The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) section of the MCAT tests your ability to comprehend social science and humanities journal article excerpts. It tests you on your understanding of the individual components of the text, relats how these components fit together into a cohesive whole, and extends these components to new information introduced in the questions and vice versa. CARS does not require any outside knowledge to complete and can therefore be challenging to students who are accustomed to memorizing large volumes of content in preparation for an exam.
CARS scorers in the 99th percentile will break down the mechanics of how language is structured, logic is implied, and arguments are built. You will be equipped with diagramming tools to map out a CARS passage into its constituent parts and then use your understanding of how passage-and-question sets are wired to work out examples from start to finish. This course will drill home the idea that the authors of CARS passages are real people who are writing to make a point to a real (typically specialized) audience; therefore, they can be understood sensibly and intuitively when viewed in the right light.
Though no outside knowledge is required for the CARS section, outside reading of social science and humanities texts is encouraged. This outside reading needs to be approached with an active-reader mentality. This is not the time to utilize speed-reading techniques. Read the supplemental texts carefully and deliberately so that you understand who the author is and what they are trying to communicate. When you get to actual CARS passages, your brain will be primed for how to read specialized literature written in a non-hard-science field, which will, in turn, allow you to get to the question sets more quickly.