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MCAT Behavioral Sciences Review 2023-2024: Online + Book

MCAT Behavioral Sciences Review 2023-2024: Online + Book PDF

Author: Kaplan Test Prep

Publisher: Kaplan Test Prep


Publish Date: July 5, 2022

ISBN-10: 1506282873

Pages: 600

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

Kaplan MCAT Behavioral Sciences Review, and the other six books in the Kaplan MCAT Review series, bring the Kaplan classroom experience to you—right in your home, at your convenience. This book offers the same Kaplan content review, strategies, and practice that make Kaplan the #1 choice for MCAT prep.

This book is designed to help you review the behavioral sciences topics covered on the MCAT. Please understand that content review—no matter how thorough—is not sufficient preparation for the MCAT! The MCAT tests not only your science knowledge but also your critical reading, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Do not assume that simply memorizing the contents of this book will earn you high scores on Test Day; to maximize your scores, you must also improve your reading and test-taking skills through MCAT-style questions and practice tests.

Learning Objectives

At the beginning of each section, you’ll find a short list of objectives describing the skills covered within that section. Learning objectives for these texts were developed in conjunction with Kaplan’s learning science team, and have been designed specifically to focus your attention on tasks and concepts that are likely to show up on your MCAT. These learning objectives will function as a means to guide your study, and indicate what information and relationships you should be focused on within each section. Before starting each section, read these learning objectives carefully. They will not only allow you to assess your existing familiarity with the content, but also provide a goal-oriented focus for your studying experience of the section.

MCAT Concept Checks

At the end of each section, you’ll find a few open-ended questions that you can use to assess your mastery of the material. These MCAT Concept Checks were introduced after numerous conversations with Kaplan’s learning science team. Research has demonstrated repeatedly that introspection and self-analysis improve mastery, retention, and recall of material. Complete these MCAT Concept Checks to ensure that you’ve got the key points from each section before moving on!

Science Mastery Assessments

At the beginning of each chapter, you’ll find 15 MCAT-style practice questions. These are designed to help you assess your understanding of the chapter before you begin reading the chapter. Using the guidance provided with the assessment, you can determine the best way to review each chapter based on your personal strengths and weaknesses. Most of the questions in the Science Mastery Assessments focus on the first of the Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning Skills (Knowledge of Scientific Concepts and Principles), although there are occasional questions that fall into the second or fourth SIRS (Scientific Reasoning and Problem-Solving and Data-Based and Statistical Reasoning, respectively). In addition, in your online resources you’ll find a test-like passage set covering the same content you just studied to ensure you can also apply your knowledge the way the MCAT will expect you to!

Guided Examples with Expert Thinking

Embedded in each chapter of this book is a Guided Example with Expert Thinking. Each of these guided examples will be located in the same section as the content used in that example. Each example will feature an MCAT-level scientific article, that simulates an MCAT experiment passage. Read through the passage as you would on the real MCAT, referring to the Expert Thinking material to the right of the passage to clarify the key information you should be gathering from each paragraph. Read and attempt to answer the associated question once you have worked through the passage. There is a full explanation, including the correct answer, following the given question. These passages and questions are designed to help build your critical thinking, experimental reasoning, and data interpretation skills as preparation for the challenges you will face on the MCAT.


The following is a guide to the five types of sidebars you’ll find in Kaplan MCAT Behavioral Sciences Review:

  • Bridge: These sidebars create connections between science topics that appear in multiple chapters throughout the Kaplan MCAT Review series.
  • Key Concept: These sidebars draw attention to the most important takeaways in a given topic, and they sometimes offer synopses or overviews of complex information. If you understand nothing else, make sure you grasp the Key Concepts for any given subject.
  • MCAT Expertise: These sidebars point out how information may be tested on the MCAT or offer key strategy points and test-taking tips that you should apply on Test Day.
  • Mnemonic: These sidebars present memory devices to help recall certain facts.
  • Real World: These sidebars illustrate how a concept in the text relates to the practice of medicine or the world at large. While this is not information you need to know for Test Day, many of the topics in Real World sidebars are excellent examples of how a concept may appear in a passage or discrete (stand-alone) question on the MCAT.

