Does the MCAT Have Calculus?

The MCAT contains questions that require test takers to do math. However, does the MCAT have calculus? No, the exam does not contain any calculus questions. There is not even a math section so students won’t be doing much math on the MCAT. In addition, the questions that do involve math are usually fairly straightforward.

Math on the MCAT

There are many ways that the MCAT can ask you to do math. Typically, it is the chemistry and physics questions that require math. To give you an idea, some questions may ask students to calculate the:

  • pH of a solution
  • velocity of an action potential
  • amount of product formed in a reaction
  • wavelength of a harmonic
  • rate order for a reaction

None of these calculations require calculus or advanced calculations. The MCAT is a timed exam and you only have about 95 seconds to answer each question. The creators of the exam know this too so the questions they create with math are all very reasonable. You do not have to do mental math as you are provided with scratch paper on the MCAT. However,  you are not allowed to use a calculator. If you want to learn about math on the MCAT, we recommend that you read our previous posts on How Much Math is on the MCAT, Do You Need a Calculator for the MCAT, and check out our online MCAT prep.

Do I Need to Take Calculus?

While the MCAT does not have calculus, most pre-medical students still have to take the class as part of the prerequisite courses for admissions to medical school. The general requirement is a year of math, which can be two semesters of calculus or one semester each of calculus and statistics. However, this can vary by school. You can figure out the exact requirements for each school by visiting each school’s webpage online. Alternatively, you can purchase access to the Medical School Admissions Requirements, which provides comprehensive course requirements and more for all of the medical schools.

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  • Ken

    Ken is a former blog writer for Magoosh who left to focus on developing novel and effective ways to help students achieve success on the MCAT exam.

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