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Mcat verbal difficulty

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by ThreeJ, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. ThreeJ

    ThreeJ Junior Member
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    Hello,

    I just thought I would make a comment about verbal that others may seem true while others may blatently disagree with me. Well here goes my personal experience with the verbal section is that i read into the questions too much looking for a definitive answer. well could the verbal only be hard because we make it hard when in fact not foucing in on the answer to much is the real way to do good on the verbal section. If anyone can tell me if this is the way they improved their verbal section please respond. I think this may be the case as i am going to pursue this path as it has been treating me pretty good so far.
     
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  3. dctrgreen

    dctrgreen Junior Member
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    can you give me an example of what you mean? i usually do good on the VR section, but there are always a few questions that I get hung up on and those often mean a score difference of a point or two. looking for anything to get over that hump...
     
  4. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    Well, in order to get the correct answer you need to "focus" in on it.

    The way to improve your verbal score is consistent practice, not some sort of psychological change.
     
  5. rs76

    rs76 Member
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    I just found a secret in verbal and will try it next test. I was thinking exactly what you said before you even posted this. Fro me a light bulb has just went on in the verbal section. I took aamc 7 and got a 6 in verbal :mad: . I usually get upper range of 7. I know its pretty bad. But when I was going over it i didnt read the passage and hid the answers and redid it using my gut feeling and I noticed that i got most of the answers correct. I am one of those people that are over critical and in doing so I pick the worng answer. Sometimes its better to pick what you think is right . I overthink everything. I will try this on aamc 6r this saturday and then on aamc 9 on monday and let you know how i did. I think i can do much better now with this trick. I will not overthink the questions and just pick the answer that my instinct tells me. First time I am actually looking forward to taking a verbal section.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. DrFreeman

    DrFreeman Medical Student
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    Yep that same strategy works for me. I found my score to be a lot better when I force myself to come up with an answer without looking at there answers. I believe this is the trick to mcat verbal. The test makers try to trick us with out of context answers. I also found that with some questions, you can form a logical answer without even reading the passage. Hope this works on the 19th.
     
  7. rs76

    rs76 Member
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    i was wondering how much you bumped up your score. I will try the strategy on saturday and update you all. Hopefully it works
     
  8. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    I found from experiences that this strategy is not useful on AAMC and EK exams, only on Kaplan I started to improve my scores AFTER I started readng all of the answer chocies.

    In my opinion, the "trick" to the verbal section is being able to get a feel for what constitutes a correct answer and, perhaps more commonly, what consistitutes a wrong answer. Remember, its a reasoning exam, and sometimes this reasoning involves comparing two answer choices. EK and AAMC tend to have very ambiguous answer choices.
     
  9. xylem29

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    How much practice and time did you actually put into VR? Because there's only 7 tests and EK 101. How did you use your time for VR? Would you take a full VR test or do them 3 passages at a time? Would you bubble per passage or every 3 passages? Reveal your secrets!
     
  10. ThreeJ

    ThreeJ Junior Member
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    For my verbal section I make sure I really focus on what I read. Then when I came to the question stems I answered them by trying not to read too much into the answer choices and eliminate the ones that are true but not true to answering the question. Also i circle my answers in the actual question stem so i do not break concentration by bubbling each answer i get. Once i circled the answers i want i then go and bubble them in.

    Also to answer the above question I went from getting 7's on ek to 9's. and on the kaplan test i get like 11 but kaplan is really not a good indicator.

    The majority of us are science orientated and when we answer a question we want to make sure it is defenitly correct. So what do we do we read too much into the question and answer stems and that is what really kills us. So far this has worked for me and it also allows you to spend less time on the verbal questions so that you are sure to finish.
     
