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Advice for Non-Trad/Mature Applicant planning to write only the CARS Section for MCAT


ToughBold
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I am looking to get some advice on my situation. I am a mature applicant, and because of full-time work in healthcare services/public health planning and family, I do not have much time to dedicate to studying for all the sections of the MCAT.

For this cycle, I was looking to apply just to Mac and Ottawa. Does anyone have any tips or advice on best materials to use for just writing the CARS section. I am conscious that I will likely have to re-write next year, so I want to make sure I have some materials for next write that best represents the exam. Any advice or guidance would be helpful! 

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CARS is a difficult section to study for beyond doing a lot of practice. Some textbooks will try to give you some standard formula to tackle passages, but different people will use them to varying degrees of success. It is really a matter of experimenting and seeing what works for you.

With that being said, some commonly used materials include: Khan Academy passages, JW (doesn't seem to like me writing the full name) passages, and AAMC CARS Qpacks 1 and 2. Even though you aren't writing the whole exam, you might want to also get the AAMC full lengths 1-4 for additional practice.

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@ToughBold Same boat here! I'm writing the MCAT before the app deadline just for CARS for McMaster (and also applying to NOSM)... mature student/non trad, full time work in healthcare, can't jam all the self-study in this round but hopeful to prepare and write the full length next year for the next round if this app cycle is unsuccessful!

I got the Princeton Review CARS book, and do the daily JW passages, AAMC CARS Q packs as well as Khan Academy CARS.  From the tons of research I've done, it's all practice practice practice. I have a decent reading comprehension level but have also bought a subscription to the Economist to keep working out my brain lol!

Wish you the best of luck.

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@mdforme Thanks for the advice! I bought the AAMC Cars Q pack. Is the PRINCETON CARS book a good resource? 

I was looking to supplement at least 2 AAMC Tests + The AAMC CARS Q pack with the Exam Krackers book. Would you recommend the EK book? 

Glad I'm not the only mature applicant thinking about just writing CARS!

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  • 7 months later...

Hi,

How was your last year experience? Would you like to share as I am planning for MCAT.

Thanks 

On 7/1/2020 at 9:00 AM, ToughBold said:

@mdforme Thanks for the advice! I bought the AAMC Cars Q pack. Is the PRINCETON CARS book a good resource? 

I was looking to supplement at least 2 AAMC Tests + The AAMC CARS Q pack with the Exam Krackers book. Would you recommend the EK book? 

Glad I'm not the only mature applicant thinking about just writing CARS!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/21/2021 at 10:32 PM, smart said:

Hi,

How was your last year experience? Would you like to share as I am planning for MCAT.

Thanks 

 

Hey smart, my best advice for studying CARS (and the MCAT in general) is to create a spreadsheet to document your errors. 

I would have a column for source/passage/question, my answer, why I answered that why, what the actual answer was, why did I get it wrong (content related, comprehension of question, etc.), what I could do differently next time/do I need to brush up on something.

Practice the passage like normal but when you go back to review answers, go through the rubric and fully analyze everything.

It's time consuming but very helpful. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

Hey Smart,

I used Exam Kracker + 300pg Khan Academy document for P/S. I found the EK books were much shorter and covered all the content required, I didn't feel like there was anything important that they missed.

Filled in any gaps in understanding with YouTube videos and Khan Academy

For practice definitely get all the AAMC material. If you work through that, I also found UWorld helpful. 

Good luck!

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  • 4 months later...

Hey guys! Best of luck on the Non-Trad applicant path (I'm in the same boat here!).

I've been using the Blueprint MCAT prep in addition to the other resources mentioned above. There's 10 full length available for purchase and you can do them in sections. Very useful!

Another super useful tip is to read anything and everything - from literature to history to politics... and trying to really get what the author is saying, asking yourself questions similar to CARS.

 

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