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Kaplan vs real AAMC verbal discrepency

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by con1988, 05.13.08.

  1. con1988

    con1988

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    I've been doing practice with kaplan for the past few weeks and have gone from a 7ish to around 13 at times. Then recently, I started doing the real AAMC ones online and my score dropped significantly to 8s and 9s and sometimes even 7s. I have yet to break a 10 on the real AAMC ones. Did anyone else have similar experience, if so, how did you do on your real MCAT? Are the kaplan VR section tests and VR portion of practice test supposed to be easier or drastically different from the real AAMC ones?

    I'm concerned because my MCAT is in 10 days and it seems I still have a long way to go for verbal. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could go about this? I've done most of the kaplan VR practice and 4 AAMC VR. I have also bought the EK 101 book but haven't used it much since people have said it doesn't match well with the real MCAT.
  2. jab719

    jab719

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    A friend of mine who took Kaplan said that the actual questions between the Kaplan VR and MCAT VR were basically the same in difficulty, but that the MCAT VR passages all seemed longer.

    You should have access to all the practice AAMC tests through Kaplan...just keep practicing the verbal sections.
  3. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"

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    I think the Kaplan VR are tremendously unrealistic. Real MCAT VR passages are much more subtle and it is much more difficult to find the right answer among the distractors. On top of that, the Kaplan VR strategy does not work at all on the real MCAT, IMHO. There is simply not enough time for mapping the passage etc.

    At your stage, I would read through the EK VR strategy book (that is the one you need, not the 101 book). Then do all the AAMC full-length tests you can get your hands on through Kaplan (not the old VR practice passages), and apply this technique until you are very solid with it.

    In VR, time is EVERYTHING. Get your timing down no matter what. If this means that you track your time and allocate yourself exactly x minutes per passage, then do that. There is no point in developing strategy if you run out of time. Believe me, it is very very easy to do that on the real test, because you fall into the trap that EK identifies so well; you lose confidence in your guessing and start spending a lot more time on passages trying to get the right answer. Once you know that you CANNOT run out of time, because you are timing passages, you can relax and get the job done.
  4. con1988

    con1988

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    thanks for your replies. I didn't even read kaplan VR strategies. The ONLY strategy I used are the ones in the EK verbal book (from the 5 book set) since i heard they're much better.

    I studied for a couple of weeks according to their study play : do a practice test, reread passage and write summary, reread question. that brought my Kap practice VR score from a 7 to a 13. Did anyone else find this particularly helpful? maybe the kaplan tests got easier towards the end.

    Also,did anyone find any one of the EK strategies particularly useful? I feel that spending 20 secs at the end of the passage summarizing is a waste of time since the big idea is what we should keep in mind when reading anyway.

    at times, I tried to glance at the question ahead of time to get an idea of what they're looking for. One thing i can't stop doing is re-reading a paragraph if i didn't understand it.

    i also agree that timing is important but for some reason, can't seem to cut my time down. I feel that if i follow the EK strategy of not going back to save time, i would make a lot more mistakes.

    would you suggest I stop using the kaplan VR practice at this point? my only fear is that I might not have enough practice VR tests left if i don't use kaplan's... but then again, if doing kaplan is training me in a different direction, that's probably worse.
  5. tertiarex

    tertiarex

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    After reading a ridiculously convoluted passage today in the Kaplan verbal book I realized that their idea of a difficult passage is a badly written passage (and if you don't believe me on that read George Orwell's Politics and the English Language). Their explanations don't even make sense to me. I'm an English minor. I say don't bother with Kaplan verbal it's all a bunch of bull. My best advice is something that you've already come up with on your own...stick to the main idea. Think of the main idea whenever you are doing the questions. If you have a doubt about the details in the question, then refer back to the passage. It also all depends on how fast you read and whether you have time to go back and see what they're asking about.

    My scores are also higher on Kaplan, but I don't trust them because, like I said...Kaplan verbal is worthless.
  6. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"

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    This is how you get the timing down:
    -take the total time for VR
    -divide by number of passages
    -calculate minutes per passage
    -when you start the passage, note the start time and calculate the end time (I did the paper MCAT, not sure if you still have the ability to make notes during the exam?)
    -when you get to the end time, no matter how you feel, bubble in the rest of the answers and go on
    - this way, you will ALWAYS finish the passage on time

    I did break the EK rules and occasionally went back to the passage, but in general I think their VR strategy is the best of all. They do not advocate timing the passage; for me, this was a real confidence-builder, and important since on the real MCAT I finished VR with only 3 minutes to spare. You really have to get into the EK habit of "guess and go on", which can be hard to do. I would not bother looking at the questions before reading; this is a time killer and a big distraction.

    I got a 12 on VR.
  7. Chuck's Right Foot

    Chuck's Right Foot Class of 2013

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    I think it is difficult to generalize like you are. My first VR score was an 11 and I scored a 14 on my second test. The second time I actually relied EVEN MORE on mapping and following the Kaplan strategy. I also read very fast... So for me (and maybe other fast readers) there is a payoff.
  8. con1988

    con1988

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    That's exactly what I tried to do. 60 mins, 7 passages; I figured to aim for 8 mins per passage. But some passages are followed by 5 questions, some by 7 and in the end, it got kind of complicated. So now, I'm thinking of trying to aim for 80 secs per question. so for a passage with 5 questions, I'll aim for 6.5 minutes, 6 questions = 8 minutes, and 7 questions = just under 10.

    Did you find that you got more wrongs on the questions towards the end of the passage, where you guessed compared to the rest of the exam?
  9. tncekm

    tncekm MS-1

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    I give myself 3 mins/passage and then 0.975 mins per question (about 58 seconds). I came up with b/c the formula worked pretty well for predicting both the time of the paper and CBT tests for VR.

    Paper: 3mins/passage x 9 passage = 27min
    0.975mins/question x 60 questions = 58.5
    TOTAL: 85.5 mins

    CBT: 3mins/passage x 7 passages = 21 min
    0.975mins/question x 40 questions = 39 min
    TOTAL: 60 mins
  10. Gpan

    Gpan

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    for those who are fast readers, who do you read so fast? Do you skip words? do you skip examples, names and dates? Do you just pick up certain important words, verbs, and adjectives???
  11. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"

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    I think the formulas are too complicated. On the real test it is hard to have that much presence of mind, ESPECIALLY before lunch when you are very tired (if the CBT retains the same timing format). Stick with the average time per passage and go. On your paper practice tests, try it this way, then after you finish the section, before scoring, go back and allow yourself infinite time. See how many of your answers change from wrong to right. This will tell you how well you do on fast answers and guessing.

    I am a very fast reader. Mapping the passage still was not a good strategy for me. It was a dead loss for virtually all the MCAT students I taught.
  12. tncekm

    tncekm MS-1

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    I only use the formulas for EK verbal, where sometimes there are huge passages with 9 questions. No way I could do that in 8 minutes. Otherwise, I aim for 8 mins/passage in the CBTs.
  13. Sillyshoes

    Sillyshoes

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    Interesting. I usually score higher on EK than Kaplan
    I do hope their verbal is worthless.

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