Mediculous

The Verbal Herman Munster
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I just finished taking the AAMC 3R test and although I took each section piece-meal(so, I was probably more refreshed) I still took too much time on PS and BS. I thought I was cruising, too, save for a few questions. I referred to the passage only after I looked for and did questions that I thought could be done without the passage. I estimate this took about 5-10 seconds on each passage(at least a couple seconds of scrolling back and forth). I get confused if I try to read a passage beforehand and waste even more time in doing so. I easily have at least 15-20 minutes left after I finish Verbal, but I went over both PS and BS by about 4 minutes each. Does anyone have any tips for being more efficient with my time, specifically with the PS section?

It seems like the answer comes to me either instantaneously or never at all. This was my first full length practice test and I've only just started studying, so a lot of concepts are a little hazy, but I am wondering, can anyone confirm that they've gotten quicker in time with practice? I'm barely ok with my scores now, and being more efficient can only help.
 

Economist

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You still have over a month, and I found my speed kind of improved magically about a month before the test. I just kept doing practice tests and eventually I adjusted to the time limit.

That being said, I don't think it's a good idea to do questions before reading the passage. Initially, I tried this method too. But it's not smart. There are plenty of PS questions that might look like discretes but actually require some info from the passage. So what ends up happening is that you have uncertainty. "Is this a discrete or not? Let me skim the passage and see if I notice anything relevant."

In the end, that ends up taking more time than just quickly reading the passage at the outset. Remember, you're not reading the passage to get all the details... only the overall gist and key terms so you can refer back to the passage later when you need specifics.
 
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Mediculous

Mediculous

The Verbal Herman Munster
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Thanks, Economist. I hope I get the same magic you had. I guess I'll try to skim the passages first on the next practice test.
 

Samus Aran

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Mediculous said:
I easily have at least 15-20 minutes left after I finish Verbal, but I went over both PS and BS by about 4 minutes each. Does anyone have any tips for being more efficient with my time, specifically with the PS section?
what are your scores in verbal right now?? i started out like you and was getting 9-10 on practice verbal tests w/10 minutes to spare. i thought i could improve my score if i read more slowly and paid more attention to details, but now i end w/2 minutes to spare and i'm getting a 7-8 each time!! :mad:

it's really frustrating!!
 
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Mediculous

Mediculous

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Misty said:
what are your scores in verbal right now?? i started out like you and was getting 9-10 on practice verbal tests w/10 minutes to spare. i thought i could improve my score if i read more slowly and paid more attention to details, but now i end w/2 minutes to spare and i'm getting a 7-8 each time!! :mad:

it's really frustrating!!
I've taken 3R and 4R verbal sections and scored 14(2 wrong) and 13(2 wrong), respectively. I put down the first answer that comes to my mind and try not to overanalyze. I've always been a quick reader, so that helps. There are always a few problems I don't immediately get an answer for, and then spend a lot of time analyzing the answer choices, and the questions I get wrong always come from that group. I've heard people say that the MCAT VR section isn't comparable to the ACT reading comprehension section but I can't tell the difference, and I'm scoring around the same percentile in the MCAT practice exams as I did on the ACT using the same strategy: read fast, answer fast. I think this is what ties me up in the other sections because in VR, I know the answer comes from the passage, while in either PS or BS(mainly PS), if an answer isn't immediate, I wonder if the passage would be helpful in answering the question, and sometimes waste time hunting in the passage for pertinent info while I realize I just needed to understand the concept better in the first place and dicriminate among the answer choices. The opposite is true sometimes, as well. I remember a chemistry question in 3R that had to do with why a specific acid couldn't have been a reasonable possibility for an unknown acid; the answer was related to the beginning of the passage and I spent way too much time trying to think it through while the answer suddenly came to me when I re-read the beginning of the passage carefully. Overall, I think I'm overanalyzing everything in general(including my strategies) and need to practice until this becomes an instinct like VR. In general, I score the best in VR/Reading Comprehension sections that I finish the fastest. Adrenaline and caffeine always help with that, too(seriously). Good Luck :)
 

myodana

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tip #1 - watch the clock
tip #2 - practice
tip #3 - practice some more
tip #4 - watch the clock
tip #5 - don't get bogged down - read the passages quickly so you can spend time on the questions
tip #6 - if you are running short on time towards the end, skip the last passage and head for the stand-alone questions at the end so you won't have to read the passage. you can answer more questions that way.

good luck!