roody

10+ Year Member
May 23, 2009
54
0
where I dont belong
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello, I am a taking the MCAT in 1 year and am scared about the verbal section because English is not my first language and I consider myself a slow reader so what do you think I should do ? I got a 450 in the verbal section on my SAT's but I didnt read any book or any preperation :(

What I have done so far..
1) I just bought EK verbal book + Ek verbal 101
2)am going to take writing + grammar classes on my spring 2010 semester
3) I have a 1 year subscription of Scientific American magazine

*** What else shall I do ??
 
May 8, 2009
371
3
Status
Medical Student
Hello, I am a taking the MCAT in 1 year and am scared about the verbal section because English is not my first language and I consider myself a slow reader so what do you think I should do ? I got a 450 in the verbal section on my SAT's but I didnt read any book or any preperation :(

What I have done so far..
1) I just bought EK verbal book + Ek verbal 101
2)am going to take writing + grammar classes on my spring 2010 semester
3) I have a 1 year subscription of Scientific American magazine

*** What else shall I do ??
I would do 2 things. Drop the writing/grammar courses, they will be of no benefit. Cancel the magazine subscription, it is useless.

Focus on the EK and maybe Kaplan VR materials. This section sucks for everyone and is pretty much subjective. English or not....were all pretty much screwed.
 

akaVonk

7+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2009
140
2
Status
Medical Student
eh, don't cancel the magazine subscription if it's something you actually like to read. Any snippets of non-fiction reading that you do (journal articles, respected magazines that you would consider legitimate sources to cite for academic work, etc) can only help you- just don't get fixated on just reading to boost your score. Practice, practice, practice is key.

Preparing for verbal is always a tricky thing. It took me a while to improve my practice scores, since I would occasionally get hung up on questions and second guess on others, and often find myself pressed for time. Once I got better, I somehow managed to finish the section with around 10 minutes to spare; on the actual, I had about 2 or so, since I read more carefully and was much more hesitant to simply blaze through each passage. My advice is to get comfortable reading passages and answering stuff correctly, then focus on timing/pacing
 
Jun 27, 2009
141
0
Status
Pre-Medical
If you're weak in the language to begin with I'd set your sights on a more manageable goal first; there aren't that many people who consistently get 12+ in VR due to the unpredictability of the test and the steep curve. Many would be happy with a 10+.

I would recommend reading really dry/boring scientific/economical/archaelogical/historical texts and trying to glean the main ideas for them in as efficient a manner as possible. I wouldn't recommend doing passages this far in advance though.
 

BennieBlanco

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2008
1,178
7
Status
If you're weak in the language to begin with I'd set your sights on a more manageable goal first; there aren't that many people who consistently get 12+ in VR due to the unpredictability of the test and the steep curve. Many would be happy with a 10+.

I would recommend reading really dry/boring scientific/economical/archaelogical/historical texts and trying to glean the main ideas for them in as efficient a manner as possible. I wouldn't recommend doing passages this far in advance though.
good advice.

Unless you had 1000 practice passages, hard to start this far out. You won't peak at test time.
 
Jun 29, 2009
392
1
Valeria
Status
Personally, I just love reading - sci-fi, classics, dry whitepapers on an IC I'm working with... it just kind of unconsciously carries over for me.

There is no joke about steep curve though. I regularly get ****ed over missing 2-3 questions and ending up @ 12 on the practice tests. Not much more I feel I can do about it though. (Unless I get lucky and get like six awesome passages on the real thing).
 

Compass

Squishy
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2006
3,363
3
32
Status
OK, so here were my VR scores in order.

2008
10
9 (ouch)

2009
11

The easiest way to see it is that you are reading critically. Reading for fun is nice, but you want to LEARN about your topic.

Mags on-line
Archaeology
SciAm
PopSci
Economist
Wall Street J

Read one article a day. Map it, outline it, hilight, whatever. Just read it.

Then ask yourself these questions:
Purpose
Opinion
What would author think - create an example
Tone

If possible, have a friend print these articles out without any header or URL. Guess where the article is from. Contrasting Economist from WSJ is difficult, but it can be done. It's all subtle.

Repeat as necessary.

VR was NEVER my strong point. It's all practice and focus, and then you'll start thinking like an MCATeer!