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Tim is absolutely correct....

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Taylor DO, Feb 20, 2001.

  1. Taylor DO

    Taylor DO Member
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    Tim deserves some credit here. This guy has pointed out a great tip.

    Interesting enough, and to support his claim, I offer this up. My wife recently decided to apply to medical school after some time away. She purchased two or three Princeton Review manuals, and routinely got bogged down with the passages in the physical sciences.

    For the heck of it, I decided to try to answer a few questions to see what little knowledge I had retained. I started by using Tim's tip, and ignoring the passage. I answered 4 of the first 5 questions correctly (not really statistically significant..lol), but I was surprised to learn that when reading the answer explanations in the back of the testing book, I found this quote on three of the 5 questions..."the question was answerable without any reference to the passage"....

    This goes to support what another poster had mentioned in agreeing with Tim, the passages themselves may indeed be part of the obstacle.

    Anyway, I think Tim deserves some much deserved applause for a great tip, that is obvious and helpful to potential applicants.
     
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  3. together

    together Senior Member
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    I second TaylorDO's applause!

    Thanks Tim!

    Together

     
  4. goingback

    goingback Member
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    I agree!! When I decided to consider pre-med when I go back to finish my undergrad I went to the library and got an MCAT handbook just to see what the questions were like. I noticed the same thing; I answered several of the questions without any help from the passages. I was trying to figure that out since I really don't have much of a science background anyway. I looked at the graphs and just put logic with it.

    I was pleased to see Tim's post and tips. I thought maybe I was getting very lucky, but I was trying to figure out why reading the passages was so important. Anyway... when I get to that point where I will be doing many practice tests I will definately consider trying that. By the time I get to take the MCAT though, it will probably be changed again. [​IMG]

    Good luck to all of you getting ready to take it in April!!! I think that skimming the passages would be the best bet just incase you do need something out of it for the question.
     
  5. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    No problem, guys. Just trying to help my future colleagues.

    W.
     
  6. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Membership Revoked
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    I have a Diagnostic this weekend and I am going to take the same approach to the Physical Sciences section of the MCAT.

    Now...if someone could tell me how to do Verbal without reading!!! (Tim..any thoughts????? [​IMG] )



    ------------------
    Joshua Paul Hazelton, CNA, EMT-B
    [email protected]
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (2002)
    "D.O. Wannabe"
     
  7. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    As it happens, I have absolutely no advice for the Verbal Reasoning section. It was my worst section, hence, I am terrified at the mere thought of having to go through a verbal section.

    You might want to see if you can read the questions first and then refer to the passage, although my gut feeling tells me this doesn't work.

    Sorry.

    Good luck this weekend and hope it works out for you! So far no one has said it hasn't worked, so perhaps you guys will benefit.


    W. [​IMG]
     
  8. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel
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    Josh: I dug this up from my hard drive. Its from an old post here but I couldn't find it so I'm cut-and-pasting it:

    BTW I got a 9V on my first Kaplan diagnostic and now am getting 11-12 (as I figure it, I know it's tough to scale, but around 60 questions right each time).

    Best of luck:

