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Improving MCAT verbal

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by wgu, May 1, 2002.

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  1. wgu

    wgu Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2002
    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve your verbal scores? Mine is painfully low!

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  3. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2002
    Read read read read and read some more. I really think that the only way to improve verbal is to read... read magizines and newspapers... and take a humanities course with a heavy load of reading assignments. While you're reading... try to think of questions someone might ask you to see if you understood what you've read. Most importantly though, take lots of practice verbal tests!

    Good luck :)
  4. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Practice as many of those verbal sections as you can. Go to your local library (not school library but community library) and check out every test prep book you can get your hands on that includes verbal passages, even if they are easy. Look for books for the LSAT, GMAT, GRE, SAT, VCAT, OAT, DAT, MCAT and do all the reading comprehension passages. The structure for all of them are the same even though the difficulty varies...but this is the case for the MCAT as well. You can also find cheap test prep books on e-bay. There is a lot of material out there for improving your reading comprehension.
  5. Asclepius

    Asclepius 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2002
    MPP is right...practice reading passages from stadardized tests. I think that GRE passages are generally more difficult than MCAT passages, so if you can do well on those, you'd be in good shape for the MCAT. To strenghten your retention of info/analysis skills you might try the following: read the passage, turn it over so you can't see it, an then try to write a few paragraphs about the point of the essay, the perspective of the author, some important inferences, etc. As you practice this you will be able to search for and retain the most vital information and assess the passages more effectively as you read. Thinking about a passage in these terms encourages a better "broad understanding" of a passage rather than trying to anticipate specific questions when you read...good luck
  6. wgu

    wgu Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2002
    Thanks for the tips. I think marking up the passage and answers is excellent advice. That always focused me to the task at hand and simulates my thinking. :)

    I just took another MCAT practice test (1991 REA)for the verbal section only. This time I got a 14!!! NO JOKE! <img border="0" alt="[Wowie]" title="" src="graemlins/wowie.gif" />
    This only makes me skeptical of the practice exams though. I think the one which I only recently took was made too easy. The score which I got from a Kaplan "test drive" test gave me a 6.
  7. RT

    RT Rt 7+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2002
    I recommend this self-help book only if you have the time:

    Break-through rapid reading, Peter Kump

    It's a six-week training course for almost everyone.

    And congratulations on your REA's performance. However, I consider that 6 on Kap's as very legit.
  8. wgu

    wgu Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2002
    Here's a good wrap-out for this discussion. A Kaplan teacher posted last year. Here it goes...

    MikeS 78
    Senior Member
    Member # 2551

    posted July 07, 2000 05:42 AM

    It has become apparent to me that the MCAT Verbal is a quite perplexing portion of the MCAT, indeed the first time I took the test I made a 5 (Practice thank god). But knowing what I know about tests, I began to analyze the intrinsic qualities of the test, for no test truly tests what it says it test, unless you don't understand how it test that (try saying that 5 times fast). I spent the next 3 months studying the MCAT, with focus on the Verbal, and ended up with a 12. I have since worked as a verbal and physics teacher for both Kaplan and TPR, which has further molded my understanding on the topic. I'm not saying I'm the god of all things MCAT, however I have seen alot of it in my day.
    It is my claim that anyone can increase their score (on all parts, but verbal especially) by merely understanding a few things about the test, and stategy on how to take it.

    Thus as a public service (and a distraction from more important tasks) I present:
    Mike's guide to the verbal MCAT:

    First let's begin with how the verbal is roughly organized.
    -9 passages (they claim some have 10 but I've never seen or heard of one with 10)
    -about 7 reading comp questions over each passage
    -65 total questions
    -77 minutes to complete it
    -1st thing in the morning (someone needs to die for that logistical choice)

    The first and most important Rule is


    This does not mean random guessing per se, however, if thats what it end up being at first so be it. As you become more confortable with the test guessing will become unnecessary. The major thing here is, no one question is important enough to keep from finishing.

