A Road Map to MCAT® Content in Biochemistry Textbooks

The publishers of the textbooks listed in this publication have provided a “road map” to where the MCAT Foundational Concepts and Content Categories can be found in their publications, by indicating the chapter and/or specific page number(s).  

To use this road map, locate the topic you’re interested in and read across the columns to see which textbook covers that topic and whether the topic is covered in introductory biology and/or first-year biochemistry courses. Any concepts that don’t appear in the road map are covered only in introductory biology.  

The Biochemistry Road Map emphasizes biochemistry, a topic introduced to the MCAT exam in 2015. However, we found that the biochemistry textbooks include some of the biology and other content covered on the MCAT exam. In those cases, we included information about biology topics, too. Please note that not all the biology topics are included because the primary focus of this roadmap is on textbooks covering biochemistry. Where a biology topic is included, it is listed as BIO in the Topic column. For a full list of all content tested on the exam, go to the What’s on the MCAT Exam? content outline.  

The abbreviations in parentheses indicate the courses in which undergraduate students at many college and universities learn about the topics and associated subtopics. The course abbreviations are:  

  • BC: first-semester biochemistry  

  • BIO: two-semester sequence of introductory biology  

  • GC: two-semester sequence of general chemistry  

  • OC: two-semester sequence of organic chemistry  

In preparing for the MCAT exam, you will be responsible for learning the topics and associated subtopics at the levels at which they are taught at many colleges and universities in the courses listed in parentheses. A small number of subtopics have course abbreviations indicated in parentheses. For example, on the first page of the table in the “Topics” column, “Amino Acids” is followed by “(BC, OC).“ This means that you’re responsible for learning the subtopics about amino acids as they are taught in first-semester biochemistry and the two-semester sequence of organic chemistry.   

If you are a publisher of an introductory textbook on biochemistry or related topic and would like to add your publication and information to this reference document, please email mcatprep@aamc.org.