Are MCAT CARS tutors worth it? The MCAT CARS is arguably the most difficult part of a challenging test, and many students want to know the best MCAT CARS strategy or the key to acing this part of the exam. An MCAT tutor can be an invaluable study resource, especially if you want to improve your CARS score or you need to retake the MCAT. In this blog, we’ll look at what makes the MCAT CARS section so hard, why a tutor might be needed and how they can help you ace this tricky MCAT section.

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Article Contents
12 min read

What Makes the MCAT CARS so Hard? Should You Hire an MCAT CARS Tutor? How MCAT CARS Tutors Can Help You Why Choose BeMo as Your MCAT CARS Tutor Conclusion: Is MCAT CARS Tutoring Worth It? FAQs

What Makes the MCAT CARS so Hard?

How hard is the MCAT, you wonder? It’s a tough test, and the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) section of the MCAT is generally considered to be the hardest section of the entire exam. Overall, test takers present the lowest average scores on this section of the exam compared to the other three sections.

The MCAT CARS section can be a significant source of stress and anxiety when preparing for the test, as any of our students can attest to. Which is why students consider hiring an MCAT CARS tutor or other type of professional MCAT prep help.

“During the MCAT prep time, I was extremely stressed and anxious and [MCAT CARS tutoring] helped me get through it … ALL of [my CARS tutors] gave me strategies I have not even considered before when studying for CARS. With their help, I tremendously improved on this section of the MCAT.” – BeMo student

As your MCAT score factors into medical school acceptance rates and your chances of admission, it’s important to score as high as possible on your CARS section. Most med schools will look at your overall MCAT score when evaluating your application, but some schools will weigh your CARS score more heavily in their decision-making.

The CARS section is so tough because it relies on your intellectual and analytical skills and not on your ability to remember or recall information. The CARS section will test you on your ability to absorb and understand new information and apply your critical thinking skills to a problem or case. Since you won’t know what the passages in the CARS section will contain ahead of time, it might seem like you won’t be able to prepare. But in this case, you can study by learning the strategies and improving the skills you need.

The good news is that it is possible to prepare and study for the MCAT CARS section with the right MCAT prep strategy and help. While tutoring may not work for every student, it can certainly be a worthy investment to help you tackle the MCAT CARS, and our students agree!

“CARS is seen as one of the most challenging section in the MCAT exam and being prepared to tackle those questions can be difficult without tutoring. [My tutor] allowed me to see my progress and thought process as we went through passages and questions. Overall a great mentor to have.” – BeMo student.

Should You Hire an MCAT CARS Tutor?

An MCAT CARS tutor is someone who specializes in helping students study for this particular exam and will have insight into acing this particular section. Often times, the tutor might have personal experience taking the MCAT and facing down the CARS section, so they can provide more than just study tips and strategies but advice on managing stress, creating a good study schedule, tips for what to do on test day and so much more.

A tutor can not only teach you effective CARS strategies, but they’ll also understand what you’re going through!

“[My CARS tutors] was really nice and we had a great session together! He gave me a ton of good tips about CARS and the MCAT in general. Having taken this exam himself, he definitely understood what I was going through!” – Stevie, BeMo student

MCAT CARS tutors can be especially helpful for students who want to retake the MCAT or if you’re worried you aren’t hitting the scores you need to get accepted and want to improve your MCAT CARS score. Studying for the MCAT can take several months, so it’s normal for students to feel like they’ve hit a plateau in their studies or want a better strategy for retaking this exam, such as a CARS strategy for slow readers. An MCAT CARS tutor can be the answer if you feel you need a bit more help or an outside eye to help you identify where you can improve your study game or your test skills.

MCAT CARS tutors will also be familiar with the testing process and other important information, such how to get MCAT accommodations or this year’s MCAT test and release dates, which can help you plan your study schedule and test-taking date. Having a good source for all of this information means you’ll be more organized and better prepared, which can significantly decrease some of the stress associated with taking the MCAT in the first place.

“[My MCAT CARS tutor was] super helpful at helping you unravel CARS passages and walking [me] through tips, workflows and strategies. She approached things from a beginner's perspective and made things easy to understand. This is especially helpful considering how intimidating the MCAT journey can be.” – Aditya, BeMo student.

Tutors can also provide useful advice on when to start studying for the MCAT or how to review MCAT CARS. An MCAT CARS tutor will help diversify and expand your studying for the test, as they will have not only specialized knowledge and tips for success, they may have access to resources and tools you wouldn’t normally. Many students also benefit from having one-on-one, personalized study help and having someone provide feedback.

Not sure whether hiring an MCAT CARS tutor is the right choice for you? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to be sure you’re making the best decision.

1.     How familiar am I with the structure and content of MCAT CARS?

  • The passage-based structure of the CARS section can be intimidating, or you may not know how to approach the particular question types featured in this section.

2.     Am I confident tackling MCAT CARS practice questions on my own?

  • If you haven’t taken an MCAT diagnostic test to see where you stand, do so! Try some practice questions and see how difficult the MCAT CARS section is for you.

