing for the Biological and Biochemical Foundations section.
  7. Test Taking Strategies: Develop effective test-taking strategies, such as time management, elimination of incorrect answers, and critical reading techniques, to improve your performance in the biological and biochemical section.
  8. Register for the MCAT: Once you feel prepared, register for the MCAT through the AAMC website. Ensure you meet all registration deadlines and requirements.

Remember, becoming proficient in the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems requires diligent study, practice, and a strategic approach to learning and test-taking. There’s no official “certification” process other than achieving a high score in this section of the MCAT, which is pivotal for medical school admissions.

Our Experience Teaching Living Systems (MCAT) Candidates To Pass The Exam

The journey of developing our Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (MCAT) practice tests at Career Employer has been remarkable, marked by significant achievements and challenges. Motivated by the exam’s broad spectrum of topics, our goal was to cater to the unique requirements of our learners.

Our strategy has been carefully crafted to ensure every student is well-prepared for success on the exam. This commitment is reflected in the comprehensive scope and meticulous attention to detail in our practice materials, highlighting our dedication to our students’ achievements.

Teaching the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) presents a unique set of challenges and rewards from a lecturer’s perspective. This section of the MCAT assesses a candidate’s understanding of the processes that foster life, including the structure and function of biomolecules, and the principles of biochemistry and cellular biology. It’s critical for aspiring medical students, as it lays the groundwork for understanding the complex biochemical processes that will be encountered in medical school and beyond.


  • Breadth of Material: The scope of topics covered is vast, including biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, and organic chemistry. Ensuring students grasp the interconnections between these subjects requires careful planning and an integrated teaching approach.
  • Depth of Knowledge: Students need to understand both the basic concepts and the intricate details of how biological systems operate at a molecular level. Lecturers must find ways to delve deep without overwhelming their students.
  • Application to Clinical Practice: One of the ultimate goals of teaching this material is to help students apply this foundational knowledge to medical scenarios. This involves not just memorizing facts, but understanding how these facts impact physiological and pathological processes.
  • Engagement and Motivation: Given the complexity and the amount of material, keeping students engaged and motivated can be challenging. Creating a learning environment that is both stimulating and supportive is essential.

Strategies for Success

  • Integrate Resources: Utilizing a range of teaching resources can enhance understanding and retention. This might include textbooks, online courses, videos, and practice exams. Key resources include:
    • AAMC Material: The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) provides official MCAT prep resources, including practice tests and question banks that are invaluable for students.
    • Khan Academy: Offers comprehensive review videos on many of the topics covered in this section of the MCAT.
    • Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry: A widely recommended textbook for understanding the fundamental concepts of biochemistry.
    • MCAT Prep Courses: Many organizations offer courses specifically designed to prepare students for the MCAT, combining lectures, review materials, and practice questions.
  • Active Learning: Encourage active participation through problem-solving sessions, group discussions, and case studies related to clinical scenarios. This helps students apply their knowledge and think critically.
  • Regular Assessment and Feedback: Frequent quizzes and practice tests not only help students gauge their understanding but also allow instructors to identify areas where students are struggling and adjust the curriculum accordingly.
  • Support and Encouragement: Creating a supportive environment that encourages questions and fosters a growth mindset can help students navigate the challenges of this demanding section of the MCAT.
  • Customization and Flexibility: Recognizing that students have different learning styles and paces, offering flexible learning paths and resources can help meet individual needs.

At Career Employer, our Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (MCAT) certification practice tests represent the pinnacle of a collective endeavor by a dedicated team of specialists. Each member brings a wealth of knowledge and comprehensive experience in equipping candidates for the MCAT exam. Their deep understanding has enabled over 1000 medical students to achieve their MCAT certifications, with a particular emphasis on the nuanced needs of medical assistants.

Our team consists of experienced professionals, each with a minimum of ten years of dedicated expertise in entry level medicine. This guarantees that our practice materials are not only authored by foremost authorities in the field but are also exceptionally effective in preparing candidates for their certification journeys. Our commitment to excellence ensures that users of our resources are thoroughly prepared and confidently equipped to attain their certification objectives.

Effective Study Strategies and Methods

For effective preparation for the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section of the MCAT, a multifaceted approach is key. Here are strategies compiled from various trusted sources to optimize your study plan:

