RC is different from the other subjects because you have to stay focused on the information in the passage rather than remembering/ regurgitating facts. You have to take a lot of info. in at once and remember what you read 5/10 min. ago.
I'd advise you to work on your speed while reading any passage. Just go through old bio textbooks, read a page as fast as you can and try to remember as much as possible.
On the DAT, the RC passages are usually something out of an advanced science textbook, rather than research papers. Reading a textbook page really fast and trying to remember as much as possible is the closest experience to the real DAT (IMO at least) Time yourself when you practice, because the clock ticking down def. makes you nervous in the real DAT.
Most schools don't care that much. I know for sure it can't be as important as PAT score.
However, if they interview you and you start speaking like an idiot or they can't understand you because of your accent or what ever reason...They will definitely look into your RC score and make a big fuss about it.
I got this info. straight from a horse mouse (a member of the best dental school admission committee).
So, if people understand yourself easily, don't worry too much about RC.
Vice versa, if you have low RC score, practice your speaking voice.
every section on the DAT is weighed accordingly. However, I think the reading section is one of the most important, if not the most important. the reason I say this is the only thing that I can think of on the DAT that illustrates your potential as a successful dental student is the RCT. The reason why is because in dental school you will be given more reading than you can handle. Trust me on this one. There are going to be people who try to finish everything that is given, but that will be close to impossible, and not fun. So for this reason the RCT tests several things.
1.) how fast you can skim passages and pick out important details.
3.) Ability to use material in the passage and think accordingly to answering a typical problem.
Remember this is a very fast paced section...3 passages, over 5000 words and 50 questions in 60 minutes.
I would recommend reading journals and building your vocabulary. Sometimes weird words pop up that make a huge difference in the ability to comprehend.
I've noticed many people, who don't have English as their first language struggle with this section, but everyone has to go through the loop. I hope this helps
RC scores are very highly regarded at some schools, and I doubt any schools would overlook them entirely. RC is a quick glance at how well you can read/retain/compute information. Primarily, the goal is to pick out the important stuff, or remember where the important stuff was on the page.
Also, RC shows adcoms that if you don't know information, you are at least adept in finding it. I don't know everything about the science world (I'm an English major) -- but give me a book and I can find the important stuff quickly.
RC for me was all about knowing the main topic/key words in each paragraph. My test asked specific questions about specific paragraphs, and only a couple of questions about the article in general. Because of this, I found it unnecessary to actually read the articles -- I skimmed them at best.
There are a lot of good techniques for this section. Try a couple and find one that works for you, then perfect it. I finished up the section with about 25 minutes to spare, and scored in the 99 %ile. I must have missed a question somewhere, which really pisses me off .