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CARS Practice Passages?

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FauxBlue

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Hi

I am using the TPR Hyperlearning 2011 and EK 101 (first edition) books for practice passages. Are these still good resources to be using for the new MCAT?

What are other CARS resources that are highly recommended and are reputable? (i.e. Khan Academy?)
 

NecrotizingFasciitis

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Just from reading around on here, I've heard the EK 101 is a great source despite being formatted for the old MCAT. Much more difficult IMO than the AAMC CARS sections I've been more recently working through.

I took the AAMC FL at the beginning of my studying to assess where I'm at and scored 68% on CARS. After working through the EK CARS book and a handful of the passages from EK 101 I've been averaging 85-95% on the AAMC passages you can buy (critical analysis and reading skills volumes 1 & 2.)

So I think it helps a lot. But I've also adopted their approach to the CARS section that I think has helped me a lot with approaching sections, time management, and stress.
 
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FauxBlue

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Just from reading around on here, I've heard the EK 101 is a great source despite being formatted for the old MCAT. Much more difficult IMO than the AAMC CARS sections I've been more recently working through.

I took the AAMC FL at the beginning of my studying to assess where I'm at and scored 68% on CARS. After working through the EK CARS book and a handful of the passages from EK 101 I've been averaging 85-95% on the AAMC passages you can buy (critical analysis and reading skills volumes 1 & 2.)

So I think it helps a lot. But I've also adapted their approach to the CARS section that I think has helped me a lot with approaching sections, time management, and stress.

Thanks for the response! How do you usually review your passages?

I see this quite often that people say practice makes perfect, but I think just piling through passages isn't the smartest approach. I'm curious how you tackled your practice.
 

NecrotizingFasciitis

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I agree, I don't think going through the material just for the sake of being able to say you practiced "x amount of passages" is helpful. I feel like what really helps me is reading why I get answers wrong. Doing this thoroughly will help you pickup on nuances of the CARS section of the MCAT that are tricky.

One example that almost ALWAYS gets me is the question, "Which of the following is LEAST supported by the author in the passage?" and they will list two "meh" answers, one good answer and one answer with no supporting information in the passage. When I first started out, I was always drawn to that third option because, in my mind, if the author doesn't talk about it at all then it has to be the least supported answer. BUT, the MCAT is tricky and says that this is incorrect because in order to be LEAST supported, it has to be at least mentioned in the passage somwehere.

So getting used to what kind of answers the MCAT likes and when/where the questions may be tricky will help you a lot IMO. Repetition will help with this, but it's like you said, quality over quantity.
 
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FauxBlue

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Bump!

In need of more updated CARS resources. I'm worried the old verbal reasoning books I have are not representative of the new CARS section. Where can I find more passages to practice with (in addition to Khan Academy as already recommended)?
 

Doremonster

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You will be fine, CARS hasn't change that significantly. Just the passage type and length but TPR Hyperleaning and EK101 are stil extremly relevant to the new exam. Obviously if you can get the AAMC material go for it. The only thing is that avoid TBR verbal, passages and question type do not reflect the old exam. Not sure if they updated their books though. Reading comprehension is reading comprehension, if you can understand difficult passages in a stressful environment you will be fine. Any test prep company will help but only use TBR as a last resort.
 

FauxBlue

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You will be fine, CARS hasn't change that significantly. Just the passage type and length but TPR Hyperleaning and EK101 are stil extremly relevant to the new exam. Obviously if you can get the AAMC material go for it. The only thing is that avoid TBR verbal, passages and question type do not reflect the old exam. Not sure if they updated their books though. Reading comprehension is reading comprehension, if you can understand difficult passages in a stressful environment you will be fine. Any test prep company will help but only use TBR as a last resort.

Thanks! Good to know that I should avoid TBR. Do you know of any other materials in addition to AAMC, TPRH, and EK101??

I haven't noticed any other suggestions that are popular with the SDN community or are relatively credible.
 

Doremonster

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Thanks! Good to know that I should avoid TBR. Do you know of any other materials in addition to AAMC, TPRH, and EK101??

I haven't noticed any other suggestions that are popular with the SDN community or are relatively credible.

After the three sources mentioned earlier everything else is just secondary. Once you exhaust those first three you really don't have many options afterwards. The next best bet would probably be Nextstep and testing solutions. Nextstep is a hit or miss but decent as a backup and testing solutions has very difficult passages. These two are probably your best bet for "second tier" resources along with Khan passages.
 

Aspiring-Doctor

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I was that student that never knew why I was failing the CARS section when I would always walk out of the test feeling like I aced that section. I was that student that always thought CARS is something you cannot study for. I was also that student that took the test twice and got a 123 both times. The only thing I did differently when taking the test the third time around was that I practiced with more stringent time conditions and with many passages. I also took the passages and pasted them onto a microsoft doc and zoomed out to 120% and practice with this zoomed setting so that I can stimulate the real mcat testing situation. I did it!!! I finally broke the 123 barrier and got a 127. The reason why I am saying this is I was extremely depressed that my score was 123 for the longest time and taking the test a third time was a lot of pressure, but I still managed to improve so don't lose hope! A bit about me…I took the mcat at the end of sophomore year summer after 3 months of studying and got a 26. I took the new version of the mcat having studied for an additional 3 more months and got a 502 (26 again). The third time I took the test I got a 506 (29) and now I'm getting ready to apply! So don't lose hope or get overwhelmed by the # of posts with 510+ because statistics show that there is only 33% of the population getting that score and much lower percentages for scores that are 520+. Only people who do well post so don't let that bother you. Just keep practicing! Good luck future physicians!!! :)
 
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FauxBlue

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I was that student that never knew why I was failing the CARS section when I would always walk out of the test feeling like I aced that section. I was that student that always thought CARS is something you cannot study for. I was also that student that took the test twice and got a 123 both times. The only thing I did differently when taking the test the third time around was that I practiced with more stringent time conditions and with many passages. I also took the passages and pasted them onto a microsoft doc and zoomed out to 120% and practice with this zoomed setting so that I can stimulate the real mcat testing situation. I did it!!! I finally broke the 123 barrier and got a 127. The reason why I am saying this is I was extremely depressed that my score was 123 for the longest time and taking the test a third time was a lot of pressure, but I still managed to improve so don't lose hope! A bit about me…I took the mcat at the end of sophomore year summer after 3 months of studying and got a 26. I took the new version of the mcat having studied for an additional 3 more months and got a 502 (26 again). The third time I took the test I got a 506 (29) and now I'm getting ready to apply! So don't lose hope or get overwhelmed by the # of posts with 510+ because statistics show that there is only 33% of the population getting that score and much lower percentages for scores that are 520+. Only people who do well post so don't let that bother you. Just keep practicing! Good luck future physicians!!! :)


Thank you for the heart-felt response! I wish you the best of luck as well! :)
 

DameJulie

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Is NS 108 a good prep for CARS?

Also, Are the books that are dedicated to CARS are the TPR Hyperlearning book, EK 101, NS 108, and KA passages? Let me know if I missed something.

BUT, the MCAT is tricky and says that this is incorrect because in order to be LEAST supported, it has to be at least mentioned in the passage somwehere.
That's odd, but I see how it makes sense. Is this advice from your prep book, or AAMC FLs?
 
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