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Books/magazines to read to prepare for verbal

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by TN Aaron, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. TN Aaron

    TN Aaron Member
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    What are some good things to read to prep for Verbal Reasoning?
     
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  3. EvoDevo

    EvoDevo Forging a Different Path
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    Don't do this as a way to prep for verbal. Seriously. Use the EK Verbal reasoning strategy, it works...although I don't have my scores yet, my pre-tests were very good (11-12, on average). Just reading stuff doesn't necessarily prepare you to sucessfully answer VR question...you know?

    Just my two cents.
     
  4. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*
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    Using EK I went from consistant 7s and 8s, to consistant 9s and 10s, to consistant 10s and 11s- and even a couple 12s and 13s. Just reading for leisure will not help you. You need to get used to reading MCAT style.
     
  5. BassDominator

    BassDominator Senior Member
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    Can someone elaborate on this EK verbal reasoning strategy? Thanks.
     
  6. Persistence101

    Persistence101 Senior Member
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    It's not really a strategy, IMO. Just concentrate on the main idea of the passage.
     
  7. aegis

    aegis Primary Care and Aerospace
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    I tried a lot of different verbal reasoning strategys. Some tell you to underline different things, some teach you how to paraphrase. In the end none of them worked, they only served to distract me. What worked best for me was just to read the passage nice and slow like I was reading a book or something. So you really have to find what works best for YOU. Try different things until you find it.
     
  8. TN Aaron

    TN Aaron Member
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    Don't get me wrong...I am definitely using EK. I guess I should have mentioned that also. I just want to get myself accustomed to difficult nonfiction reading that's all.

    So...any suggestions.
     
  9. IcedCube

    IcedCube Senior Member
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    i agree. theres no need to read outside material, except maybe short "intelligent" magazine articles. i went from 7 to 10-13 practice. i take my time reading the passage (only searching for the main idea and asking myself how the author organized the passage, ie, whats the purpose of this paragraph?)

    regarding timing, the key is to not spend the bulk of ur time rereading answers, going back to the passage too often, etc. thats where you lose the most time. i can read the passage at a rate slightly above leisure, and i usually have 5 min to check answers
     
  10. sdnstud

    sdnstud 1K Member
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    dude...why is everyone answering the wrong question?

    hey tn aaron...try "economist" and "wall street journal."
     
  11. docjolly

    docjolly On Cloud Nine, Once Again
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    Hi,
    I strongly suggest that you focus more upon sample reading passages and questions (either from AAMC, Kaplan, or EK), rather than read magazines/books. These sample passages can give you a more realistic representation of how the passages are structured...

    However, if you just want to be exposed to different, more rigorous types of reading selections, then I agree with sdnstud: get the Wall Street Journal.
     
  12. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*
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    Because reading these types of things will get you nowhere. What I was trying to hint to is that when most people read these things they do not have anyway of gauging how well they understood what they read. They are not in MCAT format. You can read the economist or the wall street journal all night long, but if you are not learning how to read "mcat style", you are doing nothing for yourself.
     
  13. thinkpositive

    thinkpositive futureMD
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    I have to agree, for me doing tons of practice verbal tests (so mcat syle practice is best) helped to figure out how the argument is structured and such...I also read the new york times and a couple of books just to refresh my english reading skills cause I haven't taken english in 2 years ! (all I read is science all day) and so, my verbal score went up 6 points on the practice tests. I think the second time around though I will try the EK book and whatever suggestions y'all might have, every bit helps ! :)
     
  14. coredump

    coredump Member
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    VR also caused me some heartache while studying. I found the following helpful:

    1) EK 101: the passages seemed easier than AAMC. By the time you get to the end, you're better at EK passages, but not much better at AAMC ones - which seemed to stress on tone/main ideas more than EK.
    2) The Economist
    3) The Wilson Quarterly
    4) Kaplan VR section tests

    Basically, read anything that involves the autor making some kind of argument. It is much more important to do actual MCAT passages than reading random material, because you have no way of measuring imrovement with the latter.
     
  15. farleyisgod

    farleyisgod you big dummy
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    Read The Economist and Wall Street Journal.
    Those two should provide plenty of reading outside of your normal EK or whatever you're using as normal pratice materials.

    Good luck!
     
  16. freaker

    freaker Senior Member
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    The best "reading" study method out there would be to pick up a law school text book and start reading case law. Concepts are introduced, and then cases follow. If you can't identify the applications of these concepts or if you can't attempt to turn the case upside down, then you have failed in your reading of the case.

    With that said, without a legal professor demanding that you read cases as you should through the sheer brute threat of the Socratic method, I think it would be difficult to profit from this as an independent exercise.

    Bottomline: go pick up a passage workbook. I know that Princeton Review has one for their course. I'm sure others do as well. Go back, read over your mistakes, and figure out why you made those mistakes and what drew you to the incorrect answers.
     
  17. Shrike

    Shrike Lanius examinatianus
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    Some good ideas here, but c'mon, guys, the Wall Street Journal? It's written at about a sixth grade level.

    For magazines, try The Economist (mentioned by several posters), Science, and Atlantic Monthly. Anything else that strikes you as at least slightly complex, dense, and difficult is potentially helpful. Read things you disagree with. Pick up a text on something you don't know. Try any Supreme Court opinion (Justice Scalia's early stuff, only, if you like wit and incisive analysis; these days, Kennedy for technical merit.) Faulker (just skim the details and find the point), James Joyce (good luck), Plato, Proust. Anything that loses you or causes your eyes to glaze over.

    Just be sure to read it FAST. Details are irrelevant until they give you a question; just don't screw up the big ideas, and figure out where the facts can be found.
     
  18. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    If you have a lot of time before the exam, then reading magazines/outside material may help. I think it is of more value, however, to read practice passages and do the questions. I used EK 101 VR passages, and went from getting 7s to getting 10s. :thumbup: Hopefully I got a 10 on the real thing (or higher :D).
     
  19. N-toxicologist

    N-toxicologist the accidental tourist
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    Unfortunately, I don't think you can really "prepare" for verbal reasoning, except learning a few techniques. If you've spent your whole life with your nose in a book, you stand a pretty good chance, but if you've NEVER had good reading habits, that's hard to change. I think the key to scoring above a ten in VR, beyond being able to comprehend quickly, is to find the subtle differences in your answer choices that all seem to be saying the exact same thing. It's easy to narrow it down to two, but which of the remaining two is more correct? If you took good notes while you were reading (I like to talk to myself and respond to the author of the passage--in my head, of course), it's easy to pick out those subtleties.

    As for stuff to read, I like research abstracts, or anything that's written at a level above my head. Of course, I've spent life with my nose in a book. I like Nature magazine, scientific and medical journals, and Stephen Hawking. Hawking served two purposes; honing verbal skills and making me more comfortable with physical sciences material (my personal low score area). I also recommend Atlantic Monthly; as for the Wall Street Journal, I have a four month supply of them unread by me occupying my garage (my 6th grader enjoys them, though).

    I agree, read something uninteresting and bland, and make yourself understand it in a timed atmosphere; and passages, passages, passages! BY the way, if you do it right, you end up learning a bunch of interesting, irrelevant crap, but I may be weird--I go straight to that killer neuro passage.
     
  20. Shrike

    Shrike Lanius examinatianus
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    That killer neuro passage probably has mostly straightforward retrieval questions. Good choice. It's the literary deconstruction that'll kill you.
     

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