Testing Solutions' 30 Day Guide to MCAT CARS Success: Howdy! My name is Nick Zehner, and I’m an MS3 at Stanford. I started Testing Solutions 5 years ago to help students struggling with the hardest section on the MCAT, the CARS. With so much conflicting advice out there, it can be hard to know where to turn to get a tried and true method that actually works, not just for one person, but for thousands. That’s been the goal of this thread/guide for the last 5 years, and I’m proud that it’s worked so well for so many. This guide will answer all your questions and even some you didn't know you had. It's meant to be exhaustive and provide you with everything you need to know to achieve an ultra-high CARS score. It is your step-by-step guide to getting you from the couch to MCAT CARS success. If you have any questions, I hope you’ll feel free to ask them on here. I try my very best to respond within a day or two. Hope to talk with you soon! So, how should I use this guide? Here are the steps I recommend: Step 1: Why Should I Trust You? This is an excellent question! One of the hardest parts of studying for the CARS is all the conflicting advice out there. I highly recommend that you find a resource you trust completely and stick with it. Just because some strategy supposedly worked one time for someone on SDN doesn't mean it will work consistently. Use tried and true methods from people who know the CARS well. There are a number of reasons why I think you should trust me, but the top two are: 1) I’m qualified. I scored in the 99th percentile on the MCAT. I’m an MS3 at Stanford Testing Solutions’ resources have more than (525) 4.5-star reviews on Amazon. I taught and tutored for the country’s largest MCAT company for nearly two years. This guide/thread has over 280,000 views and 700+ posts. It’s the most popular guide to the CARS on SDN. I’ve spent thousands of hours studying and analyzing the AAMC released CARS practice materials, and I’ve written/edited over 150 CARS passages. If you'd like to hear a little more about me personally, my journey to medicine at Stanford, as well as some top CARS tips, I was interviewed by the podcast "Perspective Doctor." You can listen to the episode here! 2) My approach produces results! I've helped hundreds of students personally and thousands of students online with the CARS. Since our founding, we've sold over 50,000 CARS practice tests! Check out the impressive results of just a few of my recent students who took the MCAT in 2018. a Matt – CARS: 129 - 95th Percentile Here's what Matt had to say about Testing Solutions: "When I started studying for the MCAT, it felt like an unmanageable task. There were so many methods and techniques that promised results. I was particularly concerned about CARS, which is something that seems to hold many people back. I'm extremely glad I found Testing Solutions. The Bootcamp impacted the way I tackled CARS. By the time I took the test it felt like second nature. I believe Testing Solutions has the best advice I've come across during my preparation. The practice tests are hard and really help to hammer home the critical reading skills required to succeed at the test. I began my preparation struggling with CARS and ended up with a 95th percentile score. It was the best investment I made in preparing for the MCAT." a ..::.. a Cindy – CARS: 132 - 100th Percentile Here's what Cindy had to say about Testing Solutions: "I just wanted to say thank you for creating such a great CARS bootcamp course with Testing Solutions…I got my MCAT score back about 2 weeks ago and got a 132 on CARS! Honestly, I’m still in shock at my score…I started off with CARS being my worst section (with almost no improvement using the Kaplan/EK CARS strategies), but gradually improved and gained so much confidence through the bootcamp. I was initially struggling and felt really unsure of how to approach the section, but the Testing Solutions’ bootcamp helped tremendously (both practice passages and the written guides), and I truly believe that it was the biggest factor in my CARS score. I'll definitely be recommending the Testing Solutions’ CARS bootcamp to other people as the best CARS prep resource!" a ..::.. a Lemuel – CARS: 128 - 89th Percentile Here's what Lemuel had to say about Testing Solutions: "If you're like me, then reading and comprehension is not your strength in academics. That's what made CARS so daunting…One phrase that has never left my memory back when I played pee-wee basketball as a third grader is this phrase: "Perfect practice makes perfect." The CARS bootcamp from Testing Solutions provides that perfect practice. The passages…forced me to develop my reasoning skills quickly, and the explanations from Testing Solutions gave me insight into what question writers were really asking…There are tons of resources and