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tle1093

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OK, so I took the MCAT May this year (2008), and my verbal score came back surprising low. I decided to wait until this application cycle instead.

I took the Princeton Review, took all 10 aamc practice exams, and did all the practice passages in the old EK 101 passage book during my last studying session. The reason I didn't do well is probably because I crammed all the studying (including science) into just over a month. Well, not only did it not work out, I consumed a huge amount of practice material that I could use this time around.

So, what else could I use to practice? I heard that the new EK verbal book is just a new edition of the old passages. I don't think anything else on the market resembles the real deal. Also, what should I do for practice MCATs? I'm afraid that if I reuse the old material I'm gonna get "false scores" and end up in trouble when facing the real thing again.
 

BlueElmo

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Hmm, how about TBR verbal material? Maybe you can grab hold of Kaplan ones? May 2008 has been a while from now. I'm sure you already forgot most of the passages and questions in the EK 101. Try to do those again.
 

tle1093

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If you did THAT many practice exams and your score was still low, the problem might be in your VR strategy rather than experience.

You might be right. After a while I was just "doing it", rather than improving.
 
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nogolfinsnow

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You might be right. After a while I was just "doing it", rather than improving.

Depending on how long until you re-take, another good way to "practice" verbal is to read publications that are a little more dense and that maybe you're not that interested in. I got the Wall Street Journal for a few months and would pick some of the articles on things I knew nothing about and try to comprehend them. VR's all about comprehension (and fast reading)
 

SiR99

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Did you do the EK thing where after you do your passages, you wait more then 2 days and then go back and try to answer the questions without looking at the material, then wait 2+ more days and go back and reread the passage, write down the main idea and see how it applies to each questions?

They say this is how you get better at verbal, not by just checking the answer explanations in the back because all they do is point to a specific part of the passage.

I myself am not sure if their way works, but I will be trying it, so if you have not, maybe you should look into it.
 

Vihsadas

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You might be right. After a while I was just "doing it", rather than improving.

Remember (and this applies to any section on the MCAT) that you must be analyzing the practice problems that you do, whether they are a full-length practice exam or just a practice set. It is integral to developing your MCAT intuition that you are critically thinking not only about the concepts, passages, and information you are presented with, but also about the method and thought process with which you are approaching each problem!

Analyzing your test-taking methodologies is especially important for verbal. Sit down with the problem sets that you are completing and analyze exactly what you were thinking and why you were thinking that for each problem you got wrong, and each problem you were guessing on, or unsure of. If you stay mindful of what you were actually thinking when you were answering the problems that you do, you will begin to notice certain habits and behaviors that you are unconsciously engaging in that are leading you to miss the same types of problems over and over again.

In short:
Post-game analysis is an absolute must!

If I were in your situation, I would go back through all of those verbal practice materials and try and analyze why you were missing the problems that you were missing. Do this especially with the AAMCs, as those are the exams that the real MCAT is most similar too. Keep a logbook, categorize the different types of questions, keep track of your thought process; do whatever it takes to gain a fundamental understanding of the test-taking skills needed to beat the MCAT.

So this time around, make a concerted effort to not only just do the practice problems, but also to review, analyze and dissect your test-taking methods. You'll find that you'll develop a "set of tricks" to beat the different types of verbal questions.

Good luck! Always believe that the exam is beatable, because it absolutely is. :)
 
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