    It has become apparent to me that the MCAT Verbal is a quite perplexing portion of the MCAT for many, indeed the first time I took the test I made a 5 (Practice thank god). But knowing what I know about tests, I began to analyze the intrinsic qualities of the test, for no test truly tests what it says it tests, unless you don't understand how it test that (try saying that 5 times fast). I spent the next 3 months studying the MCAT, with focus on the Verbal, and ended up with a 12. I have since worked as a verbal and physics teacher for both Kaplan and TPR, which has
    further molded my understanding on the topic. I'm not saying I'm the god of all things MCAT, however I have seen alot of it in my day.
    It is my claim that anyone can increase their score (on all parts, but verbal especially) by merely understanding a few things about the test, and stategy on how to take it.
    Thus as a public service (and a distraction from more important tasks) I present:
    Mike's guide to the verbal MCAT:
    First let's begin with how the verbal is roughly organized.
    -9 passages (they claim some have 10 but I've never seen or heard of one with 10)
    -about 7 reading comp questions over each passage
    -65 total questions
    -77 minutes to complete it
    -1st thing in the morning (someone needs to die for that logistical choice)
    The first and most important Rule is
    FINISH AT ALL COSTS
    This does not mean random guessing per se, however, if thats what it end up being at first so be it. As you become more confortable with the test guessing will become unnecessary. The major thing here is, no one question is important enough to keep from finishing.
    Why is finishing so important
    To earn a 12 on the verbal one must get around 60-62 questions right depending on the test. If you miss an entire passage you start at an 11 right off the bat
    Also as we will see later, if you spend too much time thinking about this stuff you are almost definitely doing it wrong
    But mike, I know the rules of taking tests, but still I can't finish
    This is where strategy comes in:
    NEVER, EVER EVER DO THE PASSAGES IN ORDER
    The reason for this is the Bell Curve
    In order for the MCAT to be considered a statistically valid test, it must fulfill 3 basic criteria
    #1- It must provide some form of differentiation (ie some kids have to get 15's and others 5's)
    #2- It must provide some logical criteria for why a 12 is better than a 5
    #3- People who earn 12's on one test should earn similiar scores on future tests, assuming no changes are made(consistency)
    Thus in order to meet these standards, every verbal test must have both easy and hard passages, in predictable numbers and patterns, and this leads to an advantage on your part. Every MCAT I have taken, has had the following breakdown (in my opinion)
    4-Easy Straightforward
    3-Mildly difficult
    1-Relatively difficult, requires some thought
    1-Would anger Jacques Derrida (very difficult)
    The strategy here is to figure out which is which, and to do them in order of increasing difficulty, thus leaving yourself more time to finish the harder ones This leads us to the problem of discerning which is which, to determine this I provide a another classification scheme for these passages
    3-Natural sciences
    3-Social sciences(poli sci,psych,soci,anthro)
    3- Humanities- (english, history, philosophy)
    The Natural science passages are among the easiest ones without exception, all are straight forward, and involve topics we are all atleast somewhat familiar with. I always find these and do these first.
    The social sciences are a mixed bag, some are rather easy, others can be difficult, but they are never the worst passage
    The humanities tend to occupy both of the hardest two slots, and at the very least the worst passage on the test is always in this group (philosophy being the most common, english lit the second. The reason for this is 3 fold
    1) Science majors (a majority of kids taking the test) hate these passages and thus
    2) Being a humanities major myself, I can testify that there is no end to the number of people contributing to the library of passages made unreadable by the authors attempt to prove their own intelligence
    3) the passages tend to use rather large words without a definite need for these words, and thus tend to perplex and scare people at 9 in the morning To deal with this aspect of the test, I devised what I termed the 4 pass system. This involves going through the test 4 times, looking for and doing passages of increasing difficulty in order to score the easy points early and to gain a lead for the tough ones
    Pass 1-Nail all natural sciences, and any social science passage that is OBVIOUSLY an easy one (about 4-5 in this pass)
    Pass 2- Nail anything that after glancing through one paragraph, you know the main idea...the key is to not be afraid to recognize that you are reading a tough one too early, and to drop what your doing and move on
    pass 3- Finish all but the worst passage
    Pass 4- hold on for dear life, score as many points as possible near the end on the bad one
    How to spot bad passages- Generally they are obvious, for they use large words, that though you may know the
    meaning, you have to dig them up from your memory bank, for they are not typically on MSNBC on a daily basis.
