The first part of this section concerns the biosynthetic pathways by which lipids, amino acids, and nucleotides are formed. The second concerns the intersection of biochemical pathways at various key junctions and physiological integration.
Regarding the biosynthesis of macromolecular precursors, the detailed, difficult pathways, such as synthesis of purines or the more complicated amino acid syntheses, do not need to be memorized for the MCAT. You do need to give yourself a sense of this material, though, because there are aspects at the basic level that can make it to the exam. Our suggestion is to aim for one step beyond the Bio 101 level but don't sacrifice too much study time. Get a good feel for this material, but don't spend a month memorizing all of those pathways at the expense of studying the immune system.
The second part of this section deals with the key junctions, endocrine control and the metabolic profile of various tissues. This second part definitely is at the core biochemistry you need to master for the MCAT, so you need a somewhat different disposition towards the second part of this section than the first. Mastery of the second part is one of the keys to a superior MCAT. It's that important.
Conceptual Vocabulary for Integration of Metabolism