What is your opinion of the "strongly recommended" section tests? Is it just me or are they ridiculously hard? I took a Verbal section test today and thought I did well and low and behold I bombed. However my EK and even Kaplan workbook scores are 9-10 range? What gives?
A friend of mine took Kaplan, got accepted to UCSD and is now teaching Chemistry for them for the next few months. He didn't like Kaplan's VR approach and that's after he worked on it for a long time before actually taking the MCAT. Some people find Kaplan's VR technique useful, some don't, others swear by Princeton Review's VR guide/workbook. I think it all comes down to finding a method that works for you. There are definitely patterns to look for such as the most common types of questions and specific techniques that can be used on MCAT VR passages as discussed here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=223930.
Also, the VR section, for the majority of MCATers is the most difficult section to improve upon so don't feel like you're alone.
I teach for Kaplan, and in my opinion, Kaplan's strategy for verbal BLOWS. If you're horrible at verbal and want to improve to the mean score, it will probably help... but if you're interested in doing really well, I'd take their advice with a grain of salt. Of the books I've seen, EK has the best verbal strategy. However, it doesn't work for everyone.
Honestly, the best thing to do is get some old AAMC MCATs and practice verbal. Go over the exams when you've finished them and study the answers. What makes that answer right rather than this one? You'll start to see patterns. It's all about getting into the MCAT writers' heads. It's time consuming, but it's the very best way. Good luck.