lovidentity

10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2007
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okay, so I've been finished half of the examkrackers 101 verbal passages and 5 of the AAMC exams. I have done at least two verbal sections (meaning 14-16 passages) under timed conditions everyday for the last week. It's so frustrating that I can't seem to go beyond a 10. The highest score I've gotten so far is an 11, but I may have just gotten lucky. My main problem is timing...basically, I can't read FAST ENOugh! :mad:

I had this same exact problem for the SAT years ago which had a significantly negative impact on my overall score. Now it's come back to haunt me :eek: The ironic thing is I've been teaching English at a language school for the last two years, and I'm STILL having trouble with reading at top speed!! Sad, really.

I've always thought my inability to read at efficient speed was due to the fact that I'm fluently bilingual in reading, writing, and speaking: an asian language, to be specific. This may have some influence in decreasing my ability to read in English in limited time.

I conducted a little experiment with my younger brother, who is not bilingual and in high school, by giving him 8 verbal passages to finish in 60 mins from my examkrackers book. I told him the passages were from an old SAT test b/c he's currently taking a SAT verbal course taught by some korean guy. My brother finished all passages in 55mins and got a 12!! WTF!! :eek:

We should have the comparable IQs since we received the same genes from our parents, so the only explanation of differentiation of his ability and mine at verbal MUST be cultural/environmental.

Anyway, how do I increase my speed of reading without losing my preciseness of picking of the correct answers? It seems my speed of reading is inversely proportional to the preciseness of my answers :(
 

vandyam

Vulnera Sanentur
5+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
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Honestly, I agree completely with examkrackers that it is not your reading speed that is the problem, but the amount of time that you are spending on the questions. Your brother, who is younger and doesn't think not getting these questions right will lead to the absence of a medical career, goes with his gut and doesn't spend too much time on one question.

Also, I will say natural ability does play into it. My brother can't spell to save his life, reads slower than anyone I've ever met, and has little to no comprehending ability -- reading and english just flat out aren't his thing. I on the other hand grew up loving and reading books, maxed out on ACT in Eng and Reading, and started out in verbal w/ a 9 -- I mean, some just is natural starting ability. However, this doesn't mean that people can't improve through hard work. I think making time markers for yourself to keep you on track might help.

But, just to be clear, a 10 is an excellent score and getting higher often comes down to a bit of luck. Verbal is very subjective. I wouldn't be worried about this score at all. It's the PS and BS sections that can most readily be improved on.
 

a winner is you

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May 24, 2007
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My diagnostic verbal on the MCAT was a 12, I didn't study a lick for the verbal, and got a 12 on the real thing. Verbal is one of those things where either you have it or you don't. Getting some of the "tricks" can get you a few points perhaps, but I'm of the opinion that there isn't a whole lot of improvement to be had on verbal.
 
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iPodtosis

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2009
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I'm bilingual in an asian language. My diagnostic verbal on the MCAT was a 12, I didn't study a lick for the verbal, and got a 12 on the real thing. Verbal is one of those things where either you have it or you don't. Getting some of the "tricks" can get you a few points perhaps, but I'm of the opinion that there isn't a whole lot of improvement to be had on verbal.
Wow winner... you totally destroyed my confidence :(
 

RogueUnicorn

rawr.
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don't use your bilingualism as a crutch. you get nowhere with these thoughts.
 

Naijaba

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2007
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don't use your bilingualism as a crutch. you get nowhere with these thoughts.
I completely agree with bleargh. If you do not learn the verbal now, it could cost you on the USMLE. You're not going to have the time to learn verbal skills during medical school. I just finished writing another post about this. Read page 7 of this article (titled: "Adult Learners: Relationships of Reading, MCAT, and USMLE Step 1 Test Results for Medical Students") available at:

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED464943&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED464943

They showed a significant (p < 0.01) correlation between Step I scores and all three sections of the MCAT. Moreover, the topic of the paper is specifically reading comprehension skills and their relationship to test success.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that you're complaining about a 10?? That score is higher than 70% of the population, most of whom are not bilingual (reference: http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/admissionsadvisors/examstatistics/scaledscores/combined08.pdf). Just keep things in perspective.