How to Improve CARS MCAT Score in 2023

How to Improve CARS MCAT in 2023

How to improve CARS MCAT score in 2023? Undoubtedly, the MCAT is a formidable challenge for aspiring medical students. 

Among its various components, the MCAT CARS section stands out as the most demanding. This portion necessitates a unique approach to studying, emphasizing continuous practice and skill development. 

Unlike other sections, CARS doesn’t require memorization; instead, it evaluates your capacity to comprehend and analyze information on the spot. 

This article aims to guide you through enhancing your performance and test preparation in the CARS section.

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Understanding the MCAT Format

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) consists of four sections, each carrying a maximum score of 132. These sections include:

  1. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems (Chem/Phys)
  2. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)
  3. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems (Bio/BioChem)
  4. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior (Psych/Soc)

The MCAT CARS (Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills) part is assessed on a range of 118-132, with a score of roughly 125 being the norm. The score is determined by the number of properly answered questions, with no penalty for guessing.

MCAT CARS scoring Explained 

It’s important to understand the scoring details to understand how to improve MCAT CARS score and make proper test preparation:

  • The amount of questions properly answered in the CARS portion constitutes the raw score. The result of this conversion is a scaled score.
  • Scaled score: The ultimate result that is sent to medical schools is the scaled score. It converts the raw result to a score between 118 and 132.
  • Percentile rank: The proportion of test-takers who received a lower score on the CARS component is your percentile rank. If your percentile rank is 90, for instance, it signifies that you outperformed 90% of other test-takers in terms of your score.

Deconstructing the MCAT CARS Section

The MCAT CARS section comprises nine passages, typically ranging from 500 to 600 words, with 5-7 questions per passage, totaling 53 questions. 

This section is divided into three categories of critical analysis and reasoning skills, encompassing various topics in the Humanities and Social Sciences. These categories are:

Foundations of Comprehension (30%)

These questions test your grasp of the fundamental components of the passage. 

You’ll need to determine the author’s main point or thesis, understand their perspective, and infer implied meanings. 

To excel, analyze the author’s word choice, rhetorical devices, and tone to grasp the passage’s intent.

Reasoning Within the Text (30%)

This category challenges you to evaluate the author’s arguments, focusing on the strength and persuasiveness of the evidence presented. 

Assess implicit assumptions within the text and determine if the author’s conclusions are sensible and unbiased. 

Your responses should rely solely on the information provided in the passage.

Reasoning Beyond the Text (40%)

These questions require you to apply information from the passage to different situations or contexts. 

Sometimes, you’ll encounter new information that alters the context of the author’s arguments. Your task is to assess how this new information affects or challenges the author’s thesis.

Strategies for MCAT Success in 2023

Strategies for MCAT Success in 2023
Strategies for MCAT Success in 2023

If you’re looking to ace your MCAT CARS section in 2023, we have all the info you need to build strong strategy. Scoring high on the MCAT can open doors to prestigious medical schools, and the CARS (Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills) section plays a crucial role. Let’s explore some effective strategies and tips to help you improve CARS MCAT score this year:

  1. Practice Active/Critical Reading: Active reading involves deeply engaging with the text, questioning arguments, and interpreting deeper meanings. Deduce key concepts, connect the text to your own experiences, and ask probing questions to enhance comprehension.
  2. Improve Reading Speed With Comprehension: Reading quickly without sacrificing comprehension is vital. Practice reading swiftly and determine which parts of the text require more attention. Use a reading pacemaker to help your eyes flow smoothly from line to line.
  3. Read Often and Build a Reading Routine: Regular reading is essential for success in the CARS section. Reading enhances comprehension, builds vocabulary, and fosters empathy. Make reading a daily habit and incorporate it into your schedule.
  4. Seek Out Challenging Material: Reading complex texts helps improve comprehension. Start with literary journals, dense magazines, or classic literature. Focus on understanding each sentence and the author’s intent.
  5. Consistently Complete Practice Passages: Regularly practice reading CARS passages and answering questions. Familiarize yourself with the format of CARS questions and use a timer to improve your testing speed.

