The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is made to assess aspiring medical students who would like to begin their career in the medical field. The test involves a series of questions prepared to measure the candidate’s competency in the skills necessary for the medical profession. You need to have a good MCAT score to convince the medical school admissions committee that you are ready for the tasks ahead in the medical field.
Other critical considerations by the admission committee include your academic qualifications and essential skills of analysis. The MCAT examination will seek to determine the suitability of every potential medical student. The test also aims to establish a candidate’s critical thinking and reasoning skills.
The MCAT exam has various sections that assess the aspiring candidate’s knowledge on a variety of fields. It is essential for any ambitious medical school student to begin their MCAT prep early in order to have an easy time answering the questions and get a higher MCAT score.
One of the sections of the MCAT exam is called the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS). The CARS section presents the most challenging part for many aspiring students. CARS assesses the ability of the student to think critically and solve complex problems, and the Medical School Admission Committees highly rate the scores of this section. So, if you want to have a high MCAT score you will need to do well in this section.
An aspiring medical student needs to prepare for this section well by using the following MCAT CARS prep tips. The MCAT CARS section consist of passages, and as a candidate, you are required to draw useful conclusions to answer the questions correctly. Some of the preparations you will need to perform well in this section include the following:
Practice Reading Complex Materials
The MCAT CARS section consists of passages and are followed by questions that you will only have 90 minutes to answer. You should be able to read those passages fast and answer questions by drawing correct inferences from the information provided. You need to read widely across many subjects from magazines and other sites in order to develop the necessary reading skills.
In addition to reading complex materials and trying to understand the central theme of the article, you should set time limits for your reading to simulate testing conditions. Then, try to summarize the information presented in the paper. As your reading speed improves with time, incorporate the sample CARS passages and build your reading skills to familiarize yourself with the type of exam questions you will be seeing. Utilize practice exams given by specialized MCAT CARS prep tutors to help you familiarize yourself with what the official test will be like.
Have a Positive Approach
In this approach, you will be exercising your brain by extracting the useful information from passages, which will help your overall understanding. You may utilize any of the following techniques and pick the ones that work best for you:
- Use the highlighter method to extract useful information that may include names, numbers, or arguments.
- Write on a piece of paper the main idea in every paragraph
- Read fast to get to the questions
- Learn how to quickly get the primary purpose of the passage and go through the questions
Understand the Questions
You should practice with sample CARS questions to become familiar with the type of questions that will be asked and formulate a strategy for answering them. Practice will help you build confidence and will help to prevent having to re-read passages.
When the exam comes, you need to have confidence and utilize the skills you have learned to answer the questions. Do not waste too much time on a difficult question, but instead mark it and come back to tackle it later if you have time. This will help ensure that you finish on time and prevent anxiety during the exam.