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I keep getting 7-9 on EK 101 verbal. Can anyone give me any tips?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by gotta go, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. gotta go

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    I know this has been asked a thousand times, but I just wanted to say what was going on with me personally.

    I started out doing the tests in EK timed for the full hour. This way I was pulling 7-8 for the first 3-4 tests. I figured I should try something new so for tests 5 and 6 (just finished), I would do 2-3 passages a day, not timed, really trying to read and understand. After each paragraph I would think in my head what the point of it was. While doing the questions I would do my best and not look back into the passage unless I knew exactly where I was looking. Anyway, on test 5 and 6 I think I pulled a 9 and an 8. It doesn't seem like I can even do better while taking my time.

    For the questions I get wrong, some are just stupid mistakes. Most however I disagree with and still think my answer is better even after reading the explanation. Also, the explanations in the back of EK 101 are terrible, I feel like I just have to say "um okay" and move on.

    Can anyone give me some advice on this? I have BR verbal and Kaplan online resources, but have heard they do not represent the real MCAT. I feel like by doing the EK 101, I am "wasting" passages right now because I am not improving. My test is Sept. 8. Thanks.
     
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  3. geeyouknit

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    I have often read that EK 101 is very ambiguous and vague in their answers and explanation. If you're looking for reasoning behind answers for verbal mistakes, I would only trust AAMC tests.

    But EK 101 is really good for a ton of timed practice. Whatever habits and methods you want to establish for the real MCAT verbal, be sure to practice them thoroughly in a timed manner. Personally, having a lot of practice material allows me to make sure I read and understand the question statement well.
     
  4. Hershi

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    read the sticky to the thread about verbal tips at the top of the mcat section ..after reading through them try each idea. My score went from 8-->10/11 by simply reading the last paragraph first and then starting from the beginning. As I am reading, I also tried to remember why this paragraph was written and why without it the purpose of the passage wouldnt be fulfilled. Goodluck.
     
  5. AntonFreeman

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    thats interesting i guess i will try that
     
  6. MShopes

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    I was about to say the same thing...I will try that too, if it works to give me just 10, I will paypal him/her 100 dollars :D
     
  7. Aromatic Amine

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    Here is a tactic I have used. So far i have been going up (slowly, but surely, from a 6 to an 8, it may help you out)

    Aside from my slow reading which kills me cuz i have very little time to finish the last passage (if anyone can help me here that'd be great, sorry to hijack the thread) when i review my exam, i mark the questions that i get wrong, and then i go back and re-read the passage and try to answer the question again to see if i can get the right answer the second time around, and decide WHY i made this mistake. (was it because i didn't read it properly? did i run low on time? or did i just miss the overall reasoning behind this passage and had to guess? or was it between a 50/50 guess).

    I found that this got me to think critically for each question, and it has helped me a bit. But still i am getting around 7-8s because i am a slow reader (spend 3 mins per passage reading it). I don't know why, but if i speed up i won't understand a word, so i am just trying to start answers a little faster to make up for it.

    I know this is kinda all over the place, but i hope this helps.
     
  8. Aromatic Amine

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    i second that! 100 bucks will come your way if i manage to pull off a 10:wow:
     
  9. PhaseShift11

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    I know people who read for 6 minutes and get 13+ on verbal. I personally read "quickly" and I take 4 to 4.5 minutes and so far I'm averaging 11 on EK and 12 on full lengths.

    Reading a passage in 1.5 to 2 minutes is dumb because you haven't read it at all. You've just used your eyeballs and moved them along the page. And even if you did read it, you probably wouldn't understand it. So I'm not sure why you think 3 minutes is super slow.

    If you read slow enough, you'll be able to answer 5 questions in 2 minutes because every answer becomes obvious.

     
  10. vayntraubinator

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    ^this. The answer becomes obvious if you've read well and understood the passage. If you can just get the gist of a passage, you're sitting on a ten
     
  11. Aromatic Amine

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    Thanks phaseshift and vayntraubinator. I am going to take an EK test today (test 4) and see how i do with this method.

    Someone had previously told me that i should be reading a lot faster and spending more time on questions, so i've been doing that, didn't really help my case that much so i will definitely try out your methods today. Makes sense, the more of the passage i understand, the easier i can answer questions.

    If i can average about 8.5 minutes per passage then I'd be able to finish just on time. So I think i will do that and let you guys know. thanks!


    EDIT!! I just got my first 10 on EK 101 test 4! I have only phaseshift and vayntraubinator to thank! i used your strategy, i didn't panic and just took my time understanding the passage. Things became so much easier for me when i had to answer the questions. I found myself going back once in a while to the passage to answer the detail oriented questions. I still ran a bit low on time and ended up doing poorly on the last passage (missing 5/6) but managed to get only 5 wrong for the first 34 questions. I think if i can just answer a little more efficiently, then i will be golden. I really do appreciate the help guys!
     
    #10 Aromatic Amine, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  12. Hershi

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    I hope everyone gets 10s =) No need to give me any money...I rather have an acceptance letter haha
     
  13. Aromatic Amine

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    :idea:maybe u can use the money to bribe your way and get an acceptance letter :D

    good :luck: man i hope you get in!
     
    #12 Aromatic Amine, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  14. PhaseShift11

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    Nice dude, yeah it's something I picked up recently as well.

    You'll get faster - I can do all 7 passages on an AAMC exam within about 50 minutes now, including a nice slow read and trying to understand it. That gives me 10 minutes left over for checking over the few tough questions I'm not sure about.

