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Improving MCAT verbal

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by the prodogy, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. the prodogy

    7+ Year Member

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    I'm going to be taking the MCAT next year and the section that worries me the most as of now is the verbal. Ive never been good at it and my scores were low when I took the SAT verbal in high school. I was wondering if you guys have any advice on how to improve verbal scores on the MCAT.
     
  2. Krisss17

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    Have you checked out the MCAT threads? There are some very good pointers.

    I, too, am concerned about this. While I thought I was a well read person, when I took some of the practice questions...well, it really rattled me. I figure that I could do one of two things...chuck it or making it a challenge and work on it every day...I decided to do the latter. Using the pointers given on the MCAT threads and practicing, I'm going to be my darndest to get a good score...and maybe I'll learn something along the way.
     
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  3. spicedmanna

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    Yeah, definitely check out the MCAT forum; there are some real Gurus there--the 43-club kind. I don't have much to add, because it wasn't one of my strong points (biological sciences is/was), but it is good to do a lot of critical reading. Try reading articles in Nature, Science, Scientific American, etc., for the natural science VR passages, and reading critically, to get the gist of each paragraph/article, and for speed. Also, for other types of passages, try reading social science journals and the New Yorker, etc. Basically you want to increase your reading speed (timing is so important for VR; it can make, or break you) and to be able to quickly summarize and pick out the key points of the article. Other than that, take lots of timed practice VR. Get used to the common things/themes that the questions ask for, so you can be on the look out for these things as you read the passages. Remember, you aren't reading to study the material like you are in class, you are reading to answer the dumb questions at the end of the passage.
     
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  4. Vix206

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    all you have to do it practice, practice, practice. even if it's just a passage a day (but of course, more passages on verbal intensive days). my problem was that i wasn't finishing the passages in time. so when i practiced, i gave myself less time and worked on sections under those conditions. then when you have the correct (and longer) amount of time, it seems easier and you're under less pressure.

    but before you do that, i would practice with unlimited time to work on your comprehension. once that is up to where you want it to be, work on your timing. getting verbal up is tricky, but it's possible - my diagnostic was a 5 and i went up 6 points on the real thing. good luck to you :luck:
     
  5. madscientist50

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    If your undergrad has a science journal club that is challenging at all use that try to learn to extract the most from your reading and do so as quickly as possible. Also philosophy classes are some hard reading and will challenge your skills so if you want take some of those. I know that my first MCAT I got a 9 on verbal and on my second I didnt study for the verbal and got an 11 because of the intense journal clubs here in grad school.

    So like was said above use practice questions and work them hard, or combine it with class work and make yourself even better at extracting information. Sadly text books ruin students ability to read and extract as they make all the info surface in undergrad text books. Thats just what most of the profs I have worked with say to me while TAing.

    Just read, read, read, youll get it down. Or just kill the BioSci and PhysSci.

    I killed the VR, BS, and bombed the PS, got a 7 and then a 6.
     
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  6. HarveyCushing

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    Is it true that the VR section has the highest correlation with board scored? During one of my interviews I was told this. I guess schools realize that they can teach you the sciences, but they can't really teach you reading comprehension. And people say that med-school isn't "that hard" just that you have a lot of material thrown at you. I thought it was interesting that VR has the best correlation with board scores. Can anyone confirm this?:confused:
     
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  7. spicedmanna

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    It has the highest correlation with USMLE Step I according to Kaplan, but this could be just a myth propagated by them. My guess is that the same skills are required to do well on both the VR section on Step I. Essentially, if you can read well critically, you can do well on passage-based exams, I would think. However, interestingly, another poster seemed to suggest that BS had the highest correlation with COMLEX.

    Here's what Wikipedia says regarding the issue:

    Thus, according to Wikipedia, MCAT VR has the lowest correlation with USMLE Step I performance, and MCAT BS has the highest!
     
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  8. HarveyCushing

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    Interesting. I would like to see if there has been a scientific study on this. I think that once you enter into med-school things change. You might have done super well on the MCAT or not as hot as you had wanted. 1st day of med school is a new chance to kick butt. :thumbup:
     
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  9. spicedmanna

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    Absolutely. :thumbup:
     
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  10. scdocusc

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    the best predictor of how you will do in medical school (class rank and boards) is how you do in your MSI gross anatomy lab. This is true for at least MD schools.
     

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