meliora27

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Mar 7, 2007
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I've been using EK 101 for VR and have seen some nice gains in my VR scores. However, I am not seeing any improvement in my time. I'm getting higher scores but my speed is not improving. Any suggestions on improving speed?
 

LostInStudy

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2008
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I've been using EK 101 for VR and have seen some nice gains in my VR scores. However, I am not seeing any improvement in my time. I'm getting higher scores but my speed is not improving. Any suggestions on improving speed?
Yea. Try to limit yourself to 30-40 secs per question. If you can't come up with an answer in that time then guess and come back when you finish all the questions. It doesn't seem like a long time but trust me it is more than enough. The average passage has around 6 questions (some have more/some have less) and this should take you 3 mins on questions total per passage. Even if you are a very very very slow reader and you take say 5 mins to read each passage then that is 8 mins a passage x 7 passages for a total of 56 mins. However, most people can read the passage in 4 mins max so that means you get done in 49 mins. This is enough time to go back to marked questions. Your ultimate goal is to finish each passage in 6.5 mins (or even 6 if possible). Finishing the verbal section should be your very first priority always. At first it will feel weird becuase you will feel rushed and that you have to guess, but you will get better as you learn to quickly figure out what is question is asking and answer it and get better at eliminating wrong answers so that if you have to guess then at least you have a 50% chance of getting it right.

Hope this helps,

-LIS
 

SilverStain

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Jun 26, 2009
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Yea. Try to limit yourself to 30-40 secs per question. If you can't come up with an answer in that time then guess and come back when you finish all the questions. It doesn't seem like a long time but trust me it is more than enough. The average passage has around 6 questions (some have more/some have less) and this should take you 3 mins on questions total per passage. Even if you are a very very very slow reader and you take say 5 mins to read each passage then that is 8 mins a passage x 7 passages for a total of 56 mins. However, most people can read the passage in 4 mins max so that means you get done in 49 mins. This is enough time to go back to marked questions. Your ultimate goal is to finish each passage in 6.5 mins (or even 6 if possible). Finishing the verbal section should be your very first priority always. At first it will feel weird becuase you will feel rushed and that you have to guess, but you will get better as you learn to quickly figure out what is question is asking and answer it and get better at eliminating wrong answers so that if you have to guess then at least you have a 50% chance of getting it right.

Hope this helps,

-LIS
100% on the mark. I use the same strategy and I've gone from guessing on the last passage to finishing up 2 min before hand. In detail this is what I do:

60-->52-->44-->36-->28-->20-->12-->4
-I write out my time limit for each passage before hand and as I'm going through the test I check if I'm over or under the time limit. This keeps my pacing honest throughout the test and forces me to guess and move on from the difficult questions.
--Now EK usually has 3 (5 Question passages), 3 (6 Qs pass), and 1 (7 Qs pass)...so I allocate my extra 4 min accordingly (7 Q's passage and one or two hard to understand passages)
---Reading the passage: In the past I read every single word and tried to grasp every single detail from the passage. I have long moved away from this, as that was my main problem in finishing up on time. Now I read 2-3 words at a time. Its not only helped me in pacing but I tend to grasp the main idea of the passage more easily. I also seem to remember where I need to go within a passage for a exact detail question.
----Regarding questions: The best advise I have gotten and has helped me finish on time and make atleast a 10 a realistic goal is-->GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING and move on. Most of us are science majors and have a hard time moving on when faced with a difficult question. Reading and re-reading will get you nowhere in VR. Rather eliminating the obvious wrong choices and picking out the LEAST WRONG choice (usually neutral wording/without any extremes) without wasting time seems to go very far. As the above post pointed out, this feels very weird at first...almost like throwing in the towel and leaving it up to chance, but trust me it works. Ex/ I first tried doing this for EK4, went with my "gut answer" on 14 questions, when I went back to those marked question I realized I had gotten 10 of the 14 correct. I rather get the 4 wrong then not get to passage and half at the end.