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MCAT Test Preparation for CARS in the New Year

MCAT Test Preparation for CARS in the New Year
MCAT Test Preparation for CARS in the New Year

Boosting MCAT scores with proper test preparation. The key to boosting your MCAT score starts with solid test preparation. With the New Year upon us, it’s the perfect time to set your goals and plan your MCAT study journey. To improve CARS score, follow these steps:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define your target CARS score and create a study plan accordingly.
  2. Effective Time Management: Allocate specific study times daily and stick to your schedule.
  3. Diverse Reading: Enhance your reading skills by engaging with a variety of texts, including scientific articles, literary works, and news.
  4. Practice Regularly: Consistent practice with MCAT-style passages is crucial. Use official practice materials.
  5. Study Groups: Collaborate with peers to discuss passages, share insights, and gain new perspectives.

Raise Your Score: Boosting Your MCAT Performance

Improving your MCAT CARS score means boosting your overall MCAT performance. Here’s how:

  1. Annotate Passages: While reading, underline or highlight key points to improve comprehension.
  2. Practice Under Time Constraints: MCAT CARS passages have tight time limits. Simulate test conditions while practicing.
  3. Eliminate Wrong Answers: Develop strategies to eliminate incorrect answer choices.
  4. Review Your Mistakes: Regularly analyze your practice tests to identify weak areas and work on them.

The Path to Success: Crafting Your MCAT Study Plan

Crafting Your MCAT Study Plan
Crafting Your MCAT Study Plan

A well-structured MCAT study plan is your roadmap to success. Here’s what to include in your plan:

  1. Content Review: Revise the necessary content for the MCAT CARS section.
  2. Daily Practice: Include a daily practice session with timed passages.
  3. Full-Length Practice Tests: Take full-length practice tests to simulate the actual exam experience.
  4. Feedback Loop: Continuously adjust your plan based on your performance in practice tests.

Proven Techniques: How to Score Higher on MCAT CARS

To score higher on MCAT CARS, you need effective techniques:

  1. Active Reading: Engage with the passage actively by asking questions as you read.
  2. Summarize: After reading a passage, summarize it in your own words.
  3. Strengthen Vocabulary: Expand your vocabulary to understand complex texts better.
  4. Avoid Overthinking: Sometimes, the simplest answer is the correct one. Don’t overanalyze.

Effective CARS Strategies and Tips

Effective CARS Strategies and Tips
Effective CARS Strategies and Tips

Mastering the MCAT CARS section is a journey that requires consistent practice, active reading, and a well-structured routine. 

Follow those effective CARS strategies and prep tips to scoring higher than ever:


  • Start building your CARS skills early.
  • Seek out challenging reading material to enhance comprehension.
  • Practice reading speed while maintaining comprehension.
  • Build a daily reading routine.
  • Regularly read and answer practice passages.
  • Complete practice passages with a timer to assess your speed.
  • Put yourself in the author’s shoes to understand the context.
  • Keep track of your time during the test and for each question.
  • Take moments to calm your nerves before the test and each question.


  • Neglect CARS preparation in favor of other sections.
  • Assume that passages are trying to trick you.
  • Waste time searching for the easiest passage during the test.

By following these strategies and adhering to the dos and don’ts, you’ll be well-prepared to excel in this challenging section and ultimately achieve your medical school aspirations.

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Top Resources and Practice Materials

Make use of the following resources to enhance your MCAT CARS preparation:

  1. Official AAMC MCAT Resources: AAMC offers the most authentic MCAT materials, including practice tests.
  2. Khan Academy: Their free resources cover a wide range of MCAT topics.
  3. Test Prep Companies: Consider using prep books, courses, and practice tests from reputable companies like Kaplan or Princeton Review.

MCAT Prep: Your Roadmap to Enhancing CARS Performance

Your MCAT journey in 2023 is a path to success. With a solid study plan, effective strategies, and consistent practice, you can significantly improve CARS MCAT score.

Remember, the journey to medical school is challenging, but with determination and the right approach, you can achieve your dream. 

Here are the best steps to include on your MCAT prep to improve MCAT CARS score in 2023:

Re-enroll in relevant coursework.

