Lovologist

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Anyone on here ever get a 14 on the verbal? If so, how did you do it? (Voodoo soul selling aside).
 

RSAgator

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I suspect that, of the few people that are on here that actually have gotten a 14, they'll mostly tell you the same thing.

Luck, practice, and skill.

Not to discourage you, but there's very little that you can do for the verbal section other than practicing and reviewing, and even so you need to be pretty much infallible in order to score that high. I suspect most people who do score around there have been reading difficult materials all their lives (not just before the MCAT) and are just good readers. Many have also taken courses in abstract/difficult to understand concepts such as philosophy. There is usually a 1 point difference between a 14 and a 15, and maybe 1 or 2 between a 13 and a 14. The people that consistently score between a 13 and a 15, hell perhaps even between a 12 and a 15, could likely on any given day score anywhere in that range. Once you've developed the skill to get to a 12, the rest is just a matter of innate ability and, more importantly, luck.
 

mterp45

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Anyone on here ever get a 14 on the verbal? If so, how did you do it? (Voodoo soul selling aside).
Make that a 14-1 and I won't feel left out. haha
 

Doc Lovely T

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I really want to know how can we get 14. It required you only max 2 questions wrong.
 

Vihsadas

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On my practice exams I have hit 15 once on verbal and 14 twice (I think?). Unfortunately that didn't help me on test day. :)

To reach those scores you have to be the complete package. Your reading speed should be very fast (and thorough) and your reading comprehension skills must allow you to retain most of the details of the passage and the main point of each paragraph and the interesting/subtle points in the passage. While you are reading you should be able to recognize which items/ideas/attitudes will most likely be tested.

Then, on your first run through of the questions you need to be aware of the questions types that often show up on the MCAT and how to deal with them. You can learn this by analyzing each practice exam for the types of questions that were asked and keeping a log. During this time you should be a fast enough reader that you will have plenty of time to go back to the passage and verify that the answer you chose is correct. Doing this in the shortest time possible will require that you are able to remember the general location of each of the concepts/facts/ideas that is being tested in the question. You must pay attention to the logic of the questions that are being asked. Be able to pick out the subtleties of the question and get to the heart of what the test maker was trying to test.

Then, after doing all of those things on the first run through you should still be able to finish the section with about 10 to 20 mins leftover. You will use this time to run through the questions again, focusing on the questions that you had problems with. You should have good enough comprehension and retention to not have to re-read much of the passages. Inevitably, as you reassess your answers for each question, you'll find some mistakes or see something that you didn't before on the first run through.

Even after all of that...it still may come down to luck and the difficulty of the verbal section that you get on test day. For instance, no joke, my verbal section was abs-frickin-lutely the most ridiculously difficult verbal section I had seen. None of my practice tests (AAMC) compared to it. You can also check out the stickies for help from some other high MCAT scorers.

Good luck.
 

bodonid

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I got a 13, and I did it using black magic.

You will need:
- A Chicken
- The Hair of an Enemy
- Delousing Cream
- A Copy of War and Peace
- Monkshood (Wolfsbane)
- Moxy


The only sure way to develop verbal skills is to read, especially literature. Surprisingly, science journal articles help a little, too. If you only have a few months, though, your best bet is practice. but reading a little still helps and can be a good stress-reliever for MCAT season.
 

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MCAT VR is killing me.

I have taken two EK VR exams and I made a 10 and an 11, but I just can't do better. The VR in EK 16 Mini MCATs is really tough, too.

My only hope is that practicing VR really does improve my score. I've heard some say that VR is impossible to improve. I hope not :(
 

drwannab

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my friend got a 14 on the VR and now she's at washu med :).

she also got a 790 on the SAT verbal, though. she's been an avid reader all her life. it just came naturally to her without having to practice.

i think also having some experience with debate helps. most of the questions are straight debate and deduction questions. that skill coupled with reading a decent speed prepares you pretty well. i haven't gotten any 14s, but I started off at 10s on the AAMC practices. my score didn't really get much better tho...always 10-11. i don't know...i did debate all through high school so i think it helped. i pretty much never read for fun...only when i had to for school. i haven't gotten my 4/5 mcat back yet, so i'll let ya know then. my friend tho...like i said, all her life read all the time so it just comes naturally to those kids.

she also got a 13 on PS and 14 on BS, though....haha so 41 total. yeaaaa, unfair.
 

lainey234

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I didn't get a 14, but I did get a 13 - twice. I had to retake a month after my original test date due to some wierd circumstance. I got a 13 in verbal both times. There was no trick - just a lifetime of being a reader. It helps if you were a dork growing up - more time to be cool wth just you and your books :laugh:

Good luck
 

Tired

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My year the top score was 13-15, so it's always confusing to tell people what my score was.

