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Improving speed

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by Orthodoc40, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Orthodoc40

    10+ Year Member

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    Does anyone have specific techniques a person can work on for improving their speed? I especially need to work on the PS section - I keep needing about 10 more minutes to finish it. Do you read everything in the passage? Just skim? People have told me to skim through, but I have trouble relying on that method... Thanks ahead of time for your ideas! :)
     
  2. basfan2000

    basfan2000 Member
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    I honestly feel that you can pretty much forego reading the physics passages. My strategy was don't read, see how many I could answer without getting stuck, then move on (basically treating them like those passage-independent questions). I would later come back with about 5-7 unanswered, and would spend my time on those. For the gen chem passages, it helps to skim, but even then most times (2 out of 3? 3 out of 4?) you can answer the questions without reading the passage at all.
     
  3. bootz

    bootz Senior Member
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    I read the passages but I didn't try to memorize facts. I just looked for where stuff was, and tried to be aware of diagrams/conversions/etc... You could probably get away with not reading the passages, but I never tried it so I wouldn't know. I think finding your own pace with difficult passages (e.g. EK 16 Mini-MCATs) might help. When passages are extremely difficult you have no choice but to move on. This is really important for the MCAT especially since there are a lot of easy questions in the PS section. Just learn to make your best guess and move on don't get caught up on any one question. You should at least try the moving on strategy on one diag. I went from a 10 to a 12 on my AAMC diags by doing this on every section.

    You still have plenty of time to do it!! It only took me one month to make these improvements.
     
  4. Jeesing

    Jeesing Junior Member
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    I would read the passages, dont memorize details, just get an idea of the concepts and know where certain detail are if u need to look back. I used to skim but found it more beneficial to read the passage because it often had hints or pointers that helped on question i wasnt too sure about. I found it easiest to improve speed on the discrete questions, i was doing just slightly faster than the kaplan pace for the passages of 8min/passage but finished the discretes really quickly because often they just required quick calculations. ie. E=hf questions. It may also help to improve math skills because calculations can be time consuming.
     
  5. blkkd

    blkkd Electrically relaxing
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    DING DING we have a winner...
     
  6. Crazy Canuck

    Crazy Canuck Senior Member
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    I agree with the above posts. Another thing I did was time myself for each passage and slowly cut back on your time. So, I'd start with doing 12 minutes per passage, then go down to 11, 10, 9 and so on so that you get used to working at a quick speed. You I'd recommend doing at least 3 or more passages at a time so that you can still spend a little more time on passages you find harder, and a little less time on passages you find easier. Just my $.02
     
  7. Orthodoc40

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    Thanks everyone - this gets me in the right direction.
     
  8. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
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    The fastest way to get through it is to go first with passages that you are comfortable with then leave the hardest ones for last. That way you do not waste time on answers you have a lower chance on getting correct.
     

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