3.     Do I need to significantly improve my practice CARS score?

  • Working with a tutor can help improve your CARS score, and fast, by giving you a personalized study plan and tailored study help.

4.     Do I struggle with the timing of the CARS section? Do I consider myself a slow reader?

  • CARS is an especially difficult part of the MCAT for slow readers. A tutor can show you how to improve your MCAT reading comprehension.

5.     Have I hit a plateau with my MCAT self-prep strategies?

  • Some students find that the study strategies they’ve been using for CARS haven’t been paying off. A dedicated tutor can help you rethink your strategies and offer new insights.

6.     What are my study habits like?

  • Students want someone to hold them accountable and keep them on task. Other test-takers might benefit from targeted, personalized help to tackle the problems they are facing with the test.

Is an MCAT tutor or prep course the right choice for you?

How MCAT CARS Tutors Can Help You

There are many ways MCAT CARS tutors can help you study for the MCAT, improve your scores and basically prepare you for the unpredictable. But what specific areas do they help with and how? If you’re thinking of hiring a tutor, it helps to know what areas you need the most help with and why.

Reading comprehension

Good MCAT reading comprehension skills are an essential part of acing the CARS section. A tutor can show you how to read, understand and break down a passage like you will see in the MCAT so you have a clear understanding of what is being said and what the key information is.

“I really find it helpful when [my CARS tutor] takes her time to break down more difficult paragraphs within a passage as the really improves my comprehension of that passage.” – BeMo student.


The passages in the MCAT will be complex, and this can trip up many students. You'll need to practice breaking down the CARS passages in a short time limit, so you have time to answer the associated questions.

Question and answer strategy

Tutors are effective resources for their ability to help you create shortcuts in your brain or hack your studying habits. One of the best ways an MCAT tutor can do this is to show you how to develop question and answer strategies. A tutor can show you how to reduce uncertainty in your answers by developing strategies to help you quickly identify what type of question is being asked, which of the available answers are definitely wrong, or what is the key idea of a text passage. Once these strategies become second nature, it becomes much easier—and faster—to answer all your questions on time. 

“[My BeMo CARS tutor] was helpful in trying to understand the CARS passage and questions. We would read the passage together and wherever I got stuck she would help me understand what it was trying to say. Then we went over the questions and gave me full opportunity to answer them on my own and give a reason why I think it’s the answer to solidify my thinking. Whenever I was lost or incorrect, she would politely take over and explain the question/wording and then again give me the opportunity to answer it on my own.” – BeMo student.


Time management

With only a limited time to read and analyze text passages and then answer questions, it’s easy to feel the pressure on the CARS section. Feeling the need to rush can lead to critical mistakes and undermine all your efforts. A tutor can help coach you on managing your time appropriately with each question, relieving the time crunch stress and answering each question thoroughly and efficiently. An MCAT CARS tutor can coach you on your MCAT timing.

Critical thinking and reasoning

Critical thinking skills are like a muscle. The more you use them, the better they become. Developing your critical thinking skills is essential for acing the CARS section of the MCAT, and having a tutor can be a big help, since you’ll then have another person to debate, discuss and explore different topics and problems with.

“Since this was my first CARS session, I was not sure what to expect. However, during this entire session, I found [my tutor] to be very helpful. She was very understanding of my weakness and challenges that I faced in CARS passages … After going over each paragraph, she would always ask for my interpretation of the paragraph and then supplement my answer with any missing key information. She also took her time to go over each question and asked me why I chose a certain answer. She also clearly explained when other 3 options for the questions were wrong, which I really appreciated. At the end of the session, I felt I had better understanding of the passage.” – BeMo student.


It’s recommended to read up on different topics and current events and practice your critical thinking skills privately. But with a tutor, you can have engaging conversations and actively exercise your brain muscles. Even a simple debate exercise will help you develop your arguments, your analysis and your reasoning skills.

Analytical skills

One of the things that makes the CARS section so difficult is that you are discouraged from using prior knowledge. The passages you’ll be tested on are likely to be on subjects you don’t know ahead of time. Remember that this section of the MCAT isn’t evaluating your knowledge, but your ability to correctly analyze and interpret new information. This can be a tough skill to develop, but a tutor can work with you to improve, like one of our CARS tutors did for Leila, one of our students.

“[My CARS tutor] encouraged me to attempt the answers myself without being told directly. At first I found it difficult … but ultimately, I knew that his approach to answering questions was more beneficial as he provides support and shows me how to do it, rather than telling me what it is. I had difficulties finding a process in how to approach CARS passages but he was phenomenal in giving me advice and explaining concepts I found difficult. I did feel very dejected because I was getting many questions wrong, but he reassured me that with more practice came more accuracy. He was an excellent balance of support and reassurance. He was very respectful, patient and understanding. – Leila, BeMo student.

A CARS tutor can walk with you through MCAT practice tests and passages so you can get a feel for identifying important information in a text and connecting it to the multiple-choice questions being asked, even if you aren’t familiar with the subject matter.

