MCAT Biology Quiz

Once you’re familiar with what biology will be tested on the MCAT, try out this MCAT Biology quiz!

Question 1
Which of the following is the correct sequence of the development of a mature sperm cell?
A. Spermatid → spermatocyte → spermatogonium → 2° spermatocyte → spermatozoan
B. Spermatogonium → 1° spermatocyte → 2° spermatocyte → spermatid → spermatozoan
C. Spermatozoan → 1° spermatocyte → 2° spermatocyte → spermatogonium → spermatid
D. Spermatogonium → 1° spermatocyte → 2° spermatocyte → spermatozoan → spermatid

B: Diploid cells called spermatogonia differentiate into primary spermatocytes, which undergo the first meiotic divi-sion to yield two haploid secondary spermatocytes. These undergo a second meiotic division to become immature spermatids. The spermatids then undergo a series of changes leading to the production of mature sperm, or spermatozoa.

Question 2
Which of the following is likely to be found in maternal blood during pregnancy?
A. Immunoglobulins produced by the fetus
B. Fetal hemoglobin released from fetal red blood cells
C. Progesterone produced by placental cells
D. Carbon dioxide exhaled from fetal lungs

C: During pregnancy, the placenta produces estrogen and progesterone to maintain the endometrium. These hormones are necessary for proper gestation of the fetus and should be measurable in maternal blood because they act on maternal organs. Prior to birth, the fetus is immunologically naïve and does not yet produce immunoglobulins, eliminating choice (A). It is worth noting, though, that maternal immunoglobulins cross the placenta to enter fetal blood. Fetal hemoglobin is a large protein and, thus, cannot easily cross the placenta. Further, red blood cells are much too large to cross the barrier themselves, eliminating choice (B). Carbon dioxide from fetal metabolism can be found in maternal blood, but the lungs are nonfunctional prior to birth as the fetus is suspended in amniotic fluid. Carbon dioxide is transferred across the placenta directly from the fetal bloodstream, eliminating choice (D).

Question 3
Which of the following statements concerning growth hormone is NOT true?
A. Overproduction of growth hormone in adults results in acromegaly.
B. It promotes growth of bone and muscle.
C. It is produced by the hypothalamus but secreted by the pituitary.
D. A childhood deficiency in growth hormone results in dwarfism.

C: Growth hormone is a direct hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary. Among its many functions, GH promotes growth in bone and muscle, eliminating choice (B). An overproduction of growth hormone in children results in gigantism, whereas in adults it results in acromegaly (enlargement of the small bones in the extremities and of certain facial bones, such as the jaw), eliminating choice (A). On the other hand, a childhood deficiency of growth hormone results in dwarfism, eliminating choice (D). GH is synthesized and secreted in the anterior pituitary; choice (C) de-scribes antidiuretic hormone and oxytocin, not GH.

Question 4
At the venous end of a capillary bed, the osmotic pressure:
A. is greater than the hydrostatic pressure.
B. results in a net outflow of fluid.
C. is significantly higher than the osmotic pressure at the arterial end.
D. causes proteins to enter the interstitium.

A: The exchange of fluid is greatly influenced by the relative balance between the hydrostatic and osmotic pressures of blood and tissues. The osmotic (oncotic) pressure remains relatively constant; however, the hydrostatic pressure at the arterial end is greater than the hydrostatic pressure at the venous end. As a result, fluid moves out of the capillaries at the arterial end and back in at the venous end. Fluid is reabsorbed at the venous end because the osmotic pressure exceeds the hydrostatic pressure. Proteins should not cross the capillary wall under normal circumstances.

Question 5
Starch is hydrolyzed into maltose by enzymes from the:

I. salivary glands.
II. brush border.
III. pancreas.
A. I only
B. I and III only
C. II and III only
D. I, II, and III

B: Starch is hydrolyzed to maltose by two enzymes: salivary amylase (secreted by the salivary glands) in the mouth and pancreatic amylase (secreted by the pancreas) in the duodenum. Brush-border disaccharidases can further break down maltose, but do not break down starch.