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Studying for Verbal

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by Scarletblack, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Scarletblack

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    Yeah, last summer I was about to take my MCAT, but my verbal scores kept coming back crappy. I never broke over 10.

    So I just want to know, what/how should I read to prepare for the Verbal part of the exam? Is there a technique I'm missing or what?
     
  2. gouda

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    I can't emphasize enough how important just doing as many verbal ?'s as possible. I did well in verbal, but had not started out that way. I was getting nervous 1/2 way thru b/c I saw no jumps in my verbal score. However, I forced myself to do those ?'s everyday, and suddenly I was consistently scoring higher.
     
  3. bjb305

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    i was in the same boat.. but i guess i didn't do enough verbal.. NEVER saw a score other than 9/10/11 on verbal.. and that's what i got on the real thing
     
  4. Steako

    Steako Forgot about D.R.E.
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    Verbal is like any other section.
    The main difference is that there is NO outside knowledge needed for the verbal. That means shut your brain down, don't overanalyze answers thinking, "Well, that MUST be true because I know this." Just go based on what's in the passage, nothing more. Also, be wary of answering a question just because, "I think I remembered seeing that." KNOW why an answer choice is the correct. You can practice by taking a question or two, find out the answer and write it down. Then, go through and determine why the other 3 choices are wrong. Striking out answers is your friend.
     
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  5. BlueElmo

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    Just keep practicing, there's no way around it. I recommend EK Verbal 101s and do all of them. And make sure you do all the AAMC practice tests.
     
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  6. OP
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    Scarletblack

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    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    Ok so I also heard reading the Economist everyday is good practice and also, I took up the EK suggestion. (I did almost all the practice exams)

    However I didn't see an increase in my scores no matter HOW much I practiced. And I practiced a helluva lot. (Like maybe 5 hours of just plain verbal practice some days of the week.)

    So I'm just wondering if I'm doing something wrong. Also, my history of taking such Standarized Verbal tests isn't that good. (580 on Critical, 530 on Writing on the SAT)
     
  7. SiR99

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    Can you please give us a rough estimate for how many passages and how long you studied verbal before it went up?

    Is it possible to only do verbal passages the whole day (7+ hours a day) every day for a week or two and see a significant gain?

    Or are we talking about doing verbal for months and then suddenly seeing a gain
     
  8. gouda

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    I spent 3 months studying, and the first month I took a very lesiurely approach to verbal and was getting some scary low numbers. By month 2 I realized I needed to put my time into that subject since it was my weakest. I spent ~2-3h a day seriously reviewing verbal for about 2 weeks and suddenly my score doubled on practice tests and I had a hard time believing that ... I think it scared me more and I began to put in the 3h a day to verbal b/c I thought it was fluke, but on the real deal I did great.

    I don't remember how many passages I did in say three hours, but I reviewed all ?'s I got wrong and tried to sum up in my head why I initially got them wrong. In the end I developed a kinda gut feeling from having done so many ?'s.
     
  9. Mace1370

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Just like everyone else, I found doing as many verbal passages as possible the best way to improve my scores. It should also be said that you should work on verbal regularly, rather than once a week or something. Think of it like practicing a sport, if you don't constantly work at it you will get rusty.

    That said, I recommend the ExamKrackers verbal passages book. I found those passages to be best representative of the real MCAT passages. Also, doing official passages couldn't hurt either (I think www.emcat.com is the site for official tests).
     
  10. alibai3ah

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    Doing practice exams is not the only thing you need to do. If you are consistently getting low scores, I think you need to address an actual problem you may have with reading comprehension. I would suggest first tackling that, because if you don't, you will keep making the same mistakes on all the passages. I'm in a similar boat, I got my MCAT scores back, and I'm just retaking it b/c of the verbal section. That section is impossible for me too. But I think people like you and me need to first see what we are doing wrong, and then practice. Reading economists helps too, but make sure you have a separate notebook where you write the purpose and scope for each article you read. I think that will really help. Reading it without actually comprehending it will cause you to maek the same mistakes. Go back and recheck if you initial interpretation of the articles was correct as well. Good luck
     
  11. sarahl86

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    My advice is that if doing practice problems aren't cutting it for you, then go to Barnes and Noble and pick a nice big book, preferably classic literature. Just read and read and read because it seriously will help. Break it down by chapters and write down your interpretation of it: what are important themes or symbols? Where is it going? Then (the reason why I suggest classic novels) compare it to something like SparkNotes - are you really getting it?

    Just a suggestion. It sounds kind of lame and is like high school all over again, but there was a method to the madness back then. I think a big problem a lot of premeds have is that they just aren't sitting down and reading a good book anymore for the fun of it. Pull your nose out of your Cell Bio book for an hour or so.
     
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  12. BloodySurgeon

    Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Expert Verified Account 10+ Year Member

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    here is a quote from the MCAT FAQ. Some of these are verbal strategies, others are overall or science strategies. Take a look through them:

     

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