When people say that the mcat sections are becoming more passage-reasoning based what do they mean?


Membership Revoked
Account on Hold
Aug 4, 2013
Especially the bio section.

My general impressions of the mcat bio section (i've taken all the aamc practice tests) is that a majority of the questions can be answered based off of bio and scientific experimentation knowledge, and skimming the passage and maybe checking back once or twice for a few odd details in the passage (unless it's an experiment) to answer the other questions. Even AAMCS 11, which is the closest thing to the real deal from what i've heard was that way for me.

When people say that the mcat sections (especially) are becoming more passage-reasoning based what do they mean and has the structure/way mcat passages are changed significantly since AAMCs 11? Assuming I didn't have the background bio and experimentation knowledge would I be able to reason through a large majority of the answer choices based solely off info in the passage? (i've encountered a few funky passages like that but ultimately it still came down to the bio I know, alongside clever reasoning to eliminate bad choices + guessing).


5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2012
Passage-reasoning probably refers to a long passage and questions that require an understanding of the passage. This would be in contrast to a section with more diagrams and shorter passages that don't require as much reading.

I took an official MCAT at Prometric in September and it seemed pretty normal. The best defense I've come up with against experiment questions is to become familiar with common experiments ahead of time. I used Berkeley Review (which has a lot of experiments in it) and got a 12 on the Biological Science section. Other people have recommended TPR's Biology, but I haven't used that yet.

Keep in mind that some passages and questions might be experimental and NOT scored. AAMC may or may not be tempted to toss in a 2015 biochemistry passage that overlaps current material to test it in some way, without scoring us on it.