Chromatic543

2+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2016
501
194
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Medical Student (Accepted)
I am taking my MCAT on the 10th of September, and I have been doing many CARS diagnostics and I cannot get out of my low plateau! I go back and forth between EK and TBR, and these are the scores I am getting: (this is the order I have done them)

TBR I = 23/40
TBR II = 21/40
EK 1 = 20/40
EK 2 = 26/40
TBR III = 15/40
EK 3 = 17/40
TBR IV = 25/40
TBR V = 19/40
EK 4 = 22/40
TBR VI = 19/40
EK 5 = 20/40

I am getting so depressed, because I have been practicing since the first week of June, and I am getting nowhere, and it is almost August! What can I do?! Many of the times, I can get to the questions into the 50/50, but I almost always pick the second best answer! Half the times, I don't even know what some of the answers mean. Any advice on how to improve? Do I still have time to improve? This is depressing me to the point where I don't even feel like preparing for my other sections! :(
 

theonlytycrane

5+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2014
1,956
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Medical Student
Are you speeding through the passages? If you slow down slightly for understanding, you can improve by getting a better grasp as to what the passage and answer choices are saying. You still have time :)
 
OP
Chromatic543

Chromatic543

2+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2016
501
194
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I do feel like I read fast through the passages, and that's because I was told that one must be a quick reader in order to get through all the passages. Sometimes, I really don't understand and I start reading line by line, and then find a place where I lose understanding. Then in a few minutes, I start slowly getting a glimpse of what the passage means, but by then I have wasted a lot of time :(
 

MareNostrummm

D.O. Class of 2022
2+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2015
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Well, based on your scores you are looking at a 123-124 on your test. As someone who scored high in all the other sections but had a 124 CARS, I recommend you find a tutor, because if you aren't improving after 11 FLs you probably need outside help. If you get a 123 you will have to retake for most MD schools.
 
May 22, 2014
33
20
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey,

I totally understand the difficulty of the CARS Section. Based upon your scores it seems like there is just something fundamentally missing from your approach with the actual CARS Section. In order to try and get that score boost in a consistent way, you should try and add a few strategy components. Don't underestimate the value of using tone for instance while reading passages and then subsequently answering questions. Often times just narrowing questions down based upon tone can be invaluable and the difference between a few points on your final score. Also, are you physically writing down a main idea at the end of every passage? The MCAT can oftentimes trick people into changing your main idea as you go through questions. By physically writing it down, you are committing it on paper and can refer back to it every time you get lost. Check out this guide I found recently on the CARS section. They are apparently releasing more parts to it, but hopefully it will help:

http://www.elitemcattutors.com/#!MCAT-CARS-Section-Mastery-Guide-Part-1-–-Overview/eif1m/579c07fc0cf276b3ba07d628
 

RockMcat520

2+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2016
435
292
EK FL CARS section is just terrible and not representitive of the real MCAT. I suggest you start doing the CARS Question Bank. Give yourself 60min to finish 6 passges and see how that goes.
 

cke11

2+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2015
253
146
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I am taking my MCAT on the 10th of September, and I have been doing many CARS diagnostics and I cannot get out of my low plateau! I go back and forth between EK and TBR, and these are the scores I am getting: (this is the order I have done them)

TBR I = 23/40
TBR II = 21/40
EK 1 = 20/40
EK 2 = 26/40
TBR III = 15/40
EK 3 = 17/40
TBR IV = 25/40
TBR V = 19/40
EK 4 = 22/40
TBR VI = 19/40
EK 5 = 20/40

I am getting so depressed, because I have been practicing since the first week of June, and I am getting nowhere, and it is almost August! What can I do?! Many of the times, I can get to the questions into the 50/50, but I almost always pick the second best answer! Half the times, I don't even know what some of the answers mean. Any advice on how to improve? Do I still have time to improve? This is depressing me to the point where I don't even feel like preparing for my other sections! :(
Don't worry! Try the old AAMC VR sections, there on reddit somewhere and you can find them for free.
EK FL CARS section is just terrible and not representitive of the real MCAT. I suggest you start doing the CARS Question Bank. Give yourself 60min to finish 6 passges and see how that goes.
Also, thank jesus you said this, I finally felt like I was improving my CARS doing the old VR sections and took a EK FL last weekend and it was brutal 34/53.
 

summergirl

7+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2012
946
1,324
Status
Medical Student
I'd recommend doing lots and lots of practice. Try materials from all sources. It worked for me. I was horrible in VR when I started, then I did pretty much all the materials I can get my hands on, some twice. I hit some plateaus but I just kept practice. I ended up with 95th percentile on CARS.
 
May 2, 2016
37
6
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm in the same boat as OP...been having trouble really hitting the 30-40th mark and I write in early September!!! I've completed EK101, TPRH 2011 and CARS QPack1, but haven't been seeing significant improvements in my FL CARS scores... I can usually do ok on solo passages timed for 10 minutes (about 0-2 wrong) --> would average out to be 35-40 correct...but really having trouble when it's timed for 9 passages...

What should I do???
 

sandprince

2+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2016
27
9
Status
Pre-Medical
I'd recommend doing lots and lots of practice. Try materials from all sources. It worked for me. I was horrible in VR when I started, then I did pretty much all the materials I can get my hands on, some twice. I hit some plateaus but I just kept practice. I ended up with 95th percentile on CARS.
Anything you did that specifically stuck out to you in improving your scores? I have been scoring well on CARS, but suddenly I'm not doing as well as I was before, my exam is on Friday. :/
 

cke11

2+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2015
253
146
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I'm in the same boat as OP...been having trouble really hitting the 30-40th mark and I write in early September!!! I've completed EK101, TPRH 2011 and CARS QPack1, but haven't been seeing significant improvements in my FL CARS scores... I can usually do ok on solo passages timed for 10 minutes (about 0-2 wrong) --> would average out to be 35-40 correct...but really having trouble when it's timed for 9 passages...

What should I do???
Anything you did that specifically stuck out to you in improving your scores? I have been scoring well on CARS, but suddenly I'm not doing as well as I was before, my exam is on Friday. :/
The best piece of advice I was given was the strategy that is used in the EK books. I understand doing well on 1-3 passages while studying, but when you get to 9 something happens.

In between every passage take a FIVE SECOND BREAK. Actually take it, I usually take 5 deep breaths and move onto the next one and forget about what you just read. It's like a reset. Then when going through the passage read it SLOWLY, theres no rush, you have a whole ten minutes per passage. Whoever says to read quickly is an idiot in my opinion. Read it slowly, understand the passage and what the author's main idea is etc. Then by the time you get to the questions you'll start to realize that your flying through them because you actually understand the passage instead of trying to rush through it. Once I adopted this strategy I noticed I was finishing the passages much quicker than 10 minutes, more like 7-8 minutes, giving me a lot of time to spare. Hope that helps!
 
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