I got that score by being born smarter and generally superior to most other people taking the MCAT.
 

bodonid

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I got that score by being born smarter and generally superior to most other people taking the MCAT.
Is it difficult carrying around that big old head of yours? :laugh:

I don't know, though. I would think most people get more of an ego-boost with the thought that they worked hard and earned their grade. I guess some people still prefer the exclusivity/blood/nobility thing that comes along with perceived natural intelligence.
 

QofQuimica

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Anyone on here ever get a 14 on the verbal? If so, how did you do it? (Voodoo soul selling aside).
I did, in Aug. 2004.

Honestly, I don't have much to add to the excellent advice that V already gave. My experience has been that the biggest mistake most students make is spending too much time reading the passages and not enough time working on the questions. Then they run out of time. If that describes you, really focus on getting through the passages faster. Keep in mind that you don't have to understand every single detail when you read MCAT passages; in fact, it's a waste of time to read that closely for details because most of them never get tested. So you shouldn't try to "learn" whatever info is being presented in the passage. What you really want to do is read through the passages as quickly as you can, focusing on the major concepts. Then go to the questions and look up any specific details you need to answer the detail questions.

On a more philosophical level, I think that people who score that well on VR tend to be humanities junkies. Not necessarily humanities majors, but people who love to read just about everything, and are constantly reading. Philosophy geeks, literature freaks. Like V said, you have to be a fast reader with excellent comprehension. That's not a skill you develop a few months before the test; it's practically part of your inherent personality. I was the kind of kid who read encyclopedias for fun. The only thing I ever got in trouble for in school was reading during class when I was supposed to be paying attention. (One teacher "punished" me for reading in class by making me stay in at recess and copy the dictionary for a week, which was not terribly effective. Who ever knew there were so many interesting words that start with the letter "J"?) Most people find reading a chore, or a neutral task at best. It would be fair to label me a reading addict--I've been known to stay up all night reading and forget to eat or sleep, though I've gotten better about not doing that.

It's not necessary (or even advisable) to go to such extremes to do well on VR. You can definitely improve your VR score to a level that makes you competitive for med school admissions with practice and hard work. Assuming you do equally well or a little better on the science sections, I would say that the magic number for VR is actually a 10-11, not a 14. Anything above that (12+) is gravy and ego; it's not going to improve your competitiveness for medical school. Don't waste your precious time and energy trying to ace the VR section of the MCAT when what you really need to do to be successful in the app process is to put together a *well-rounded* app. As with reading VR passages, the key to getting into med school is to focus on the big picture here, not one or two details.

Best of :luck: to you all. :)
 

jdla

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I doing better on EK and having trouble with PR and Kaplan. Since I have been using PR and Kaplan, I am not doing well. I was using thees material because I did not want to run out of EK prep material. What should I do?
 

QofQuimica

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What prep material did you use? I doing better on EK and having trouble with PR and Kaplan.
I used the Kaplan online course. There is nothing magic about any specific prep course; people have done well or poorly with all of them. If EK is working better for you, then go with it.
 

tncekm

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My year the top score was 13-15, so it's always confusing to tell people what my score was.

I got that score by being born smarter and generally superior to most other people taking the MCAT.
Well, doesn't that just make you the stereotypical physician? I see many of you walking through the halls where I volunteer. But, you all must be genetically superior because you've somehow managed to acquire a memory such that you can navigate the halls of the hospital without ever having to take your eyes off of the ceiling.
 

bigman225

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I got a 14.. like the first post said, luck practice skill

study materials:
+EK Verbal 101
+Kaplan verbal tests
+Kaplan, AAMC and GS practice exams
+Became an avid reader (Harpers, New Yorker, Nature Medicine etc.)

Still was gonna feel great if I got a 10 or above, and left the exam feeling as though I could have gotten a sub-8 score in VR. As they say in the EK strategy guide, most of the time with VR you are making educated guesses and 50% of it is reading and interpreting the questions, not just the passage. There is a huge capacity for improvements but only if you give yourself a long time to prepare. I tell people to start practicing before they even start their science review.
 

