Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills: Passage Types

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills: Passage Types

The passages selected for the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section of the new MCAT exam are taken from publications that college students are likely to read or have read. This includes book, journals and various magazines. Passages are broken down in to two categories: Humanities and Social Sciences.

Passages pertaining to social sciences are generally more factual in tone, while humanities passages are more conversational or opinionated in tone. This should help you easily identify what type of passage it is you are being asked to parse.

MCAT Passage Types: Humanities

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the following is a list of disciplines in which the humanities passages are drawn from:

  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Dance
  • Ethics
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Popular Culture
  • Religion
  • Theater
  • Studies of Diverse Cultures

MCAT Passage Types: Social Sciences

Via the AAMC, this is a breakdown of the disciplines in which social science passages are drawn from:

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Geography
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Political Science
  • Population Health
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Studies of Diverse Cultures

Depending on your school, “Studies of Diverse Cultures” could be in either section.

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