How To Get More CARS Questions Right

Get More CARS Questions Right

One of the questions that we hear most often from students is “How do I get more answers right on MCAT CARS practice passages and in the exam itself?” That’s a critical question because your score depends totally on how many questions you answer correctly in the time allotted. When you look at the methods described in most MCAT CARS practice books, they give you a lot of tips and tricks on how to answer questions. And when you learn these tips and tricks and use them on practice passages, the first thing you notice is that they don’t work very well. You’re still getting a lot of wrong answers.

Why is that? It’s because these methods are anecdotal rather than scientific. Think of it this way: when a patient comes to see you with a serious medical condition, are you going to use tips and tricks to treat her?  No, You’re going to use your basic knowledge of medicine combined with your reasoning ability to do a proper diagnosis and treatment.

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The MCAT Scoring Process: Your Questions Answered

MCAT scoring

When you receive your score report, you will receive five scores—four scores for each of the multiple-choice sections of the exam and one total score. As you prepare for test day, you may wonder how the AAMC calculates your scores. Or perhaps you’ve heard some theories about how we do it. To help dispel any myths, we’ve answered three of your frequently asked questions about how the MCAT exam is scored.  

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3 Study Strategies for the Behavioral Sciences on the MCAT

behavioral science

As essential as it is to know the pathophysiology of various diseases and the pharmacological and surgical interventions used to treat them, it is also necessary to understand the social and psychological aspects of illness in order to effectively treat patients. Physicians must situate their treatments within psychosocial parameters that best serve the individual patient, asking questions like, “What will motivate this patient to take his medication as prescribed?” and “How do the social supports of this single parent influence his or her ability to get his/her child to well-visits with the pediatrician?”

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5 Steps to Earning a 90th-Percentile MCAT Score

Famous Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz once remarked, “When my teams took second place, the fans called me an idiot. A guy who finished last in medical school is still called a ‘doctor’. Hardly seems fair.”
Lou’s pithy comment may be true for students already in medical school. However, if you are a premed student, finishing last, or even in the middle of the pack, dooms your chances of going to a quality medical school. Every year, students face fierce competition. Scoring “above average” isn’t enough. To be highly competitive as an out-of-state applicant at schools across the country, you need a strong MCAT score—usually in the 90th percentile or above.

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5 Ways to Study for the MCAT Using Your Smart Phone

You can do almost anything with your smart phone these days. You can video call a friend in China, order pizza with the click of a button, and even see in the dark! So, if your smart phone can help you do these and an almost infinitely large number of other things, then why can’t you use it to study for the MCAT? In this article, I am going to show you that you not only can, but should use your smart phone to study for the MCAT. Here are 5 ways that you can start using your iPhone to study for the MCAT right now:

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4 Ways to Address a Low MCAT Score on Your AMCAS Application

low MCAT score

Overcoming a low MCAT score on your AMCAS application can feel daunting. Can they really judge my whole application by my performance on one 8 hour block of life!!? Sadly, most schools do put extensive emphasis on MCAT scores. However, a low score is not the end of the world if you are within the range of applicants to a particular school. Ask yourself: What do medical schools look for? The answer is more dynamic than just a good MCAT score…

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Critical Reading: Building Analysis and Reasoning Skills with Confidence

Anyone who has taken or studied for the MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)—or any other critical reading test—will tell you that these tests can be incredibly challenging. Why is that true, given that people studying for the MCAT CARS are typically good students? There are several reasons why. Part of the challenge is the subject matter in the passages. Many individuals have not read extensively outside of their disciplines–especially in the humanities and social sciences. Another challenge is that many people today aren’t used to reading material that is written much above the high school level, even college students. Thus, many readers are uneasy with complex sentence structures and elaborate or abstract language. In addition, analyzing and reasoning from material in a new discipline or in a style that is unfamiliar to you is difficult. It can require extra thought for anyone. However, these and other reading challenges don’t need to be roadblocks to your success when you take the MCAT or any other test that involves critical reading. Critical reading, analysis, and reasoning are skills that can be learned and practiced. This article is designed to help you understand the skills you’ll need to read effectively and approach testing for the MCAT CARS and other critical reading tests.

