Those with 10+ Verbal... How do you do it?

dtepper

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    No matter what I can't get my verbal above 9... and it's really frustrating.. On my last FL.. I got 10 PS/ 12 BS/ 7 Verbal... I know that you guys say to practice and go over the questions you get wrong, which I'm doing constantly, but I'm not seeing any changes... I dunno, just curious if anyone has any specific study routine specifically for verbal that worked for them and got them 10+VR... Thanks.
     

    dangit

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      i'm the in the same boat with you, but for me, i'm starting to realize that when i read, i concentrate too much on details. what i'm trying to do now is focus on the main idea and simplifying all the details into one sentence if i can. so far, i've been writing one word next to each paragraph to summarize the main topic, then after i read, i try to come up with the main idea after looking at the main topics. this takes time, but i know with practice i'll get faster. i'm hoping to get to the point, where i won't even need to write out my thoughts, but rather do it in my head until i can synthesize the main idea. maybe you're already doing that, i dunno, but i'm like you, i do better in the science, but stink in the verbal. so hope it helps...let me know if you're doing something else :) good luck! when's your test btw? mine is may 27.
       

      dtepper

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        i'm may 10th... i'm just hardcore doing verbal now... I think, even with the sciences, my problem isn't the material, but rather lack of understanding the passages/questions... I try to summarize in my head as I go along.. also, I limit myself (during practice) to 6:30 min per passage.. i think it helps force me to focus on what's important.
         

        Nanon

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          I did really well on that section, and here's the advice I give to everyone who asks: Stop reading the passages like you read textbooks. Read them with all of the intensity that you read an op-ed page in your local paper. You want the gist and tone of what the author is saying, and that's it. I agree with the one word by each paragraph advice. That will work as a place holder when you get to the questions and they ask for the detail. And remember - there really is only one right answer. Most of the time, 2 of the 4 are obviously wrong. In my experience, chosing the right one out of the remaining 2 is a matter of either reading for details, or knowing the author's tone.

          Seriously, read some People magazines. ;)

          S.
           
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          chimpman100

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            i'm may 10th... i'm just hardcore doing verbal now... I think, even with the sciences, my problem isn't the material, but rather lack of understanding the passages/questions... I try to summarize in my head as I go along.. also, I limit myself (during practice) to 6:30 min per passage.. i think it helps force me to focus on what's important.

            limit yourself to 6:30 per passage?? what...why would you do that?? that's WAY too limiting. i'm sure that's why you can't hit 10. it probably at least makes you miss 1-2 more questions by rushing like that. that gives you like 15 min leftover afteward...you don't need THAT much time. go for at least a 7:30 limit for each passage...damn dude lol.

            i capped myself at a 8 min limit per passage and i hit 10s on every single AAMC practice test. i just took the real thing a few weeks ago so i can't tell you how that worked on the real one. i finished with like 4 minutes leftover tho and that was plenty of time to go back and looked at my marked answers. generally, i don't think you even want to go back and change answers because doublechecking yourself could just lower your confidence and make you choose from the correct to incorrect answer. i didn't feel the real one was any harder than the practice AAMC ones...so i'm expecting a 10 so hopefully it turned that way.

            another thing you should realize is you only need to get the main points out of the passages. the details don't really matter...you should familiarize yourself where certain details are mentioned but don't bother reading huge, long names during your first read. only go back to them if a question asks about them...whenever i saw long terms i just skipped over them and read the line after them explaining what they were. don't get boggled down on details. in terms of answering the questions, it's just straight logic. i did the best by just eliminating bad answers till i got the one best answer. it's your basic debate and deductive skills. good luck
             

            chimpman100

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              verbal is the most frustrating section, an 11 on a AAMC exam can just as easily be a 7 on the wrong day. Unlike BS and PS, there is no hardcore scientific information you can study to improve your score

              just as easy to go from an 11 to a 7 on a bad day? no way. definitely capable of going from an 11 to a 9 on a bad day...not a 7 tho! that's missing like 10 more questions on the bad day! noooo waaaaaay. i can see you dropping like 5 questions more at most on a bad day...not TEN.