Hope this helps...keep on truckin'
 

LostInStudy

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2008
773
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Pre-Medical
100% on the mark. I use the same strategy and I've gone from guessing on the last passage to finishing up 2 min before hand. In detail this is what I do:

60-->52-->44-->36-->28-->20-->12-->4
-I write out my time limit for each passage before hand and as I'm going through the test I check if I'm over or under the time limit. This keeps my pacing honest throughout the test and forces me to guess and move on from the difficult questions.
--Now EK usually has 3 (5 Question passages), 3 (6 Qs pass), and 1 (7 Qs pass)...so I allocate my extra 4 min accordingly (7 Q's passage and one or two hard to understand passages)
---Reading the passage: In the past I read every single word and tried to grasp every single detail from the passage. I have long moved away from this, as that was my main problem in finishing up on time. Now I read 2-3 words at a time. Its not only helped me in pacing but I tend to grasp the main idea of the passage more easily. I also seem to remember where I need to go within a passage for a exact detail question.
----Regarding questions: The best advise I have gotten and has helped me finish on time and make atleast a 10 a realistic goal is-->GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING and move on. Most of us are science majors and have a hard time moving on when faced with a difficult question. Reading and re-reading will get you nowhere in VR. Rather eliminating the obvious wrong choices and picking out the LEAST WRONG choice (usually neutral wording/without any extremes) without wasting time seems to go very far. As the above post pointed out, this feels very weird at first...almost like throwing in the towel and leaving it up to chance, but trust me it works. Ex/ I first tried doing this for EK4, went with my "gut answer" on 14 questions, when I went back to those marked question I realized I had gotten 10 of the 14 correct. I rather get the 4 wrong then not get to passage and half at the end.

Hope this helps...keep on truckin'
Thank you so much for reminding me the MOST IMPORTANT point I forgot. When reading the passage don't worry about the details, again DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE DETAILS because they may or may not be asked. Just get the main idea and authors attitude and tone if possible. The only thing you should get out of the first and only 3 or 4 min reading of the passage is: the main idea, author tone/attitude, and a map of where to find everything. When I say map I don't mean the crappy way kaplan tells you but a much simpler way. So for example if you're reading think: okay so this paragraph is blah blah blah and the rest of the paragraph just supports/ gives examples of it. When you're reading the paragraph try to think about how it contributes to the main point of the author thus far.

Hope this helps,

-LIS
 

G1SG2

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 2, 2008
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Pre-Medical
100% on the mark. I use the same strategy and I've gone from guessing on the last passage to finishing up 2 min before hand. In detail this is what I do:

60-->52-->44-->36-->28-->20-->12-->4
-I write out my time limit for each passage before hand and as I'm going through the test I check if I'm over or under the time limit. This keeps my pacing honest throughout the test and forces me to guess and move on from the difficult questions.
--Now EK usually has 3 (5 Question passages), 3 (6 Qs pass), and 1 (7 Qs pass)...so I allocate my extra 4 min accordingly (7 Q's passage and one or two hard to understand passages)
---Reading the passage: In the past I read every single word and tried to grasp every single detail from the passage. I have long moved away from this, as that was my main problem in finishing up on time. Now I read 2-3 words at a time. Its not only helped me in pacing but I tend to grasp the main idea of the passage more easily. I also seem to remember where I need to go within a passage for a exact detail question.
----Regarding questions: The best advise I have gotten and has helped me finish on time and make atleast a 10 a realistic goal is-->GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING and move on. Most of us are science majors and have a hard time moving on when faced with a difficult question. Reading and re-reading will get you nowhere in VR. Rather eliminating the obvious wrong choices and picking out the LEAST WRONG choice (usually neutral wording/without any extremes) without wasting time seems to go very far. As the above post pointed out, this feels very weird at first...almost like throwing in the towel and leaving it up to chance, but trust me it works. Ex/ I first tried doing this for EK4, went with my "gut answer" on 14 questions, when I went back to those marked question I realized I had gotten 10 of the 14 correct. I rather get the 4 wrong then not get to passage and half at the end.

Hope this helps...keep on truckin'
Oh s*** lol, I do the same exact thing. Good advice :thumbup:
 

LostInStudy

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2008
773
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Oh s*** lol, I do the same exact thing. Good advice :thumbup:
Sounds like a great idea to not only keep you on pace but also give you a break between passages to cross it out so that you can clear your head. I think I'm going to try it when I start FLs. See OP, perfecting VR strategy is a never-ending process.

-LIS
 

Meat

The Redder, the better.
Jun 25, 2009
239
2
Status
Medical Student
Personally, I was spending too much time dissecting each passage. I found that I had to force myself to blow through each paragraph. For the most part, you don't have to remember the details, as long as you get the main idea of the passage. From there, you can rock your way through the questions. Pick an answer and go with it. Wasting time on questions second guessing yourself doesn't help.

Good luck man, Verbal sucks.
 

G1SG2

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May 2, 2008
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I've been using EK 101 for VR and have seen some nice gains in my VR scores. However, I am not seeing any improvement in my time. I'm getting higher scores but my speed is not improving. Any suggestions on improving speed?
Make sure you don't read TOO fast, as that can also be detrimental to your score. That's what I started out doing, as I tend to read really fast. It was hurting my score, as I was missing an important word or two. Do what EK says about reading every word. Just don't get bogged down in details, and get the main idea of each paragraph and move on. I think that's a good balance.
 