    Why is finishing so important
    To earn a 12 on the verbal one must get around 60-62 questions right depending on the test. If you miss an entire passage you start at an 11 right off the bat

    Also as we will see later, if you spend too much time thinking about this stuff you are almost definitely doing it wrong

    But mike, I know the rules of taking tests, but still I can't finish

    This is where strategy comes in:

    The reason for this is the Bell Curve
    In order for the MCAT to be considered a statistically valid test, it must fulfill 3 basic criteria
    #1- It must provide some form of differentiation (ie some kids have to get 15's and others 5's)
    #2- It must provide some logical criteria for why a 12 is better than a 5
    #3- People who earn 12's on one test should earn similiar scores on future tests, assuming no changes are made (consistency)

    Thus in order to meet these standards, every verbal test must have both easy and hard passages, in predictable numbers and patterns, and this leads to an advantage on your part.
    Every MCAT I have taken, has had the following breakdown (in my opinion)
    4-Easy Straightforward
    3-Mildly difficult
    1-Relatively difficult, requires some thought
    1-Would anger Jacques Derrida (very difficult)
    The strategy here is to figure out which is which, and to do them in order of increasing difficulty, thus leaving yourself more time to finish the harder ones
    This leads us to the problem of discerning which is which, to determine this I provide a another classification scheme for these passages
    3-Natural sciences
    3-Social sciences(poli sci,psych,soci,anthro)
    3- Humanities- (english, history, philosophy)

    The Natural science passages are among the easiest ones without exception, all are straight forward, and involve topics we are all atleast somewhat familiar with. I always find these and do these first.

    The social sciences are a mixed bag, some are rather easy, others can be difficult, but they are never the worst passage

    The humanities tend to occupy both of the hardest two slots, and at the very least the worst passage on the test is always in this group (philosophy being the most common, english lit the second. The reason for this is 3 fold
    1) Science majors (a majority of kids taking the test) hate these passages and thus
    2) Being a humanities major myself, I can testify that there is no end to the number of people contributing to the library of passages made unreadable by the authors attempt to prove their own intelligence
    3) the passages tend to use rather large words without a definite need for these words, and thus tend to perplex and scare people at 9 in the morning
    To deal with this aspect of the test, I devised what I termed the 4 pass system. This involves going through the test 4 times, looking for and doing passages of increasing difficulty in order to score the easy points early and to gain a lead for the tough ones
    Pass 1-Nail all natural sciences, and any social science passage that is OBVIOUSLY an easy one (about 4-5 in this pass)
    Pass 2- Nail anything that after glancing through one paragraph, you know the main idea...the key is to not be afraid to recognize that you are reading a tough one early, and to drop what your doing and move on
    pass 3- Finish all but the worst passage
    Pass 4- hold on for dear life, score as many points as possible near the end

    How to spot bad passages- Generally they are obvious, for they use large words, that though you may know the meaning, you have to dig them up from your memory bank, for they are not typically on MSNBC on a daily basis. Rule of thumb, if you read the first paragraph and really haven't a clue what the author is saying, move on

    How to read...MCAT Style
    there are only three things you want out of an MCAT passage...period
    1) What the Author is talking about
    2) What the authors overall opinion on this topic is (there is almost always an opinion somewhere)
    3) What kind of information is located in each paragraph, in case you have to look something up

    To find this info Read the first and last paragraphs. If at this point you do not know #1 and #2 repeat, and if necessary read the 2nd paragraph. Then SKIM the following paragraphs to find what is in which paragraph. and head to the questions
    On the surface this would seem to be a bad way to read an argument,to essentially ignore all the backing for the claim of the paragraph, but this is the MCAT and not the real world and the method to this madness will become clear when we analyze the type of questions asked on the MCAT

    Contrary to what is empirically obvious, the MCAT only asks two types of questions (these are my names for them), and they must be approached entirely differently
    1) Find the fact
    2) Touchy Feely

    1) Find the fact-
    These questions require you to answer a question based entirely on what is said in the passage (or a reasonable approximation of such) these tend to be the more straightforward and unfortunately for many less frequent. This is where your skim comes in: When prompted to find a fact, go to the area where the information is located and put the answer most similiar to what is stated in the passage, often times it will ask you to find out what type of evidence is or isnt located in the passage. I hope I don't have to continue stating the obvious, but I need to describe this in order to contrast it with the technique for #2
    2) Touchy feely- These are the Harder questions, the more frequent, but once you know what your doing, they are the quickest questions
    It is key that you first know the authors opinion on the topic for your entire stategy will hinge on this opinion
    second one must know what questions qualify for this category in order to know when to use the technique
    there are two types
    1) Direct main idea questions- where the question explicitly asks for the passage's main idea
    2) Ones with "touchy feely" key words in the question- these words include Probably, most likely, can be inferred, the author would most likely say....basically any question where it does not ask you to explicitly look for something in the passage, and which uses vague, indirect language

