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MCAT Verbal Reasoning, please advise

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by Rexhina, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. Rexhina

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    Hi, I bought the EK 101 verbal reasoning, and have taken so far 6 tests...unfortunatly i have been doing pretty bad. I first got 3, again 3, 5, 6 and today i took two tests and got 5 and 4 :(. I don't know why i declined, and why I am not improving much :( I got 8 more tests left on the book but i am feeling like i won't be able to improve much on them :(...how did you guys improve? I tend to read all the passage, because if i skip i will be confused when answering questions. Please tell me what is your strategy when taking the verbal reasoning test
     
  2. SiR99

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    I'm not sure if you have the old edition or the new one or if they are different.

    But I have the old edition and I just split up the passages to six passages, ~40 questions, and give myself 54 minuets.

    Dont feel too bad, I think the first one or two are hard.

    Have you been doing what the EK book says to do by waiting a day after taking it, going over all the questions without looking at the passage to see how the question stems can help, and then waiting another day and using the main idea to see how that helps?


    Some people say that they improved all of a sudden toward the end of their studying, but im not sure if its suppose to be like that or if your suppose to improve gradually.

    I would also like to see what other people say, but you should try their method thats in the EK Verbal book.:thumbup:
     
  3. Rexhina

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    thank you for your suggestion sir99
    I actually take (usually) 2 tests per day...so what are you saying? I need to take only one test per day?
    I take a test and after that i go over the answers (the wrong and right answers). Is this a bad idea?
     
  4. Rexhina

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    Oh and I am using the second editon, is this the old edition?
     
  5. SiR99

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    I think you have the newer edition but im not 100% sure

    I dont think the 101 EK passages book has the study method thats described in their other Ek verbal book (that comes with the complete package with bio, chem, and physics).

    This is what they suggest:

    Take as many tests as you can under timed conditions.

    Then take one day or more off from doing verbal. Then come back to the tests that you took, and without rereading the passage, try to get as much information from the question stems and answer choices and see how they relate to each other. You would be surprised to see that this helps alot. By answering or reading one question you get insight on the answer of another question for the same passage. Just to let you know you wont be able to answer all the questions without reading the passage.

    Then wait another day or more, and then come back to the same set of tests and reread the passage, and write down a main idea with the authors opinion. Then go through each question and apply the main idea to it and see how much that helps.


    The problem with just going over the answers is that they usually just point to a part of the passage that confirms the answer, and this does not really help with most of the mcat style questions.

    You need to get a main idea out of the passage, and then you need to be able to relate the questions and answers to each other. For example question 7 of a passage will give you information that will answer question 4 of the same passage.


    They say that by doing this, your verbal score should steadly go up.
     
  6. Lukkie

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    if you have time in a day to take two tests you are not doing enough post game analysis
     
  7. SiR99

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    You have a good Verbal score, were you always good at verbal or did you use the EK material and see improvements?

    What was your post game analysis?
     
  8. JPanda

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    stop. dont use any more of the verbal reasoning right now. i think with scores that low, you have to take a step back and reevaluate your self. taking a few more of the practice tests may hurt you in the long run by lowering your pool of practice material. what is it about the verbal section that troubles you so much? The verbal section could be broken down to four basic components.

    1) reading speed
    2) reading comprehension
    3) understanding the question stems
    4) figuring out the answer

    poor performance in any of those components can dramatically lower your score. let me know what you think is lowering your score, and i will come up with suggestions on how to do well.

    i got an 11 on the verbal. i dont knwo as much as other people on the forum but i think my advice is a good start.
     
    #8 JPanda, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  9. 0Complications

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    I think JPanda is touching on it. I think you'll realize those things if you start doing "more post game analysis" as the previous poster implied.

    I am thinking what he/she is saying is that you are not spending enough time trying to figure out exactly what each question is asking, how it is being asked, how the answer is correct, and why your answer and the others are correct or incorrect.

    I use 19 minute blocks of time for 2 passages and spend about an hour or so reviewing just those two passages. It is important to not only see the right answer, but to also see WHY it is the right answer. (easier said than done though ;))
     
  10. Rexhina

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    as far as speed, i think i am not that fast reader because i take 60 minutes to finish 5 passages instead of 7, please tell me how can i improve on this:oops:

    as for reading comprehension, i understand it quite well actually but sometimes the questions are very confusing, don't know what they actually are asking for
     
  11. Rexhina

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    i do read why the others are wrong, but i guess I do not try to internelize or pay much attention to it...whenever i read the answers i think "duh i could have gotten that" :rolleyes:, but don't know why i make stupid mistakes during the test
     
  12. SN2ed

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    You must do a more thorough post-game analysis. Merely taking timed practice passages won't help you if you never learn why you got something wrong. Additionally, you do not need to be a fast reader. You can take 3-4 minutes to read a passage. The trick is to answer the questions quickly and to only read the passage once.

    Check out Vihsadas's verbal guide: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=6022602&postcount=96
     
  13. Tourterm

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    I felt mentally summarizing what the main theme of the passage was, actively as I read, was best. How would I best explain, in general terms, what this passage is about to someone who has not read it before? Everything else, the details, the finer points, the questions, all stem from the general theme. Reading with the general theme in mind, it's much easier to fit in, arrange, and conceptualize all the arguments, supporting evidence, and other details the author makes.

    H
    ow does this test question relate to the main theme?


    Additionally, as others have pointed out, it looks like you would be well served by spending more time in post-test analysis. Vihsadas's verbal guide looks very helpful.
     
  14. caveat87

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    A strategy that worked for me: Start reading a mainstream newspaper every day such as the NY times and focus on particularly boring articles. This will help prepare you for the wonderful topics you may encounter on the MCAT (ie: Tulips as an economic anomaly.....one of seven wonderful passages on my test) As Tourterm suggested, read to understand the main theme and central arguments. Vary your speed as you do so to find a comfortable pace. I know this technique was borrowed from a prep book, but read "arrogantly" and try to rip apart the author's argument by evaluating evidence and counter-evidence. If you make it into a game, it can actually be quite interesting.

    I went from a 8-9 on EKs 101 up to an 11 on the real deal. Improvement is very possible with hard work.
     
  15. Rexhina

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    thank you guys, you are making me feel more optimistic now :)
     
  16. Doctormo24

    Doctormo24 Senior Member
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    I'm using the latest edition of the 101 Passages

    I did the warmup this morning and got 12/17 questions and was for starting, pretty happy about that.

    So later on in the day I did the first practice exam and got 13/40 questions giving me VR score of 3

    That just ruined my day and got me so upset, verbal is the one section I thought I was the strongest in and this was a total curveball for me
     

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