CARS QPack Vol 1

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bbiebelberg
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:28 pm

CARS QPack Vol 1

Post by bbiebelberg » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:37 pm

Hello! I've done about 6-7 passages from the AAMC CARS QPack (Vol 1), and I am finding them to be significantly harder than the CARS passages I've been working through in the NSTP Verbal 108 book. Whereas I've been scoring 75-100% correct on the Next Step passages, I've been scoring more like 40-60% correct on the AAMC passages.

I always review incorrect answers, and I've not been able to glean any one specific thing as the source of difficulty with the AAMC passages.

Do you have any recommendations or potential sources of challenge to focus on?

Thanks,
Brett
NS_Tutor_Mathias
Posts: 616
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:39 pm

Re: CARS QPack Vol 1

Post by NS_Tutor_Mathias » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:36 am

The first half of QPack #1 is a little notorious for difficulty, particularly at the start. The biggest factor for you right now might be that effect combined with the least familiarity with the peculiarities of AAMC style.

I would even recommend just working a bit further into QP1, or doing QP2 in parallel, if you want a better sense of contemporary AAMC style. Then possibly analyze by reasoning category, particularly if reasoning beyond the text questions tend to trip you up a bit. It can help a good bit to explicitly formulate the arguments made in the text (say on a piece of paper) and to see which extrapolations would be most supported based on those arguments. This isn't necessarily a reasonable way to approach test day, but a good way to approach CARS practice.

And I think that is the biggest piece of advice for CARS practice I could give: Approach a few of them as if they were a deep-reading assignment, and take all the time you could possibly need. The purpose of these exercises is to become aware of the kind of nuance that can be missed on a single read-through and to become more tuned into your own tendencies to mentally skip, check out or not assign appropriate relevance to certain piece of information.

Other than that, one of the most important piece of advice for CARS: Be unafraid to settle into your most comfortable style of reading or annotating. Whether that is sparse highlighting, note-keeping or just referring to the passage. In that regard there is absolutely no wrong way of going about it!
bbiebelberg
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:28 pm

Re: CARS QPack Vol 1

Post by bbiebelberg » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:58 pm

Thanks, Mathias! Reassuring to hear that the first half of QPack 1 is known to be difficult. I finished it and look forward to working through the rest of QPack 1 and QP2.
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