In alignment with county, city and campus recommendations, Health Professions Advising will be working remotely by offering phone appointments and workshops via Zoom. To schedule an appointment with an advisor, visit hpadvising.ucdavis.edu. Please visit our the Upcoming Events Page for Announcement and Updates and Facebook page to learn more. If you have any questions, please email healthprofessionsadvising@ucdavis.edu.

2020 Summer 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!

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

    June 30th | 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: Attacking CARS Question Types
    July 14th 
    | 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
    August 4th 
    | 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?
    August 18th 
    | 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?
    September 1st
     | 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 the Sciences
    July 2nd | 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: Attacking Science Question Types
    July 16th | 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: Triaging Science Passages
    August 6th | 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: Exploring Experimental Design
    August 20th | 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
    September 3rd | 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.