rwk66

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I'm wondering if anyone else is experiencing a simillar issue - everytime I come across a "difficult" passage <usually PS or VR>, I start to panick a little bit, look at my watch excessively, and glaze over what I'm reading. Any thoughts on how to snap out of this mode and back to relaxed concentration? Thanks.
 

Tinker Creek

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(hello fellow panther)

That's exactly what I do! Usually with VR, I'm calmed down as I start reading it slowly, but I can't afford to read slowly during the real mcat. With PS, I just don't have a solution :(
 

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rwk66 said:
I'm wondering if anyone else is experiencing a simillar issue - everytime I come across a "difficult" passage <usually PS or VR>, I start to panick a little bit, look at my watch excessively, and glaze over what I'm reading. Any thoughts on how to snap out of this mode and back to relaxed concentration? Thanks.
Uh, skip it.

Come back to it at the end.

Didn't you take a review class?
 

bugsbugsbugs

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i would avoid looking at your watch when u come across difficult passages
constantly looking at the time freaks me out to the point where i can't concentrate
 

Shredder

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rwk66 said:
I'm wondering if anyone else is experiencing a simillar issue - everytime I come across a "difficult" passage <usually PS or VR>, I start to panick a little bit, look at my watch excessively, and glaze over what I'm reading. Any thoughts on how to snap out of this mode and back to relaxed concentration? Thanks.
dont fret--remember if its hard for you its probably hard for everyone, and its a curved test, so just give it your best shot and be done with it, or skip it and return later
 

medicomel

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like the other posters have said, before you even start working on these hard passages, you should quickly survey it to note the difficulty. if it's something you're weak on, say optics, i would save that one for later instead of wracking your brain. psychologically speaking, you'll know you're not in too much trouble because you've done most of the other questions, and you won't blank or start glancing at your watch obsessively.

if it's verbal, then make sure you read the first sentence slowly to get a grip on what you're reading; otherwise, you'll get halfway through the passage and not even know what it's about. your speed should increase after you get that gist.

as for the PS and BS sections, rest assured that a lot of the questions from the passages require only a minimal glazing over the passage. just make a quick note when reading it about any relations, like what is proportional to what, or any outside knowledge. for instance, if the passage starts going on about photons, i would write out the formula E = hf.

you'll be glad you only made short notes because when you come to the question stems, you'll see that the questions don't rely heavily on a close reading of the material. try it.
 
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rwk66

rwk66

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Thanks alot everyone for all of the suggestions. I am taking the Kaplan class, but I've been a bit skeptical about the "triage" method...I'm always afraid I'll make a bubling error or totally forget to go back to a passage. Perhaps if I "bunny ear" the page the passage I skip is on I'll remember. At any rate, thank you again for all of the great suggestions! Keep up the hard studying.

PS - tinker creek, are you a Pitt student?
 

nightowl

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Maybe I'm the only one, but I hate skipping around. I tried it on one of the practice tests- glanced at a passage and decided it was hard- so I skipped it, and then when I went back to it I had my bubbling off and I realized that it was actually one of the easier passages. I think one of the biggest problems with skipping around is that it tempts you to skip everything! (me: PS) and before you know it, you're looking at the discretes, thinking, "yeah, I can get these"... And I don't like doing all of the discretes first either. For me, the discretes are a break from all of the reading and a nice change of pace throughout the test. My method is to start at the beginning and work until the end, circle any that you're unsure about (but still mark something) and go back to it if you have time at the end.
 

Tinker Creek

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rwk66 said:
Thanks alot everyone for all of the suggestions. I am taking the Kaplan class, but I've been a bit skeptical about the "triage" method...I'm always afraid I'll make a bubling error or totally forget to go back to a passage. Perhaps if I "bunny ear" the page the passage I skip is on I'll remember. At any rate, thank you again for all of the great suggestions! Keep up the hard studying.

PS - tinker creek, are you a Pitt student?
rwk66 - I graduated a couple years ago. I no longer live in Pitt and I miss it terribly! (esp. The Cathedral of Learning) Good luck with the MCAT!
 

Jezzielin

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Shredder said:
dont fret--remember if its hard for you its probably hard for everyone, and its a curved test, so just give it your best shot and be done with it, or skip it and return later

How is this test curved again? I forgot! :confused:
 

QofQuimica

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rwk66, triaging doesn't work for everyone. But I'd recommend that you try it on a practice test, if you haven't already, to see how it works for you. I was originally the kind of person who likes to do everything in order, and that was still how I decided to do the VR section (working backward from the last passage to the first; personal idiosyncrasy, I guess, but it works for me!). But I found that I liked triaging on the science sections; I did all of the chemistry passages and discretes first in each section, and then went back to do the physics and biology passages. You do have to be very careful about bubbling if you skip around, but you have to be careful about that anyway, so don't let that stop you from giving it a shot. Anyway, it's just a practice test, so even if you hate triaging, no harm's done, right?

Jezzielin, no one knows exactly how the test is curved. The algorithm for doing this is at the bottom of a lake somewhere along with Jimmy Hoffa's body. :smuggrin: