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vin5cent0

10+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2008
810
88
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm extremely confused on this aspect of VR, which seems to be my leading cause of wrong answers.

Sometimes I will pick an answer because it jives with stuff I know but isn't said in the passage. Then, I get it wrong and EK yells at me (not really) for picking an answer that isn't implicitly stated/implied by the passage.

Then, I'll do another problem, get it wrong, and the explanation leads off as "It's common knowledge that....".

Is there any sort of "rule" about when you can bring in info from outside of the passage, and when you shouldn't?

Thanks
 
May 22, 2010
521
4
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Never, ever, ever bring in outside information. Be completely objective. 100%.

Unless the MCAT asks you to bring in outside information specifically in a question, don't do it. 100% don't do it.

Be objective. The "common knowledge" questions are basically the same. On these question types none of the other answers are remotely correct.
 

SephirothXR

7+ Year Member
May 7, 2011
125
0
Status
Pre-Medical
One time I think a question mentioned something about Helen Keller (who wasnt't mentioned in the passage), I think it was the right answer in an AAMC passage but I could be wrong. Yea never bring outside information. EK's passages are useful for practicing but it's possible some of them might deviate from what AAMC asks. AAMCs have a very distinct style and try to seduce you with outside answers (e.g. "everyone has a constitutional right to privacy" is something which you read with and agree and feel all good about b/c you hear it, when it has nothing to do with the passage)

Take enough AAMCs and you'll come to judge it appropriately.
 
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vin5cent0

10+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2008
810
88
Status
Pre-Medical
Gotcha. Sometimes it's just so hard not to because something so commonly known is just slipped in there. Bastards.
 
Sep 11, 2009
227
2
Status
It is generally accepted that you should not bring most outside knowledge into the VR. However, this does not apply in 100% of the cases. General and common knowledge is probably not the sort of thing that you would bring in with you. There are cases of certain field-specific knowledge that you could bring with you. For instance, if you had taken a lot of geography and earth system sciences courses or astrophysics courses, some field-specific knowledge may or may not come in handy. This would be knowledge that is generally known by experts in a specific area.

Even though EK advises that reading a lot is a waste of time if you are taking the MCAT this summer, one of the mods who scored 14 or 15 on VR thinks it is a good idea. She said that her MCAT had an excerpt from one of the books she read.
 
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