Feb 27, 2010
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Pre-Pharmacy
I have noticed a lot of the people in this forum with great PCAT scores but low Reading Comprehension scores. I am curious to how you answer the typical "why is you reading Comprehension score so low" in an interview?

I put this in the pre-pharmacy section because a lot of the PCAT section people are not necessarily applying now or interviewing now...

Interested to see how people spin this... :idea:
 
Nov 20, 2009
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There is not really any good 'spin' on why one would get a low %-tile on the RC section. But there probably is some great anecdotal humor that could be used.

Bio/Chem/Quant measure different thinking abilities then say Verbal/RC. The former requires good route memorization and knowing which equations to use (for plugging and chugging) in each situation; the latter requires using context clues, current vocabulary depth (which for most scientists like us are mostly in the realm of scientific terminology), and basically being able to critically read articles (e.g. decipher) what someone is trying to explain.

That being said, there are numerous individuals who are stellar on Bio/Chem/Quant (in the 90%+ area) yet score less then 25% on the Verbal/RC, which could be attributed to English as a second or often third language. English is definitely a tricky language compared other languages.

People may disagree with me on this, but I feel Reading Comprehension abilities can be greatly developed if you read news magazines (Time, USNEWs, Economist, etc...) , scientific journals/articles (Nature, Cell, Science, etc...) , other analytical papers, and possibly even Harry Potter rather then reading academic text books solely.
 

busyizzy

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the typical "why is you reading Comprehension score so low" in an interview?
Never knew that was a "typical" question ...
 
Jul 19, 2009
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Maryland
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I thought RC/Verbal was surprisingly easy... not really any different than the SAT :shrug:

English as a second language would definitely affect these scores.
 

AdamSanders

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Sep 27, 2008
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I scored significantly lower in the RC section (52 I think) than in my other sections and it was not brought up in any of my interviews. English is the only language I know and I generally do well in English and Reading classes, so I am not sure what happened with that section. Just give them an honest answer if this question comes up, not much else you can do.
 

Niosh

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Feb 25, 2010
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I got a 61 in the RC section and a 97 in verbal. I wasn't asked anything about my scores which is good because I wouldn't have an answer. I have no idea why my RC was so low (lowest in fact).
 
Mar 18, 2010
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I got a 31 on the Reading... and all my other scores were above 85. I figured it was because I didn't bring anything to eat and the reading section is the longest section on the PCAT. As for the math section, which was my highest score, I figured it was because it was so short? This is all conjecture haha
 

EtohResearcher

Accepted Pharmacy Student
Mar 30, 2010
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Some people are just incapable of reading dry, obscure medical journal articles and then answering a series of detailed questions about them under a time constraint. English is NOT my second language, but according to my PCAT score, I cannot read. I got a 34. Pathetic. I even like reading, I thought it would be easy and was honestly shocked to see that score...
If you feel the need to mention it during the interview, just say something along the lines of how you feel that that score does represent your academic aptitude and that as long as you, yourself are confident in your readings skills to do well in pharmacy school, then that's what truly matters….That's how I feel and I just got accepted to my school so I'm happy. :)
 

weetzie00

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Jun 25, 2009
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I read slowly and I read in detail. It's just how I read. Teaching yourself information for the other sections is a matter of understanding a concept and committing it to memory. However, teaching yourself to read faster and skim effectively is a skill that needs to be practiced over time. RC tests you on a skill versus knowledge. I wasn't able to harness that skill. My highest score was a 48 lol... I simply ran out of time. I'm good at reading, I just do it slowly and carefully.
 

chemguy79

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Mar 14, 2006
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While I managed to do well on the RC section, 84th percentile, the questions that they ask regarding the passages aren't necessarily "reading comprehension." There are quite a few questions about the passages, but there are also questions about what literary theory was being used in this passage, etc. I guess it is technically reading comprehension, but I was thinking ... Parallelism? WTF is this?
 

PharmOl

I do Math.
Oct 5, 2009
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English is my second language and I think I got 69 on my RC. I have to admit, I had a much harder time comprehending the questions than the passages themselves. It almost seems like some sadistic person was coming up with those. Some of them I couldn't even wrap my mind around. Thought I was having stress-related hallucinations.