A strong background in the humanities and social sciences is necessary to score well on the MCAT’s CARS section.

Consider enrolling once again in coursework in these disciplines if you last took classes in them a while ago.

This can help you brush up on your knowledge and improve how well you comprehend the test material.

Get comfortable with the unfamiliar.

There are several sections on unknown subjects in the MCAT’s CARS portion.

Understanding and analyzing new information is a must for success in this section.

Try reading books and articles about topics you are unfamiliar with, then practice analyzing and assessing the content.

This will help you become more at ease with the strange and know exactly how to improve MCAT CARS.

Improve your active reading strategies.

For the MCAT’s CARS part, active reading is a crucial ability.

Try underlining crucial sentences, making notes, and challenging yourself as you read to enhance your active reading techniques.

You will better comprehend and remember the information if you do this.

Quickly and Ruthlessly Narrow Your Answer Option

The MCAT’s CARS section frequently offers similar yet distinct answer choices.

It’s critical to rapidly and brutally reduce your response choices if you want to increase your score.

To accomplish this, thoroughly read the question and cross off any obvious erroneous response choices.

Know Why the Correct Answer is Correct

Instead of merely selecting the proper response, it’s crucial to comprehend why it’s the right response. Spend some time understanding both the justifications for the right answer and the justifications for the wrong response on the CARS part to increase your score.

You’ll be able to comprehend the subject matter better, score better on the test, and understand exactly how to improve your MCAT CARS score in 2023.

Key Take Away for How to Improve CARS MCAT Score in 2023: Conclusion

In conclusion to our comprehensive guide on how to improve CARS MCAT score in 2023 we can leave you with the final points for takeaway: 

  • Read a variety of different materials. The more you read, the better equipped you will be to handle the different types of passages that appear on the MCAT CARS section.
  • Pay attention to the author’s purpose. What is the author trying to achieve by writing this passage? Are they trying to inform, persuade, or entertain? Once you understand the author’s purpose, you will be better able to understand the passage as a whole.
  • Identify the main ideas and supporting details. What are the main points that the author is trying to make? What evidence does the author provide to support those points?
  • Make connections between different parts of the text. How do the different ideas in the passage relate to each other? How does the author build on their ideas?
  • Use the process of elimination to answer questions. If you’re not sure which answer is correct, try to eliminate the answers that you know are incorrect. This will leave you with a smaller number of answer choices to choose from.

With regular practice and preparation, you can improve CARS score and achieve your desired MCAT score.

FAQs About How to Improve CARS MCAT Score in 2023

How do I get a better score on the MCAT for CARS?

To improve MCAT CARS (Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills) score: Focus on practicing regularly with passages and questions. Develop strong reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Use official AAMC materials and third-party resources, and consider seeking guidance from a tutor or prep course.

How long does it take to improve a CARS score on the MCAT?

The time it takes to improve MCAT CARS score varies depending on your starting point and dedication. A good overall amount of time to dedicate to MCAT study is 200-300 hours. It's common for students to spend Two months or more practicing daily. Consistent effort and a strategic study plan will help you steadily enhance your CARS performance.

How can I improve my MCAT score fast?

To improve your MCAT score quickly, create a focused study schedule, prioritize your weakest areas, and use efficient study materials. Consider enrolling in a reputable MCAT prep course that offers intensive preparation.

Does reading help with MCAT CARS?

Yes, reading extensively can significantly aid in improving your MCAT CARS performance. Regular reading enhances your comprehension, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills, all of which are crucial for success in this section. Read a variety of materials, such as newspapers, magazines, and scholarly articles, to diversify your reading experience.

Why is my MCAT score not improving?

Several factors may contribute to your MCAT score not improving as desired. Consider evaluating your study methods, timing strategies, and resource choices.

What is the hardest section of the MCAT to improve?

The hardest section to improve varies among individuals, but many find the CARS section (Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills) particularly challenging. This is because it requires strong reading comprehension, critical thinking, and analytical skills. However, with consistent practice and targeted strategies, improvement is possible in all MCAT sections.