StudyLater

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Did you run out of time or do you just suck at reading comprehension?

Get more sleep dude. For me I don't care what I gotta do. Lunesta mixed with ambien mixed with nyquil mixed with elephant tranquilizers.....just make it happen
 

StudyLater

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Do you drink a lot of caffeine? Restricting it to exclusively before 10-11am has been extremely helpful for me.

Do you normally read a lot? You might try 20-30pgs a day of any sort of moderately difficult reading that requires a decent level of comprehensive ability to understand. Not necessarily news; could be fiction. As long as there's some point or purpose that you have to extract out of what is being said, in addition to paying attention to all of the little nuances of that purpose -- practicing that skill is probably most important for this section.
 

GrapesofRath

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Given you only got a 64% on your CARs practice test it's not a shocker at all you got a 124 on the real deal(on the old AAMC tests 64% would usually translate to an 8 on the old scale AAMC tests and you got the equivalent of a 7-8 on this test for the new scale).

Lots of people have reported disparities between what they were getting on their psych/soc scores and the real deal. The real deal is just alot different and on a subject that is relatively simple to grasp for so many pre-meds you have to make the test rather tricky and difficult so only 20% of those pre-meds who take the test get a 127+ or whatever.

Your Bio score could easily have been 1 or 2 simple mistakes and that could have been the difference between a 128 and a 129-130 which is what your practice score might have predicted.

I would give some consideration to re-taking. If you do in fact decide to
a) Don't take a test this important on 2 hours sleep.
b) Absolutely do all the stuff EK and Next Step is offering.
c) The AAMC is releasing more practice test material in November. Do it all.
d) For Verbal/CARs improvement, EK 101, TPRH workbook, and the old AAMC practice tests are almost mandatory to do.
 

FOCUSandEARNit

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Do all of the Khan Academy passages for psych. I did half of them, and I swear they helped me score a 128. I wonder what it'd be if I did all of them.
 
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itsallgood92

itsallgood92

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Given you only got a 64% on your CARs practice test it's not a shocker at all you got a 124 on the real deal(on the old AAMC tests 64% would usually translate to an 8 on the old scale AAMC tests and you got the equivalent of a 7-8 on this test for the new scale).

Lots of people have reported disparities between what they were getting on their psych/soc scores and the real deal. The real deal is just alot different and on a subject that is relatively simple to grasp for so many pre-meds you have to make the test rather tricky and difficult so only 20% of those pre-meds who take the test get a 127+ or whatever.

Your Bio score could easily have been 1 or 2 simple mistakes and that could have been the difference between a 128 and a 129-130 which is what your practice score might have predicted.

I would give some consideration to re-taking. If you do in fact decide to
a) Don't take a test this important on 2 hours sleep.
b) Absolutely do all the stuff EK and Next Step is offering.
c) The AAMC is releasing more practice test material in November. Do it all.
d) For Verbal/CARs improvement, EK 101, TPRH workbook, and the old AAMC practice tests are almost mandatory to do.
Grapes, can I pm you about my situation? I've gotten a lot of mixed reviews about whether or not I should retake and feel pretty conflicted about the whole thing.
 
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itsallgood92

itsallgood92

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Do all of the Khan Academy passages for psych. I did half of them, and I swear they helped me score a 128. I wonder what it'd be if I did all of them.
I actually plan on using solely khan academy and just doing FLs from next step and EK this time around
 

FOCUSandEARNit

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Grapes, can I pm you about my situation? I've gotten a lot of mixed reviews about whether or not I should retake and feel pretty conflicted about the whole thing.
At the end of the day, this must be your decision.
 

StudyLater

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Hooo hooo hooo hoohoo doop doo dooop da doop dee doooooooo

Just pretend you're the jarhead guy. Except you didn't get lost on your way to college, sir.
 

StudyLater

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Note the song at the end.


Everything I say makes perfect sense. Always. I promise.
 

RaspberrySlushy

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Have you checked out the Testing Solutions thread? They have a strategy posted here. And also they have materials.

