vignetteee

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Sep 11, 2014
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I've been keeping on getting around 33th-44th percentile (which is around 123) on CARS for KAPLAN FL....PANIC! Haven't tried any AAMC materials yet. My exam will be on Aug 19, but seriously thinking about rescheduling to Aug 25.

I heard doing MASSIVE practice may help to improve within 2 week. (Maybe a little but I don't care as long as it's am improvement) Like doing 15 passages everyday.

But where can I find those practice materials? I bought a NS CARS book and feeling it's very different from KAPLAN CARS and it's asking details much more frequently.

And how exactly should I review the passages I did? Sometimes when I read the explanation, say from KAPLAN, I still felt my answer should be the right one.

OMG what should I do for CARS...
 

theonlytycrane

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Mar 23, 2014
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Kaplan CARS is more overarching and NS CARS is more detailed focused like you said. Do a mix of both + the AAMC CARS packs.

For each question, cover up the answer and justify why you chose that answer before you check it. Doing this on a piece of paper helps you slow down and start to identify areas to improve upon or question types that you may struggle with.
 

jazzmetal

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I've been keeping on getting around 33th-44th percentile (which is around 123) on CARS for KAPLAN FL....PANIC! Haven't tried any AAMC materials yet. My exam will be on Aug 19, but seriously thinking about rescheduling to Aug 25.

I heard doing MASSIVE practice may help to improve within 2 week. (Maybe a little but I don't care as long as it's am improvement) Like doing 15 passages everyday.

But where can I find those practice materials? I bought a NS CARS book and feeling it's very different from KAPLAN CARS and it's asking details much more frequently.

And how exactly should I review the passages I did? Sometimes when I read the explanation, say from KAPLAN, I still felt my answer should be the right one.

OMG what should I do for CARS...
Do the AAMC CARS questions asap. AAMC CARS has a certain style that many other prep companies don't imitate very well, e.g., stay away from TBR CARS. ExamKrackers CARS are pretty good. You could also look for LSAT reading passages - I think they are written by the same company that writes the AAMC CARS questions. But definitely do everything that AAMC has published, and do those right now. Good luck!
 

Chromium Surfer

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May 24, 2015
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Do the AAMC CARS questions asap. AAMC CARS has a certain style that many other prep companies don't imitate very well, e.g., stay away from TBR CARS. ExamKrackers CARS are pretty good. You could also look for LSAT reading passages - I think they are written by the same company that writes the AAMC CARS questions. But definitely do everything that AAMC has published, and do those right now. Good luck!
Where did you hear that LSAT and MCAT verbal were written by the same company?
 

NextStepTutor_2

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I've been keeping on getting around 33th-44th percentile (which is around 123) on CARS for KAPLAN FL....PANIC! Haven't tried any AAMC materials yet. My exam will be on Aug 19, but seriously thinking about rescheduling to Aug 25.

I heard doing MASSIVE practice may help to improve within 2 week. (Maybe a little but I don't care as long as it's am improvement) Like doing 15 passages everyday.

But where can I find those practice materials? I bought a NS CARS book and feeling it's very different from KAPLAN CARS and it's asking details much more frequently.

And how exactly should I review the passages I did? Sometimes when I read the explanation, say from KAPLAN, I still felt my answer should be the right one.

OMG what should I do for CARS...
If your scores are not moving it its likely because you are not changing your thought processes to be inline with the AAMC. CARS is not an intelligence test, it is a test to see if you can think and reason the way the AAMC wants you to.

At 2 weeks out, you MUST start doing AAMC CARS material immediately. Take the time to review each passage when you are done. That is check your takeaway from a given paragraph with the takeaway the test-maker recommended to see if you are properly identifying arguments, opinions, and the more testable aspects of the passage.

For the Qs, while you are answering the Qs if you cannot justify why you are choosing an answer, or if you cannot point to a part of the passage to help explain why you are choosing that answer, you should not be picking that answer. When you are done, review your missed Qs by seeing if you can explain, in your own words, why each wrong answer is wrong, including the one you picked. The check your explanations against the test-maker explanations.

