How to Review MCAT CARS and Improve Your Score — Shemmassian Academic Consulting
part 2: types of questions about cars
The car section of the mcat uses three main types of questions:
1. foundations of comprehension
Reading: How to review cars
2. in-text reasoning
3. reasoning beyond the text
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Each question type presents its own challenges, but you can still take comfort in one fact that is always true: no matter how difficult a question is, the correct answer will always be supported by the text within the passage! Now, let’s look at the three types in a little more detail.
Questions within the Foundations of Understanding category will assess whether you have a foundational understanding of the meaning of the passage. this means that mcat will ask you detailed questions. These types of questions often have question stems such as “according to the passage” or “all of the following are true except…”.
The following question type in the Foundations of Comprehension category will test you on the function of a part of the passage. for example, the question might be “why did the author include ____?” These types of questions test whether you can follow the logic of the passage.
The third and final question type in this category asks for the main idea of the passage. Simply put, these questions test whether you understand the purpose of the passage as a whole.
reasoning within the text
The “reasoning within the text” questions ask you to synthesize various parts of the text to develop a reasonable conclusion. These questions primarily include inference questions and use words or phrases such as “implies,” “suggests,” and “most likely true.”
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Implied questions are a common place we see students tripping over in the car section of mcat. the writers of the proof want you to make an inference that makes sense but is not correct or supported by the passage. beware of these kinds of incorrect answer choices!
reasoning beyond the text
Finally, the questions in the “reasoning beyond the text” category require you to take information from the passage and extrapolate it to a larger meaning or apply the information to a different context. these questions either provide new information and ask what the author would say about it given the passage or provide different response options and ask which one most closely matches the information in the passage. A common “reasoning beyond the text” question gives four options and asks which would most likely strengthen or weaken the author’s main argument.
other types of questions about cars
There are two other common types of questions that should be given special consideration. the first are “negative” questions that include no or less. (note: this is where reading too fast can cause you to lose easy points on the test). the “negative” and choose an incorrect answer. this can happen even if you got the passage right, and there’s nothing more frustrating than leaving points on the table. be aware of these types of questions and eliminate all true answers before selecting the “correct” one.
The second type of question to pay special attention to is the Roman numeral question. In these questions, you will be given three options (i, ii and iii), and then answer options (a-d) will give you different combinations of the numbers, such as “i and iii” or “ii only”. these questions are more difficult because you might know that option i is correct and option ii is incorrect. however, if you are unsure about option iii, the question may be incorrect.
The first strategy for handling these questions is to start with the number (i, ii or iii) you are most sure of and eliminate answer choices that do not include that number. another strategy is to check if two options contradict each other and eliminate the answer options that include the contradictory options. finally, it’s important to note that all three roman numerals could be correct, so don’t rule out “i, ii, and iii” as an option if it comes up!
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