              don't let that guy scare you. he's full of....well you know hehe
               

              ofoshoukno

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                just as easy to go from an 11 to a 7 on a bad day? no way. definitely capable of going from an 11 to a 9 on a bad day...not a 7 tho! that's missing like 10 more questions on the bad day! noooo waaaaaay. i can see you dropping like 5 questions more at most on a bad day...not TEN.

                don't let that guy scare you. he's full of....well you know hehe

                Fine Freudian slip....11 to 9...but still
                 

                J ROD

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                  I read "actively" and try to get the main idea and feel for the passage. Then, when I get a more specific question, I refer to the passage.

                  Key to me is for you to work the passage and do not let the passage work you. Don't get bogged down on the BS. Get in and out. Also, after some time, I can sort of "see" the right answer. I did find on the real one the two I had to choose from were closer to distinguish from. Plus, my nerves were so bad I had a hard time focusing. I think my nerves hurt me the worst here. It is very important to focus on the task at hand and not the other crap, ie, pressure, magnitude of the test. I truly believe this is the biggest obstacle to overcome on the real one if you are a person that struggles with standardized tests. So, just watch out and be aware!!

                  Also, use 7 1/2 minutes as your limit. I take around 3 1/2 - 4 minutes to read the passage and the rest for questions.

                  BTW, I averaged 12-13 on practice AAMCs and EK last summer but got a 8 because I lost my focus and got worked up on the real one. I got so nervous I could not think straight. Please learn from me and be aware. Henceforth, I am having to go back for another round.

                  :luck: all!!!
                   

                  What up doc

                  FLASH
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                    its very, very easy to go from an 11 to a 7....ive gone from a 13 to a 6 in a span of 3 days...simply because, as j dub said, a loss of focus...not understanding the passage on the first read, nerves....i would say that it is not as likely in bio/or phys..but could probably happen there too!
                     

                    Lawliet2008

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                      One word: practice.

                      Forget AAMC tests, just go get a big book full of passages (PR or EK are good) and just keep doing passages until you get consistently get them all right (don't worry about how much time until you are getting 100% accuracy).

                      Then, start taking actual tests with no timer. When you're happy with your score, then start timing.

                      I promise, after doing enough passages you will start to be able to anticipate the questions.

                      Practice.
                       

                      chimpman100

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                        One word: practice.

                        Forget AAMC tests, just go get a big book full of passages (PR or EK are good) and just keep doing passages until you get consistently get them all right (don't worry about how much time until you are getting 100% accuracy).

                        Then, start taking actual tests with no timer. When you're happy with your score, then start timing.

                        I promise, after doing enough passages you will start to be able to anticipate the questions.

                        Practice.

                        not timing yourself is a terrible idea. don't do that. it doesn't matter how perfect you are if you are spending 2 hours on the 60 minute time limit! seriously, don't do what that guy suggested. the VR from kaplan and PR are terribly inconsistent with the real MCAT, too. you need to focus on the AAMC ones. if you've used up all their practice tests, then i guess you'd have to resort to kaplan and PR.

                        i'll just tell you this...this girl in my classes took the mcat this past weekend. before the test she kept bragging how awesome she was getting 13s on the bio and verbal without studying. she's like "i guess i only need to study the PS because i got a 10 on that." WELL, she wasn't taking the AAMC ones, she was taking either kaplan or PR ones or free ones you can get online. she went in and today told me she bombed. like seriously, she said she nearly cried. she said her real test was NOTHING like her practice ones. funny because i took my real one 2 weeks ago and it was JUST LIKE another AAMC practice test. that's what you need to do.
                         

                        Nanon

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                          not timing yourself is a terrible idea. don't do that. it doesn't matter how perfect you are if you are spending 2 hours on the 60 minute time limit! seriously, don't do what that guy suggested. the VR from kaplan and PR are terribly inconsistent with the real MCAT, too. you need to focus on the AAMC ones. if you've used up all their practice tests, then i guess you'd have to resort to kaplan and PR.

