5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2015
  1. Dental Student
I am a slow reader too. The RC section for us should be more of a strategy game then simply reading the passage. My personal strategy was that I only read the first 2/3rds of the passage, then read the questions, answer the ones I knew, then search and destroy the rest. I realized reading only about 60%-75% of the passage told me a lot. It told me about the point of the passage (the rest can often be inferred), told me how the passage is organized (which helps when looking back to the passage to answer specific questions), and told me what I haven’t read yet (when reading questions, if I see a question about something that I don’t have the vaguest recollection reading about, it’s probably located in the last part of the passage that I didn’t read and I would search and destroy this part). This is the way I saved time (which never seems like enough in this section) and did well despite the fact that I am a slow reader. I practiced by taking a bunch of practice RC tests. I recommend DAT bootcamp and Crack DAT, there’s also a bunch of cheap/free RC tests available online (Old kaplan books for example). Last, I read a book on speed reading (which may or may not be necessary for you), which was helpful in teaching me how to quickly skim a passage, if this is not already a skill for you.
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Apr 25, 2019
Laniakea Supercluster
  1. Pre-Dental
I am definitely a slow reader because I spend a LOT of time trying to understand each page 110% before moving on. Throw in a lot of supplementary Googling and sometimes, it may even take me 30 minutes to get through a page. My strategy for doing well on the DAT was using what is essentially reading half the passage then answering questions while content is still fresh. Then I read the rest of it to answer the rest. This keeps the content and locations of minor details fresh.

The secret, however, was to NOT obsess with 100% comprehension. Even 60-75% comprehension is enough as long as you know the main idea of each paragraph, the train of reasoning, and how each paragraph contributes to the whole idea of the passage. If you need to recall the details, having only read half of the passage at a time, you will be able to quickly find that detail for reference.

Even reading 2/3rd is fine as Jaws, I mean S_Diamond_DDS suggests. Do what fits you. However, sometimes I would read a paragraph more or a paragraph less if I noticed they were best grouped. A set of paragraphs might directly be expanding on an earlier paragraph so reading them together helped me better understand the author's train of thought. For example, paragraph 2 but talk about some cell receptors and mention receptor types A, B, and C. If paragraphs 3-5 were to then talk about receptor types A, B, and C, I would read them together.
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15+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
New York City
  1. Non-Student
One of my students suggested this and I think it is great advice for someone who took that DAT and scores high and will be starting dental school soon.

"There really is no shortcut other than practicing reading. The key to learning is REPETITION. So on that note, I do have some tips. When you're doing the RC sections, the first step is:

(1) take a 3-mississippi and GAZE at the passage. Key words should pop out just to give you an IDEA of what the passage is about. If there is a title to the passage, even better. Just keep in mind, this step is NOT for comprehension, it is for EXPOSURE.

(2) Next look at the questions that are asked. You have not read the passage yet BUT this will further congeal in your mind the concepts and topics in the passage AND also you'll KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR when you're reading it.

(3) Read the FIRST SENTENCE of each paragraph (if this were a textbook and you're studying for a college exam, I would say read the last sentence of each paragraph as well. On the DAT you won't have time I suspect). So just read the first sentence of each paragraph, which is called the thesis sentence. If the writer is any good, each thesis sentence will nicely sum up the content of the ensuing paragraph. All this should take you about a minute.

(4) And NOW read the passage. By this point, between osmotically gazing at the passage for a few moments, reading the questions and figuring out what info is needed, and reading the theses of the passage, you will have achieved quick and dirty exposure and repetition.

I hope this helps." BB
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