materials for studying CARS out there, but you will be hard pressed to find any that are as concise and provide as intense preparation than the Testing Solutions CARS bootcamp." a ..::.. a Step 2: Get Started Quickly! Sign-Up for Our 8-day Jump-Start Email Course! This CARS Jump-Start email course will especially be useful for students who are not taking the MCAT for awhile but want to get a head start and begin preparing now! You really can't start preparing for the CARS too early, and in an ideal world, you'd start months before you begin your dedicated study period. This course gets you started on the right foot. With that said, it's been designed to help everyone so regardless of where you are at on your CARS journey, this 8-day CARS Jump-Start email course will provide you with the very highest yield CARS strategies and tactics that you can start putting into practice today! a ..::.. a Step 3: Watch the Intro Video to Learn More about the 2019 CARS Bootcamp! a ..::.. a Step 4: Download the Table of Contents and Get Started on Day1! If you're ready to start going through this 30-Day Guide to CARS Succes, we recommend you download our "Table of COntents" PDF. It can be time-consuming to find the correct day's post due to all the questions users have posted through the years, so we've created this "Table of Contents" PDF which has links to each day's post. You just open the PDF and can use it to jump directly to the post/ day you're on. Download your "Table of Contents" here! a ..::.. a Table of Contents | Schedule to MCAT CARS Success: While our study guide is 30 days long, most MCATers will need roughly 90 days to get to an MCAT CARS score they'll be happy with. I've outlined the schedule I recommend to my students below, as well as the materials that you'll need to complete the schedule. Here Are the Materials I Recommend: Exam Krackers 101 Passage in MCAT Verbal Reasoning (EK101)' Note that this is the "old MCAT." EK's New CARS book is very bad and I cannot recommend anyone use it. Testing Solutions' 144 CARS Practice Passages via the 2019 CARS Bootcamp Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT Practice Tests 1 – 5 AAMC Official MCAT Sample Test AAMC Official MCAT Practice Exam (Scored) 1, 2, & 3 AAMC CARS Question Packs 1 & 2 Here's our Review of All CARS Materials Available on the Market! Phase I - For the first 30 days, while you cover the major strategy points in this guide, I recommend you use passages from either EK 101 or TPR. In this phase of your preparation, you'll do a total of 69 passages. I'll explain how and when to do these passages in the guide. Phase II - In the next 30 days, you'll take 14 CARS Full-Length Practice Tests. I recommend using Testing Solutions' Practice Tests (T1-T16) as well as your remaining passages from EK101 and TPR. You'll also use the AAMC Question Packs. In this phase, you'll do 126 passages. Phase III - In the final 30 days, your CARS prep will largely be integrated with your taking of full-length MCAT practice tests. I have you taking all three of EK's full-lengths, four of Next Steps' full-lengths, and the four available AAMC practice tests. There are break days built in so. One some break days, you'll do one passage, just to keep you sharp, while on other break days, you'll just rest. In this final phase of your preparation, you'll do 85 passages. Thus, if you follow this schedule to the “T,” you'll do 361 CARS practice passages. If you do that many practice passages, and follow the techniques I outline in this guide, you'll come as close to a guarantee of scoring 129+ on the CARS section as is possible. I have never had a student that has actually followed this schedule and not be happy with their score. This schedule was designed to fit into whatever general schedule/ approach you're employing for the other three sections. Most days, you'll spend around an hour and a half on CARS, but sometimes more will be required. The key to mastering the CARS is to do a little bit each day. You cannot cram for the CARS. This section must be respected. Just like how you eat an elephant, remember that it's just one bite at a time, one day at a time. WARNING: Do not get behind on this schedule. If you're worried about that, build in some extra break days at the end of the schedule (Which is to say, start this schedule 100 days out from your test instead of 90, however, the compressed and rigorous nature of this schedule does build your stamina and prepares you for the rigors of test day, so don't let too much time lapse between practice tests.) It is not possible to do two days in one to catch up. ... Week I: In Week I, you'll do one passage per day. Day 1 – The Plan/ Getting Your Materials Day 2 – Breaking Down the MCAT CARS Section Day 3 – Reviewing/ Timing Day 4 – MCAT CARS Myths: The “Don'ts” Day 5 – How to Approach the