    Rule of thumb, if you read the first paragraph and really haven't a clue what the author is saying, move on
    How to read...MCAT Style
    there are only three things you want out of an MCAT passage...period
    1) What the Author is talking about
    2) What the authors overall opinion on this topic is (there is almost always an opinion somewhere)
    3) What kind of information is located in each paragraph, in case you have to look something up
    To find this info Read the first and last paragraphs. If at this point you do not know #1 and #2 repeat, and if necessary read the 2nd paragraph. Then SKIM the following paragraphs to find what is in which paragraph. and head to the questions
    On the surface this would seem to be a bad way to read an argument,to essentially ignore all the backing for the claim of the paragraph, but this is the MCAT and not the real world and the method to this madness will become clear when we analyze the type of questions asked on the MCAT
    Contrary to what is empirically obvious, the MCAT only asks two types of questions (these are my names for
    them), and they must be approached entirely differently
    1) Find the fact
    2) Touchy Feely
    1) Find the fact-
    These questions require you to answer a question based entirely on what is said in the passage (or a reasonable approximation of such) these tend to be the more straightforward and unfortunately for many less frequent. This is where your skim comes in: When prompted to find a fact, go to the area where the information is located and put the answer most similiar to what is stated in the passage, often times it will ask you to find out what type of evidence is or isnt located in the passage. I hope I don't have to continue stating the obvious, but I need to describe this in order to contrast it with the technique for #2
    2) Touchy feely- These are the Harder questions, the more frequent, but once you know what your doing, they are the quickest questions
    It is key that you first know the authors opinion on the topic for your entire stategy will hinge on this opinion
    second one must know what questions qualify for this category in order to know when to use the technique
    there are two types
    1) Direct main idea questions- where the question explicitly asks for the passage's main idea
    2) Ones with "touchy feely" key words in the question- these words include Probably, most likely, can be inferred,the author would most likely say....basically any question where it does not ask you to explicitly look for something in the passage, and which uses vague, indirect language
    Here is the corner stone of your MCAT verbal attack
    The STUPIDITY MANUEVER
    This Idea came to me while analyzing practice tests, to determine why I was missing the questions that I was. The questions I was missing were mainly of the second type, and after some thought, I decided to take an entire verbal test where I always answered the touchy feely questions with the most obvious answer (the gut answer). This was the first time I ever scored in the double digits
    From this I concluded that on these questions I had been talking myself out of the right answers using a complex set of reasons based on factual evidence in the passage (like any good bright person would) and was talking myself out of the right obvious answer hence the following rule
    THE OBVIOUS ANSWER IS RIGHT ABOUT 90-95% OF THE TIME...STUPIDITY RULES THE MCAT, IF YOU HAVE TO SPEND A LONG TIME JUSTIFYING ONE ANSWER OVER ANOTHER, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG
    Blanket stupidity is of course not that way to go,but the following algorhithm took me far
    1) Find the authors opinion (ie Beer is good)
    2) Identify any questions which qualify as touchy feely (this is an art form) (ie what is most likely the authors opinion on breweries near high schools)
    3) look at the answers and eliminate any answers which either directly conflict with the authors opinion, or have nothing to do with that opinion (ie beer is bad or we should not sell cigarrettes to children)
    4) when in doubt narrowing down the rest,follow these rules
    -the more general answers tend to be right on these
    -Go with the gut
    a small number of these questions do not conform to these (usually they happen in the bad 2 passages),
    experience will teach you how to spot these
    Finally a word on the I, II,III questions
    a simple algorhythm for these
    1) look at the I,II,III part (the real answers) and eliminate all obviously wrong ones
    2) go to the answer choices and eliminate any ones affected by #1, then find out which answer (I, II Or III) is located in the most of the remaining choices
    3) test the validity of that answer in the passage or if a touchy feely one go with the gut
    4) repeat until other answers are eliminated
    One final word, buy any practice thing from TPR AND KAPLAN YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON, PRACTICE IS IMPORTANT AND BUY EVERYTHING FROM AAMC....NOTHING BEATS THE REAL TEST AS FAR AS ACCURACY
    information on purchasing the AAMC stuff is on the back of the booklet included in the mcat registration packet
    I would be willing to cover other sections if requested and any ?'s can be directed to [email protected]
     