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4 Things I Wish I’d Known About the MCAT

taking the mcat

Walking out of the test center after I had completed the MCAT was a surreal experience. Somehow, the far-off test date for which I had been preparing for months had not only arrived, but had already passed. I was suddenly and thankfully in possession of all of the components of a complete medical school application, as an MCAT score was the last blank space to fill on my impending AMCAS application.

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Get a Top Score on the MCAT for Less Than $300


Many MCAT prep companies will try to sell you on the idea that you need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a fancy prep course with all its bells and whistles in order to get a top score on the MCAT, but this just isn’t the case. We carefully analyzed the experiences of students that scored above the 95th percentile on the MCAT and looked for patterns in their preparation, and our analysis revealed that the students who performed well weren’t necessarily the students who spent the most money on a prep course. In actuality, top scorers use a variety of low-cost resources. And this actually makes perfect sense. Think about it. Every MCAT prep company has a single (likely slightly inaccurate) perspective regarding the most important concepts to know for the MCAT. By preparing using a variety of materials, you will gain several perspectives on the material, which when combined together provide you with a much more accurate picture of the MCAT.

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How to Prepare for the MCAT’s Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section

The Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (or CARS) section of the MCAT is occasionally placed on the backburner by prospective medical students who are focused on learning (and relearning) the information necessary for success on the science-based portions of the test. What some individuals realize too close to their exam date, however, is that the CARS section is anything but a buffer score for results in “more difficult” sections of the MCAT.

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Preparing to Apply to Medical School

Wondering if a career as a doctor would be a good fit for you? Already decided you want to apply to medical school, but not sure where to start? In order to help premedical students understand what is involved in applying to medical school, Student Doctor Network has partnered with Open Osmosis to create a video on “Preparing to Apply to Medical School.” Learn what to consider when deciding whether medical school is the right path for you, find out what you will need for your application, and hear what steps you’ll need to take before starting the application process. The video also takes a look at joint degree options, different curricula, and school environments to help you find the best fit. 

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Ten Ways to Improve your Medical School Application

Recently, I rounded out a full decade as a professional admissions consultant, assisting candidates with residency and medical school applications. One thing I’ve noted over the last ten years is that, regrettably, many applicants repeat the same subset of errors – miscalculations that I’d like to help future candidates avoid. Although these are mistakes to sidestep at all cost, I’ve written this piece with a positive bent, so proceed with optimism – and attention – please. Here are ten actionable items you can implement to significantly improve your medical school candidacy:

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New Student Success Stories: How I Prepared for the MCAT Exam

Studying for the MCAT exam can be daunting, and chances are, you’ve typed “How do I study for the MCAT exam?” or “What’s the best way to prepare for the MCAT exam?” into your search engine. You may have even wondered how long you should spend studying.
Whether you are about to begin studying or are currently in the process, it’s likely you are still looking for guidance about where to start or where to find the best review strategy, or whether you are on the right track with your preparation. To find these answers, you may have searched the web, skimmed online forums, and consulted with friends or family, likely uncovering hundreds of different results, advice, and opinions that can leave your head spinning.

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4 New Year’s Resolutions for Pre-Medical Students

Being a pre-medical student means committing to a years-long process aimed at ultimately gaining admission to medical school. No matter how many years away you may currently be from applying, starting the new year with a resolution or two that is geared toward helping you achieve your goal of becoming a physician is a great way of ensure that you are on track. Whether you vow to finally enroll in that EMT class, or to broaden your academic horizons by taking an elective outside your major, find time to build yourself as an applicant while also maintaining a life outside of your pre-medical activities. Consider taking on one or more of the below resolutions, or craft your own to fit your academic and personal needs.

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Board Preparation: Training for a Marathon, not a Sprint 

The first key to success on the boards is using practice questions to develop your “hunch reflex.” If you’re a second year medical student, “kinda-sorta” thinking about a certain test you’ll have to take in about six months, and you haven’t already begun using USMLE/COMLEX-style practice questions in your study, you should start now. Even if you’re just half way through first year, start incorporating the following advice into your study plan: questions, questions, questions!

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