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Advice on Verbal

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by manfood.com, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. manfood.com

    manfood.com Senior Member
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    The sciences I think if you already hav ea solid base and need to just reaffirm what you know, all the material is fairly relative. However, I need help with the verbal part.

    I was curious out of the people who have taken, EK, TPR, TBR, and Kaplan, which helped the most with the verbal and what did you think correlated best with the MCAT. I coulnd't quite put it together, I thought TBR, and TPR made you think more than the real MCAT and I kept on looking for twists. Let me know. Any advice would be helpful.
     
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  3. princessd3

    princessd3 Senior Member
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    My diagnostic verbal was a 3!!! I ended up with a 9 after working with EK 101 Verbal Passages. It just "feels" more like the real thing.
     
  4. SkiUtah

    SkiUtah New Member
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    All I used was my Kaplan class material, which I found very helpfull, particularly their passage and question strategies.
     
  5. Crazy Canuck

    Crazy Canuck Senior Member
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    Aug 2004: Used TPR (classroom) and got an 8
    Aug 2005: Used TPR again, but supplemented with EK 101 and got an 11.
    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: for EK 101
     
  6. DrBuro

    DrBuro Senior Member
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    hahahaha, that's such an awesome score. I think I got a 4 or 5 on my first try. What did you do differently to improve your score with EK 101 and how long did it take you to get to a score of 9?

    To be honest, I don't know how anyone does so well on verbal. All of the answer choices seem correct to me!
     
  7. ericali

    ericali Member
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    Oh great! So Crazy Canuck: what do you think is different about EK 101 compared to TPR? TPR's strategies are just too complicated to me. I didn't do well on the verbal after TPR either. There is hope for me then?

    How did you get the morale together to take the MCAT for the second time?

    I don't think I'm a crappy reader. I think I'm stronger than most people when it comes to reading, but this section just requires an amazing amount of alertness and concentration.
     
  8. Crazy Canuck

    Crazy Canuck Senior Member
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    EK helped me a lot because the passages matched more closely to the real thing. EK 101 was frustrating to work with at the beginning because I didn't seem to be improving at all. Towards the end, I began picking up on the subtleties in the passage, which I think made the difference. I didn't expect more than a 9 on the real thing, especially since I had some really tough passages. I didn't use all of TPRs strategies except for POE, summarizing the main idea and I'd summarize certain paragraphs with one or two words if they particularly tough.

    Retaking is a pain and a terrible way to spend the summer, but keep in mind around 50% of MCAT takers have to rewrite. I did well on the sciences the first time around, so I put less pressure on myself in those areas. Having confidence helps too. Get tough with the beast and don't let it push you around! :D Best of luck!! :luck:
     
  9. Twitch

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    Didn't you post on another thread that with the help of the girl from Columbia you are now scoring 11's??
     
  10. Mr. Tee

    Mr. Tee Indentured servant
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    Is it me or do the Kaplan practice questions differ significantly from the EK practice questions (ie. Kaplan questions are easier and more straightforward)?

    Which is more like the real VR questions?
     
  11. DrBuro

    DrBuro Senior Member
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    Yes.. 11 is, by no means, ridiculous and I struggled like crazy to get there. When I say I don't know how anyone does so well, I was referring to the people on this site with the 13-15 scores under MCAT conditions. Even getting 11's, every answer still seems right to me if I read into the passage incorrectly.

    When I ask what the person did, I ask because I still want to improve my score before I walk into the test, as I assume nervousness will deflate my score a couple of points.
     
  12. DrBuro

    DrBuro Senior Member
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    Kaplan, EK is better practice though..
     
  13. RayhanS1282

    RayhanS1282 perpetually percolated
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    My first TPR diag verbal - 6
    After practicing whilly-nilly with the first five EK 101, my MCAT verbal score - 6 :eek:
    After practicing with Kaplan VR subject tests and the Gold Standard VR tests and the last couple of EK tests - 10
     
  14. Mr. Tee

    Mr. Tee Indentured servant
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    Sorry, allow me to clarify a bit.

    The Kaplan questions are similar to the old AAMC practice questions in the sense that the answer choices are very straightforward - ie. the correct answer is glaringly obvious compared to the 3 distractors (very easy to identify the incorrect choices). On the other hand, the differences between the EK answer choices are more subtle and not as apparent, and hence the questions are harder.

    I was confused because I heard the older AAMC practice VR tests are easier than the real test we are confronted with today. I will have to look into the newer AAMC 5-8 tests sometime to make sure I'm on the right track.

    Any further thoughts would be appreciated ;)
     
  15. autoimmunity

    autoimmunity Senior Member
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    I would agree that the earlier AAMC tests are somewhat easier. After practicing with all these test, my actual score dipped to an 11 and I wouldn't necessarily attribute the decline to overt nervousness.