  9. MAAT

    MAAT Senior Member
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    Just a vote of support for the above posted verbal method from Mike78. I used this on the August exam...I was always above the mean in practice test on verbal, but this really helped push me over the top 5%.

    "Go with your gut"...if I started freaking out (and there were several passages that really warranted that reaction; tonality comes to mind), that's what I remembered and that's what I did. I finished with 5 minutes to spare and scored very well...

    SEEK TRUTH -- MAAT
     
  10. MAAT,

    Did Tim's tips work for the Physics and Bio sections? How did you do on those two sections? Why did you take the August MCAT? If you want to get in this year, it is always better to take April. I know it is harder to take it in April because of all the other classes, but you need to just suck it up and take the April Exam. In any event, I hope you got in this year.

    P.S. Why would you taunt the other D.O.s by posting on this forum? Didn't you say they weren't 'real' doctors on another forum? Don't go erasing your posts now.

    No Foreign Recognition for DO's

    SEEK BS -- MEAT, M.D., D.O. [hon.]
     
  11. MAAT

    MAAT Senior Member
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    Dr Patel,

    Why would you knowingly offer advice that is wrong and based on assumptions you really have NO right to make? I didn't take the MCAT in April because I was working two jobs at 80 hours a week and supporting my grandmother who has Alzheimer, not because I couldn't handle a few classes. Given my schedule and my inability to devote myself physically and emotionally to the test at that time I made the mature decision to wait. I'm tired of your unfounded accusations and unsupported assumptions.

    It is IRRESPONSIBLE to encourage pre meds to take such an important test when they are not ready, even if only attempting to get at me. Given a choice between being a little latter with apps and doing poorly on the exam, we both know the choice should be later applications.

    I've been patient with you and been a decent sport through all of your nonsense. I thought somewhere in you there was actually a compassionate caring doctor, who eventually would see why it was important to show integrity when posting thoughts in front of pre meds. But you win. I surrender. I am all the other people you think I am and totally condone your insulting behavior. I couldn't possibly just be someone who believes doctors should set an example, something you've done a very poor job of.

    MAAT
     
  12. Easy tiger. I don't think it is irresponsible to tell people to take the April MCAT. I took the April MCAT and my peers who did not, regretted their decision.

    Aren't you making assumptions about Dr. Patel ? Just because he suggests taking the April MCAT does not mean he lacks integrity and is a poor example to others. Advice is generally directed at the typical pre-med. Obviously, your situation is atypical and an August MCAT was indicated. I hope you are a little more patient and forgiving with your future 'patients'.

    I'm sorry if I have irritated you on this forum. You are obviously going through a difficult time and we shouldn't be making all these jokes. Can I make a suggestion ? Next time, don't insult others and don't support another member insulting my father. If you aren't in the mood to take jokes, you really shouldn't be making them either.

    Relax. This is just a forum on the web. These people are not your peers, your friends, or your personal physicians. Good luck in your quest for medical school and let me know if I can be of assistance.

    Piyo Piyo [​IMG]

     
  13. MAAT

    MAAT Senior Member
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    Again you are posting in doc. p.'s defense without having all of your facts straight.

    What doc. p. said:
    Please use those verbal skills of yours to note the word ALWAYS. This as you know is incorrect. It was said either legitimately and is wrong, or to get at me and is wrong.

    My post was mostly directed at doc. p.s overall behavior, though. This was just another prime example. You are right though. I should have made that clearer. Shall I edit [​IMG]

    I believe I have been very patient with doc. p.s' continual unfounded abuse, but thank you for your concern.

    Please don't flatter yourself by mistaking dispassionate but strong conviction for "irritation".

    You will not find an intentional insult in ANY of my post. Can you say the same?

    Nor did I support mello attacking your family (please see my response to this continued outlandish claim: http://www.studentdoctor.net/bbs/Forum3/HTML/003087.html)

    As for my mood, while I thank you for your concern, I am just fine. I killed a little time on a Tuesday and hopefully helped correct some of your MANY, MANY misconceptions. I think I have taken the jokes in all of this very well. Maybe I just don't find having my character slandered very "funny" anymore.

    Actually, some of these people are my friends. You shouldn't make assumptions. Additionally, some of these people WILL be your peers. You shouldn't underestimate what that means.

    Why did you get so upset over the medschool.com thing. It's just a web board right [​IMG] Again, piyo -- please work on practicing what you preach.

    I'm now weary of this.

    good luck piyo

    MAAT
     
  14. If you are going to continue, let's move it to the infamous thread instead of invading this topic. Sorry guys. The reason that I was so irritated by the Medschool.com thing was because the moderator was erasing my posts supporting osteopathic medicine while leaving posts that made ignorant personal attacks on osteopathic medicine.

    I'm not surprised that some of these people are your friends. You obviously shared a common agenda with some of the users. It is poor form to threaten me. Please explain what you mean when you say "Additionally, some of these people WILL be your peers. You shouldn't underestimate what that means. ". That doesn't sound very professional and before I blast you for such an idiotic comment, maybe you should explain yourself. I guess maybe your friends will give me a failing grade because I disagreed with you on SDN ? That's a great example your setting for other pre-meds. Even if your friends were such STUPID people, I doubt we would be in the same program. I've searched for other people who are applying to the same programs as myself and have yet to find someone on SDN. Please SEEK HELP.

