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mcat verbal advice

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by pingpong, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. pingpong

    pingpong Junior Member

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    This is the advice that someone gave me for doing well on the mcat verbal section. It helped me tremendously so I will share it with you guys. Hope it helps you too and good luck!

    1. At first practice reading and answering one verbal section in 10 minutes. To get through the passage quicker, try gliding your pencil across the words. Weird I know, but it worked for me. Secondly, do not write too many notes on the passages. Simply circle key words or underline key phrases

    2. Work on accuracy

    3. Try doing two passages in 20 minutes, then 3 in 30 minutes...Once you can do 4 o4 5 in the 10 minutes time frame, its time to step it up.

    4. Try doing one passage in 8 minutes, then two in 16 etc. You will see that you can easily do one passage no problem, but the more you pile on, the harder it will become. Get your brain used to the mental fatigue--in the end it will be good for you to do a whole bunch at a time. Mental fatigue, I felt, was a big thing for me to overcome.

    5. Once you start doing entire test, work on skipping around. I f you start reading a passage and its hard or its about something you know nothing about skip it go on to another and get back to it at the end. You have to make this decision, though, within the first minute of reading it. If you are 5 minutes into it and decide to skip it, you've wasted 5 minutes and will have to go back and read again later. Likewise, if yo read a passage and a question is hard, skip that and go too another. Get back to it at the end. What I used to do was that for questions that were very
    particular, that demanded that you go back and look for the answer, I would skip that and go back to it unless I knew it off the top of my head.

    6. Berkley Review. You will find that these passages are very hard. I wouldstart first with the Princeton review books. Once you can do steps 1-5 on the PR stuff then move onto the Berkley stuff. Make sure that when you do either you Xerox them that way when you run out of passages, you can go back
    and do them again. Yo will not remember them...there are a lot.

    7. Once you can handle the 8 minute passages, try the Berkley review. The passages are a little bit longer and they throw in an extra passage or two so you have 85 minutes to do 11 instead of 9. On the actual test most people get 9 but some may get 10 or 11. If you can honestly do 11 in 85 minutes, time will not be an issue for you on the real deal Check on the amount of
    time and amount of passages--I can't remember for sure. But I do remember that the BR had one or two extra.

    8. Two months before the exam, what I did was I would wake up three times week, as if it was exam day and did the first part of the exam i.e. wake up at 7 am eat breakfast shower got to the library with a pen, scantron sheet, stop watch. I would do the verbal section like it was the real thing (I got into the habit of filling out the scantron sheet, instead of circling my
    answers in the booklet. It really gets you used to taking hte test. Also fill out those circles take time so you need to take thins into account when practicing for this time oriented portion of the test

    9. One month before the exam, I would take a full MCAT once or twice a week with the same routine as it was on test day. My friend also did this and we both felt test day came and we were used to the routine and just felt like it was another day taking a full est? We both did not feel mentally fatigued.
    I actually thought it went to fast!

    10. You may want to look at the Berkeley review verbal book I think it has some tips

    11. Just get in the habit of reading--things that have a lot of information but are short in length. I read TIME, Newsweek and Nature.

    Again, these are thing that I did or my friends did in preparation for this exam. Please do not confuse these suggestions as keys to success. You will have to decide what works best for you. Following what I did will not guarantee that you will do well. I just want to make that clear.

    Take note, The MCAT tests how well you take tests. That's it. It does not measure how good of a doctor you will become nor will it predict how well you will do in medical school. It does not measure how smart you are. It will
    unfortunately decide whether or not you get in. Schools focus on your score because many believe your MCAT performance will predict how you will perform on the boards.
     
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  3. Has anyone seen 11 passages on a verbal section for the MCAT? This seems absurd.... whats your evidence? Did you have 11 passages... I thought 9 was the universal number...
     
  4. SuzyQ

    SuzyQ Senior Member

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    I really dont think anyone would get 11 passages on the verbal for the real MCAT. That just wouldnt be right.
     
  5. UCLA Paratrooper

    UCLA Paratrooper Senior Member

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    Are you sure the Berkeley Review verbal tests are harder than the real MCATs? Haven't a lot of people complained about Berkeley's poor verbal sections?

    UCLA Paratrooper
     
  6. The OP has great advice for people who like to spend an entire 6 months trying to raise their verbal score from a 6 to a 10... this can be done in a week with the proper critical thinking skills. Verbal is something which you sort've see the light once it comes... I too have heard from several sources that BR's lowest impact is in the verbal section... All you need is the main idea, and the rest is history!
     
  7. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker

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    Where did you hear this about their verbal?

    I've heard that BR's verbal passages are pretty much on par with the MCAT in terms of question style and difficulty, but the reading passages are about ten lines longer than the real thing.

    As far as their class goes, I hear the verbal at BR in LA is great, because their verbal teacher is really good. That is what a student I tutored this past spring said. She took two different courses in LA and liked BR better for verbal. I guess they give a couple of strategies that work really well, but you have to practice them (like anything). Her score improved by three points the second time, so she did something right. Maybe she was just in a better mindset.

    Did you take their course paratrooper?

    Ancientmd:
    Is Berkeley Review in Oregon now? I'm a bit out of the loop, but I didn't think I was so far removed that they expanded without notice.
     
  8. UCLA Paratrooper

    UCLA Paratrooper Senior Member

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    I actually took TPR which sucked for the verbal mostly because of the instructor. I really liked the material from TRP, but I didn't do to well in April so maybe the material wasn't great or maybe I wasn't prepared...

    From what I hear, BR is good for PS and BS because they go way in depth (almost overboard), but their verbal is kinda weak. I heard this from a UCLA medical student who took TPR, Kaplan, and BR! He signed up for TPR and won raffles for Kaplan and BR. Pretty crazy.

    UCLA Paratrooper
     
  9. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker

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    Won two raffles... wow. Why is he wasting his time in medical school? With luck like that he should move to Vegas.

    Doesn't verbal pretty much suck everywhere? I'm not sure which program she took before BR, but she mentioned some guy named Adrian who absolutely sucked for verbal. Maybe her second course seemed great, because the first guy was so bad.
     
  10. DarkChild

    DarkChild Senior Member

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    btw - as to the point about 11 passages - they could easily do that.. they could give you 15. everything is curved though so it doesnt matter how many you get, just how well you do relative to everyone else. :)
     
  11. Mudd

    Mudd Charlatan & Trouble Maker

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    The last time I heard anyone mention 11 passages on verbal was back in the mid to late 90s. I don't think they've done that in the past few years. But you are right, they could do it again if they want to.
     
  12. UCLA Paratrooper

    UCLA Paratrooper Senior Member

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    Yeah,

    That Adrian guy sucked big time. It was a totally waste of my time...

    UCLA Paratrooper
     

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