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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by riley, Jun 20, 2001.

  1. riley

    riley Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2001
    Hi all, I've been reading the posts for the past few days, and have been enjoying the honesty and advice shared between everyone.

    I'm in need of some advice myself, does anyone have any tips on how to do well on mcat passages? Sometimes I get so bogged down in reading the passages that I dont know what the question is asking. And I always seem to approach the passages wrong.
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  3. synite

    synite Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 20, 2001
    here's my two cents. but remember that people think in different ways so my method may not work for you..

    never read a passage for details the first time around. look over the general content and basic info provided. then go to the questions, and look back for details. this sounds generic, i know. but it works surprisingly well. after doing like 100 practice passages, you'll begin to ANTICIPATE questions, which is huge. because now you can think like the test writers and figure out what they are trying to get at (or how they are trying to trip you up) before you finish reading the passage. that works really well for the science sections.

    for verbal, i tend to do the opposite. but that's just me. i read each passage from beginning to end and absorb everything i can before going to the questions. then i find the questions pretty predictable. and i'm not wasting time going back and forth between the passage and the questions. after thoroughly reading the passage, you get a sense of the author's tone , style, and opinions. i think everyone agrees that questions that pertain to the author are most challenging. when you read, try to imagine the author writing the passage (why did he write it? what does he think about this and that?). that way, you have a sense of the author before tackling the questions, and again, you can ANTICIPATE the questions. if you read the question and possible answers first and then think about the author's style, you will get confused. develop a picture of the author first, then read the questions. this has worked really well for me.

    hope that made sense. let me know if not.
  4. C U in MD school

    C U in MD school Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    that is the million $ question
    i hope this helps...
    1)read the passage, take your time, understand it as much as you can
    dont worry about detail
    2)read for meaning
    3)after your done reading, take 20sec to review what you read
    4)go straight to questions
    5)read question and the four answer choices.
    at this pt u should be a machine
    6)cross out any wrong choices that come across to you. dont waste your time reading them
    7) if you did it right, u should have 2 choices left over
    8)this is it, pick the one that is that fits the question
    example: if the quesion is infer then take the choice that covers the passage as whole
    you get the pix,
    good luck and never give up!
  5. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    I thought I'd tell you how I approached verbal. Like someone else said, everyone works differently, so try it and see. I used this method and got an 11 on Verbal.

    1. I worked the passages from front to back, didn't check difficulty, length, etc.
    2. First, read the questions lightly. Note questions that ask for facts that have to be in the passage, and try to get a feel for the other questions.
    3. Skim the passage with pencil in hand. Underline strong, forceful words. (always, never, most, etc.)
    4. Underline facts, especially if they are in a question you noted. Draw an arrow to something that explicitly answers a question.
    5. Go back to the questons and answer the fact-based ones you have underlined the answers for.
    6. When you get to the opinion / feel type questions you should have already noted a trend in the passage which will answer these fairly easily.
    7. Don't worry about understanding what the passage is about. Just worry about getting the questions right. After my MCAT I could only remember about 1/3 of the passages. One benefit of my method is that there is very little chance you will have the previous passage on your mind when you go to the next.

    Like I said earlier, everyone is different, and need to use different methods for success in the verbal section. I used the heavy reading / understanding the passage method for a while, and got consistent 9's on practice tests. Once I quit worrying about understanding the passage, and focused solely on the questions, I started getting 10's, 11's, and one 12, finally getting an "11" on the April test. It paid off for me. :)
  6. riley

    riley Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2001
    Thanks for tips! I'll try them out on some passages and see which ones work the best for me.
    Thanks for the love!
  7. fishtolive

    fishtolive Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    i gave a rant the other day about this stuff that is pretty random but in my opinion, helpful. i don't know how to make those frickin links but it's in the everyone forum under
    Topic: Are Princeton Review materials harder than the MCAT?
    let me know if it's anything new.

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