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Improving MCAT verbal

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by wgu, May 1, 2002.

  1. wgu

    wgu Senior Member
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    Hi,

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to improve your verbal/writing score on the MCAT? I'd appreciate it!

    -wgu
     
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  3. BushBaby

    BushBaby Nipplelina
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    I was going to suggest you do a search through the old posts, but I forgot the "search" button is no longer here.

    Sorry. But there is a thread about this already.
     
  4. MyEyesMesmerize

    MyEyesMesmerize Senior Member
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    Read, and read a lot. Read the newspaper every day and read things you normally wouldn't want to read. Thats gonna help your reading speed. Thing is you still have to answer the questions right. So how you get better is by practice practice practice. First off, when you take the actual verbal section you need to attack it. Don't be complacent and do the passages in the order they come. You have to look for the topics and question types you are most comfortable with. Then when you do the ones you don't really find easy to read you have to know how to pick out the right answer. Use process of elimination to eliminate answers that use strong language. Then always use the MAIN IDEA to answer the question. That main idea is somewhere in the first or last paragraph so pay close attention. Don't forget to circle important facts while you are actually reading the passage. If you finish 7 out of 9 passages you are doing great. The other 2 you can skim through and use main idea to eliminate answers and guess. (that usually means leaving out the 2 passages with the least questions)Your score should go up if you do the 7 passages really well. When all else fails guess C. Good luck.
     
  5. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I agree with MyEyes. Read, read, read!! Things like the New Yorker or The New York Times, not just any old magazine or newspaper. And then, practice, practice practice!!! And make sure you understand why you missed the practice questions you missed.
     
  6. Street Philosopher

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    Do as many practice questions as you can get a hold of. If you run out, get LSAT materials and do those. If you run out of those, then you're probably prepared as you'll ever be.
     
  7. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Get in a time machine, go back to your childhood, and convince your child-self that it is in his/her best interests to read more throughout your life.
     
  8. GATORade

    GATORade Retired
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by bjc:
    <strong>Get in a time machine, go back to your childhood, and convince your child-self that it is in his/her best interests to read more throughout your life.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">That was pretty dumb, but it got a laugh out of me. <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
     
  9. HairlessHeart

    HairlessHeart Member
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    I second the suggestion to do as many practice questions as possible. Do a ton of them, and make sure to time yourself. Don't just do one at a time either, because you need to build stamina. It's important that you actually finish the verbal section, otherwise you are wasting precious questions that other people are answering.
     
  10. brickmanli

    brickmanli Senior Member
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    Read every issue of the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, and Harper's from now till the MCAT. I wouldn't read newspapers more faithfully because they don't resemble passages at all. Do every passage you can find. A lot of it is psychological, you just have to feel comfortable with the format of the questions. I usually read in a restaurant or in front of the TV to simulate test conditions. Get up early and do the passages. I did what I told you and took the SAT three years after I came to America and did extremely well. I only got a 10 on the MCAT verbal but only because I ate some bad pastrami and stayed in the bathroom for twenty minutes. CONFIDENCE IS THE KEY!

    Good luck!
     
  11. I have to agree that practice is the key. But I have to add that what helped me is reading a lot of philosophy (I am a philosophy minor). If you can get through Kant, Hobbes, or Locke you will surely be able to read and understand anything that they throw at you in the MCAT. This stuff is not for everybody, but it will help you become a better and more efficient reader.
     
  12. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    On the theme of practice makes perfect, go to your library and see if you can find as many test prep books as you can. The reading comprehension section of the LSAT, GMAT, GRE, OAT, VCAT, DAT, even SAT are all similar in style to what is on the MCAT although they vary in difficulty. Like brickmanli says, you have to feel comfortable with the format of the questions and doing many, many practice passages will get you comfortable. I found no less than 10 different books at my local community library that had sections on reading comprehension passages. Those along with the AAMC practice tests and other MCAT study material gave me hundreds and hundreds of practice passages to do.
     
  13. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Dr. Nick Riviera:
    <strong>I have to agree that practice is the key. But I have to add that what helped me is reading a lot of philosophy (I am a philosophy minor). If you can get through Kant, Hobbes, or Locke you will surely be able to read and understand anything that they throw at you in the MCAT. This stuff is not for everybody, but it will help you become a better and more efficient reader.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">god bless philosophy majors/minors...
    if you can get through foucault, sartre, and the likes of them, there'd be no excuse not to get 15 on the MCAT verbal.
    personally, I considered reading that crap cruel and unusual punishment, and would rather opt for a 1 in verbal any day <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
     
  14. 2DEG

    2DEG Senior Member
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    Even though I am very far from taking MCAT, but I wonder if "Britannica Encyclopedia" would be helpful. I bought DVD version of the EB, its just awesome.

    I wonder if anyone has tried to read EB with the intention to improve MCAT verbal. Or is this a bad idea?

    I will be interested to know.

    Arigato Gozaimashta!
    Shahab
     
  15. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    If you read an article and think it is "awesome" then it is on the opposite spectrum when compared with MCAT passages. Every passage I ever had, both on the real MCAT and practice passages, were the most dry, wordy, boring, intellectually fluffy, pieces of crap.
     
  16. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by mpp:
    <strong>If you read an article and think it is "awesome" then it is on the opposite spectrum when compared with MCAT passages. Every passage I ever had, both on the real MCAT and practice passages, were the most dry, wordy, boring, intellectually fluffy, pieces of crap.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">it's very easy to practice for MCAT in that respect: buy a newspaper (no tabloid junk!), and start reading articles that are of LEAST interest to you...there ya go :)
     
  17. otter

    otter Senior Member
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    Warning, this is a rant. I don't understand why they have to have this stupid thing called MCAT Verbal. This is the single thing that has kept me out of med school the past two years. I got a 7 on my first MCAT verbal, then an 8 on my second one. I've been told by three schools that the thing that cost me the most was my verbal score. Believe me, although I'm an engineer, I'm no idiot when it comes to social science and humanities. I speak two foreign languages, wrote for my college newspaper, and generally did well in all my humanities courses. After my first MCAT, I spent a whole year reading and reading and I did all of Princeton Review's verbal passages. I still managed only an 8.

    My friend got a 6 on the MCAT verbal six years ago and didn't get into any med school. So he did one of those linkage masters programs, did well, got into their med school and went on to do really well on the boards. It is time for med schools to stop paying much attention to that stupid section called verbal. After all, medicine is about science, character, communication and science.

    I'm sorry, wgu. I didn't offer any advices. I'm just frustrated every time I see the word "verbal."
     
  18. swimr

    swimr Junior Member
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    Verbal is evil. I definitely think its the reason I didn't get into med school in 2000. Getting a 7 has cost me dearly. I decided not to retake the mcat in Aptil since my highest practice score was an 8. I tried doing passages every morning, around 8 AM, full lengths 2 xs/week closer to the mcat and reading a quality newspaper -- no luck. :confused:
    The only advice people give me is to practice, even using LSAT tests to practice. Anything can help.
     
  19. fiddler171j

    fiddler171j Junior Member
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    You've gotten good advice so far. Read complicated literature. Practice MCAT passages every day, and make sure that you practice under time restraints once you get used to the type of material they are testing you on. LSAT reading comprehension is useful, and I personally found that LSAT logical reasoning material helps promote the ability to read analytically so you can deduce the most important segments of the passages as you read.
     

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