Part 1 – Introduction to the MCAT CARS
The MCAT can be a difficult test. However, for many premeds, the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Section of the exam (CARS) can be one of the most challenging and mysterious sections to prepare for. How can you qualify for a section where you may be asked to write about topics ranging from philosophy and history? Although you can’t remember any CARS content, it is just as important as all the other sections.
Medical schools are looking for applicants who can memorize and regurgitate scientific facts and learn to think critically and analyze a wide range of topics. Many Canadian medical schools require minimum MCAT CARS scores to be admitted, and there are no minimums for the other sections.
CARS is a more difficult section than the others. It does not require any prior knowledge of the subject matter or memorization. The test taker must be able to read and quickly summarize critical information and answer questions.
You think differently than other people. Each person is unique, and there is no universal CARS strategy. There are many strategies you can use to be successful on CARS. The key is to find the one that works best for you. This guide will explain the components of the MCAT CARS Section and the main strategies you can use to succeed.
Part 2 – MCAT CARS Section Breakdown
The MCAT CARS section takes 90 minutes to complete and has 53 multiple-choice questions. It is 5 minutes and 6 minutes shorter than the other sections. There are nine passages in the section, which means there are an average of 5-6 questions per paragraph. You should spend 10 minutes on each course, not including questions.
CARS, as we said earlier, does not require any prior knowledge. All the information needed to answer the questions can be found in the passage (this is an important fact to remember). Developing your critical reading skills as you prepare for the exam is also a good idea. The AAMC test writers state that 50% of the passage content is Humanities. This can include subjects such as Architecture, Dance, Ethics, and Literature. Popular Culture, Religion, Culture, and Theater are all possible options. The Social Sciences comprise 50% of the passage content. This includes anthropology and Archaeology, economics, Education, History, and Linguistics. Political Science, Population Health. Psychology, Sociology, Studies of Diverse Cultures. These subjects are not required, but you’ll be able to extract the essential information from the passage.
Let’s move beyond the content of the passages and look at the questions. There are three types of questions. 30% of the questions will be in the Foundations of Comprehension category. These questions will assess your comprehension of the passage’s meaning. The remaining 30% of questions are related to Reasoning within the Text. These questions ask test takers how they can combine multiple parts of the text into a single conclusion. The remaining 40% fall under Reasoning Beyond the Text. As the name suggests, these questions require you to use the passage information to extrapolate to a broader meaning or apply it to a different context. These questions are the most difficult, but you can still answer them with practice and the right strategies.
Part 3 – MCAT CARS Strategies
This section will provide seven strategies to help you approach each CARS passage. Start with the first strategy and then try the others until you find the best combination. Here is an example passage. Below are the seven methods and examples of how they can be used for this passage.
The second century of Christianity’s Christian Era saw the Roman Empire encompass the fairest and most civilized part of the globe. Ancient renown and disciplined valor protected the frontiers of this vast monarchy. The gentle but powerful influence of laws gradually consolidated the union of the provinces. The image of a free constitution was kept with respect: The Roman senate seemed to have sovereign authority and devolved all executive powers to the emperors.
Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian were able to manage the public administration for more than fourscore years. This is their design to describe the prosperity of their empire. Then, after Marcus Antoninus’ death, it was used to determine the most critical circumstances that led to its fall and decline. A revolution that will be cherished by all nations and still felt by many.
The republic was responsible for most of the Roman conquests. However, the emperors were content with preserving those dominions acquired through the senate policy, active emulations by consuls, and the military enthusiasm of the people. The first seven centuries were full of rapid successions of victories. But Augustus could abandon his ambitious plan of subduing all of the earth and bringing a spirit of moderation to the public councils.
The province of Britain was the only accession the Roman Empire received during the first-century Christian era. The only instance in which Caesar and Augustus’ successors were persuaded to adopt the model of the former was this one. Its proximity to Gaul seemed to encourage them to arm themselves; the attractive but doubtful intelligence of a pearl fishing attracted their avarice. As Britain was seen in the light of an isolated and insulated world, the conquest barely formed an exception to the general system of continental measures.
Britain’s various tribes could show courage and conduct without compromising their freedom. They took up arms with savage ferocity; they put them down or turned them against one another with wild inconsistency. And while they fought separately, they were eventually subdued. His legions under the command of Agricola defeated the Caledonians at the foot of Grampian Hills. Domitian was still in his palace and felt the terrors he had sparked. His fleets ventured to explore new and dangerous navigation and displayed the Roman arms around every island corner.
It was already considered that the conquest of Britain had been accomplished. Agricola was tasked with completing and ensuring his success through the easy reduction in Ireland. He believed one legion and a few ancillaries were enough. The western aisle could be considered valuable if the possibility and example of freedom were available on all sides.