SuperSaiyan3

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May 13, 2009
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I disagree with everybody saying that you should aim to finish the passages in 6 minutes and be finished the entire VR section in 50 minutes.

While finishing the VR section is essential, it is an inefficient use of time to do a shoddy job the first time around and then go back to it. EK Verbal book says this themselves. I agree.

I am to finish my passages in 8 minutes. Even at this pace, I will still finish the entire verbal section with 4 minutes to spare. Furthermore, I practice with the longer paper version type of MCAT verbal (where there are average 7 questions per passage). Therefore improving my chances of finishing faster.

The diagnosis? You should be going through it RIGHT the first time around. Don't bother to go back to it later. You'll have to spend time re-reading the same question and refresh your mind on the same passage. This alone would take a minute to do.

Like EK Verbal says: "Aim to finish the verbal section with 2 minutes left. No more. No less."

Just my opinion. I find that it is unrealistic for me to finish a passage in 6 minutes anyways. 6:30 alone was cutting it close for me. But then again, I am a slower reader... so choose what works for you.
 

G1SG2

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5+ Year Member
May 2, 2008
1,454
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I disagree with everybody saying that you should aim to finish the passages in 6 minutes and be finished the entire VR section in 50 minutes.

While finishing the VR section is essential, it is an inefficient use of time to do a shoddy job the first time around and then go back to it. EK Verbal book says this themselves. I agree.

I am to finish my passages in 8 minutes. Even at this pace, I will still finish the entire verbal section with 4 minutes to spare. Furthermore, I practice with the longer paper version type of MCAT verbal (where there are average 7 questions per passage). Therefore improving my chances of finishing faster.

The diagnosis? You should be going through it RIGHT the first time around. Don't bother to go back to it later. You'll have to spend time re-reading the same question and refresh your mind on the same passage. This alone would take a minute to do.

Like EK Verbal says: "Aim to finish the verbal section with 2 minutes left. No more. No less."

Just my opinion. I find that it is unrealistic for me to finish a passage in 6 minutes anyways. 6:30 alone was cutting it close for me. But then again, I am a slower reader... so choose what works for you.
Thank you. I totally agree. I finish my passages in about 8 minutes as well. I think it's pointless to go back for this section because you won't remember the passage as well as you did when you FIRST READ it. It's better to answer the questions as best as you can the first time rather than coming back and wasting time trying to remember what the passage was about in relation to the questions being asked.
 

LostInStudy

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Jan 14, 2008
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I agree. I want to make it clear that I am in NO WAY advocating the OP to do a "shoddy job" the first time. I just said that he should move faster with the questions. As he learns to move faster through the passage then he will also learn to apply his reasoning and comprehension skills faster. If that works for you, then great. I just think its nice that the OP asked about increasing his speed because he probably realizes that 4 mins may not be enough for him if he gets 2 or 3 hard passages. Maybe he wants the 10 min cushion.

Anyway the point is to work on doing it right the first time around on the actual test, then go back through and look up the questions on detail that you weren't 100% positive about. I tend to remember most of everything when I go back to passages, so everyone is just different but all views should be presented at least. Just my opinion.

-LIS
 

plsletmein

im on bended knees
May 6, 2009
395
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Status
100% on the mark. I use the same strategy and I've gone from guessing on the last passage to finishing up 2 min before hand. In detail this is what I do:

60-->52-->44-->36-->28-->20-->12-->4
-I write out my time limit for each passage before hand and as I'm going through the test I check if I'm over or under the time limit. This keeps my pacing honest throughout the test and forces me to guess and move on from the difficult questions.
:thumbup: This is exactly what I do too. For passages with just 5 questions, you should be able to rack up even more extra time. I found that taking my time and spending 4 minutes just reading the passage at a comfortable pace was more beneficial than ever trying to speed through the passage. You should still comfortably be able to answer up to 7 questions in 4 min- you could probably even do 5 min careful reading and 3 min questions pretty smoothly

If you take a strict timing per passage, you should really have 8 min 30 sec per passage so a red light should go off in your head if you are approaching more than 8.5 min on the passage you are on
 

SilverStain

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Jun 26, 2009
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Whats everyones take on the science passages? BS I have no problem with, but for PS I'm barely finishing. Heres what I've been doing:
70-->56 freestanding
56-->48-->40-->32-->24-->16-->8-->0 passages
I feel like chem is my week point and is holding me back on some passages. I guess filling in the gaps is the only solution. How do you guys tackle this section?