Hope this helps, good luck!
 
OP
vignetteee

vignetteee

5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2014
25
11
Status
Pre-Medical
If your scores are not moving it its likely because you are not changing your thought processes to be inline with the AAMC. CARS is not an intelligence test, it is a test to see if you can think and reason the way the AAMC wants you to.

At 2 weeks out, you MUST start doing AAMC CARS material immediately. Take the time to review each passage when you are done. That is check your takeaway from a given paragraph with the takeaway the test-maker recommended to see if you are properly identifying arguments, opinions, and the more testable aspects of the passage.

For the Qs, while you are answering the Qs if you cannot justify why you are choosing an answer, or if you cannot point to a part of the passage to help explain why you are choosing that answer, you should not be picking that answer. When you are done, review your missed Qs by seeing if you can explain, in your own words, why each wrong answer is wrong, including the one you picked. The check your explanations against the test-maker explanations.

Hope this helps, good luck!

Thank you so much for this! I will start AAMC Qpack today. My problem sometimes is I feel like I can totally justify my answer. I think it's right, it fits my reasoning. But it turned out to be a completely wrong answer...

And how do you recommend doing the AAMC CARS practice now? Timed? How many passages in one sitting? Should I do 15 passage in a roll? Or just do 1 session? Also I just bought the NS CARS 108 passages. Do you think I still should do that?

Thanks again!
 
OP
vignetteee

vignetteee

5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2014
25
11
Status
Pre-Medical
Do the AAMC CARS questions asap. AAMC CARS has a certain style that many other prep companies don't imitate very well, e.g., stay away from TBR CARS. ExamKrackers CARS are pretty good. You could also look for LSAT reading passages - I think they are written by the same company that writes the AAMC CARS questions. But definitely do everything that AAMC has published, and do those right now. Good luck!
Will do! Starting AAMC Qpack today...the EK didn't come out a new book with the new MCAT right? I bought the NS 108 passages for CARS, what do you think about that book?
 
OP
vignetteee

vignetteee

5+ Year Member
Sep 11, 2014
25
11
Status
Pre-Medical
Kaplan CARS is more overarching and NS CARS is more detailed focused like you said. Do a mix of both + the AAMC CARS packs.

For each question, cover up the answer and justify why you chose that answer before you check it. Doing this on a piece of paper helps you slow down and start to identify areas to improve upon or question types that you may struggle with.
I suck at StrengthenWeaken type question. When I'm practicing, i feel i can totally justify for my answer. But that's the WRONG answer...maybe it's still my comprehension problem :'(
 

theonlytycrane

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Mar 23, 2014
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I suck at StrengthenWeaken type question. When I'm practicing, i feel i can totally justify for my answer. But that's the WRONG answer...maybe it's still my comprehension problem :'(
Hang in there. If possible, eliminate 1 or 2 of the choices that are irrelevant to the question stem. These are often included in strengthen / weaken type of questions. They might even be true statements, just irrelevant or unrelated to the proposed statement.
 

jazzmetal

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Will do! Starting AAMC Qpack today...the EK didn't come out a new book with the new MCAT right? I bought the NS 108 passages for CARS, what do you think about that book?
I haven't used any NS books, sorry! CARS has not changed with the new MCAT so an old EK book should be fine, although EK did come out with a new set for the new test. I have that EK set and I like it - I'm going through all of it first, then will turn to my TBR set (except not for CARS) for a deeper dive. I have heard that the EK 1001 questions are good, although I haven't used them myself.

For what it's worth, my strategy (which is giving me really high scores) is to read the passage once through fairly closely, then refer back to it heavily in answering the questions. I don't highlight much - maybe formal names and dates, if they're in there. One good tip I got from the TBR in-person prep course is to keep in mind that the answer to every single question will be found within the four corners of the passage. No outside knowledge is needed. That means for every answer you choose, you should be able to point to the part of the passage that justifies your answer.

Keep practicing. Go for quantity - at some point, the AAMC style should "click" and you will hopefully see a bump in scores. Sending you good vibes!