Writing Sample of the MCAT
The Medical College Admissions Test strives to assess those specific skills that are predictive of future performance in medical school and on medical licensing examinations. Each of the four sections of the MCAT has been designed to measure specific knowledge and skills. The Writing Sample is designed to assess the ability to develop a central idea; to synthesize concepts and ideas; to present ideas in a cohesive, coherent, and logical fashion, and to write according to the accepted conventions of grammar, syntax, and diction. The two Writing Samples will present a specific topic, which the student will then be required to discuss in an expository essay. As a rule, the prompts for the Writing Samples are not taken from science, but instead are based on topics of general interest in the humanities, social sciences, and in those natural sciences not covered elsewhere on the MCAT.

The test administrators stress that no special knowledge of subject matter will be necessary to complete the Writing Samples. After each prompt, a student will have to complete three basic writing tasks. First, he or she will have to accurately describe or interpret the prompt. The essay prompts have been written so as to require several sentences of description in order to be fully explained. After accomplishing this first step, the student will assess the validity of the prompt by describing a situation or set of facts that might refute it. Finally, the student will explain whether (and if so how) the conflict between the argument explained in the first section and the contradiction described in the second section can be reconciled. This will require a more general evaluation and interpretation of the issue at hand.

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