Jul 28, 2009
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Pre-Pharmacy
Hello, I am taking my PCAT in January, but I don't think I have that much time to study for it since I will be taking 17 hours of 300 level science courses.
English is my second language, so the verbal and reading sections play a very important role in determining my composite score (as I witnessed two years ago from my ACT score)

Could someone please give me some advice?

I am an overachiever, but I seem to spend too much time focusing on my classes and my GPA, which left me no leisure time for reading.

I also need as much advice as I can get on the vocabulary section.

Thank you for helping me.
 

mug3n

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 19, 2008
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Toronto
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Pharmacy Student
For reading, go with something like Examkrackers MCAT verbal reasoning books, the passages and questions are of very similar style.

Verbal isn't a section you can improve on overnight or even over a course of months (especially if you have other commitments), basically you need to try and recognize any sort of patterns or relationships in the word analogy section, whether they be similarity or differences between words and try to eliminate as many false choices as possible from there. One piece of advice I can give though, please do not ever try to memorize GRE word lists or whatever, a complete waste of time when you could be trying to improve on your other subsections. In terms of the sentence completion part, there is always only one answer based on the adjectives, adverbs, etc that accompanies the ideas that the sentence is conveying, so look out for those descriptive words and again try to eliminate choices.

Sorry if the advice seems kind of vague because I haven't really experienced this sort of struggle, but this is about as helpful as I can make it. I suggest getting the McGraw-Hill PCAT study guide, they have a chock full of useful tips to help you out with each section along with some comprehensive review of the material.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Pharmacy Student
When you read verbal reasoning problems, repeat the SPECIFIC relationship between the first two words to yourself. Then replicate this relationship with the third word.

i.e., CAR:STEERING WHEEL :: BULLDOZER : ______

"a CAR is maneuvered by use of the STEERING WHEEL, a BULLDOZER is maneuvered using LEVERS"

Do this before you even examine the responses. One of the answer choices will inevitably have a SOMEWHAT similar relationship as the first two words, but it will not be as specific. For instance, BUCKET might be an answer choice since a STEERING WHEEL is part of a CAR and the BUCKET is part of a BULLDOZER, but that is too vague. Look for the relationship that only one choice fits.

On Reading Comp, don't read too much into the questions. Someone else posted this on another thread and I thought it was a great idea: read the questions before you read the passage. That way you know which paragraphs to read intently and which to scan. The questions often begin with IN PARAGRAPH 2, or THE THIRD SENTENCE IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH.

Hope that helps. Any help you can get on vocabulary will serve you well since English is your 2nd language. Some of the words and sentence completion problems are tricky even for native speakers.
Good luck!
 
OP
C
Jul 28, 2009
67
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Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Thank you so much for your efforts.