How to Study Psych Soc MCAT

How to Study Psych Soc MCAT

Studying for the Psychology and Sociology (Psych Soc) section of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) requires a strategic approach to effectively grasp the concepts and theories in these fields. Here are some tips and techniques to help you study and excel in the Psych Soc section:

1. Understand the content outline: The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) provides a detailed content outline for the Psych Soc section. Familiarize yourself with this outline to understand what topics will be covered on the exam. This will help you prioritize your study materials and allocate time accordingly.

2. Create a study schedule: Develop a study plan that allows you to cover all the necessary topics. Break down your study time into smaller, manageable sessions, and establish specific goals for each session. Be consistent and disciplined in following your schedule.

3. Utilize reliable resources: Choose high-quality study materials, such as MCAT prep books, online courses, or video lectures that specifically focus on Psych Soc. Some popular resources include the Khan Academy MCAT videos and the AAMC Official Guide to the MCAT Exam.

4. Practice with sample questions and full-length exams: To gauge your understanding and improve your test-taking skills, practice answering MCAT-style questions. The AAMC offers official practice materials that closely resemble the actual exam. By practicing, you’ll become familiar with the question format and learn how to manage your time effectively.

5. Review basic concepts: Before diving into more complex topics, make sure you have a solid understanding of the foundational concepts in psychology and sociology. Establishing a strong base will help you comprehend and apply advanced theories with greater ease.

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6. Active learning techniques: Engage in active learning strategies to reinforce your understanding of the material. This includes summarizing key concepts in your own words, creating flashcards, teaching the material to someone else, or participating in group discussions.

7. Make use of mnemonics: The Psych Soc section involves memorizing a significant amount of terminology and theories. Mnemonics can be helpful tools to aid memorization. Develop your own mnemonic devices or use existing ones available in study resources to remember key information.

8. Analyze research studies: The MCAT often includes passages that describe research studies related to psychological or sociological phenomena. Practice reading and interpreting these studies to enhance your ability to analyze experimental design, data interpretation, and conclusions.

9. Stay updated with current events: The MCAT Psych Soc section may incorporate questions related to current events and societal issues. Stay informed about recent developments in psychology and sociology by reading reputable news sources or academic journals.

10. Review and revise: Regularly review the material you have studied to reinforce your understanding. Identify your weak areas and revise those topics to ensure comprehensive knowledge.


1. How much time should I dedicate to studying Psych Soc for the MCAT?
The amount of time required varies based on your existing knowledge and the time you have available. However, it is generally recommended to allocate at least 1-2 months of focused study for the Psych Soc section.

2. Should I focus more on psychology or sociology?
Both psychology and sociology are equally important for the MCAT. The AAMC content outline provides specific percentages for each subject, so make sure to allocate study time accordingly.

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3. Can I solely rely on Khan Academy videos for studying Psych Soc?
While Khan Academy videos are a valuable resource, it is recommended to use additional study materials to ensure thorough preparation. Supplement your learning with practice questions, review books, and other resources to gain a comprehensive understanding of the topics.

4. Is it necessary to memorize all the theories and terminology?
While memorization is important, understanding the underlying concepts and their applications is equally vital. Focus on comprehension and apply memorization techniques, such as mnemonics, to aid in retaining the necessary information.

5. How can I improve my reading speed for research passages?
Practice reading research articles and passages regularly to enhance your reading speed and comprehension. Additionally, work on identifying the main idea, the purpose of the study, and key findings to improve your efficiency in answering questions related to research passages.

Remember, studying for the Psych Soc section of the MCAT requires a combination of content knowledge, critical thinking skills, and effective test-taking strategies. By following these tips and techniques, you can improve your performance and score well on the exam.