Day 29 – Putting it All Together: How to Review an Entire CARS Practice Test
Today is going to be an easy to follow summary of the last three posts, so you have a comprehensive guide that breaks down how to review your practice tests, step by step. You can download a PDF guide here that you can print off and keep close by to walk you through each of the steps.
We’ve also taken the time to develop a Review Fill in Sheet that allows you to write out these various steps in logical order. You can download the Passage Review Worksheets here which you should fill out as you review each passage.
Steps to Take Right After you Finish a Practice Test:
Step 1: Score your answers, marking down all questions you got wrong as well as those you marked as having troubled you. BUT DO NOT LOOK AT THE CORRECT ANSWERS OR ANSWER EXPLANATIONS!
Step 2: Put away the test and do something unrelated to CARS for at least four hours. It’s ok to study other MCAT materials, but take a break before getting back to studying.
Reviewing the Passage:
Step 3: Starting with passage 1, reread the passage at your CARS pace but without reference to time. It’s ok to slow down on difficult sections.
Step 4: Determine what kind of passage it is: Argumentative or Descriptive?
Step 5: Read the passage again, but this time, after every paragraph, write a brief one sentence summary. A few words are enough.
Step 6: Next formulate the main idea of the passage by writing out the frame, the subject, and the point of the passage.
See Day 11 if you have questions about how to do this.
Step 7: Write a one-sentence summary of the entire passage.
Reviewing the Question Stem:
Step 8: Identify what kind of question type you’re dealing with.
Step 9: Paraphrase the question, trying to put it into as simple of language as possible.
Step 10: Write down an answer prediction in as few of words as possible.
This won’t be possible with every question, but with many it will be
Reviewing the Answer Choices:
Step 11: With your prediction in hand, review each answer choice and see which you are able to eliminate as incorrect.For any answer choices you eliminate, briefly write down what makes that answer choice wrong.
Step 12: With any remaining answer choices, go back to the main idea sentence you wrote earlier and see which answer choices you are able to eliminate. For any answer choices you eliminate, briefly write down what makes that answer choice wrong.
Step 13: With any remaining answer choices, read through your paragraph summaries and see which answer choices you are able to eliminate. For any answer choices you eliminate, briefly write down what makes that answer choice wrong.
Step 14: If any answer choices remain, review the answer explanation and see what you missed. For any answer choices you eliminate, briefly write down what makes that answer choice wrong.
Step 15: Once you have eliminated all the incorrect answers choices and written down why they are wrong, briefly write down what makes the correct answer choice correct.
Repeat this process for every question you miss or marked as troubling you while taking the test. After reviewing passage 1, repeat this process for passage 2, proceeding through all 9 passages.
Once you have your timing down, reviewing your passages is the surest way to improve your CARS score, so that is why we’ve spent so much time going step by step through the process. Hopefully, today’s post has given you a global look at the best way to review your practice tests. As you read through it, I know it seems like many steps, but it isn’t all that difficult once you do it a couple of times. You can download an easy, step by step PDF guide here and also our passage review worksheets we recommend you fill out as your review. I can’t recommend it enough that you print off the passage review worksheets and fill them out as you review your passages.
Writing it down forces you to focus and organize your thinking in a way you wouldn’t do otherwise. Great job today. Only one more day. We’re going to step up the passage count to 6 passages for the last two days because you’ll be taking full-lengths soon and we want to make sure you’re ready!
Today’s Assignment: Do Six CARS Passages Consecutively, Under Timed Conditions.
“Success is sweet and sweeter still if it long delayed and achieved through many struggles and defeats.”
– Amos Bronson Alcott