    Here is the corner stone of your MCAT verbal attack
    This Idea came to me while analyzing practice tests, to determine why I was missing the questions that I was. The questions I was missing were mainly of the second type, and after some thought, I decided to take an entire verbal test where I always answered the touchy feely questions with the most obvious answer (the gut answer). This was the first time I ever scored in the double digits
    From this I concluded that on these questions I had been talking myself out of the right answers using a complex set of reasons based on factual evidence in the passage (like any good bright person would) and was talking myself out of the right obvious answer hence the following rule
    Blanket stupidity is of course not that way to go,but the following algorhithm took me far
    1) Find the authors opinion (ie Beer is good)
    2) Identify any questions which qualify as touchy feely (this is an art form) (ie what is the authors opinion on breweries near high schools)
    3) look at the answers and eliminate any answers which either directly conflict with the authors opinion, or have nothing to do with that opinion (ie beer is bad or we should not sell cigarrettes to children)
    4) when in doubt narrowing down the rest,follow these rules
    -the more general answers tend to be right on these
    -Go with the gut

    a small number of these questions do not conform to these (usually they happen in the bad 2 passages), experience will teach you how to spot these

    Finally a word on the I, II,III questions
    a simple algorhythm for these
    1) look at the I,II,III part (the real answers) and eliminate all obviously wrong ones
    2) go to the answer choices and eliminate any ones affected by #1, then find out which answer (I, II Or III) is located in the most of the remaining choices
    3) test the validity of that answer in the passage or if a touchy feely one go with the gut
    4) repeat till other answers are eliminated

    information on purchasing the AAMC stuff is on the back of the booklet included in the mcat registration packet

    I would be willing to cover other sections if requested and any ?'s can be directed to [email protected]


    <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> AWESOME <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
    legomyeggo, YOWAT, chancemd and 3 others like this.
  9. Toejam

    Toejam Terminal Student 7+ Year Member

    May 12, 2002
    35 miles from Pomona
    Of course, reading is the key. But, you also need to be somewhat selective in what you read (i.e., not the Highlights issue in your dentist's office). And, while you're reading, you need to do it ACTIVELY, not passively like many of us do.
  10. drwham

    drwham 2+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    bumping this thread because the detailed advice above helped me so may help others
  11. dapmp91

    dapmp91 Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    I think reading random articles will help you become comfortable with the verbal section, one thing that happens with me when I do verbal is I freak out, I'm like Holy **** this passage is talking about keynesian economics or something I've never even heard of, so i freak out for about 2 minutes, that time I could've spent concentrating and focusing on the section.
  12. rls303

    rls303 2+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2008
    This is quite useful information. However, one has to be very careful when going back and forth between the passages. I'm just scared that I might get panicked once I reach the time and I might not accidentally skip a passage. :scared:
  13. wje

    wje Banned

    Jun 19, 2010

    Agree with those who advise using practice VR passages. Just reading eg. "Economist" is dreadfull waste of time!!!!
    Need to exercise part of brain (VR gyrus) by actually doing Qs. First get good, then get fast.
    redcode likes this.
  14. Slowpoke

    Slowpoke I haz cheezburger 7+ Year Member

    Examkrackers Verbal Strat
    redcode likes this.
  15. Medhatter

    Medhatter 2+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2010
    I agree with most of the MikeS's point but ranking the passage seems to be a waste.. I thought the MCAT's passages go from easiest to the hardest in the default order(I remember reading somewhere on the AAMC sites). So automatically, you will get the hardest, most abstract passages in the end, although questions within those passages may differ in their difficulties.
    redcode likes this.
  16. g8orlife

    g8orlife chomp 7+ Year Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    A quagmire
    Not always true. Although my last passage was the most difficult, a couple recent MCAT Club Threads post-test wrote that their most difficult VR passage was in the beginning (1st/2nd).
  17. Medhatter

    Medhatter 2+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2010
    It doesn't refer explicitly to passages but, hey , it asks easier questions in the beginning, so might as well do them first.

