Jul 9, 2019
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My exam is in 20 days and I just don't know what to do anymore. I took the aamc fl2 yesterday and scored pretty bad. I literally bombed CARS. My scores C/P 129, CARS 121, B/B 127, P/S 126 which ended up 503 and my goal is +510. My previous scores:

TPR FL1 493
BluePrint fl1 504 (taken 11/15) 128/124/126/126
AAMC FL1 (taken in 12/11) 504 127/125/125/127

I think I can score better in P/S but CARS is just bs. I haven't been practicing CARS lately cus I've been focusing on the other sections but I don't know how much I can improve on CARS. I feel like it's a hit or miss, I either get a passage that I can understand or I don't. I recently bought the MCAT diagnostic tool for CARS but I haven't had the chance to finish it.

Do you guys think I should take my exam and see how well I do? and if I didn't do well I can always retake it? Also my GPA from undergrad is 3.8 for both science and cumulative so I was thinking in case I get a similar MCAT score on the real thing, my GPA can compensate for the low MCAT score. What do you guys think? I'm interested in MD schools btw


EDIT: I took aamc fl1 in 12/11+ added bp score
 
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Feb 5, 2020
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Keep taking AAMC FL’s, and see how you do on them. For CARS, make sure to thoroughly review your mistakes (foundation, reasoning within, or beyond?) and try to come up with your own AAMC style questions. CARS is all about reading the testmaker’s mind, and you really have to understand AAMC rationales inside out. You should try CARS QPack, if you haven’t already.

With that being said, you will likely get an average of your AAMC FL’s on the test, which puts you in a great position for DO programs. Unless you’re URM, 3.8 and 510+ won’t just cut it for MD nowadays. Perhaps try getting more clinical experience to improve your chances of admission.
 
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Jul 9, 2019
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Keep taking AAMC FL’s, and see how you do on them. For CARS, make sure to thoroughly review your mistakes (foundation, reasoning within, or beyond?) and try to come up with your own AAMC style questions. CARS is all about reading the testmaker’s mind, and you really have to understand AAMC rationales inside out. You should try CARS QPack, if you haven’t already.

With that being said, you will likely get an average of your AAMC FL’s on the test, which puts you in a great position for DO programs. Unless you’re URM, 3.8 and 510+ won’t just cut it for MD nowadays. Perhaps try getting more clinical experience to improve your chances of admission.
thanks for responding! Yes I have EMT experience and MA experience and I also volunteered in a hospital for sometime. No research experience tho. If you know by any chance, are refugees considered URM?
 
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On AMCAS, you will report your race as whatever you identify as. If you’re black, Hispanic, native Indians, or pacific Puerto Rican’s, you will be counted as URM.
 
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This might just be a bad day. You have multiple test scores around the ~50th percentile. Your other sections are approaching solid ranges so triage more time to CARS and see if you can get one more data point in the next week or two before making the final decison.

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Could you describe where you're struggling in CARS? Is it timing? Difficult passages/questions?
it's mostly timing. I'm a very slow reader and I've been working on that by highlighting only dates/names, reading the first and last paragraphs, reading the questions while reading the passage and writing quick notes for the main idea but I still run out of time! it's so frustrating. I spend more than 10 mins for each passage and I've never gotten a perfect score. My scores for passages are usually 3/5, 3/6, 2/5. I've done Uworld CARS, AAMC and currently I'm doing JW passages about 5 everyday and I bought the new AAMC CARS diagnostic. I don't know what else I'm supposed to do. this is gonna kill my mcat score once I take the real thing.
 
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reading the questions while reading the passage
I don't recommend doing this, as it can throw you off

passage first, questions after. also try highlighting the question stems and use strikethrough to eliminate obviously wrong answers

highlighting only dates/names means you're not highlighting the key ideas. Try to trace the author's argument (especially wherever a transition word appears), and you absolutely should highlight everything that is in parentheses or quotes

writing quick notes may not be necessary if you can highlight enough key arguments/points, and may save some time
 
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should highlight everything that is in parentheses or quotes
I totally agree with this. Honestly reading passage then reading questions did not work for me. I spent a lot of time trying to understand hideous words and meanings that weren't asked in the questions. I think the way I'm doing it by reading them at the same time is good for me but honestly I don't know why I'm scoring that bad. I've heard people saying just keep practicing and find you a strategy. I found a strategy but I just feel like no matter how much I do passages, I'm just bad at it. Should I just keep practicing and doing idk how many passages everyday and hope that'll get better?
 

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passage first, questions after. also try highlighting the question stems and use strikethrough to eliminate obviously wrong answers

highlighting only dates/names means you're not highlighting the key ideas. Try to trace the author's argument (especially wherever a transition word appears), and you absolutely should highlight everything that is in parentheses or quotes

writing quick notes may not be necessary if you can highlight enough key arguments/points, and may save some time
I could not have put it better myself.

I've heard people saying just keep practicing and find you a strategy. I found a strategy but I just feel like no matter how much I do passages, I'm just bad at it. Should I just keep practicing and doing idk how many passages everyday and hope that'll get better?
Have you competed the AAMC Cars Q packs? If not, start by doing those. If you don’t have a clear strategy at this point, I recommend holding off on the MCAT. Doing passages is essential but you have to spend a lot of time analyzing the questions and answers after completing a section to really see the benefit, you have to pay close attention to the nuances of the language that is being used in the passage, questions, and answers. There are often multiple answers that are “correct” for a passage but incorrect for a particular question ie if a question asks for evidence but the answer is an inference. Remember, the AAMC words things very carefully. Their questions and passages have been designed, tested, and edited to fulfill a specific purpose. The questions are *perfect* and it’s our job to recognize why.

As one of my former tutors liked to say “all we have to do is pick the best answer. So do that.”

GL to you.
 
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