     
  15. plzNOCarribbean

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    So you read the last paragraph first? is that what helped bump you to a 10? please keep us updated after another FL exam out of the EK. I want to see if your trend continues/or improves. goodluck
     
  16. MShopes

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    I can't thank you enough dude...I have tried your way for just one passage for fun on EK to see how I would do. I took about 4.15 seconds to read in noisy environment (in my living room with family along with niece and nephew who are too noisy) and took about 4 minutes to answer the questions because the question lengths were just too big plus I wasn't fully paying attention due to the environment. I finished in about 8.15 or 8.30 and I got 5/6 questions right and the only question I got wrong was plain stupid and misreading that I wanted to stab myself with a knife. I will try to reduce my time a bit to 7.45 or 8 maximum just to be sure.

    Even if I get 1 question wrong per passage, that leads to total 7 wrong out of 40 which is about 11...I would be extremely happy with an 11.

    Many people here have said to read very fast like for 1.5-2 minutes maximum and when I did that, I never focused and couldn't answer anything. Now, it's all good. GUYS, READ SLOWLY AND IT WILL BE IN YOUR ADVANTAGE.

    I will update you guys when I take a full length exam.
     
  17. AntonFreeman

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    I am still scared that if I read slowly, I will not be able to finish in real thing. It is supposedly a paragraph or two longer. Maybe key to finishing on time is not to spend too much time thinking about questions
     
  18. MShopes

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    Some people have said that the real deal is not longer it is just the resolution that is different and people have to scroll down more in the real exam so they feel its longer....some people have confirmed this...don't even worry about that. And yes, don't think too too much about questions when they are done.
     
  19. PhaseShift11

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    Except for the actual AAMC, whenever you do EK practice or Kaplan or whatever else you use, try to do them slightly faster than 8.5 minutes.

    You're given 17 minutes for two EK passages, but I do them in about 7 minutes each, and 1 minute to look them over. So every two passages I save 2 minutes, just in case on the real deal, I have an extra paragraph to read, I won't run over time.

     
  20. Aromatic Amine

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    No, so what I did was spend about 4 minutes reading the passage. Before i spent 3 minutes and wasn't getting enough time to fully understand the passage. Now I understand the passage, and at the end of each paragraph i am trying to keep myself focused by asking WHY is this author writing this passage? What's the purpose of this paragraph? Its kind of like making a mental note. I would "highlight" (in the EK book underline) 1 sentence that talks about that paragraph so if i ever have to go back to that paragraph i know where to look. I took the first EK 101 test 1-3 and got straight 7s. I had never gotten a 10 before; this method was significantly better. I read the passage through and through and understood what i was reading.

    when the time came to attack those questions i was fully aware of what i had read, and was able to answer most of them quickly. I spent time on one of the passages a little too long which kinda screwed me on the last passage. I had gotten only 5 wrong out of 34 questions. the final passage kinda screwed me with 5 wrong out of 6. but i am still happy because i got a 10. If i can get rid of those small errors and speed it up to the point where i have some time left over for the last passage i think i can do even better. I hope this helps!
     
  21. Aromatic Amine

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    thats EXACTLY how i felt man. I read a little longer w/ full intent and understanding and my scores shot up 3 points in 1 test. Hopefully i can shoot up another 3 points ;)
     
  22. MShopes

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    Yea if it jumps 3 points from one test, it's very possible to jump another 2-3 points easily to hit 13+...the fact that you got a 10 means you are capable of comprehending the passage and time was the only factor that determined your score and now you fixed it so you should be good.
     
  23. punjabimc

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    Agreed - don't read the material too quickly! You MUST understand the main idea and all the subpoints before answering the questions accurately. What I did for the first couple of passages was just write a keyword that summarized the main idea of the paragraph (on the provided scratch paper).. then usually in the middle of the passage - you'll get an argument or two diff. theories/ideas discussed. Just sorta flow chart map on your sheet of paper. It's quick to do - and for me -it helped organize the material in my head. Anyhow - see if it helps you.

    I would NOT recommend skimming the passage. You simply must know what exactly the passage is saying or you'll be tricked by one of the answers. GL
     
  24. gotta go

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    Does anyone recommend glancing at the questions quickly for keywords before reading the passage?

    While I can definitely see how somebody would say no because it makes you lose focus of the passage overall and just focused on finding the keywords, I feel like I still miss some questions because I just forget one particular sentence that I read that gives the answer. (If you know what I mean)

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?
     
  25. MShopes

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    I tried that method and it only worked for questions with an important keyword that I tend to remember when I read the passage so that I focus on that part of the passage more. However, I found it to be wasting much time for me. For you to look at questions and answers and be able to really read them before the passage, you need at least 1-2 minutes which is a waste of time.

    I tried the method above of reading for 4 minutes per passage and give about 3.5-4 minutes for questions and I have been missing maximum of one question on the two passages I tried so far. And the two mistakes I got were just plain dumb from me.
     
  26. voisinator

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    Has anyone tried the read the last paragraph first on the real mcat? I'm just curious since many people have less time left over on the real verbal than on practice. I actually have tried it and it has helped me. I usual get 8-9 but got two 10's. I read the last paragraph trying to figure out: main idea, author's side, conclusion. It has helped a lot because going into the passage you already have an idea of what is going on and know what kinds of things to look for. Just my 2 cents.
     

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