  • Understand the Forgetting Curve: Recognize that memory decay is natural, and continual review is necessary to retain information. Focus on high-yield topics and utilize resources like tutors or mentors to identify these areas​​.
  • Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses: Tailor your study time based on your personal strengths and weaknesses. Use this assessment to allocate more time to areas where you need improvement.
  • Prioritize Comprehension Over Memorization: While memorization is necessary, it’s crucial to first understand the concepts you’re studying. This comprehension will aid in applying knowledge effectively during the exam​.
  • Utilize Quality Study Resources: Take advantage of the plethora of tools and resources available, such as AAMC materials, Memm, Med School Insiders, and Khan Academy. Choose tools that suit your learning style and stick to them​.
  • Limit Distractions: Create a study environment free from interruptions. Utilizing distraction blocker apps and adjusting notification settings on your devices can significantly improve your focus.
  • Practice with MCAT Questions: Incorporate practice questions into your study routine to familiarize yourself with the test format and identify areas for improvement. Resources like UWorld offer extensive practice materials tailored to the MCAT​.
  • Active Learning Techniques: Engage with the material actively through flashcards, summarizing information, and teaching others. These methods can improve retention and comprehension​ ​.
  • Simulated Exam Practice: Take full-length practice exams under conditions that mimic the actual test to build test-taking stamina and reduce anxiety. Analyze your performance to adjust your study focus accordingly​.
  • Early and Structured Preparation: Start your preparation three to six months in advance, dedicating time each day to study. Use tools like Memm to create a personalized study schedule​.
  • Final Weeks Preparation: Increase the intensity of your preparation in the weeks leading up to the exam. Focus on reviewing challenging topics, taking full-length practice tests, and refining test-taking strategies​.
  • Choosing the Right MCAT Exam Date: Plan your study timeline with the exam date in mind, ensuring you have completed the necessary coursework and given yourself ample time for preparation​.

By employing a comprehensive and tailored approach, focusing on understanding and applying concepts, and utilizing high-quality resources, you can effectively prepare for the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section of the MCAT. Remember, the key to success is not just hard work but also smart, strategic preparation.


Expense CategoryDetailsCost
Registration FeeStandard and International FeesUSD 335 – USD 455
Study MaterialsPrep bundles, guides, practice examsUSD 15 – USD 350
Preparation CoursesOnline, In-personUSD 0 – USD 7,000
TutoringPersonalized instructionUSD 50 – USD 150/hr
Travel and AccommodationsFlights, hotels, mealsUSD 500 – USD 1,000+

The cost of taking the MCAT, or the Medical College Admission Test, encompasses several fees and additional expenses beyond the basic registration fee. For the year 2024, the registration fee for the MCAT has been reported as USD 335 for standard registration, with international students facing an additional fee of USD 120, making their total cost USD 455. Those qualifying for the AAMC’s fee assistance program can pay a reduced fee of USD 140​.

Beyond the registration fee, candidates must consider several other costs associated with preparing for and taking the MCAT. Here’s a breakdown of these expenses based on the information from multiple sources:

  • Study Materials and Preparation Courses:
    • Official study materials such as the complete prep bundle, official guide, subject packs, practice exams, and more can range from USD 15 for individual subject packs to USD 350 for comprehensive bundles​.
    • MCAT prep courses vary significantly in price depending on the format and duration, with self-paced online courses ranging from free to USD 1,500, and more intensive live online or in-person courses costing between USD 2,000 to USD 7,000.
  • Tutoring:
    • Personalized tutoring is another significant expense, with rates typically ranging from USD 50 to USD 150 per hour. The cost can add up quickly depending on the number of hours and the level of expertise required​.
  • Travel and Accommodations:
    • Since the MCAT is not offered online, candidates may need to travel to a testing center. Travel costs can include flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and meals, potentially adding up to USD 500 to USD 1,000 depending on the distance and duration of the stay​​.
    • For some, especially those coming from rural areas to urban testing centers, travel and accommodation costs can near USD 700, not including food and other miscellaneous expenses.
  • Additional Considerations:
    • Time and energy are also considerable “costs” associated with the MCAT, with most students spending between 250-350 hours preparing for the exam. The intensive study required can impact one’s ability to work or fulfill other commitments, adding an indirect financial strain.
    • Retaking the MCAT incurs the same costs as the initial take, without discounts for multiple attempts, making it crucial to invest adequately in preparation to avoid the need for retakes.

Given the variety and magnitude of these expenses, planning, and budgeting for the MCAT requires careful consideration of all potential costs, not just the registration fee. Seeking resources like scholarships, financial assistance programs, and cost-effective study methods can help manage the financial burden of MCAT preparation.

Reliable Study Materials and Resources

Preparing for the MCAT, specifically the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section, requires a multifaceted approach encompassing a variety of resources. Here’s a comprehensive guide to some of the best online resources available:

  • Khan Academy offers extensive practice passages that cover a wide range of topics essential for the MCAT, including cell cycle, cancer, stem cells, and various organ systems. Their interactive practice questions and educational content are structured to enhance your understanding of the subject matter​.
  • The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) provides a detailed overview of the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section. They outline the types of knowledge and skills tested, such as introductory biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and first-semester biochemistry concepts. This resource is invaluable for understanding the structure and expectations of the MCAT​​.
  • Magoosh offers a range of blog posts and study materials focused on the Bio/Biochem section of the MCAT. Their content includes detailed guides on various topics, such as the citric acid cycle, the immune system, and eye anatomy, which are crucial for mastering this section.
  • Med School Insiders recommends starting your study for the Bio/Biochem section three to six months before your test date. They emphasize the importance of understanding cell biology, how bodily systems work together, organ system functions and structures, genetics, physiology, and metabolic pathways. Utilizing resources like Memm for memorization and comprehension, and taking both third-party and AAMC practice tests, is advised to ensure thorough preparation​.
  • AAMC’s Official Prep Hub offers an MCAT Section Bank, which includes practice questions that are crucial for exam preparation. This resource provides a hands-on way to familiarize yourself with the exam format and question types you’ll encounter on test day​​.
  • UWorld suggests specific strategies for tackling the Biological and Biochemical Foundations section, including memorizing amino acids and their properties, understanding biochemical pathways, and comprehending how organ systems work. They also highlight the importance of staying calm and methodical when encountering unfamiliar research experiments in the test passages​​.

