Now we get to that CARS question
type we've been building up to,
which is where questions get
to introduce outside context,
that just adds another
ripple to the CARS section.
First, we'll take ideas and concepts
from a passage and apply them
for the prompting of the question
stem to a theoretical scenario.
To do so, we'll need to engage
in some lateral thinking
between two related but
nonetheless, different processes.
We'll need to take what
the question states
as kind of a set of givens
that we have in the passage.
And we'll need to draw those
to different conclusions
based on how we are prompted
to do so by the questions then.
Lastly, I think it's worth just pausing
and examining the definition for what
constitutes a correct answer for the CARS
section as defined by the test writers.
Reasoning beyond the text CARS questions
require you to be mentally flexible.
You will be combining
or comparing new ideas,
and asked to change your grasp of
the central thrust of a passage
that you've been working
so hard to understand.
Pay especially close attention
to the question stem
for reasoning beyond
the text questions.
In the context of the
reasoning beyond the text
question stems can be thought of
as an extension of
the passage itself,
though not for other
questions within the same set.
Think of perhaps the protagonist
from your favorite book.
Imagine if that protagonist
were dropped into
the fantasy world of
Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.
Your understanding of the
character would be necessary
to predict his or her
reaction to this new scenario.
With these question types, this is like
placing the passage you've just read
your favorite protagonist into this new
world that the question stem introduces.
Combining passage information
with a fresh context creates
a reality distinct from either
the source or the destination.
Think of the passage as a set of givens,
axioms to use the language of geometry.
The question stem asks you to combine
these givens to come to a conclusion.
To take that protagonist in
your favorite book example,
let's say that he or she likes to eat
a lot of food as a distinctive laugh,
and struggles to remember
These would be the givens.
The question stem might then place the
following things in front of your friend,
Firstly, a hamburger.
Secondly, a joke book.
And thirdly, a schedule of
when buses arrive and depart.
In roughly increasing
order of difficulty,
you should be able to
infer how the combination
of your character would
adapt to the circumstances.
So it goes when
adapting passage givens
to the prompt introduced
in the question stem.
But what makes a CARS answer
selection correct anyway
for reasoning beyond the text
questions or for any question?
I think it's worth quoting here
from the official content guide
that "The correct answer is the one
option that presents the most likely
and most reasonable outcome based only on
the information provided in the passage,
and the question will go on to state
also the information especially
for reasoning beyond the text
questions providing the answer choices."
This succinctly summarizes
that often an MCAT answer
will be the best of
the options presented,
and not the perfect solution to the
problem posed by the question stem.