CJhooper123

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Apr 2, 2016
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Hello everyone....

Looking for some advice regarding the CARS section. My test is in ~2 weeks (September 9th) and I am terrible at CARS. On all of my practice exams I have scored either a 123 or 124 (Kaplan, TPR, NS) for the CARS section. I am currently doing 5 NS CARS passages a day from the 108 text book and getting destroyed.... Like 55% correct destroyed.

I realize I don't have a lot of time here, but the CARS section is literally the only thing hold my score back.

What can I do over the next 2 weeks that will help? Also looking for overall strategies. Thanks.
 

theonlytycrane

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Mar 23, 2014
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Have you done the q-packs? I would do those to practice and time each passage or sets of passages.

The unscored and scored CARS will be a gauge of where you're at. The 108 book is good practice but I wouldn't read into those scores as much.
 
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CJhooper123

CJhooper123

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Apr 2, 2016
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Have you done the q-packs? I would do those to practice and time each passage or sets of passages.

The unscored and scored CARS will be a gauge of where you're at. The 108 book is good practice but I wouldn't read into those scores as much.

Thanks for the response. I finished the Q-packs a few weeks ago with ~66-70%. I think I am going to run through them a second time. Haven't taken the AAMC practice tests yet either.

Also, as far as actually approaching these passages....

I read through the passage while simultaneously looking for the author's attitudes (keywords... etc.). I try to break down each paragraph individually and tie them together in the end. Currently reading the passage between 3:40 and 4:50 (for difficult passages to comprehend).

Does this seem reasonable? I often find myself forgetting small details early in the passage.
 

theonlytycrane

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Mar 23, 2014
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Thanks for the response. I finished the Q-packs a few weeks ago with ~66-70%. I think I am going to run through them a second time. Haven't taken the AAMC practice tests yet either.

Also, as far as actually approaching these passages....

I read through the passage while simultaneously looking for the author's attitudes (keywords... etc.). I try to break down each paragraph individually and tie them together in the end. Currently reading the passage between 3:40 and 4:50 (for difficult passages to comprehend).

Does this seem reasonable? I often find myself forgetting small details early in the passage.
Don't try to remember too many details, but highlight key terms or names you can refer back to if they come up in a question. Actively think while you're reading like "Oh I can imagine they would ask about this guy's opinion". Highlight his name and refer back to that part of the passage if asked about it.

Try to get passage reading times down to 4 min max and focus on picking answer choices that are most supported by the passage. Be wary of strong words like 'always' or 'never'. Verbal is hard and I'm not that great TBH, but I hope this helps!
 
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CJhooper123

CJhooper123

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Don't try to remember too many details, but highlight key terms or names you can refer back to if they come up in a question. Actively think while you're reading like "Oh I can imagine they would ask about this guy's opinion". Highlight his name and refer back to that part of the passage if asked about it.

Try to get passage reading times down to 4 min max and focus on picking answer choices that are most supported by the passage. Be wary of strong words like 'always' or 'never'. Verbal is hard and I'm not that great TBH, but I hope this helps!
Much appreciation. I will definitely try implementing some new techniques over the next couple of weeks.
 
Aug 3, 2016
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Some of my best passages have come from getting through the reading quickly by skimming all the examples and extraneous details. Get the jist and then head to the questions and go back to the relevant sections. This gives you the most time on the questions.

How are you reviewing all of your passages? Are you identifying some types of questions and common approaches that may be leading you away from correct answers?
 
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CJhooper123

CJhooper123

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Apr 2, 2016
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Some of my best passages have come from getting through the reading quickly by skimming all the examples and extraneous details. Get the jist and then head to the questions and go back to the relevant sections. This gives you the most time on the questions.

How are you reviewing all of your passages? Are you identifying some types of questions and common approaches that may be leading you away from correct answers?

I often find myself returning the passage to answer questions. Very rarely do I answer based on instinct (which is probably why I do so bad lol).
 

premedkid1994

2+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2015
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Hello everyone....

Looking for some advice regarding the CARS section. My test is in ~2 weeks (September 9th) and I am terrible at CARS. On all of my practice exams I have scored either a 123 or 124 (Kaplan, TPR, NS) for the CARS section. I am currently doing 5 NS CARS passages a day from the 108 text book and getting destroyed.... Like 55% correct destroyed.

I realize I don't have a lot of time here, but the CARS section is literally the only thing hold my score back.

What can I do over the next 2 weeks that will help? Also looking for overall strategies. Thanks.
If you are really scoring 70% right on CARS qpacks, I wouldn't expect you to be getting 123/124 on Nexstep. NS 3 CARS is hard, but the other ones are easier than the qpacks and very inflated. Thats why I stopped doing them.

Maybe you are decent at CARS but are just pressured by time during that section. Try to read something dense for an hour or two every day for two weeks and work on ONLY AAMC material for CARS.

Good luck. :)
 
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CJhooper123

CJhooper123

2+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2016
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Medical Student
If you are really scoring 70% right on CARS qpacks, I wouldn't expect you to be getting 123/124 on Nexstep. NS 3 CARS is hard, but the other ones are easier than the qpacks and very inflated. Thats why I stopped doing them.

Maybe you are decent at CARS but are just pressured by time during that section. Try to read something dense for an hour or two every day for two weeks and work on ONLY AAMC material for CARS.

Good luck. :)
Thank you.
It's weird that I score so poorly on the practice tests... I think I am going to redo the AAMC material. I am just getting worse and worse with the NS passages from the 108 text and its further discouraging me.