  18. nadaba

    nadaba 5+ Year Member

    May 25, 2010
    The test on May 27th had the hard philosophy passage second. Definitely the hardest passage in the section.
  19. dumbbell

    dumbbell 2+ Year Member

    Jul 3, 2010

    it bumped me up 2 points when i only had two hours with it. its the 15 dollar one.
  20. globy321

    globy321 2+ Year Member

    May 6, 2009
    Hi. The problem that I have with verbal is timing.
    If I read a passage without timing I get the majority of the questions right (70-80% of the questions).
    If I read a passage under timed conditions, I get the majority of the questions wrong (~50% of the questions I get are correct).
    What do you guys advice to improve my verbal reasoning under timed conditions?
  21. hookgrip

    hookgrip ASA Member 5+ Year Member

    May 29, 2011
    OP, what part of verbal are you having the most trouble with? Is it pacing yourself to finish on time, being able to analyze the passages effectively, or being able to extrude the subtle points necessary to answer some of the questions?

    I'd definitely recommend getting a lot of practice. One way to do this is of course with MCAT Verbal strategy books, but another good way to practice might be to do the SAT Critical Reading sections. IMO the critical reading passages and questions on the SAT are pretty close to those on the MCAT in terms of how they are set up.
  22. FutureDoc01

    FutureDoc01 5+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2009
    I use the EK verbal book. I made sure when I practiced I kept each passage to around 8.5 mintues. I also read the NY Times everyday and tried to read it quick then write down what I could remember.

    Overall, I think EK is a lot better than Kaplan. Using the EK book I went from a 3 to a 9.
  23. EricMont


    May 17, 2010

    NOOOOOOOO!!! Reading too much will make any passage a painful experience. I did this (I read 12 books in 1.5 months) and did verbal passages at every instance I could and it made me sick. What you should do is:
    1) remain focused throughout the entire passage
    2) gather a sense of what types of questions the AAMC tests ask (which does the author offer LEAST amount of support, Where does the auther offer conflicting arguments, etc).

    Reading butt loads of books and articles is only going to help you get a rhythm down so that you do not "back-track" or lose your place while reading. Other than that, reading a lot will NOT DO ANYTHING.
  24. Research3r


    Apr 22, 2011
    which lsat books or gmat books are recommended for verbal passages?
  25. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion 7+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2009
    On an island, in NY
    For the mcat? :confused: Why not just use the EK101 or princeton review verbal workbook? Those seem to be the best choice.
  26. Research3r


    Apr 22, 2011
    I want to do many more passages than the EK101 and PR workbook, verbal is a major weakness for me.
  27. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion 7+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2009
    On an island, in NY
    I'm not sure about lsat or gmat books, but you can always try books from kaplan or other companies. If you can, do as many FLs as you can find and review them.
  28. LeonVCU


    Nov 15, 2009
    Richmond, VA
    And let me know if it seems similar to the real thing:

    Watching on a long flight the other day the classic 1966 Sergio Leone spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly I couldn't help but think that Afghanistan would make a great backdrop for a remake of the Clint Eastwood classic.

    I'm not sure whether Kandahar region 'super governor' Ahmed Wali Karzai would have been cast as "The Bad" or "The Ugly", but the half brother of Afghanistan's President -- shot dead today by a family bodyguard -- was no force of noble spirit.

    The US intelligence establishment has amassed a mountain of material alleging his core involvement in Afghanistan's drug trade and his role not only as a profiteer in the lucrative private security business, but as someone who, like a mafia don, has allegedly had rivals and people of means kidnapped and harassed in an extortion racket.

    Karzai's half brother was considered a war lord by many, often referred to as "the most powerful man in Southern Afghanistan." When then US Representative and now Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Director Jane Harman was pounding the Obama administration and General David Petraeus to show her a plan on how such a morally insolvent and corrupt regime could ever become an adequate partner in stabilizing the country, she was in large degree talking about the intelligence sector-documented nefarious activities of President Karzai's brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai.

    The Taliban have publicly claimed responsibility for Karzai's assassination by security guard and trusted Karzai household-insider, Sardar Mohammad.

