The PCAT Biology Sub-test

The PCAT consists of seven sub tests, of which the biology is one. It appears as the third section from the beginning. It is therefore, one of the most important subjects you need to study before appearing for the exam. The sub test measures students’ basic principles, knowledge of the subject and concepts. There are a number of subjects that are covered in the biology section that demand importance like general biology, human anatomy, physiology, microbiology and many others. There will be 48 multiple choice questions that will appear in the biology sub test, which should be completed in 30 minutes. The number of questions from each section is,
General Biology – 60%, that means, around 24 or 28.
Microbiology – 20% that means, around 8 or 9.
Human anatomy and physiology – 20%, that means 8-9.

The Biology sub test requires the candidates to have both knowledge and skills pertaining to the subjects discussed above. Some questions will be of the kind filling the blanks while some require the candidate to provide the scientific reasoning. The sub test also involves the candidates to evaluate graphs, tables, etc. and provide description of scientific and laboratory phenomena. All the topics will cover undergraduate level biology knowledge. Most of the questions that appear on the exam have detailed data that need analysis and thorough reading to understand and answer questions correctly. One cannot use calculators in this section of the PCAT.

PCAT Biology Practice Questions

For every test and every part of a test, practice is essential. To score high on the PCAT too, one needs exhaustive practice. It not only makes you confident enough to fare well but also makes you familiar with the kind of questions that appear frequently on the exam. It is unlikely but not entirely impossible that questions repeat themselves on the test. Who knows, you could get lucky with a question or two if you have extensive practice.

1. Which of the following organelles helps green plants synthesize organic compounds like starch in the presence of sunlight?
a. Mitochondria
b. Chloroplast
c. Ribosomes
d. Golgi body
2. Which of the following is described as the “power house of the cell?”
a. Endoplasmic reticulum
b. Ribosomes
c. Mitochondria
d. Vacuoles
3. What is another name for the ability of an organism to respond to stimuli that resemble but are not identical to the original conditioned stimulus?
A: stimulus specification
B: response generalization
C: response specification
D: stimulus generalization
4. Which of the following hormones is secreted by the pineal gland?
A: gastrin
B: aldosterone
C: parathyroid hormone
D: melatonin
5. What is the name for the valves located in between the atria and ventricles on either side of the human heart?
A: atrioventricular valves
B: semilunar valves
C: tricuspid valves
D: mitral valves


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