Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section - Skill 2: Reasoning Within the Text

New section

New section

Integrating Distant Components of the Text

Many questions that test Reasoning Within the Text skills require you to integrate distant components of the text to infer meaning or intent. You may be asked to determine an author's message, purpose, position, or point of view. This may also extend to inferring their beliefs, noticing their assumptions, and detecting bias. When it is not directly stated in any single sentence, you may be asked to infer what the author’s main thesis might be. You may be asked to consider whether each section of text contributes to a sustained train of thought, as opposed to presenting an isolated detail or digressing from the central theme. You may be asked about paradoxes, contradictions, or inconsistencies that can be detected across different parts of the passage. You will also need to be able to recognize when an author presents different points of view within the passage.

To infer the author’s beliefs, attitudes, or bias, look for clues in the tone of the passage, in the author’s use of language or imagery, and in the author’s choice of sources. To determine the author’s position, look for their expressed point of view. Carefully consider the extent to which the author uses summaries or paraphrases to introduce others’ points of view. It’s very important to attend to perspective: Does the author present their own perspective, or do they use verbatim quotations or restatements from the perspective of other sources? You may be asked to identify points of view, other than the author’s, presented indirectly through the author’s summaries or paraphrases.

New section

AAMC Fee Assistance Program

The AAMC Fee Assistance Program assists those who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the MCAT exam or apply to medical schools that use the AMCAS. The benefits include discounted fees, free MCAT Official Prep products, and more.

Learn more
Compare MCAT Official Prep Products

Easily decide which MCAT Official Prep products fit your study needs with this chart.

View comparison chart
AAMC MCAT Official Prep Videos

The AAMC has launched two new YouTube videos on AAMC MCAT Official Prep Resources.

Learn More
Are You a Prehealth Advisor?

Learn about available resources to help you as you advise your students.

View Resources
Bulk Orders

The AAMC offers bulk order purchasing for quantities of 10 or more MCAT Official Prep products.

Learn More