inside_edition

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I used to believe that skipping 1 or 2 passages and concentrating more on the others can be helpful. It is helpful but only to a limited extent in that if you're having difficulty in verbal to begin with then you'll get a couple of questions wrong on every passage. It's helpful to a limited extent b/c you will improve by 10% maybe but you will definitely not improve on your hard passages. additionally, practicing at a slower pace on these passages at the expense of 1 or 2 passages will make it harder to score more than a 7 or an 8.

First try a full length verbal giving yourself as much time as needed to get it mostly all right. You should work your way up to 1 or 2 at the most per passage. Once you get up to this point then you will know how the MCAT verbal style really is.

Then all you have to do is work on timing. Timing is something that will have to forced and practiced. For me, the humanities gives me the most difficulty and these passages take much longer for me. Save these for last but don't entirely skip them. Work on your hardest types of passages individually giving yourself less than 9 minutes. On these hard humanities passages I typically use the kaplan method b/c it's hard to understand the passage when all the art and music stuff is completely unfamiliar.

I'm starting to lose my train of thought but remember that you have to work on your weakest types of passages(for me it's the humanities but it may be social or natural sciences for you). Once you work on your weakest type, then you will have enough time to finish on time without compromising accuracy.
 

ADeadLois

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inside_edition said:
First try a full length verbal giving yourself as much time as needed to get it mostly all right. You should work your way up to 1 or 2 at the most per passage. Once you get up to this point then you will know how the MCAT verbal style really is.
I agree with your subject heading, but this is not a good strategy. You should ALWAYS take practice passages under strict timed conditions. Giving yourself more time than necessary will not help you at all, and may be counterproductive since you will not be as dilligent the next time you take an exam. This goes the other way, too. That is, you should not give yourself LESS time than necessary. Basically, you want to build up your test-taking strategy and repeat it in the same time constraints as you will on test day. Finishing early doesn't really help you, since you may go back and second guess answers. I lost points on practice exams doing this. If you're struggling with a question, select the best answer, even if it is a guess, and move on.

Every time you do a verbal test you should take 9 minutes a passage. Or, you should take 27 minutes for 3 (I started doing this for the AAMC passages, since they vary greatly in number of questions).
 
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inside_edition

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ADeadLois said:
I agree with your subject heading, but this is not a good strategy. You should ALWAYS take practice passages under strict timed conditions. Giving yourself more time than necessary will not help you at all, and may be counterproductive since you will not be as dilligent the next time you take an exam. This goes the other way, too. That is, you should not give yourself LESS time than necessary. Basically, you want to build up your test-taking strategy and repeat it in the same time constraints as you will on test day. Finishing early doesn't really help you, since you may go back and second guess answers. I lost points on practice exams doing this. If you're struggling with a question, select the best answer, even if it is a guess, and move on.

Every time you do a verbal test you should take 9 minutes a passage. Or, you should take 27 minutes for 3 (I started doing this for the AAMC passages, since they vary greatly in number of questions).

I mentioned that you should take as much time as possible in order to get the hang of the questions and passages. Plus it also gives you the confidence that it is possible to do well on the verbal. the confidence part plays a big role on this test.
 

ADeadLois

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inside_edition said:
I mentioned that you should take as much time as possible in order to get the hang of the questions and passages. Plus it also gives you the confidence that it is possible to do well on the verbal. the confidence part plays a big role on this test.

You're right, confidence does play a huge role. But you shouldn't fool yourself into being confidence, because the first time you take a test under scrict timed conditions you'll wind up feeling worse off than before.

I would amend your strategy by saying take a full-length verbal test under regular conditions, and then take the time to study the main ideas of passages and the question stems. Take the time to build an intuition about what a correct answer looks like or the main idea of the passage so that you can do it when you are actually timed.
 
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