For top strategies to skyrocket your MCAT P/S score, check out our MCAT Psych/Soc Strategy Course here →
While many pre-med students feel prepared for the science content, psychology and sociology can come as a major curveball in MCAT prep.
It’s easy to understand why you need to study biology, chemistry and physics, but there's no way you need psychology/sociology for medical school, right?
Well not quite! In fact, by knowing how MCAT Psych/Soc will help you in medical school and as a doctor...
You will be much more likely to find the motivation to study this section strategically and as a result, increase your MCAT score.
We know that it can be frustrating to prepare for and understand the value of this section because we felt the same way...
But only after going through medical school did your MCAT Mastery mentors realize just how important this section is for medical school.
That’s why your mentor Ariana, a 515 MCAT scorer and current medical school student, has made this helpful video explaining why MCAT psych/soc is so important for when you’re in medical school and even beyond then.
How MCAT Psych/Soc Will Help You in Med School Tip #1: It Helps Your Admissions Chances
P/S can be a section that helps boost your score, especially since it is often more enjoyable/ a nice change of pace from the sciences.
And many top scorers seem to agree with that notion!
MCAT Mastery mentor and recent Yale medical school student, Nana, had actually never studied sociology before taking her MCAT. However, despite not having any background information, she enjoyed studying something so easy to relate to and was able to score 132 (100th %) in the section!
While many students might not have the required course preparation for this section of the MCAT, studying and learning about how people in the world around you act and behave can be really fun and interesting!
Also, MCAT psych/soc can also distinguish you from other candidates in the application process!
Schools are looking for culturally competent, well rounded students and a high P/S score shows you put equal work importance into the science as well as the social sciences.
Doing well in MCAT psych/soc is only a benefit in admissions.
How MCAT Psych/Soc Will Help You in Med School Tip #2: Psychology Will Reappear In Your Medical School Courses
There's a good reason how MCAT psychology and sociology will help you in medical school and the AAMC does a good job outlining the reason why it's on the test to begin with as follows:
"The Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior section emphasizes concepts that tomorrow’s doctors need to know in order to serve an increasingly diverse population and have a clear understanding of the impact of behavior on health.
Further, it communicates the need for future physicians to be prepared to deal with the human and social issues of medicine."
So it shouldn't be a surprise that a lot of the content you'll pick up from MCAT psychology, you'll likely revisit in different courses throughout medical school!
On top of that, what's really cool is that you'll actually learn some interesting psychological principles which you can practically use in communicating with patients/ attendings/ peers etc.
If you're wondering where and how this material will reappear, some of the medical school courses where MCAT psychology content could be covered in the following courses: neurology, psychology, and child/ development courses.
How MCAT Psych/Soc Will Help You in Med School Tip #3: Sociology Makes You More More Socially Attuned To Patients
Sociology is becoming more and more recognized as important in healthcare, especially the social determinants of health!
Learning the fundamentals of sociology now will give you a better perspective when you become a doctor and need to communicate with patients.
I’ve already had to write several papers on health disparities where I’ve related it to some sociology context.
So don’t think sociology is something you’ll escape once you’re done with the MCAT!
The more you know about sociology, the better you’ll be able to help understand patient needs and concerns.
How MCAT Psych/Soc Will Help You in Med School Tip #4: These Sociology Topics Will Make A Reappearance In Your Patient Care Course
Yet another reason for why you should get a strong foundation and understanding of sociology is because your medical school will probably require you to take a patient care course.
In your patient course (and other courses like public health), you will be revisiting many of the topics you’ll encounter in MCAT sociology.
That’s just to further cement the idea that mastering the basics of these subjects now will not only help you on the MCAT but also in medical school when you’ll need to revisit this content.
And how will you remember all these sociological principles until you're in medical school?
Fortunately, you don't have to!
Check out this article where Aly talks about how her flashcard strategies helped her score 132 (100th %) in MCAT Psych/Soc. With these strategies, you'll have a powerful resource to hold on to for when you revisit these topics in medical school!
How MCAT Psych/Soc Will Help You in Med School Tip #5: The Challenging Thing From MCAT Psych/Soc That Will Follow You Into Medical School
In medical school, you will likely also have to take a biostatistics class…
Maybe you’ve already guessed it by now, but that means that being able to read and interpret data in graphs and charts, like in MCAT psych/soc, will be really important!
On top of that, a basic background in statistics will be needed. My school also does a lot of evidenced based medicine…
And guess what?
The stats background you will develop in MCAT psych/soc can help you with this too!
What Does This All Mean?
All in all, you will see the principles in this section again in one or another
So think of MCAT Psych/Soc section as an opportunity to strengthen your MCAT score, medical school candidacy, and ultimately make yourself a future doctor who is able to communicate and understand patients better!
If you find Ariana’s video helpful and are looking for more helpful and inspiring insight that will help you on your journey to acing the MCAT and becoming a doctor, be sure to explore our blog for stories from dozens of different top scorers.
On our website you can also find our Psych/Soc Strategy Course and Complete MCAT Strategy Course. Top scoring tutors, like Ariana, have worked hard to compile their best MCAT strategies to help you learn in the most effective way possible…
Our goal is to have you learn from our mistakes, so that you don’t have to make those mistakes yourself!
We know that psych/soc can be challenging, especially if this content is all new to you…
But we know firsthand that doing well on this section on the MCAT is very possible!
Most students are only concerned with studying, but very few take the time to learn why what they’re studying is important…
And that’s what separates you from the majority of test-takers.
We see you going the extra mile to get this information and are confident that it will pay off in the end.
You got this,
The MCAT Mastery Team
Your MCAT Success Mentors