In alignment with county, city and campus recommendations, Health Professions Advising will be offering only phone appointments through April 7. To schedule an appointment with an advisor, visit hpadvising.ucdavis.edu. Please note that we will offer regular programming online throughout the spring quarter. Please visit our website and Facebook page to learn more. If you have any questions, please email healthprofessionsadvising@ucdavis.edu.

2020 Spring MCAT Prep

When preparing for the MCAT, students often get sidetracked by the draw of refreshing and/or relearning science concepts they have learned previously as that serves as the lowest barrier to entry. In doing so, they forget that it is not only what you know that gets tested on the MCAT, but also how you can read, interpret, and apply new information in conjunction with your own knowledge. The AAMC outlines two separate skill sets called “CARS” and “SIRS”. The CARS skill set is covered on the accurately named CARS section, while the SIRS skill set is covered on all three of the science-based sections. It can also be said that the CARS skill set is tested indirectly on the science sections as well. Both skill sets are outlined below as described by the AAMC.

This series of ten workshops will help you understand how to identify what a question is expecting you to do and which part of each skill set you will need to apply to successfully answer that question. You will also learn specific activities you can do to build up each skill as you prepare for the MCAT.

Each session will consist of practice questions and/or passages as well as group discussions about how to approach those questions and/or passages. Be prepared with pencil and paper to use as scratch paper and for taking notes. This program targets students taking the MCAT in Summer or Fall 2020 and does not deal with the specific science content of the exam. Registration is not required. For updates like us on Facebook.

Unable to attend a session? Sessions are independent of each other, so please feel free to continue to attend the other sessions!

Spring Schedule & Zoom Links
  • Tuesday CARS Prep Series
  • Session 1: Introduction to CARS

    April 7th | Zoom Link
    Have you heard about the dreaded “CARS” section on the MCAT? Come learn about the basics
    of CARS to demystify this important part of the MCAT!
    Session 2: Test Your CARS Skills!
    April 21st 
    | Zoom Link
    Are you curious about your future CARS performance on the MCAT? Come take sample CARS
    questions to identify and improve on your weaknesses!
    Session 3: Dive into Reading Comprehension
    May 5th 
    | Zoom Link
    Have you ever found yourself re-reading the same sentence of a CARS passage over and over?
    This workshop will provide the tools to improve your reading comprehension!
    Session 4: What is Reasoning within the Text?
    May 19th 
    | Zoom Link
    Did you know there are “types” of questions on the CARS section? Come learn about how to
    tackle “reasoning within the text” questions!
    Session 5: What is Reasoning beyond the Text?
    June 2nd
     | Zoom Link
    If you struggle with “reasoning beyond the text” questions on the CARS section, you’re not
    alone! This workshop will introduce you to this type of question and provide strategies for how
    to take them on."

  • Thursday Science Prep Series
  • Session 1: Introduction to SIRS
    April 9th | Zoom Link

    Science questions not only test your science knowledge, but also test your ability to reason,
    apply scientific concepts, and use data to make decisions. This is what the MCAT refers to as the
    Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning Skills (SIRS). Find out how to identify these different types of
    questions and how to approach them.
    Session 2: Knowledge of Scientific Concepts and Principles
    April 23rd | Zoom Link

    Using three MCAT Chem/Phys passages we will investigate the questions most people think of
    when they are taking science-based tests. We will learn the common question structures and
    strategies to attack each one.
    Session 3: Problem-Solving with Scientific Reasoning
    May 7th | Zoom Link

    Using three MCAT Bio/Biochem passages we will see It’s not just what you know, but how you
    use it. This session will focus on how to take new information from the question or the passage,
    fit it into an already existing paradigm, and address questions outside of your personal scope of
    knowledge.
    Session 4: Analyzing Experimental Design
    May 21st | Zoom Link

    Using three MCAT Psych/Soc passages we will discuss the ins and outs of how experimental
    details are presented on the MCAT and just what you need to be looking for. This will be a short
    course in experimental design terminology so you can identify everything from a confounding
    variable to a causation-correlation logical flaw.
    Session 5: Analyzing Figures and Tables
    June 4th | Zoom Link

    Using one passage from each of the three science sections of the MCAT we will tackle some of
    the most complicated and intimidating equations, figures, and tables the MCAT can throw at
    you. Come learn why scientists present data in the way they do and how to effectively pull
    information out of figures and tables.