Oct 10, 2014
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For the last few AAMCs, from the 4 or so mistakes I make in BS, I always find a couple where I fail to extract an obvious statement in the passage or a piece of data in a graph. For instance, a graph with 2 lines would present a legend, but I would somehow end up overlooking the legend and end up guessing a wrong answer.
I keep thoroughly reviewing the mistakes and corresponding passages to see what kind of info I'm expected to extract and keep making similar mistakes. Any advice? My test is in a week.
 
Apr 20, 2014
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Will also like to know about this. re you good at verbal? If you are I guess things like that comes natural
 

Jumb0

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4 or so mistakes I make in BS
Only four mistakes? That's really really good, man. I am scoring similarly on AAMC Bio, getting 13's pretty consistently. It has become my best subject (used to be verbal).
To be perfectly honest, I don't think there is realistically much you can do to improve significantly at this point. You're basically asking "How do I get a perfect score in BS?" ...and the answer is simply "Don't make any mistakes"...
It sounds like you don't have any issues with content review and your only mistakes stem from a relative weakness in general BS test-taking. The only thing you can really do is keep taking FL's and try to hold more nerve while you are making your way through the passages. Be more scrutinizing. This is typical of people who have a very strong grasp on the content. The questions feel relatively easy, so they coast on their reservoir of knowledge instead of attacking the given passage information with the same fervor that you would if you didn't have as much background information and we're feeling a bit desperate and panicky. I'm not saying to panic...but a little bit of nervous energy goes a long way if you can channel it properly. Basically, don't take anything for granted on BS. Even if you know everything, scrutinize the passage as if you know nothing.
 
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Oct 10, 2014
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Only four mistakes? That's really really good, man. I am scoring similarly on AAMC Bio, getting 13's pretty consistently. It has become my best subject (used to be verbal).
To be perfectly honest, I don't think there is realistically much you can do to improve significantly at this point. You're basically asking "How do I get a perfect score in BS?" ...and the answer is simply "Don't make any mistakes"...
It sounds like you don't have any issues with content review and your only mistakes stem from a relative weakness in general BS test-taking. The only thing you can really do is keep taking FL's and try to hold more nerve while you are making your way through the passages. Be more scrutinizing. This is typical of people who have a very strong grasp on the content. The questions feel relatively easy, so they coast on their reservoir of knowledge instead of attacking the given passage information with the same fervor that you would if you didn't have as much background information and we're feeling a bit desperate and panicky. I'm not saying to panic...but a little bit of nervous energy goes a long way if you can channel it properly. Basically, don't take anything for granted on BS. Even if you know everything, scrutinize the passage as if you know nothing.
Thanks for the advice and those are probably some solid verbal scores!
You're right, I've gotten some wrong by using my background knowledge (on one, I knew Vitamin D structure and that it had 3 alcohol groups, so I assumed it to be polar but the passage stated it was nonpolar!). When you say attack the passage fervently and scrutinizingly, how does it translate practically into reading the passage? On my first read of the passage, I generally try to get the gist and know what info is present in which paragraph, what info is presented in tables/eqns/graphs, and if experiment-based I try to visualize it and figure out what's being tested.
It's just a bit frustrating that the 13 or so TPR/Kaplan tests I've done barely prepared me for this sort of thing. Also, I don't care for a perfect score on BS, but a 14 would be nice! I'm only a question or 2 away.
 

Jumb0

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is this a troll thread?
No. I am Charles Darwin reincarnate. :p
No, but actually...I am averaging 13 on BS, so I don't doubt that erythrocyte is doing the same, just as he says he is...It's not that hard to believe. I think BS is the easiest to do well on, personally. PS is too computational. Verbal is too interpretive...BS is just right. :thumbup:

Just my $0.02....We'll see if I am singing the same tune after 10/25 though :cold:

When you say attack the passage fervently and scrutinizingly, how does it translate practically into reading the passage?
Basically, I am advocating reading the BS passages (particularly the biology ones) as if they were verbal reasoning passages. I don't know about you, but I never skim verbal passages. I read every single word very carefully as if it is the most interesting story in the world, or I imagine that the author is a liar and I am the detective who is tasked with determining his lies and motives. Obviously, you can't apply this 100% to BS, but a lot of the time it is strangely applicable. You don't tend to think of "the author" in BS, whereas in VR it is a huge concept...i.e. would the author agree/disagree, what is the author's point, etc etc...Well, if you look closely at a lot of BS passages, you will find that there is a "theme"...There is a "big-picture" that you are supposed to see if you read all the lines plus INBETWEEN the lines. For example, if the passages mentions that there are two strains of mutated mice, and one has a mutation for a protein, and the other mouse's mutation is not explicitly stated...alarm bells should be ringing in your mind that the other mouse's mutation could be in the receptor for that protein...This is but one example. Look through your old full lengths, and try to "read between the lines". Ask yourself what is the overarching topic of that passage. I'm not saying this will give you the answers, but it will gear your brain to retrieve the right content from your memory quickly and efficiently ! Basically what I'm saying is, unless timing is a huge issue for you, don't merely read to get the gist. Pull the passage apart. Read each sentence and conceptualize it in your brain with imagined 3d models. Pretend the author is a liar and you're a detective...Whatever it is...do what you need to do to ENGAGE the material. Don't just passively read and bank on raw content prowess.

You got this !!! :clap:
 
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Oct 10, 2014
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No. I am Charles Darwin reincarnate. :p
No, but actually...I am averaging 13 on BS, so I don't doubt that erythrocyte is doing the same, just as he says he is...It's not that hard to believe. I think BS is the easiest to do well on, personally. PS is too computational. Verbal is too interpretive...BS is just right. :thumbup:

Just my $0.02....We'll see if I am singing the same tune after 10/25 though :cold:



Basically, I am advocating reading the BS passages (particularly the biology ones) as if they were verbal reasoning passages. I don't know about you, but I never skim verbal passages. I read every single word very carefully as if it is the most interesting story in the world, or I imagine that the author is a liar and I am the detective who is tasked with determining his lies and motives. Obviously, you can't apply this 100% to BS, but a lot of the time it is strangely applicable. You don't tend to think of "the author" in BS, whereas in VR it is a huge concept...i.e. would the author agree/disagree, what is the author's point, etc etc...Well, if you look closely at a lot of BS passages, you will find that there is a "theme"...There is a "big-picture" that you are supposed to see if you read all the lines plus INBETWEEN the lines. For example, if the passages mentions that there are two strains of mutated mice, and one has a mutation for a protein, and the other mouse's mutation is not explicitly stated...alarm bells should be ringing in your mind that the other mouse's mutation could be in the receptor for that protein...This is but one example. Look through your old full lengths, and try to "read between the lines". Ask yourself what is the overarching topic of that passage. I'm not saying this will give you the answers, but it will gear your brain to retrieve the right content from your memory quickly and efficiently ! Basically what I'm saying is, unless timing is a huge issue for you, don't merely read to get the gist. Pull the passage apart. Read each sentence and conceptualize it in your brain with imagined 3d models. Pretend the author is a liar and you're a detective...Whatever it is...do what you need to do to ENGAGE the material. Don't just passively read and bank on raw content prowess.

You got this !!! :clap:
I definitely haven't tried reading it like a verbal passage; I just mentally note what info is located where. I might look into this, but this does seem a bit time- and energy-consuming since you might not even be required to understand/remember 70% of the passage. As far as timing goes, I try to get the discretes down under 10 mins and after doing the orgo passages and the easier bio passages, I would try to leave myself around 25 mins in the end for those omnipresent killer passages, so your strategy could work there. Now that I compare my reading to your strategy above, I realize I don't read the killer passages as thoroughly as I thought I was. This is exactly where the stupid TPR tests misled me; I got 12-15 on a lot of those, but it seems that was on completely different, unrelated tests compared to AAMCs. Thanks for the advice!
 
Aug 20, 2013
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in my opinion the bio portion can actually be answered completely based on content knowledge (supplemented with the information in the passage of course) without any actual hardcore interpretation. once, you've got a solid grounding of content, the correct answer is usually relatively straightforward.

the ochem, on the other hand seems to allow for a more fluid type of critical thinking, but then again that's essentially what the very core of ochem is.
 

neekzg

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"improve mcat bio" when you're getting only 4 wrong...

If you find yourself having to guess and it seems like unreasonable info to recall, you should suspect that it is explicitly stated somewhere in the passage.
 
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benjaminl1nus

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improvement at this point will be due to luck. trust me. i never scored beyond 12 on my practice tests but on test day i did much better. LUCK!!