Expand your vocabulary

Another important part of how to review for the MCAT CARS that can be overlooked is expanding your vocabulary. The test will often use sophisticated vocabulary words in its passages and this can trip up students who don’t know the definition or meaning of an important word. Many tutors recommend expanding your vocabulary, incorporating new words every day or so. This can also be a good mental exercise for your brain in preparation for the test. 

MCAT CARS prep course or tutor? Here’s how a tutor can help:

Why Choose BeMo as Your MCAT CARS Tutor

At BeMo, we are student-focused. We know how challenging the MCAT can be, especially the CARS section of the exam. Which is why we offer unlimited prep for the entire MCAT, personalized help and proven study strategies to our students. Your MCAT prep with us is also 100% customizable to your needs. Just ask our students!

“[My BeMo CARS tutor] was absolutely amazing and helped me thoroughly understand the text of the MCAT passage, questions, answer options, and question types! I really enjoyed her immediate feedback to my interpretation and reasoning for why I chose my answer and the question type. This helped solidify my overall understanding and central theme of the passage.” – Brad, BeMo student.

At BeMo, we also pride ourselves on providing our students with the best admissions experts and tutors, who work hard to give our students a stellar experience and improve their skills and confidence.

“[My BeMo expert] was one of my favorite tutors to work with. He understands students in a different way, which really facilitated my learning. He told me "It is more intimidating than it is difficult" and I stuck by that during my MCAT prep and exam. He also really made me feel good about my learning challenges and that I could conquer anything I set my mind to. – Stevie, BeMo student.

Here's what BeMo offers to students who are prepping for the MCAT:

  1. BeMo Guarantees -- We guarantee to improve your score by 15 points if your baseline is at least 500.
  2. Unlimited prep with our MCAT experts
  3. Personalized, one-on-one help, anytime and anywhere
  4. Proven strategies for acing the MCAT and the CARS section
  5. Practice tests, question banks and official MCAT prep material
  6. No B.S. repeat. If you don't like your score, repeat your MCAT prep with us free!

Learn more about BeMo's MCAT prep or book a free initial strategy call with us today to see if we're the right fit for you.

Want to increase your MCAT CARS score fast? Here’s our top strategy:

Conclusion: Is MCAT CARS Tutoring Worth It?

For students who are on a budget, there are some alternatives to MCAT CARS tutors and other ways to save. There are always MCAT prep courses or MCAT prep books which are useful in preparing you for this important test. If you feel that the one-on-one help provided by a tutor is worth the cost for you, at least for the CARS section, you can decide how many hours is sufficient and within your budget to prepare you for this section. Hiring a tutor won’t be in everyone’s budget, but even a few hours with a tutor might be both feasible and advantageous for some students.

“[CARS tutoring] was very helpful in breaking down CARS passages and it helped me feel more confident. Providing homework outside of CARS passages also made studying for CARS more manageable and interesting.” – Mantej, BeMo student.

If you decide to hire an MCAT CARS tutor, be sure to do your research and compare prices, services and quality of service to ensure you hire the best one for you! Give yourself your best chance of success on the MCAT and carefully consider your options. There are countless professional services and independent tutors you can hire to help you, so be sure to look around and choose the right one.

Keep in mind that MCAT tutors are just one piece of the puzzle. Make use of all the study resources and help available to you in order to show the MCAT CARS who’s boss!


1. Is MCAT CARS tutoring worth it?

It depends on the student and their individual situation, but MCAT CARS tutors can make a difference. If you need to retake the test, or you’re anxious about this hard section of the test, a tutor can teach you the skills for success.

2. Is the CARS section of the MCAT the hardest?

It is considered the hardest section of the exam because of its unpredictable nature and the required use of critical thinking skills.

3. What is the best way to study for CARS section of the MCAT?

The best way is to use practice tests while exercising your reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. An MCAT CARS tutor can be a great addition to this if you need extra study help.

4. How can I improve my MCAT CARS score?

If your practice tests scores aren’t high enough, it might be time to change your study methods. Try using MCAT prep courses, prep books or an MCAT CARS tutor who can give you personalized feedback and advice.

5. What does an MCAT CARS tutor help with?

CARS tutors help with not just your study habits and test-taking strategies, but your time management, critical thinking abilities and reading comprehension.

6. Which MCAT CARS prep is best?

Some students learn best from prep books or prep courses, others learn best from taking practice tests or using flashcards. Identify the methods that work best for you and consider which ones are available and within your budget.

7. Should I use a CARS tutor to retake the MCAT?

If you need to retake the MCAT and the CARS section was particularly difficult for you, a tutor might be able to help you better prepare the next time around with improved strategies.

8. Do medical schools see my CARS score on the MCAT?

Medical schools will be able to see your test scores for each section of the MCAT, but how your scores are factored into your medical school applications differs from school to school.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting 

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Hana Bagheri

Hello, I am looking for MCAT CARS section tutoring. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, I would love to hear them. Thank you so much, Hana


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Hana! Thanks for your comment. Please feel free to reach out to us for a free strategy call to discuss how we can help you ace MCAT CARS. 


Cathy Di

How do I work with a tutor? Is it via Zoom Call?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Cathy! Yes, it is all done online!