Renal System Part 1

Renal System Part 1

At the center of the renal system are the kidneys: kidneys are complex organs to understand, which is why the renal system is challenging for students who haven’t taken physiology yet. The MCAT won’t test the intricate anatomy of kidneys (that’s for med school!), but the test does cover the main functions of the kidney, the basic structure of the nephron, and how the renal system is involved with other body systems. Tune in to learn more about the renal system!

At a glance


Essential skills

  • Predict blood ion levels and blood pressure changes given different situations with the nephron

  • Associate nephron structure and functionality with urine concentration and composition


Knowledge Fundamentals

  • The main functions of the kidney

  • Basic kidney and nephron anatomy

  • Hormones that act on the kidney

  • Bladder anatomy and functionality


On the MCAT

  • The renal/excretory system includes both the kidneys and the bladder but the kidneys are much more often tested in terms of anatomy and functionality

  • The renal system has many overlaps with the endocrine and circulatory systems. Know your hormones!


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