These resources provide a solid foundation for preparing for the MCAT. They offer a blend of content review, practice questions, and test-taking strategies tailored to the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section. Incorporating these resources into your study plan can significantly enhance your readiness for the exam.

Tips for Exam Day

On the day of the MCAT, especially for the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section, being prepared mentally and physically is key. Here are some consolidated tips gathered from multiple sources to help you navigate the day smoothly:

Before the Exam

  • Mimic Test Day Conditions: In the days leading up to the exam, try to follow the schedule you’ll have on the test day, including waking up early, eating meals at the same time, and even doing some light studying or relaxation exercises​.
  • Practice Under Exam Conditions: Doing full practice tests under conditions that closely resemble the actual test environment can serve as effective exposure therapy, helping you to adjust to the pressure and the format of the exam​.

Managing Test Anxiety

  • Physical Activities: Engaging in physical activities like yoga or stretching during breaks can be beneficial. It’s generally allowed to get up and stretch during breaks, and doing yoga or similar activities can help to destress​.
  • Melatonin for Sleep: If you’re considering taking melatonin to ensure a good night’s sleep before the exam day, make sure to test it out a few days before to avoid any unexpected side effects. It can help in sleeping through the night without disturbances​​.

On the Exam Day

  • Choosing Foods Wisely: Pack a lunch box with an assortment of healthy snacks. Options such as carrots, cucumber slices, berries, a sandwich for lunch, string cheese, and a banana can offer a good mix of energy and comfort without making you feel lethargic​​.
  • Utilizing Breaks: Use your 10-minute breaks and lunchtime effectively. These are opportunities to relax, refocus, and refresh yourself without thinking about the test. Snack, hydrate, chat with other test-takers, or simply do something that helps you relax​.

General Tips

  • Environment Familiarization: If your exam is at a hotel or a non-traditional testing center, trying to familiarize yourself with the location beforehand might help reduce anxiety. Knowing what to expect from the testing environment can make you feel more comfortable and less stressed on the exam day​.

Remember, every individual’s strategy for managing test day may vary. What works best for you might involve a combination of these tips or other personal preferences you’ve discovered during your preparation. The key is to remain calm, stay focused, and approach the exam with confidence.

Post-Exam: Next Steps

After completing the MCAT, particularly the Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems section, it’s crucial to reflect on your experience and plan your next steps wisely. 

Here’s a comprehensive approach based on insights from various sources:

  • Review and Reflect: Dedicate time to reflect on the exam experience. Spend a day immersed in a review of the full-length practice tests you’ve taken, analyzing your performance question by question. It’s beneficial to take brief notes during this review and revisit them regularly. This reflective practice not only aids in reinforcing what you’ve learned but also helps in identifying areas that require further improvement​​.
  • Strengthen Your Application: Understand that the MCAT is just one component of your medical school application. Engage in activities that strengthen other aspects of your application, such as clinical experience, volunteer work, or research, especially in areas related to biological and biochemical foundations. This well-rounded approach ensures you present a compelling profile to admissions committees​.
  • Post-Exam Stress Management: Managing stress after the exam is crucial. Engage in activities you enjoy, such as spending time with friends, exercising, or exploring outdoor activities to keep your mood elevated and mind refreshed. Limit discussions about the exam once it’s over to avoid unnecessary stress and focus instead on your next steps. Remember, it’s essential to maintain a healthy balance between your academic and personal life to stay motivated and productive.
  • Plan Your Next Steps: Based on your MCAT performance and overall application strength, research medical schools that align with your score range and career aspirations. Consider schools where your MCAT score and academic record meet or exceed the median statistics for accepted students. This research will help you tailor your application to schools where you have a strong chance of admission​.
  • Stay Informed and Prepared: Keep yourself informed about the application timelines and requirements for the medical schools you’re interested in. Preparing your applications well in advance and ensuring all components are complete can significantly reduce last-minute stress​.
  • Seek Feedback: If your score wasn’t what you hoped for, consider seeking feedback from advisors or mentors. They can offer insights into improving your study strategies or identifying other areas of your application that can be strengthened during a reapplication cycle.
  • Continued Learning: Regardless of your score, continue learning and staying engaged with the subject matter. This ongoing engagement not only prepares you for potential retests but also for the rigorous curriculum you will face in medical school.

In summary, the period following the MCAT is a critical time for reflection, strategic planning, and application preparation. Utilizing the resources available to you, managing stress effectively, and maintaining a focus on your long-term goals will be key to navigating this phase successfully.


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