Start Your Engines…Sketchy MCAT is Taking on the CARS Section

Turn your MCAT CARS practice into one picture worth a 600-word CARS passage. Learn how Sketchy CARS takes visual learning to the next level.

Sketchy makes learning unforgettable for really challenging topics—you know, like the kinds of topics on the MCAT. Take a look at our lessons and you’ll find everything from organic chemistry to physics.

The only thing is… the MCAT isn’t only about science. Uhhh what?? Yeah, there’s more to life acing the MCAT than all that biochem and genetics studying you’ve been doing. There’s this thing called


CARS stands for Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills and it’s a MCAT section full of really hard-to-read passages about subjects that include the humanities. Then there are 53 tricky questions to answer. All under a tight time limit of 90 minutes.

Huh…say that again? The CARS section on the MCAT is:

      • Hard-to-read passages you have to internalize on the spot
      • Tricky questions that are easier if you remember the most important parts of the passage
      • Tight time limit that rewards quick and efficient thinking

Wow, it would be really nice if there was a method proven to help you

      • Encode information in your brain really quickly (like, say, from a hard-to-read passage)...
      • Recall that information with excellent accuracy (when you see the questions)…
      • And save a ton of time in the process

Hold up—this sounds a lot like a method we know all about at Sketchy. It’s the method of loci, the same process underlying every Sketchy lesson ever made. If a memory palace can help you memorize the Krebs cycle could it also help you memorize the key points of a CARS passage to ace the questions?

We thought it might. And after combining our creative powers at Sketchy HQ, we made a major MCAT breakthrough.

The Dueling Duo_Sketchy CARS


First, a little background. You probably already know this, but basically every CARS course in the world tells you to do something while you read. There’s no better way to doom your CARS score than to just passively scan your eyes over the passage and get nothing out of it. So every course, or tutor, or “Top 10 CARS Tips” article is going to tell you to map the passage, or highlight key terms, or ask yourself questions while reading, or something along those lines.

But there’s one problem all those typical CARS methods have in common: they’re all words. Words, words, words. You have a whole brain in your skull just begging for visuospatial stimuli, and you’re feeding it nothing but text! So we say: when working on the MCAT CARS section, don’t make an outline, don’t lean on your highlighting tool – try visualizing and take advantage of your imagination.

Take a passage like this:

Successive generations of academics and scholars have studied both fiction and nonfiction writings from Norse history. The focus of these studies has not just been the purported writings contemporaneous to the Vikings themselves, but also texts from the intervening years since, reflecting on the history and myth less-further removed than we are in the present day. This reflection across multiple eras of history can, with the proper perspective and analysis, create a kinship between today’s scholars and the rugged, lived experience of a civilization long departed.

Which is going to help you better understand this paragraph, and recall it to answer questions: A hastily-written paragraph summary on your noteboard, like

Studies of mult. Norse eras = connections btwn past + present

Or this:

Viking Hipster_Sketchy CARS

Now imagine, across an entire passage, creating a mental canvas of every major character and interaction, full of emotion and drama, searing it into your brain so it makes sense and you spend less time researching the passage to answer the questions. You do that nine times to finish the section, you kick the CARS section to the curb, and you slow walk to med school. It’s a whole new way to CARS, it really works, and it’s actually a lot of fun. (Though you don’t have to tell anyone you’re having fun studying for the MCAT if you don’t want to.)

In our MCAT CARS course, we don’t just wave our hands and say “draw pictures with your mind.” Building on the foundation of our proven Sketchy method, we use some seriously awesome art and a whole lot of Sketchy flair. But we didn’t stop there. For this new course, we combined art and animation with real footage of a real Sketchy Genius to lead the way. You’ll learn how to make the BEST visualizations for maximum stickiness and efficiency. We walk through official AAMC content to prove that it works on real MCAT CARS passages from the actual testmaker. And it’s not all about the visuals – we’ve even got a few extra passage-reading and question-answering techniques up our sleeves for good measure.

There are also a lot of automotive puns. Sorry, sometimes we get CARried away.

Puff_Sketchy CARS


Sign up for a free trial today to see our basic CARS rundown free of charge, and then sign up for our brand-new MCAT Prep Essentials bundle to see the entire course. In addition to all 300+ of our science videos, you’ll get the full suite of our brand new CARS course. It’s filled with:

      • Strategy videos
      • Secret hacks
      • Passage visualizations
      • Question solvers

PLUS we’ll include a code that lets you access all the MCAT practice that the AAMC has on offer. That’s right, get your AAMC practice now with Sketchy. The MCAT Prep Essentials bundle is your comprehensive recourse to crush the MCAT. So pick up the course, rock the MCAT, and we’ll see you in med school.

🩺 Try Sketchy for free. Sign up today⮕

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