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Improving Verbal and Essay Scores

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by codeguy, May 30, 2001.

  1. codeguy

    codeguy Member

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    I am very interested in hearing from people who have improved their Verbal and Essay Scores on the MCAT.

    I am quite confident I will fair decent on the Science portion of the exam but writing is my greatest weakness.

    What did you do to improve them?

    How much of an imrpovement did you see?

    Thanks!
    :D
     
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  3. ebola95

    ebola95 Senior Member

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    this sounds cheesy...but it worked for me...

    read the books "Brave New World" and "1984"...you can take any essay question that they throw at you and mention these books and the authors and you'll get rave reviews....trust me!

    John
    CCOM MS-II
     
  4. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator

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    What I did was took ALL the sample writing that Kaplan offered their students and I dissected each one of them with the help of my wife who was an English major at the time.... After the fifth one, we found a pattern in the ones that scored (or suppose to score) on the high end of the spectrum....

    If that doesn't work, try asking for a regrade after you receive your MCAT scores.... A friend of mines did and his writing score improved from an N to an S!!! Maybe you'll get people who will be in a better mood to grade your writing the second time.... Oh well, just my two cents.
     
  5. Aloha Kid

    Aloha Kid Senior Member

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    For me, it was really easy to write about something that was of interest to me. However, if you have already read the list of essay questions, you'll realize that a number of them appeal to absolutely no one. These are the the questions I would read over, think about, and write about.

    Try to visualize who is reading these essays. It's probably some graduate student trying to get through 150 of them a night. If you write like everyone else, you'll end up in the middle. If you write exceptionally well you'll end up with a good score. But, If you write well and have something that stands out and catches the interest of the person reading, then you'll get an excellent score.

    I tried to make the essay personal without turning it into a journal entry. I tried to relate a few personal experiences that drove home my main point. It worked well apparently. Beware if you use this method. Be sure that your essay does not turn into a journal entry.
     
  6. Popoy

    Popoy SDN Super Moderator

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    Actually... I knew a couple of UCDavis professors(both I took a class from) that graded the MCAT scores.... They did it for extra dinero and to see the process themselves.... very interesting....

    They did mention fatigue in grading all the essay and that by the how many hundreds of essay they are correcting that they try and find a formula that everyone does.... So despite the fact that this is a writing portion, the graders do look for a somewhat formulated response.

    The grading of these essays are also formulated.... I don't remember specific, but they do have a certain amount of time alloted to grade an essay before they pass it to someone else. They also have a certain amount of time to take breaks.... I do remember that it is very exhausting for them.

    If you're writting is a bit different, then it does make their eyes do a double take. Just make sure, like Aloha Kid mentioned, that it does not turn into a journal....
     
  7. Jeff05

    Jeff05 Senior Member

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    Verbal - practice passages every morning...read a lot, figure out the odds (how many questions you can answer, how many you can guess, what the correct guess rate is for you - if the guess rate improves after just reading the questions, ect.), have an attack plan.
    Writing sample - crock of shait. The most useless assessment ever - a horrible gauge of writing ability. if you're getting Os and Ps, you're in good shape.
     

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