    As far as useful materials, I didn't really notice any one to be the best. For me, the most challenging part was getting my timing down. While I was practicing I noticed that I would often times finish just in time (I'm not a terribly fast reader). I guess that's okay, but I really wanted to have a little bit of a cushion in case I encountered some difficult/challenging passages. My advice would be to practice practice practice with as much of the available resources as possible in a TIMED fashion. If at all possible, it's also helpful to read newspapers and magazines. And don't read unconsciously, something I often times find myself doing. Read the stuff and after each paragraph, make a quick mental summary of the significant points covered.

    In addition, don't try to over analyze the questions. For the most part, your initial instincts will be right.
     
  16. jebus

    jebus Membership Revoked
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    When I was studying for the MCAT I had the same problem: I could narrow it down to 2 answers but each one seemed equally right. But I was doing well on the AAMC practice tests (10-11). Pay attention to what the question is asking you, you'll usually get it down to 2 choices, and then go back to the passage and you'll see the answer is there. I mean, the AAMC is purposefully trying to fool you. As soon as you understand that and learn their tricks you'll get a few extra answers correct. I ended up getting a 12.
    But I'm not going to tell you their tricks - figuring those out for myself was the most important part. Also, read the answer keys! The AAMC tells you how they think. You've just got to think like they do!
    Good luck!
     
  17. Twitch

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    In my case I can typically weed two of the choices out. The remaining two differ ever so slightly. If you're able to pick up on the subtle difference between them, it'll seem one is truly the best answer. Ofcourse this is easier said than done.
     
  18. ericali

    ericali Member
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    My problem is that I'm running out of materials to practice. Aside from EK 101, are there any other publications out there that doesn't suck? I'm almost finished with all Kaplan and TPR material. I need a bulk of material to practice on slowly before I get my speed up.
     
  19. jebus

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    GMAT practice tests. I used them and I think they're way harder than MCAT stuff. After I was done studying those I went back to the AAMC tests and found them a lot easier. You can buy a book of Verbal Stuff from mba.com. But they are a little different, so caveat lector.
     
  20. thadarknyte

    thadarknyte Senior Member
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    yea, my kaplan diag was a 4 :(

    after workin with the kaplan practices, it went up to like a 7 and stayed there for a while...

    a month until the test, i went out and bought EK verbal....worked on those started getting 8s and got a 9 ONCE!

    FOr the test...i ended up with a 10 in verbal!
     
  21. Twitch

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    What did you think of the TPR verbal book compared to the others?
     
  22. Sagar2008

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    Guys I am the same way...struggling MIGHTLY with the verbal section. I got a ONE my first time around. (Although I thought I scored higher, I am sure AAMC screwed that up for me and I couldn't have them rescore, because I missed the deadline to rescore). But my second time around, I didn't even study for the verbal section and i got a 7. But I want to score much higher than that. Please let me know what sort of article you guys read outside of the general MCAT practice books. I mean what sort of articles from online and newpapers should I be reading to increase my comprehension? Also, does reading the stuff over the internet differ than reading it on paper, specially since the exam is CBT?
     
  23. smk9

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    First, get both the EK books--- the Verbal Strategies, and 101 Passages. They are excellent.

    And give this new, strange strategy a try-- it works miracles.

    So, with the help of MCAT geniuses such as Vishadas and Bozz, I attempted a seemingly ridiculous strategy: Instead of allowing myself 8.5 minutes per passage, I allowed myself 7 minutes. I cannot tell how much this helped my VR skills. First, it really forces you to focus. With impending doom (or time) coming a bit quicker, your brain will be firing on all cylinders. Secondly, it allowed me to read with arrogance (a method EK recommends.) How you ask? With less time, I was forced, in a way, to be "flippant" when I read both the passage and answer choices. And by flippant, I mean that anything that was too wordy or convoluted was both disdained and scorned. ("What the hell is author trying to say under all these intelligent sounding words?") Third, less time allows me to get through the passages with substantially more rhythm and momentum, where as before I'd be nervously ambling through, going back, getting stuck and therefore panicking on complex questions/sentences.

    Basically, what I'm saying is: It makes you more confident, focused, and it really helps you develop your VR intuition. 99.7% of the time I'm able to eliminate two wrong answers of the bat. Just make sure you read the questions CAREFULLY the first time through, as well as the answer choices.

    Since starting this, rather than missing 3 questions per passage, I now usually miss 1 (occasionally, 2).

    A few of my friends were reluctant to try this method (some called me ridiculous and dumb) only to come back and thank me for helping them drastically improve their VR scores.
     

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