SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Pcat Reading Comprehension

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by PharmD2Be1983, May 7, 2008.

  1. PharmD2Be1983

    PharmD2Be1983 2+ Year Member

    May 6, 2008
    Hi guys,

    Reading Comprehension seems to be the weakness area on the PCAT for me. I tend to take quite a long time trying to find the answers the to questions. I only finished half of the reading comprehension.

    Is there any tricks in how to do well in this part?I really need to improve the reading comprehension to improve my PCAT score. Do u guys read through the whole paragraph or read the question first or the paragraph first, etc...?
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Garfield3d

    Garfield3d An Orange Cat 7+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2008
    Personally, I read each passage from start to finish before reading the questions. I tend to do decently well on Reading Comprehension, but I'm sure there's room for improvement. I've heard that a lot of people like to skim the questions first before reading the passages, but sometimes people fall into the pitfall of then eyeballing the paragraphs for the answer instead of reading the passage. I've always found it important to interest myself in the passage as I'm reading it. While you're trying to read it critically, it's a lot easier to become engaged and catch the gist and details of the passage when you've found something to interest yourself in with the passage.

  4. Jimminator21

    Jimminator21 5+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    I sucked azz on this section. According to the PCAT, I'm illiterate. IDK what to tell you. I read through the sections and underlined anything I thought might be important, and I also made notes next to each paragraph (one or two words, sometimes a sentence, parapharasing the main idea of each paragraph).

    Even though I did bad on this section (50 something %ile), all others were greater than 80%ile. My composite was 86%ile. I got accepted to two schools, and was asked about my reading score during one interview ("What is more representative of your knowledge, grades or PCAT score?")
  5. PearLBenzene

    PearLBenzene Accepted Pharmacy Student 2+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2008
    Reading comp suuuuucks.

    I read questions first, then skim paragraphs. But I still run out of time. So, do the opposite maybe?
  6. fenixtnlfan

    fenixtnlfan P2 Wildcat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jul 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Moved to PCAT forum because of topic.
  7. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    There are many different techniques to practice reading.

    I guess one should try to "be the author". Many of the questions can be answered if you understand what the author is trying to get across. That means picking up biases, general opinions, etc.
  8. islandboy401

    islandboy401 2+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Like PharmD2Be1983, I was also wondering about specific "techniques" to ace the reading comprehension portion of the PCAT.

    I would like to thank everyone who responded to this thread, however if it is ok with you, when you include your advice, can you please state your score on the reading comp. section as well (so everyone can get a better idea on how effective your techniques are)
  9. allstardentist

    allstardentist All-Star 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    Los Angeles
    maybe you can try RC material for DAT( dental admission test). I am not sure how much different they are but if you really need extra practice, check out my blog on RC section. I have listed some practice RC products.
  10. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

  11. Badgerton

    Badgerton 2+ Year Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    I'm the type that reads a question and then tries to find the answer by skimming the passage for relevant information. I finished with a little time to spare and somehow pulled a 96. The main thing is to find a technique that works for you. Reading books on the side will help with your speed too.
  12. mug3n

    mug3n 5+ Year Member

    May 19, 2008
    ^ I use that strategy too.

    What I usually do is start by reading the first bit of the passage fairly quickly, then jump right into the first question to see if I can answer it. More often than not, you'll see that the first question usually corresponds to information that can be found at the beginning of the passage. If it's a general overview type of question (ie: what is the author trying to say, what could be a suitable title for this passage, etc), then skip it and move on to the questions that ask for specifics. Then by the time you finish answering all those specifics you'll know the overview of the passage enough to answer those broader questions.
  13. medicalCPA

    medicalCPA PhD to be Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    In lab
    I'm the opposite - I read the passage entirely before I even look at the question. Then I scan the paragraphs to find the answers. It may not sound efficient, but it has always worked for me.

    My reading comp percentile was 99, so I don't need to change my style now. However, it is the product of a reading project that ended up lasting over 4 years.
  14. Farcus

    Farcus 10+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    My Bed
    do you guys think reading articles from Scientific American will help? I took the pcat on january and thought the articles were really easy but I did horrible to my surprise. I do find that a lot of short articles (found in the pcat) in scienfitic american are of similar quality, that is heavy content materials what do you guys think?
  15. DieHardRX

    DieHardRX will try till accepted 2+ Year Member

    Aug 9, 2007
    Wow, what kind of reading project did you adopt?
    Do you have any advice on how to improve reading comprehension skill as well as vocabulary building?

  16. hphgrwd


    May 5, 2008
    Both times I took the PCAT I got above a 90 on the reading so I like to think that is the easiest part for me.
    I like to underline things that I think are important as I read. If you do practice test you learn what kind of questions they like to ask. Underline words that are unfamiliar, people and dates, and facts. This will help that as you do the questions you can look back and find the information quicker. Hope this helps.

    Ferris State College of Pharmacy Class of 2012!!! :)
  17. medicalCPA

    medicalCPA PhD to be Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    In lab
    Actually, "reading project" makes it sound more formal than it actually was. This was during the four years that elapsed when my visa application was denied by the US embassy in my country and when I reapplied. All I simply did was read as many books in my father's personal library as I could. I would start from one end of a bookshelf and proceed toward the other end. That was it.
    The only thing that increases reading comprehension and builds vocabulary is reading. Lots of it. There is no other way to improve in this area. After reading lots (100? 200? I don't know the exact number) of books over the course of 4 years, my verbal test scores have been thanking me ever since. I can't ask you to embark on my kind of project, but you can at least begin by reading one book (preferably one of the "English classics") every 2-4 weeks.
  18. Farcus

    Farcus 10+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    My Bed
    Umm thats why I think this would help? I'm not sure though
  19. nycrxdream

    nycrxdream Scholar Pharmacist 5+ Year Member

    Aug 9, 2010
    New York
    How do you study for it? Im having trouble, because most of the answers I think are right are usually wrong; it's like 3/10 right for every question. Im asking because Im using Dr Collins and Pearson right now. I noticed the Dr Collins have more math related questions; and longer passages. While the pearson exams are more questions that ask "What does this passage say" "what did paragraph 4 say"

Share This Page