                          i'll just tell you this...this girl in my classes took the mcat this past weekend. before the test she kept bragging how awesome she was getting 13s on the bio and verbal without studying. she's like "i guess i only need to study the PS because i got a 10 on that." WELL, she wasn't taking the AAMC ones, she was taking either kaplan or PR ones or free ones you can get online. she went in and today told me she bombed. like seriously, she said she nearly cried. she said her real test was NOTHING like her practice ones. funny because i took my real one 2 weeks ago and it was JUST LIKE another AAMC practice test. that's what you need to do.

                          That's just... wow. Poor girl. But it's funny, because I kept getting 10's in verbal on the TPR tests, and got a 13 on the real thing. Hm. My actual PS and BS were exactly what I was getting on the TPR tests... which is why I'm taking the MCAT again. :laugh: Needless to say, I'm studying that stuff a lot more than the verbal this time around.

                          I bet she did better than she thinks she did. But I agree - work on as many sources as you can, and assume that AAMC is probably closer to the real thing.

                          S.
                           

                          chimpman100

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                            That's just... wow. Poor girl. But it's funny, because I kept getting 10's in verbal on the TPR tests, and got a 13 on the real thing. Hm. My actual PS and BS were exactly what I was getting on the TPR tests... which is why I'm taking the MCAT again. :laugh: Needless to say, I'm studying that stuff a lot more than the verbal this time around.

                            I bet she did better than she thinks she did. But I agree - work on as many sources as you can, and assume that AAMC is probably closer to the real thing.

                            S.

                            i just think it's hilarious. she is literally the stereotypical whiny premed who brags about everything and then doesn't live up to what she says. i love it when ppl like that fail hahaha. it's almost as bad as another story she told everyone about getting a fullride to our college. they told her if she got a 33 on the ACT she'd get a fullride. so she retook her ACT since she had ___ score and then got a 34. she then reported her 34 to them and they go "oh sorry, we didn't realize you were out of state. that policy is only for in-state residents." HAHAHAHA.

                            i'll admit i actually felt a lil sorry for her this time around, though. only sorry enough to actually try to give her some advice from the little i know. i was just like "yea, you should really take the AAMC ones even tho they cost money." that remorse only lasted 5 minutes tho and i've been laughing for the past day now. her recent score will probably end up being better than mine coming in a few weeks tho anyway! haha
                             

                            Lawliet2008

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                              not timing yourself is a terrible idea. don't do that. it doesn't matter how perfect you are if you are spending 2 hours on the 60 minute time limit! seriously, don't do what that guy suggested. the VR from kaplan and PR are terribly inconsistent with the real MCAT, too. you need to focus on the AAMC ones. if you've used up all their practice tests, then i guess you'd have to resort to kaplan and PR.

                              i'll just tell you this...this girl in my classes took the mcat this past weekend. before the test she kept bragging how awesome she was getting 13s on the bio and verbal without studying. she's like "i guess i only need to study the PS because i got a 10 on that." WELL, she wasn't taking the AAMC ones, she was taking either kaplan or PR ones or free ones you can get online. she went in and today told me she bombed. like seriously, she said she nearly cried. she said her real test was NOTHING like her practice ones. funny because i took my real one 2 weeks ago and it was JUST LIKE another AAMC practice test. that's what you need to do.

                              Don't forget that there are only 10 AAMC practice tests. What I did after my diagnostic is that I just went away and practiced from the PR verbal book because I didn't want to waste the AAMC tests.

                              I didn't start timing until I was confident in my answers and had a high accuracy rate (what's the point in timing yourself if you are consistently getting 3 or more wrong?). After doing 200+ passages, I got to the point where after reading the passage, I could predict and answer some of the questions before I read them. If you have the time, I highly suggest this method for studying for verbal.
                               
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