What This Book Covers

The information presented in the Kaplan MCAT Review series covers everything listed on the official MCAT content lists. Every topic in these lists is covered in the same level of detail as is common to the undergraduate and postbaccalaureate classes that are considered prerequisites for the MCAT. Note that your premedical classes may include topics not discussed in these books, or they may go into more depth than these books do. Additional exposure to science content is never a bad thing, but all of the content knowledge you are expected to have walking in on Test Day is covered in these books.

Chapter profiles, on the first page of each chapter, represent a holistic look at the content within the chapter, and will include a pie chart as well as text information. The pie chart analysis is based directly on data released by the AAMC, and will give a rough estimate of the importance of the chapter in relation to the book as a whole. Further, the text portion of the Chapter Profiles includes which AAMC content categories are covered within the chapter. These are referenced directly from the AAMC MCAT exam content listing, available on the testmaker’s website.

You’ll also see new High-Yield badges scattered throughout the sections of this book:

In This Chapter

1.1Amino Acids Found in Proteins HY  

A Note on Terminology

Stereochemistry of Amino Acids

Structures of the Amino Acids

Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Amino Acids

Amino Acid Abbreviations

1.2Acid Base Chemistry of Amino Acids

Protonation and Deprotonation

Titration of Amino Acids

1.3Peptide Bond Formation and Hydrolysis HY  

Peptide Bond Formation

Peptide Bond Hydrolysis

1.4Primary and Secondary Protein Structure HY  

Primary Structure

Secondary Structure

1.5Tertiary and Quaternary Protein Structure HY  

Tertiary Structure

Folding and the Solvation Layer

Quaternary Structure

Conjugated Proteins


Table of Contents

The Kaplan MCAT Review Team Go Online

Getting Started Checklist


About Scientific American

About the MCAT

How This Book Was Created

Using This Book

Studying for the MCAT

Chapter 1: Biology and Behavior

1.1 A Brief History of Neuropsychology

High-Yield1.2 Organization of the Human Nervous System

High-Yield1.3 Organization of the Brain

1.4 Parts of the Forebrain

High-Yield1.5 Influences on Behavior

1.6 Development

Chapter 2: Sensation and Perception

2.1 Sensation vs. Perception

High-Yield2.2 Vision

2.3 Hearing and Vestibular Sense

High-Yield2.4 Other Senses

High-Yield2.5 Object Recognition

Chapter 3: Learning and Memory

High-Yield3.1 Learning

High-Yield3.2 Memory

3.3 Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

Chapter 4: Cognition, Consciousness, and Language

High-Yield4.1 Cognition

High-Yield4.2 Problem Solving and Decision Making

High-Yield4.3 Consciousness

4.4 Consciousness-Altering Drugs

4.5 Attention

High-Yield4.6 Language

Chapter 5: Motivation, Emotion, and Stress

High-Yield5.1 Motivation

High-Yield5.2 Emotion

High-Yield5.3 Stress

Chapter 6: Identity and Personality

High-Yield6.1 Self-Concept and Identity

High-Yield6.2 Formation of Identity

High-Yield6.3 Personality

Chapter 7: Psychological Disorders

7.1 Understanding Psychological Disorders

High-Yield7.2 Types of Psychological Disorders

High-Yield7.3 Biological Basis of Nervous System Disorders

Chapter 8: Social Processes, Attitudes, and Behavior

High-Yield8.1 Group Psychology

High-Yield8.2 Socialization

High-Yield8.3 Attitudes and Behavior

Chapter 9: Social Interaction

High-Yield9.1 Elements of Social Interaction

High-Yield9.2 Self-Presentation and Interacting with Others

Chapter 10: Social Thinking

High-Yield10.1 Social Behavior

High-Yield10.2 Social Perception and Behavior

High-Yield10.3 Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Chapter 11: Social Structure and Demographics

High-Yield11.1 Sociology: Theories and Institutions

11.2 Culture

High-Yield11.3 Demographics

Chapter 12: Social Stratification

High-Yield12.1 Social Class

12.2 Epidemiology and Disparities



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