MCAT CARS Section – The Passage Day 6 – Passage Types: Argumentative Day 7 – Argumentation: Modality Week II: In Week II, you'll do two passage per day, timed individually. Day 8 – Passage Types: Descriptive Day 9 – How to Use Keywords Day 10 – Health, Wellness, and Stress Management – The Second Key Day 11 – CARS Question Types: The Main Idea Day 12 – CARS Question Types: Passage Detail Day 13 – CARS Question Types: Implication Day 14 – CARS Question Types: Inference *Break -Don't do any passages today. Week III: In Week III, you'll do three passage per day, timed individually. Day 15 – CARS Question Types: Application Day 16 – CARS Question Types: Integration of New Information Day 17 – CARS Question Types: Attitude Day 18 – CARS Question Types: Meaning of a Term Day 19 – CARS Question Types: Author Technique Day 20 – CARS Question Format: Negation Questions Day 21 – CARS Question Format: Roman Numerals *Break -Don't do any passages today. Week IV: In Week IV, you'll do four passage per day until the 25th and then do five passages per day. Do the passages consecutively, timed together. Day 22 – CARS Answer Pathologies – Part I Day 23 – CARS Answer Pathologies – Part II Day 24 – CARS Answer Pathologies – Part III Day 25 – How to Take a CARS Full-Length Practice Test Day 26 – How to Review a CARS Passage Day 27 – How to Review CARS Questions Day 28 – How to Review CARS Answers *Break - Don't do any passages today. Week V: You'll do six passages on Day 29 and Day 30. Do the passages consecutively, timed together. Day 29 – Putting it All Together: How to Review an Entire CARS Practice Test Day 30 – Advanced Study Techniques Day 31 – 9 Passages from EK101 or TPR (90 Minutes) Day 32 – Review 9 Passages Day 33 – 9 Passages from EK101 or TPR (90 Minutes) Day 34 – Review 9 Passages Day 35 – *Break - Don't do any passages today. Week VI: Day 36 – 9 Passages from EK101 or TPR (90 Minutes) Day 37 – Review 9 Passages Day 38 – T1 – Testing Solutions CARS Full-Length Practice Test T1 Day 39 – Review T1 Day 40 – T2 – Testing Solutions CARS Full-Length Practice Test T2 Day 41 – Review T2 Day 42 – *Break - Don't do any passages today. Week VII: Day 43 – T3 – Testing Solutions CARS Full-Length Practice Test T3 Day 44 – Review T3 Day 45 – T4 – Testing Solutions CARS Full-Length Practice Test T4 Day 46 – Review T4 Day 47 – T5 – Testing Solutions CARS Full-Length Practice Test T5 Day 48 – Review T5 Day 49 –*Break - Don't do any passages today. Week VIII: Day 50 – T6 – Testing Solutions CARS Full-Length Practice Test T6 Day 51 – Review T6 Day 52 – T7 – Testing Solutions CARS Full-Length Practice Test T7 Day 53 – Review T7 Day 54 – T8 – Testing Solutions CARS Full-Length Practice Test T8 Day 55 – Review T8 Day 56 – *Break - Don't do any passages today. Week IX: Day 57 – (9) Passages from AAMC CARS Question Pack (90 Minutes) Day 58 – Review CARS Practice Test Question Pack Day 59 – (9) Passages from AAMC CARS Question Pack (90 Minutes) Day 60 – Review CARS Practice Test Question Pack Day 61 – (9) Passages from AAMC CARS Question Pack (90 Minutes) Day 62 – Review CARS Practice Test Question Pack Day 63 – *Break - Don't do any passages today. Week X: Day 64 – (9) Passages from AAMC CARS Question Pack (90 Minutes) Day 65 – Review CARS Practice Test Question Pack Day 66 – Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT 1 Day 67 – Review Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT 1 Day 68 – Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT 2 Day 69 – Review Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT 2 Day 70 – *Break - Do (2) Passage from AAMC CARS Question Pack Week XI: Day 71 – AAMC Official MCAT Sample Test Day 72 – Review AAMC Official MCAT Sample Test Day 73 – *Break – Don't do any passages today. Day 74 – Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT 3 Day 75 – Review Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT 3 Day 76 – *Break - Do (2) Passage from AAMC CARS Question Pack Day 77 – AAMC Official MCAT Practice Exam (Scored) 1 Week XII: Day 78 – AAMC Official MCAT Practice Exam (Scored) 1 Day 79 – *Break - Do (2) Passage from AAMC CARS Question Pack Day 80 – Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT 4 Day 81 – Review Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT 4 Day 82 – *Break - Do (2) Passage from AAMC CARS Question Pack Day 83 – AAMC Official MCAT Practice Exam (Scored) 2 Day 84 – AAMC Official MCAT Practice Exam (Scored) 2 Week XIII: Day 85 –*Break – Don't do any passages today. Day 86 – Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT 5 Day 87 – Review Exam Krackers Full-Length MCAT 5 Day 88 – (5) CARS Passages from AAMC Study Guide Day 89 – *Break – Don't do any passages today. Day 90 – Test Day ..::.. In our next post, we'll review all available CARS materials so you can make the decision that's best for you.