premedkid1994

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Dec 17, 2015
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Sometimes, I get a lot of questions wrong, not because I didn't know the concept, but because I misunderstood the question stem/answer choices.
Or I overlooked something in the passage.

How can I improve this??
 

BerkReviewTeach

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More important than anything, is this happening on AAMC exams or other exams? If it's AAMC, then one thing we have our students do that really helps is rewrite a question in their own words after they miss it. It may seem tedious, but the ability to translate questions that don't seem clear is an essential skill. Sometimes they don;t word their questions well and knowing what they wanted to ask is actually more important than figuring out what they asked.

If this issue is happening on FLs from a source other than AAMC, it could be the source and not you. This is why it is important to try to do FLs from multiple sources and if possible, do two from four different sources rather than all the exams from one source.
 
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premedkid1994

premedkid1994

2+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2015
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Pre-Medical
More important than anything, is this happening on AAMC exams or other exams? If it's AAMC, then one thing we have our students do that really helps is rewrite a question in their own words after they miss it. It may seem tedious, but the ability to translate questions that don't seem clear is an essential skill. Sometimes they don;t word their questions well and knowing what they wanted to ask is actually more important than figuring out what they asked.

If this issue is happening on FLs from a source other than AAMC, it could be the source and not you. This is why it is important to try to do FLs from multiple sources and if possible, do two from four different sources rather than all the exams from one source.
I will definitely try that as well! Thanks for the tip!
Its mostly happening on NS exams.

I just found out what works a couple of days ago and I'm going to try it on NS 5 soon. I feel like what actually helps me now is to write 3-4 words about a specific concept they are asking about in the question stem before I go to the answer choices.

For example, if they ask "blah blah blah blah G0 phase blah blah blah?

I'll just quickly jot down G0 phase= no cell division

Obviously this is an easy question, but I feel like this will help me on harder, complex questions.
 

CJhooper123

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Often, I will jot notes down while reading the passage. I use "boxes, circles" to represent proteins or genes and "arrows" to show activation/inhibition effects. I only will use this with passages I have a difficult time comprehending, or the amount of information presented is dense. Don't recommend doing this for all questions as time becomes an issue.
 
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Aug 22, 2016
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Stop and read twice. Don't just assume you understood the question. After a few times of doing this you will naturally read the stem effectively. Same goes for the passage. Don't gloss.
 
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Eleithyia

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Apr 9, 2015
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I had the same issue, OP... one thing that helped was judicious highlighting within the question stem/answers, not just the passages. Making sure I highlighted a key word/words really helped me focus in on the questions--it makes you think about the individual words, so it makes you take your time understanding the question.

Another strategy is to combine the answer + question stem into a statement to check yourself (see below). For me this worked best when I had either chosen an answer or narrowed down to 2 answers.

Q: What organelle is the powerhouse of the cell?
A: Mitochondria
Q+A: The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell

^^Obvi a very simple version of this tactic, but sufficient for illustration :)
 
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premedkid1994

premedkid1994

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Dec 17, 2015
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Pre-Medical
I had the same issue, OP... one thing that helped was judicious highlighting within the question stem/answers, not just the passages. Making sure I highlighted a key word/words really helped me focus in on the questions--it makes you think about the individual words, so it makes you take your time understanding the question.

Another strategy is to combine the answer + question stem into a statement to check yourself (see below). For me this worked best when I had either chosen an answer or narrowed down to 2 answers.

Q: What organelle is the powerhouse of the cell?
A: Mitochondria
Q+A: The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell


^^Obvi a very simple version of this tactic, but sufficient for illustration :)
yeah that's what I do from now on. I will also try highlighting more.
There's usually 3-5 questions (I KNOW lol) I miss per section due to this and I know I need to improve it.
Sometimes I don't read "not" and get the question wrong too. I'm going to start reading the question slower and highlighting. Also probably make note of what I know about what they are asking before I go to the answers.

Thank you for the help everyone! :)
 

Eleithyia

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Apr 9, 2015
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Sometimes I don't read "not" and get the question wrong too.
That was one of the things I kept missing, too! That's how I started with the highlighting--"does NOT support" vs. "best supports..."

Best of luck! :D