Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section is one of four sections that will appear in the 2015 version of the MCAT. Also known as “CARS”, this section will require you to be prepared to deal with reading complex passages in a limited amount of time. The studying methods you will need to employ for CARS are far different than those you will use for other sections of the MCAT.

Overview of the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section will likely look similar to other verbal reasoning tests you have taken throughout your collegiate career. The section is comprised of passages and questions that will test your comprehension skills. More specifically, this section will measure the reasoning and analysis skills that will be paramount to succeeding in medical school.

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section will test your comprehension, analysis and reasoning skills by getting you to analyze specific information provided in passages. You will also include content from ethics, philosophy, population health, social science, studies of diverse culture and humanities disciplines, as well as give all the information required to answer the questions in the passages and questions themselves.

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section of the MCAT consists of approximately 53 questions – all of which are passage-based. Each passage is generally between 500-600 words in length. Students will have 90 minutes to complete the section.

Breakdown of the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section

The following is an estimate of how many questions you can expect to be asked about a discipline, foundational concept, or scientific inquiry and reasoning skill Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section:

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skill

  • 30% Foundations of comprehension
  • 30% Reasoning within the text
  • 40% Reasoning beyond the text

Passage Content

  • 50% Humanities
  • 50% Social Sciences

These figures should be used as only a guide and may vary from test to test. Percentages are rounded to the nearest 5%.

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