  11. ThreeJ

    ThreeJ Junior Member
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    To reply to dead lois I agree that you do need to focus in on the answer but there is a difference between that and reading into the question and answers to much. Obviously you need to focus or you would have no chance in hell of passing verbal. All I am saying is that when I now do verbal answers I make sure I do not sit there reading into the questions and answers looking for a definitive answer like I do for my science. It is simply not the way to do verbal in my eyes anyways and I just thought I would share with you guys what is beneficial for me may be benefical for you. However if you are already doing good on verbal then stick to your method. Because with verbal it is all about finding a way to tackle the passages that suits you the best.
     
  12. crewboy

    crewboy Junior Member
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    whenever i come to a passage that i feel is going to be difficult to read , usually can tell by first couple of lines, i like to skim over the questions for about 1 min and jot a keyword down from easch question next to the passage, i find that when i go back to read the passage i am more interested in the context and eager to find the locations of the answers. oddly doing this reduced my time for section i am assuming its because i spent less time going back in the passage searching for answers .
     
  13. ThreeJ

    ThreeJ Junior Member
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    hello crew boy. In my experience I do not go back to the passages as it does take up to much of my time. The first time round i try to concentrate on what I am reading. When you go back to the passage it just confuses you more. Mcat is all about extroplation and how you think the events will unfold or what the author believes from what he as written.

    But if you are doing well in your method stick to it remember Mcat is all about feeling the most comfortable and advantagous method of tackling the passages.

    Good luck next saturday.
     
  14. Omyss

    Omyss Member
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    verbal is really pissing me off i'm averaging around 8.. but it seems that like on every test there are at least 8 questions where i narrow it down to 2 options and pick the wrong one...

    maybe during the real thing i'll get luckier and score an 11 :luck:
     
  15. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    I put a lot of time into VR, probably more than both science sections combined. It was my lowest score on my Kaplan diagnostic (6) taken 6 mos before the MCAT, and I felt confident I could improve my score on the other two sections with practice.

    I did every passage in EK 101, but not necessarily as compelte full-lengths. I took 6 of the full-lengths under timed conditions. I took one every Saturday I did not have a Kaplan FL. The other 5 I divided in 3 passage chunks and did them as often as I could during the week. I bubbled after every question. I ended up with a 12 on the real thing.

    My strategy was as follows, although it's basically the EK one

    1.) Read the passage through without annotating EXCEPT I would underline the part where the author's opinion/stance/voice stood out. This is usually the main idea, or leads into the main idea of the passage.

    2.) I read the rest of the passage completely, but summarizing in my head how the author is weaving the main idea through the passage. This does NOT mean summarizing details or stories, only what I perceive the author is doing. You don't need to understand the details of the passage.

    3.) I spent a lot of time analyzing the question stem. What is it asking? Are there any answer choices I can eliminate/look for based on the WORDING (not content of the question). An easy example is a question asking to identify an author's assertion or opinion. Sometimes an answer choice given is an irrefutable fact, and thus cannot be an assertion. After taking the exam, I would review the right and wrong answer choices to see what IN THEIR LANGUAGE made them right or wrong. I ignored the factual or detailed reasons why they were right/wrong, basically because a lot of the times EK's answer explanations are debatable from a factual standpoint. However, there was consistency in the language, specificity, and scope of the right/wrong. I can't really explain it; recognizing this comes through practice.

    4.) I would time myself 27 minutes per 3 passages. For the AAMC tests with the 10 question passages, I would make sure that I did not do a "triad" with two such passages.
     
  16. RAD11

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    Hey, right after you did the 3 passages, did you use EK's strategy (Lecture 4) by 1) taking 1 day break from Verbal, 2) analyzing question stem & answering the questions based on the ? stems only, 3) take another 1 day break from VR, 4) then read the passages again to formulate a main idea and matching your main idea to each question?

    I'm also focusing primarily on Verbal for Jan 'cause I know it's a lot easier to improve on the science sections.
     
  17. ADeadLois

    ADeadLois Senior Member
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    No, I didn't really follow that part of the EK strategy. I spend about 30 minutes after taking the exam going over the question stems and answer chocies. I then moved on.
     
  18. RAD11

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    Did you do 3 passages/day everyday then 1 FL every weekend?
     

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