    If true, this shows the Taliban have great reach still throughout the power corridors of Afghan society -- and have enormous patience and skill to manage what would have been a complex and risky operation. If not true, then one wonders what motivated this guard, and we just don't know those answers yet, if ever.

    The other thing to remember though is that to many, Ahmed Wali Karzai was a self-aggrandizing mafia boss; people feared him -- and while many also may fear the Taliban, there is no clear battle between the good and the bad, between those with white hats and those with black.

    Maybe for anyone to be the kind of power broker Karzai became, every one eventually becomes "The Ugly."

    Ahmed Wali Karzai Assassinated, JUL 12 2011, 5:56 AM ET2. The Atlantic.com.

    1. The author’s claim that “Afghanistan would make a great backdrop for a remake of the Clint Eastwood classic” is MOST strongly supported by:
    a. The fact that Karzai eventually became “The Ugly”
    b. Information provided by the United State officials
    c. Taliban’s great reach throughout Afghan society
    d. The fact that Taliban have assassinated Karzai

    All possible answers:
    • US intelligence
    • US Rep. and scholar Jane Harman
    • Taliban claiming
    a. NO reference b. yes: answer c. not necessarily, not best d. not a fact

    2. The author most likely believes that one of the main problems with Obama administration policies in Afghanistan is
    a. Expecting too much from the Afghan regime
    b. Poor control of illegal activities
    c. The lack of understanding of what US involvement in Afghanistan is intended to accomplish
    d. Slow investigations

    • Afghan regime is unreliable, no need to rely on it
    • A. best, scholar said it: answer b. no mention c. outside knowledge d. no mention

    3. Given the information in the passage, if an average man is given the ability to control powerful mafia groups, earn a great deal of money, and control a huge drug trade, this person would
    a. Definitely become the bad
    b. Most likely become the ugly
    c. Be eventually murdered
    d. Possibly become the good
    • “maybe would become ‘The Ugly’” not definitely
    • A. not definitely, b. no likelihood implied c. not implied at all d. possibly: answer

    4. The author strongly implies that
    a. Jane Harman is now a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Director
    b. Taliban is not a reliable source
    c. Karzai’s half-brother has killed people in the past
    d. More radical policies should be adopted in response to Taliban terrorism

    • A: Afghanistan is like The Good, the bad and the ugly bs. It is so corrupt up there and there are people who would make great characters in the remake of that movie, Karzai’s half-brother was
    “The Ugly”. Taliban are not the only bad guys in Afghanistan. US. Involvement needs to consider the situation in Afghanistan in terms of who can be trusted and not trusted
    • A. not implied: stated as a fact b. “if true” “if not true”: answer c. no stated, don’t assume d. not implied

    5. Suppose that it was revealed by further intelligence reports that Ahmed Wali Karzai was in fact simply a puppet with no power or control whatsoever, used by some very powerful ruler in order to achieve certain strategic goals. This new information would most CHALLENGE the claim that:
    a. Afghanistan would make a great backdrop for a remake of the Clint Eastwood classic
    b. Karzai had rivals and people of means kidnapped and harassed in an extortion racket
    c. then one wonders what motivated this guard, and we just don't know those answers yet, if ever
    d. Ahmed Wali Karzai was a self-aggrandizing mafia boss

    • He was not really a profiteer in this business, had no real control. The “nefarious” activities were not his at all. His appearance as “self-aggrandizing mafia boss” was just a cover for someone who really is one
    • A. no challenge b. only lends support c. still don’t know d. no him: he was just a puppet: answer

    6. The support that the author provides for his claims that Ahmed Wali Karzai “was no force of noble spirit” and that he engaged in “nefarious activities” is
    a. Strong, US intelligence gathered data to support these claims
    b. Strong, director Jane Harman found new evidence to support this
    c. Weak, Taliban actually engaged in nefarious activities
    d. Weak, Ahmed Wali Karzai was a self-aggrandizing mafia boss

    • It is strong: reports by US intelligence and US Rep and scholar .
    • A. right answer, paraphrased b. not new evidence: a plan c. not weak, not good answer d. second part is true, but support is strong

