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AArggg what to think about berk review passages!!!

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by peaceandlove, May 17, 2008.

  1. peaceandlove

    peaceandlove 2+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Is it just me or are the berkely review passages freakin hard!!! geez!!, i did a couple of passages in the physics book and just bombed a whole passage, this is after i read the topic from TPR and NOVA and did well on their respective passage questions. Although i feel the prep is great.. the practice passages on the other hand is something else. Its sort of hit or miss. Would u say berkely passages are comparable to the real deal?????

    Also i read about everyone keeping track of wrong/practice questions, how do u do this? Do you write the questions out? if so how can u remember what passage goes with what especially since you have to read the passage again when reviewing. i guess that's what it is all about just wanted to know if there was a more efficient way of doing it.
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  3. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!! Rocket Scientist Physician Pharmacist Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2005
    working on my tan......
    They are harder but they will prepare you to critically think for the MCAT. I have not gotten to the Phy but I am almost done with the Org chem and it was hard but doable.

    Personally, I rather have a hard time with practice to get me used to the difficulty. I was not prepared for the real MCAT because the AAMC practice exams are alot easier. Kaplan sciences are closer to the real deal. AAMC verbal is accurate though.

    I do a passage and then go over the answers while the passage is in my head so I can see where my reasoning is off and where I keep making stupid mistakes. I also do not answer questions I have no clue on and do not count them as right if I happen to guess right. I mean you can narrow the choices down to two choices almost everytime easily and just guess some right.

    I got about 70-75% on the org chem.
  4. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Keep track of BOTH right and wrong answers. What you can do is this:

    1. Get separate sheet of paper and write down the section and the date/any information that will help you identify what paper goes to which test.
    2. Number it.
    3. For each question write about why you got it wrong or right.
    4. Here's some more possible stuff to think about and/or write down
    - What technique did you use? Did it work, if not why?
    - Did you miss the question because you didn't know the content?
    - How could you make the wrong choices right?
    - Monkeys are good.
    - Were there any choices you should have eliminated
    - Is this type of question something that you frequently miss?
    - Were you running out of time?
    - Was it a math error?
    - How did the author of the question try to trip you up?
  5. peaceandlove

    peaceandlove 2+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2008

    thanks will definately try that out.. been reviewing some passages but not all.. it is just so time consuming but from now on i think it will serve me better to do them all. thks
  6. peaceandlove

    peaceandlove 2+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2008

    i guess so, it really seems to be big on critical thinking which is how we need to be for the MCAT but still it drives me crazy when i answer wrong especially after feeling like ok.. i am done with this section and then end up not getting the questions right. Oh well i'll just keep practicing then!!!
  7. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!! Rocket Scientist Physician Pharmacist Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2005
    working on my tan......
    More important than your score is to learn to "think" the MCAT.

    I focused on my score too much last time. Practice enough until you can work through any passage no matter if you have no clue.
  8. SN2ed

    SN2ed Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Reviewing should takes 2-3x longer to do than actually taking the practice problems.
  9. BerkReviewTeach

    BerkReviewTeach Company Rep & Bad Singer Exhibitor 10+ Year Member

    May 25, 2007
    SDN Exhibitor
    I want to paraphrase the author of the general chemistry and organic chemistry books here and then add my $.02.

    The passages and questions in the book are harder than the average real MCAT passage. There are a couple of goals in doing this.
    • * When people miss questions, they learn from their mistakes
      * Most people only review questions they miss, so review questions are most beneficial when they are challenging and likely missed.
      * Confidence is built later, during practice exams. Book questions are designed to generate thinking skills. Beating people up at first will eventually be balanced out in the end.
      * Most people who run out of time on their MCAT do so because they spent too much time on challenging questions. The answer explanations in BR books often show ways to save time.

    At its most basic level, it's resistance training for the MCAT. But, you can't always resistance train. You also have to get a bearing on the actual event.

    For this, the in-class passages are designed. They range from easy to hard and often incorporate multiple concepts in the same passage. They also have passages where the picture/diagram/chart is daunting, but the questions that follow are simple (based on fundamental principles).

    If you read through the MCAT threads here, you will find that most people complain about one to two passages from each section of their actual MCAT. They often comment that they felt unprepared. Our teaching philosophy is built around this type of feedback. On average, there will be around 5 doable and 2 tricky passages per section. AAMC passages demonstrate mostly the 5 doable ones, so we aim to show how to handle the 2 tricky/bizarre/WTF passages.

    In the classes themselves, we address a full range of questions from easy to hard. But as you suspect, the books are challenging.

    One of the worst things that can happen to someone (as you have no doubt read in many threads here) is that they walk into the MCAT feeling prepared because they memorized some flashcards and did a slew of on-line exams. Then they get shocked with a weird passage in the PS section and they are mentally ruined for the rest of the test.

    Overtraining at first with a slow transition to more realism as your test date approaches works quite well. Don't worry about what score you think you're getting on the books. It's like a sports team that loses close games against great competition early in the season. By the time playoffs come around, they are honed in and ready.
  10. RoadRunner17

    RoadRunner17 Fleet of feet Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    May 12, 2007
    Just like the NY Giants, right? ;) Great analogy!
  11. bozz

    bozz 2+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    OChem was extremely hard for me. I only did a few Physics sections.... they were difficult but helped a lot. Chem wasn't too bad but it was very effective. Yeah, don't worry about the score in the books. I was scoring lower on them than on practice tests.

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