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BS: comprehension?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Dr Dazzle, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Dr Dazzle

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    Is the BS section really comprehension based much like verbal? Some have said that alot of info is given in passage. Therefore, what should the focus be while studying? What are definite things to memorize?
     
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  3. kehlsh

    kehlsh Medic Commando
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    I was surprised by the amount of reading required by BS portion. VR is my weakness and it even affected my BS score.

    I would focus on doing more passages and get familiar with most common techniques. I plan to do all TPRH science workbook passages for practice reading.
     
  4. Hotshy

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    I would highly recommend using EK Biology and EK Organic Chemistry. It's concise and subtly teaches you to think about biology in the MCAT way.

    I haven't gotten my scores yet but I was about at an 8 or 9 on BS before Studying. I finished those books and got consistent 13's on my practice AAMC tests (even one 14).

    I thinking reading comprehension is important for the BS section. You aren't looking for a main idea like you are in verbal, but are instead reading for the discrete bits of information that are important and you will know which pieces of information are important as you read EK and practice.
     
  5. darkhope

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    Yea I'm struggling alot on finishing these passages on time also...I can finish the verbal on time, but these ps/bs passages take forever for me to go through...
     
  6. Lexicon0

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    BS has definitely been leaning more towards more comprehension and analysis. While there are certain things you should absolutely have committed to memory, a lot of the BS section involves dissecting graphs, tables, and making inferences when given scientific passages. I don't know how much time you have on your hands, but if you're not taking the mcat for a while, I would definitely look into reading scientific journals in nature, cell, PNAS, etc. Getting familiar with how scientific writing will definitely help out..
     
  7. Donald Juan

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    I second this post. Another technique that could help: don't read scientific journals all the way through, just skip to the figures and try and interpret the data. This will be on par with what you have to do.

    I do want to caution anyone reading this, don't think that just because the BS section is more comprehension based doesn't mean that it doesn't take background knowledge in biology to understand. Just like a VR passage doesn't necessarily take a thorough understanding to answer the questions, but a VR section might assume the you have a familiarity with who aristotle and picasso were, and it also might assume you know what global warming is or what the american revolution was.

    OP, to answer your question on what to study for BS, you should know cell structure, organelle functions, hormone functions, transcription and translation, and everything else that is on the mcat topics list. I think that practice passages are key, but do realize that it is not just a reasoning test, it is a reasoning test that requires a background knowledge in biology.
     
  8. Dr Dazzle

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    Thanks so much guys! In short, I have a month left and literally not touched the BS section cause I was very lacking in PS. Therefore, I will quickly read the EK bio and orgo books and then do passages in BR along with the AAMC tests. I am a bio major, but its been 2 years since I had any basics. Never took physiology. Does my plan sound okay? Honestly, don't have time to ponder journal entries at this time although it may be helpful.
     
  9. vin5cent0

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    I have noticed a lot of my incorrect answers in BS are due to me reading some tidbit of useless info in the passage and applying that to the answer instead of going with my gut instinct because it seems 'too obvious'. A lot of this section, imo, are just subtle ploys in the text to throw you off and get you to pick the wrong answer against your better judgement. I would agree that a lot of BS is correctly interpreting the passage without too much background knowledge needed. Keep in mind that there are certainly a few questions thrown in that require you to know about sodium channels or something of that nature, so the only way to reliably be scoring ~11s+ is to really know your bio well.
     
  10. Donald Juan

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    Oh no! don't pick the wrong answer when you know the right one. Remember, some questions seem obvious because they are obvious, and some are obvious just because you actually do know the answer. Here's the biggest thing: don't pick the wrong answer because you think the test makers did something really weird to trick you. Just decide which answer you could offer the most evidence to support and go with it.
     

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