Oct 15, 2013
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I've read many threads on people saying they've tried "different ways" to tackle the verbal passages but besides the typical "make a quick outline" or read slower, I wasn't able to find anything. As of right now, I am reading the passage really quickly which leaves me about 5 minutess to do the questions, of which most of the time I am looking back and referring to the passage; but this technique hasn't been working. I am only scoring a 6.
 

DrFLAGATORS

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Oct 15, 2013
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I was never pressing for time on the verbal section but today I was averaging 11-12 minutes per passage; I usually finish within 5-6. I typcally read really quickly and refer back to te passage to answer every question. Maybe today just wasn't my day but I've read through many forums about verbal advice and so far nothing seems to be working out. Out of the 7 passages I took today, 4 were untimed and I still managed to get about half wrong on each section. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.
 

Gauss44

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Oct 28, 2012
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This is a good question. I wish that more people on the 30+ sticky thread would go into MORE DETAIL about how they read the passage and if they used any "techniques."

Strategies:
1. Read as fast as you can while noting (mentally or physically writing) the main idea of each paragraph.
2. Read the first and last sentence carefully, and the middle quickly of each paragraph.
3. Scan the passage and/or questions for key words to get an idea of the passage map. Scanning is faster than skimming. Then read.
4. Read the first paragraph carefully to identify the thesis statement, then speed up for the rest. (Problem: not all passages have a thesis in the 1st paragraph)
5. Going back to the passage always, only when you know where to go, or only if the question says where to go.

Tips:
1. Read for author's point of view.
2. Follow the relationship between ideas and don't try to remember facts. (Rational: The later slows the reader down. Remembering will be automatic.)
3. AAMC specifically said that readers should vary their speed. Any tips about how and when to do that?

Be aware:
1. Some passages are NOT organized linearly. (I think that most or all of EK's are. So be careful if you're only using their book.)
2. Some are more difficult to read due to unfamiliar or outdated words, and long sentences with several phrases.
3. Passage length and number of questions varies.

Problem:
Anyone want to comment on when to use what strategy?
How to fix the problems above under "Be Aware"?
If you are varying your speed, where do you speed up and slow down?


I've read many threads on people saying they've tried "different ways" to tackle the verbal passages but besides the typical "make a quick outline" or read slower, I wasn't able to find anything. As of right now, I am reading the passage really quickly which leaves me about 5 minutess to do the questions, of which most of the time I am looking back and referring to the passage; but this technique hasn't been working. I am only scoring a 6.
 
Last edited:

Gauss44

5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2012
3,191
397
Status
Pre-Medical
I was never pressing for time on the verbal section but today I was averaging 11-12 minutes per passage; I usually finish within 5-6. I typcally read really quickly and refer back to te passage to answer every question. Maybe today just wasn't my day but I've read through many forums about verbal advice and so far nothing seems to be working out. Out of the 7 passages I took today, 4 were untimed and I still managed to get about half wrong on each section. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.
Were the passages longer than usual? Did the passages come with more questions than usual? Where the passages more difficult than usual (non-linear organization, longer sentences, weird language, more information dense, etc.)? Did you get more detail questions than usual?

You may have been having a bad day for a personal reason. Or, you might have found a different type of passages that weren't OBVIOUSLY different. The later tripped me up several times. Me: "I was doing so good, and then missed every question and took twice as long. I feel terrible, inconsistent, and fear my fate is random/uncontrollable." Tutor: "That's because this passage is non-linear, longer, and VERY difficult compared to the others you've done."