I would also say thorough reviewing of the passages you have done. You have s large sample since you've done so many. Especially focus on AAMC ones. Try to analyze what's going wrong and spend time on it. Is it that you're not catching info from the passage? Not understanding the main idea? Misreading questions? Picking answers that are too strong?

Doing this has helped me a lot, but I have to say it's been most helpful on AAMC materials. Patterns started to emerge that I could look out for. I used to pick choices that were too strongly worded too often and by recognizing that I can watch out for it. Same with bringing in background info.

Maybe spend more time reviewing, including the ones you got right, and spend a lot of time understanding why choices are correct/not.
 

RaspberrySlushy

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I woke up still thinking about your post and here is another idea:

If the area you find yourself struggling with is logic, maybe look into some LSAT advice. I did this after someone I know told me how much having a background in formal logic helped him with CARS. When you google things related to how to get better at logical reasoning a ton of LSAT advice came up.

I did this just a week or two ago and my test is in 9 days (yikes!) so didn't have a ton of time to spend on this and it would probably take time to fully learn. There was an interesting article about how a lot of us are much worse at logic than we think without knowing it, and about the work it takes to get really proficient and it's not something I could realistically do a lot of before my test, but you have time so you could. You could even take a logic or rhetoric course if need be, before your next test.

Anyway I did spend some time on it, just going over some basics. Some of it seemed really obvious but some things were really detailed and I think they were helpful in terms of more easily recognizing bad answer choices as bad, and spotting logical fallacies that seem like tempting answer choices, and knowing what is or is not okay to infer from a passage.

Anyway I know it's not traditional advice but I think it has been helpful. I notice an improvement on the inference type questions and the "according to the passage what must be true" type questions. And just being clearer and more confident in ruling out the baddies.
 
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Jack Westin

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@itsallgood92 based on your initial post it seems like you really put in the time to practice. But that doesn't mean you'll do well. You need to study the MCAT the right way. What I suggest is look at only the AAMC CARS passages available. Do each one several times and try to find a pattern to how they ask questions. You should also read a lot every day. If you can learn to approach each passage with a consistent strategy, you will find a pattern to how they ask questions. Good luck.
 
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itsallgood92

itsallgood92

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@itsallgood92 based on your initial post it seems like you really put in the time to practice. But that doesn't mean you'll do well. You need to study the MCAT the right way. What I suggest is look at only the AAMC CARS passages available. Do each one several times and try to find a pattern to how they ask questions. You should also read a lot every day. If you can learn to approach each passage with a consistent strategy, you will find a pattern to how they ask questions. Good luck.
Thanks for the input @Jack Westin ! So I'm not completely sure if I'm going to retake or not (I'm kinda just leaning towards rolling with my score and seeing how the next cycle rolls out), but is there an approach you suggest? Like is your method to CARS more like a straightforward approach and no mapping/highlighting? Also, you're saying just re-do the AAMC passages over and over again? Do you think that will help? I feel like half the battle with CARS is just not knowing the passage before hand, but I'm completely open to anything at this point. I think this is just the one section that repeatedly trips me up, and I have no idea what to do. I've literally done every passage conceivable (TPRH, EK101, AAMC passages), and the only stuff I haven't done is probably the Next step verbal book and the full length CARS exams in the Next Step and EK full lengths. Realistically, the only way I would even attempt another exam, is if I know for sure I could break at least a 127 in the critical reading section. Otherwise, it's just probably not going to be worth the risk/mental anguish of retaking.
 

Jack Westin

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@itsallgood92 I like to approach CARS the simplest way possible. It does include some mapping but it's strategic mapping, not just randomly jotting down whatever you want. As for re-doing AAMC passages I think you should study them. Don't just "re-do" them. Try to see how they ask questions. Become familiar with their style. So it's not just rereading the passages, that alone will not help.

You should also read a lot of new material you have never seen before. If you think about it, the CARS passages on your exam are passages you would have never seen before. Get used to seeing new material.

You can definitely do well on CARS. It's just a matter of approaching it the right way. Let me know if you have more questions about this.
 

Pusheen

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It might help to read some dense literature every day and practice making sense of it. I read a ton of philosophy texts for school, and I think it definitely helped my reading comprehension. Texts where you have to take notes and figure out the structure of the argument are helpful.