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College classes that improve verbal

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by omegaz, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. omegaz

    omegaz 2+ Year Member

    Jan 6, 2012
    What are some college classes that are really useful in improving verbal?

    I think generally all humanities courses are helpful for the verbal section. I'm planning to take linguistics this semester and hopefully it'll improve my verbal score by a bit.
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  3. snllama

    snllama 2+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    Philosophy, Religion, History, Advance Literature classes etc

    Any of the humanities that require a lot of reading/comprehension.
  4. EMDO2018

    EMDO2018 Banned Banned

    Oct 8, 2013
    I don't know
    None. On verbal you either have it or you don't, just do lots of practice passages.
    orangeman25 likes this.
  5. mcloaf

    mcloaf 5+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2012
    Could be helpful if your school offers a course called "Parsing Bull **** 101"
  6. Lamel

    Lamel 2+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2013
    Any type of humanities with a lot of reading. Ethics/Philosophy are the type. But really, don't expect it to do much; you may get some good background info (I have encountered a few topics from my ethics course in some practice passages).
  7. PHellmuth

    PHellmuth Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Not sure how much college humanities help, honestly the kind of essay writing and reading you do in those is light years different than standardized test passages
  8. Oso

    Oso 2+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    I don't think you should take a course just because you think it will help with verbal. If there's a humanities/social science class you're interested, then sure take it. MAYBE it will help a little bit in terms of reading/comprehending faster.

    But the best way to improve is to keep doing practice passages. Exam Krackers 101 verbal passages is what I found most useful, and I took several heavy reading social science classes (due to my major). Good luck OP.
  9. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2013
    4th Dimension
    Just read more. Learn to critically read complex journalism and you're good. Aside from the official AAMC tests I did zero practice for VR, scored a 12. I spend about 1-2 hours a day reading world news and opinion pieces, which I've done for about 7 years. Regular reading of difficult but short pieces of material is the key to the VR section- no tricks will save you.
  10. harvst

    harvst 2+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    Personally, I don't think any college humanities class really help with verbal. Of course, keep in mind that this is just my two cents, but here's why I think this. Humanities classes generally evaluate you with paper writing/presentation/discussion in class - in other words, activities that encourage thinking outside the box, making connections, and presenting your own views. On the other hand, MCAT verbal is a section of a standardized test, which means it's meant to gauge your critical thinking and analytical abilities with 40 multiple choice questions within a 1 hour time frame. The very fact that you can only choose answers from the responses that are already presented to you with someone else's wording suggests that the free thinking skills you gain from humanities classes won't help you out too much here. If you really want to improve, do lots of MCAT verbal passage practice. Thinking back to my own MCAT experience, I feel that none of the humanities classes I've ever taken really helped me, but doing frequent passage practice definitely did. Good luck.
  11. orangeman25

    orangeman25 2+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    somewhere down south
    I wish there were such classes. Verbal sucks.
  12. Uafl112

    Uafl112 2+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2013
    I took History of Modern Europe. Teacher made us read 7 primary sources and to analyze the author's arguments (one book was actually a source for an MCAT passage I had done). It didnt get me a 10 but it helped me read faster. The essays in class forced me to make arguments and to truly understand arguments. Helped me get in that logical state of mind. It wouldnt hurt to try
  13. Gauss44

    Gauss44 5+ Year Member

    Oct 28, 2012
    Not journalism.

    In my experience as a journalism major, everything taught in journalism classes goes against doing well on verbal reasoning. We were taught that simpler is better, that the point of communicating is to be understood by the masses.

    Clarity is key. A great deal of our time was spent editing out "bad habits" like jargon, unexplained abbreviations, double negatives, and anything that lacked clarity. By the time we were seniors, our jaws would drop at any article that contained too many numbers in one paragraph (confusing to the average reader), too many condensed details, unintended double meanings, etc. Misspellings were the ultimate sin.

    Doctors would benefit from these HABITS in journalism because it would help them communicate effectively with patients, all patients.

    Another point: Journalists are also trained to set a tone. Journalists, especially news anchors and reporters, are aware of their influence and impact on society. They are also aware of the "tone" that other journalists and writers are setting. VR passages sure do "set a tone" sometimes.

    In my experience, journalists have a tendency to pause when the above issues with writing are spotted so that edits can be made. On VR, that's a lot of urges to pause and a lot of distractions.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
  14. Cmdr_Shepard


    Jan 15, 2014
    Lol. I like your style.
  15. plumhill

    plumhill 2+ Year Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    "The Library"
    To the extent possible, I have found philosophy courses to be helpful. Basically on the verbal you are evaluating an author's argument and answering questions about it, which is pretty much all you do in philosophy classes but with rather dense material.

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