     
  15. "If you want to get in this year, it is always better to take April. I know it is harder to take it in April because of all the other classes, but you need to just suck it up and take the April Exam. In any event, I hope you got in this year."

    Did this post warrant the following venom? :

    "Why would you knowingly offer advice that is wrong and based on assumptions you really have NO right to make? I didn't take the MCAT in April because I was working two jobs at 80 hours a week and supporting my grandmother who has Alzheimer, not because I couldn't handle a few classes. Given my schedule and my inability to devote myself physically and emotionally to the test at that time I made the mature decision to wait. I'm tired of your unfounded accusations and unsupported assumptions.

    It is IRRESPONSIBLE to encourage pre meds to take such an important test when they are not ready, even if only attempting to get at me. Given a choice between being a little latter with apps and doing poorly on the exam, we both know the choice should be later applications."

    How am I supposed to know my advice is wrong if I didn't know your situation.

    I'm sorry about your familial commitments. Obviously in that situation you should take the August MCAT. Unless, someone brings it up, I don't know. The advice was directed at pre-meds who aren't in your situation.

    I don't think it is irresponsible to tell pre-meds to take the April MCAT if they are applying for admission in the same year. If you want to go to med school that year, then that should be your main priority. If you are going to spend all your hard earned money to apply, you owe it to yourself to maximize your chances. Your grandmother is obviously more important, but can you tell me that you couldn't work less than 80 hours/week? Were you her primary care-taker ? Okay maybe you were and maybe you had to work. I don't know. You never brought it up and I'm just asking innocent questions.

    A piece of advice can't cover 100% of the situations. Just like all the side effects for a drug can't be listed on the box. My advice was that pre-meds who want to apply that same year should always take the April MCAT. They don't HAVE to but should.

    Good luck with interviews and I hope you get in this year. I'm sorry if my advice offended you.

    SEEK MD ACCEPTANCES -- MEAT, M.D.


     
  16. Spang

    Spang SDN Angel
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    Could you two take this outside? The intent of this post, and those like it, is to aid those of us writing the MCAT. Maybe you stroke your own egos somewhere else.

     
  17. MAAT

    MAAT Senior Member
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    I?ll make this quick and try to keep it simple piyo since you seem to be having a hard time with sub text.

    I?m starting to worry about you. You become more like doc p. every post. You are now seeing conspiracies everywhere and, as usual, jumping to unwarranted conclusions. I wasn?t going to respond to you anymore but your utter lack of logic here is compelling:

    WHERE is the threat in that statement? Let?s review piyo since you seem to have such a hard time following from post to post:

    YOU wrongly made the statement in your earlier post that ?I shouldn?t take any of this seriously because none of these people were my friends or peers?. I, yet again, corrected your wrong statement.
    Could it quite possibly be that what I meant was that you should be appalled and outraged that your soon to be peers such as doc p behave in such an inappropriate manner? Isn?t that the theme that runs through ALL of my post to you and doc p.?

    I would post this in do I have shot, but since you already invaded this thread and I have to correct other wrong statements of yours here anyway, I might as well do it all at once:

    Another INCORRECT statement by you?I have already exhaustedly defended my statements and I will not apologize. I have said repeatedly that mello was wrong to insult your family. YOU used poor judgment in getting involved with someone you knew pulled punches. You even said you perceived mello to be a person who kicked people when they were down. YOU should have realized that would have included you also and if you are so easily offended by such things, YOU should have been smart enough to stay away from posting with him. YOU should be more personally responsible. But MY comments on the issue were directed to doc. p.?s defending you and YOUR insults while lashing out at mello. If doc p. was going to chastise people for throwing insults he should chastise EVERYONE.

    Maybe doc. p. can share his medication as you seem to have taken on the trait of chasing shadows piyo.

    SEEK HELP (great advice piyo)

    MAAT
     
  18. MAAT

    MAAT Senior Member
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    Spang, I'm very sorry for the interruption. The reason I originally posted here was to support the post from Mike78 that you posted. I had good success with this method and think it is great advice. I will refrain from posting off topic issues here anymore.

    MAAT

     

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