    • Ahmed Wali Karzai Assassinated
    • JUL 12 2011, 5:56 AM ET2
  29. tak08810

    tak08810 5+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    I didn't bother reading through this thread but I think it is A HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE idea to do the passages out of order in some attempt to do the "easy" ones first. The MCAT is NOT like the SAT or GRE where the passages get harder as you go on, then you can only try to look at the beginning of each passage or skim through it very very fast and decide. I think this is not only a waste of time but ruins your concentration since you'll be moving from one passage to another, not to mention the time wasted going to exhibit and going back to the passages you haven't answered (also after you do the easy ones, how are you going to remember the medium ones vs the hard ones? that requires writing down which also takes a little bit of time). Worse for me is that it'll be straining your concentration moving so quickly from one topic to the next, I think the key to the Verbal Reasoning is dedicating all your concentration to one passage at a time, finishing it, clearing your mind of all knowledge from that passage, and moving on to the next one.

    Also, what if a passage seems hard but turns out to be easy? Or a hard passage with easy, mainly major details oriented questions vs an easy passage with very confusing and vague questions? So do you have to skim through the passage questions as well? If so, I guarantee you'd be spending at less thirty seconds trying to decide if a passage is easy or not which means a few minutes wasted. On VR this is a big chunk of time!

    So I believe in doing it in a straightforward manner and just guessing on questions that are taking you too long, keeping a steady pace.

    Edit: Also, at least for me personally, I have found there are some monster passages with hard questions that by spending a little extra time on (I aim for seven minutes during practice passages per SN2ed's advice) I can nail all or most of those answers while an easy passage I may spend more time than needed second guessing myself. So if I were to save the hard passage for last I probably would've gotten most of the answers wrong being crunched for time.
    YOWAT and ymartino like this.
  30. MJ007


    Jan 31, 2012
    Think main idea, use elimination, confidence comes with practice, sometimes is good to read the first paragraph slowly. Good luck
  31. mcloaf

    mcloaf 5+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2012
    This thread is from 2002. I don't even...

  32. Camy99

    Camy99 5+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2011
    Question: Do you guys think it's a good idea to read all the questions first before starting the passage? So you have a hint to what you'll be looking for later? Or is it just a waste a time to do so....
  33. Black Joker

    Black Joker 5+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2009
    There are many specific issues for people not doing well on verbal. Let's try to identify and narrow down your problem.

    1. How low is your score? like around 8, around 6, or below?

    2. Can you finish the exam? Are you almost done at the end of time or not even on the 7th passage?

    3. Are there passages you got more correct than the other ones? Or overall, you have the same amount of questions correct per passage?

    4. Do you read a lot? Is the understanding passage hard or understanding questions hard for you? or both?

    5. Do you go by the time like 8 min per passage?

    6. How many passages have you practiced before?

    7. How well do you do on the physical and biological passages? how about your speed and rhythm on those parts of the exam when compared to the verbal passages ?

    8. Do you do well on paper or computer screen? Or both the same to you?

    9. After each passage, do you have a clear and simple idea of what the author is trying to say?

    Try to answer these questions and hopefully narrow down some specific issues you have with either reading skill, understanding skill, confidence, or test-taking skill.

    Basically, what it comes down to is to understand the ideas and argument each passage's author is trying to convey ( basically, what the hell is the writer saying?) Usually, writer has several ideas and maybe favoring one idea over the other or stand in the middle ground among different ideas. You primary goal is try to understand the point of the passage? This also deals with some physical science and biological science passages as well. So improving your quick understanding of passages under 4 min. can help you greatly in all parts of MCAT. I would first start tackle one passage at a time and first few passages with no time limit (try to enjoy the writing if you can and think of yourself as a writer or critic). It will change your attitude when you take the verbal and make the passages less difficult by improving your confidence. Then I would do the individual passages under 10 min, then 9 min, then 8 min. And then I would take like 3 passages continuously without stopping in 25 min. And then you can probably get more comfortable with 7 passages exam. So start small, and build upon that. Remember these passages are written by people too and they want to communicate with the readers about their certain ideas, it's just that these writings are not the average undergraduate science major's reading assignments. Whatever method works for you will be the best. Just make sure you have some ideas about the passage you just read before you jump into the questions. And practice a lot man.
    YOWAT and redcode like this.

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