7+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2012
Yeah, so I'm retaking because of a poor verbal.

I thought I'd use TBR to brush up on the sciences as well but it is killing me!
Are you supposed to do these passages with time constraints? I find myself having to mull over all the information in the passage and frequently look at diagrams multiple times while doing these.

Its pretty tough to stay under 12 minutes - this is especially tough since I went in hoping to get down to 6 min/science passage. (so much for that :laugh:) I still do okay though, usually from 75-85%.

But I guess my question is, are these passages MEANT to take a long time to do? Or am I just unusually slow?

This is strange for me since I was averaging 12/13s on AAMC and got 11/12 on the actual thing. Are these supposed to be tougher and longer than actual passages??


7+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2011
Resident [Any Field]
I think you should definitely be able to cut down the time w/ practice. I get scores close to yours and got down to about 7 minutes a passage, just to show you that it is doable. Are you agonizing over answers for a couple minutes (this was my problem at first)? Taking awhile to read the passage? You have to figure out exactly why it's taking so long before you can improve.


7+ Year Member
May 26, 2012
Yes, they're meant to be done with a time constraint (well, technically phase 1 is untimed according to their recommendations, but I'd recommend always doing all your practice timed). I gave myself 7 minutes per passage with TBR.

They're also intended to be a lot harder and longer. Rest assured that if you can handle your own against TBR's passages you can more than handle the real MCAT (the exception being TBR bio which doesn't seem to have much relevance to the real BS section). That said, don't use that as an excuse for poor performance on TBR.

If you're struggling to get 12 minutes per passage then you need to either go back and review the content again, or hone your test taking skills. I'm sure you'll get better as you get farther along though. TBR packs a lot of test taking strategies into their books that really help with timing, and eventually you get used to the difficulty.
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10+ Year Member
Aug 19, 2008
Do them under timed conditions. Shoot for 7-8 minutes per passage. 75-85% is an excellent range for BR passages and you can definitely afford to try to do them quicker.


7+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2011
Medical Student (Accepted)
I find the same problem too but i think they have a lot of tips to cut down time like arithmetic tricks and estimations are a big thing for them.
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