CJhooper123

2+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2016
688
935
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone... Looking for some advice here.

Just took the AAMC scored and quit midway through CARS due to frustration. Felt like I wasn't concentrating and kept losing focus. I hit severe burnout 2 weeks ago. Before this, never had any issues like this. All in all, I have been studying nonstop x 4 months while working 40 hours per week. I have taken 11 practice tests in all.

(Chronologically)
Kaplan FL1 488 (121, 123, 122, 122)
Kaplan FL2 499 (126, 121, 127, 125)
Princeton 1 499 (123, 124, 126, 126)
Princeton 2 494 (122, 122, 126, 124)
Princeton 3 496 (123, 122, 125, 126)
EK FL4 61% total
Princeton 4 496 (123, 124, 124, 125)
Kaplan FL3 500 (124, 123, 127, 126)
NS 1 504 (127, 123, 127, 127)
NS 2 503 (127, 124, 126, 126)
AAMC unscored 71% total, 73%, 66%, 68%, 75%

Overall this was a very difficult decision for me. I originally wanted a 510+, and I don't think I was going to hit it. On top of it... I have a very low undergrad GPA (3.0) so I can't afford to mess this up. Because I am not applying this cycle, I felt that it would make sense to hold off... even though I am mentally dead.


It is pretty evident that CARS is a severe weak spot for me. I really want to improve this. Has anyone done the Jack Westin CARS program...? If not, does anyone else recommend methods that will allow CARS improvement over these next 4 months.

Thanks.
 

theonlytycrane

5+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2014
1,956
1,687
Status
Medical Student
Hang in there... the burnout is real and taking some time to refresh can be really helpful. I wouldn't recommend dropping the money for the CARS course because it's super expensive and it's just based on individual practice at the end of the day. He does a free session though so you can always check that out if you're interested.

4 months is enough time to improve CARS if you practice daily and time yourself. I would shoot for 4-5 timed passages daily with review of each question. I liked the NS 108 CARS book. The passages were tough but I got used to reading more dense stuff and directly answering questions focusing on sticking to the details of the passage. I've heard EK 101 CARS is good too. If you get through those two books in ~ 2 months and then jump back into practice tests for CARS practice I think you'll see an improvement.

Consistency and timed practice is key :)

Also, when reviewing each verbal passage I used a piece of scratch paper. On the paper I would write down the question #'s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... etc. Then I would go through and re-read each question, explain to myself why I chose my answer, check my answer, and then write down on the paper how I got to the correct answer or why I missed the question. I would write short statements like "paragraph 2, sentence purpose" or "last paragraph, detail retrieval". For a roman numeral question I would write I/II/III and justify each option on my scratch paper as above. This helped me to slow down during verbal review and see my mistakes. It also made me feel better if I missed something but still felt that I approached the question in a good way. I found that reviewing verbal by only reading over the questions and answers would leave me frustrated and I would speed through it without learning much from what I missed.
 
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CJhooper123

CJhooper123

2+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2016
688
935
Status
Medical Student
Hang in there... the burnout is real and taking some time to refresh can be really helpful. I wouldn't recommend dropping the money for the CARS course because it's super expensive and it's just based on individual practice at the end of the day. He does a free session though so you can always check that out if you're interested.

4 months is enough time to improve CARS if you practice daily and time yourself. I would shoot for 4-5 timed passages daily with review of each question. I liked the NS 108 CARS book. The passages were tough but I got used to reading more dense stuff and directly answering questions focusing on sticking to the details of the passage. I've heard EK 101 CARS is good too. If you get through those two books in ~ 2 months and then jump back into practice tests for CARS practice I think you'll see an improvement.

Consistency and timed practice is key :)

Also, when reviewing each verbal passage I used a piece of scratch paper. On the paper I would write down the question #'s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... etc. Then I would go through and re-read each question, explain to myself why I chose my answer, check my answer, and then write down on the paper how I got to the correct answer or why I missed the question. I would write short statements like "paragraph 2, sentence purpose" or "last paragraph, detail retrieval". For a roman numeral question I would write I/II/III and justify each option on my scratch paper as above. This helped me to slow down during verbal review and see my mistakes. It also made me feel better if I missed something but still felt that I approached the question in a good way. I found that reviewing verbal by only reading over the questions and answers would leave me frustrated and I would speed through it without learning much from what I missed.

Appreciate the response... very insightful. Definitely going to take 2 weeks to decompress, recharge, and attack this thing.

I will definitely try out the Jack Westin trial course prior to going that route. Unfortunately I have already torched half of the 108 NS book and gone through AAMC Q-packs twice. Clearly I am not preparing correctly... I need to change my CARS strategy. Doing practice question after practice question is important, but doing them using the same tactics and expecting different results in insanity. I will definitely check out the EK 101.

Another concern I have is my science content. I am interested in trying out one of the SDN's "4 or 3 month study plans". Are there any particular study plans on here that students have had a lot of success with? Especially considering 40 hour work weeks.

Thanks again.
 
Aug 26, 2017
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Pre-Medical
Hey guys i am prepared tro take the mcat but dont have any date available to take it!!! i want to take it on the 9th of september 2017 but i cant cause there are no seats available. Please let me know if anything opens up!!!