Ailleurs

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I'm still new at going about studying for the MCAT, so I was just wondering if there was a way to practice recognizing the mood/tone of a piece of work and/or main point? Because sometimes for my english class, I have read some books and kept wondering through some chapters, "what the heck is going on?" And then I would go to class and we'd have a discussion on it, and sometimes what I had been thinking was extremely different than everyone else's. So just wondering if there's a way to practice recognizing the main point, mood/tone, and all other less significant subtleties as Vihsadas states (besides practice, practice, practice)?

And also, bigman225, you were referring to Harper's magazine, I assume? :laugh:
 

bigman225

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Obviously english classes are full of bs'ing morons who take everything wildly out of context to sound intelligent, so I wouldn't worry about that part

Yeah, Harper's magazine, way way over my head which helped
 

tncekm

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Hey bigman225, you took GS tests, right? Can I get your input on their VR section and how the scores reflect? Thx!
 

Bearferret

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I'm preparing to take the MCAT on May 10th, and I'm convinced that, once you get into the 13-15 range on the verbal (and even the PS and, to a lesser extent, BS), it's primarily luck that determines where you fall in that range. If you get all the questions right, you get a 15. If you miss one, you get a 14, and if you miss two to four, you get a 13. These aren't hard and fast, but it seems pretty consistent. I've often missed just 2 and gotten a 13 on practice tests, and it drives me nuts.

The point, though, is that a fluctuation of 1-2 additional questions wrong or right is likely entirely luck of the draw. So if you're in the range of 13-15, I don't think there's a lot you can do to ensure a 14+. You can practice a lot, though, and that may make a difference.

One generic piece of test-taking advice, especially on verbal-type sections, is to spend more time eliminating wrong answers than looking for right ones. Wrong answers, if you look closely enough, are usually wrong for a very specific reason - often just one word in the answer choice is enough to make it wrong. Right answers, on the other hand, are frequently just "right" enough to avoid being definitely wrong. This makes them harder to spot for what they are. If you practice this technique a lot, you'll get used to the types of things that make those wrong answers wrong, and your verbal score is likely to go up some.
 

Vihsadas

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^^ That's something I believe as well. Generally a good goal as a MCAT studier is to aim for consistent 13s on a section. If you can do that, you've probably mastered the content and might just need to work on test taking skills and nerves. There still might be the one curve breaker question you may or may not get, bur realistically 13 is a good statistical goal.
 

paranoid_eyes

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****, i can't even get over a 9
:(
 

bigman225

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Hey bigman225, you took GS tests, right? Can I get your input on their VR section and how the scores reflect? Thx!
I bombed (>10) a few GS verbals. Harder than real IMO. Then again I also got a 14 and a 15. If you've taken atleast a couple AAMCs and a few GSs you know they are not an extremely faithful replication. Good practice, but not a good indication of your actual score.
 

tncekm

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I wish they were an indication of my actual score. My last two have been 12s. But, I really don't know what to think right now. Before tonight my second (most recent) AAMC #5 was an 11 (the first was a 9), my last two GS were a 12, and my last thirteen EK passages were an 11. I went through 6 passages in EK tonight and scored a SIX!!!! I just don't even know what to freaking think after that. That's right back where I started from.

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
 

chicagomcater

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I just got my 4/5/08 scores back and I got an 11 on the verbal. I scored a 13 on the verbal when I took the test in January.

My practice verbal sections usually ranged from 12 to 14. The weird thing is that I felt really good about my April verbal performance because I had ten minutes to check my answers and I felt confident on every one of them.

Compared to other standardized tests' (LSAT, SAT, ACT) reading comprehension sections, the MCAT seems to be have more close calls in terms of the answer choices. Thoughts?
 

Tappy

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^^^ Absolutely. I scored a 13 on the January MCAT, consistently scored 13's on the practice. Every test there were always a few questions that just didn't seem "right". I could see the answer, and reasons backwards to the question, but the answers....weren't optimal. Whatever, it's the least wrong and all that, I know, but the problem is that it can boil down to personal choice on two technically correct questions. I'm not a 43T MCAT genius, but on several AAMC practice test questions their logic was just flat out warped.