Bigbirdo

7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2011
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From most posts I have read so far, people said that they either barely studied for this section or they just read articles. Since I am a non-native speaker, so I would like to have more intense training on this section. I am planning to spend 30-45 minutes on reading during weekdays, and do practice exams during weekends. What materials would you guys suggest to use for testing my comprehension of the passages?
 
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beanie5

7+ Year Member
Apr 19, 2012
39
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Dental Student
Don't know if you're still looking for answers, but I've heard that reading the Wall Street Journal improves reading comprehension for scientific texts. Scientific American might also be helpful too. In terms of test prep material, I liked the DAT Bootcamp RC material.

I think finding and practicing a strategy that works for you is equally important. I'd guess that even many native English speakers would have problems reading an entire passage thoroughly and answering all the questions within the time limit. Since there is not enough time to read thoroughly, you need to find a way to navigate through the text quickly to find your answers. In other words, don't read to understand the material; read just enough to know where to look for the answers. Once you know where to look for the answers, you can read those parts a little more closely if you need to.

I've always been pretty successful with RC/Verbal sections on standardized tests. What's worked well for me is to skim the entire passage first, then answer questions. Skimming first provides valuable context, which helps me to interpret things correctly, and also helps me understand how the information is organized/laid out. This, in turn, helps me work more efficiently and make fewer mistakes.

So, what I like to do:
1. Skim the entire passage, noting HOW the passage is structured/organized. *Important: Don't get bogged down in the details while you are skimming.* You are not reading for the sake of understanding every single word or sentence, or even all the ideas in the passage. I usually skim by reading just the first couple sentences of each paragraph.
2. Read question 1.
3. Locate the part of the text that contains the answer to your question. Since you already know how the passage is structured/organized, you should be able to locate the relevant section quickly. You can then focus on reading and understanding that part of the text more carefully.
4. Repeat 2-3 with remaining questions until all questions are answered.
 
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mosaiczn

5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2011
24
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Dental Student
I think RC is one of those sections where you have to build your confidence by practicing a lot. I used to fail miserably in RC but ended up doing well after getting through many practice passages. I used Godfrey, CrackDAT, Achiever's, ExamKrackers Verbal for MCAT. Before hacking away, make sure you try out different strategies people suggest out there and pick one that works for you!
 
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Jul 24, 2011
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I think RC is one of those sections where you have to build your confidence by practicing a lot..... Before hacking away, make sure you try out different strategies people suggest out there and pick one that works for you!

Those are good points. Just be comfortable in skimming quickly, and able to look for keywords. The only problem you will have will be tone, inference, and what the author thinks, kind of questions. But even those are maybe just 1-2 per article. You can still get a 25+ with practice. Choose a style you are comfortable with and stick with it. Ignore what others tell you. Just because it works for me doesnt mean it will work for you.