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Tips for PS and VR Time Management?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by bigboi6, Feb 29, 2012.

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  1. bigboi6

    bigboi6 2+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    So I've taken about 4 practice tests so far and am finding myself running low on time with about a passage left on the Physical Science and Verbal sections. I finish Bio with about 20 mins left to spare so no problems there.

    Any tips on improving timing on these sections besides just practice?

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  3. MedPR

    MedPR Banned

    Dec 1, 2011
    Think about your strategies and eliminate or improve on the most time consuming ones. For instance, if you are doing long division or any other form of exact math on PS, stop.
  4. angldrps

    angldrps 5+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    i can tell you how i kept myself on track :
    For PS and BS, i told myself that for the last 20 minutes, i should only have the last 2 passages and last set of descretes left. If the timer was down to 20 mins. and i had more passages left, then i knew i had to work at a faster rate.

    For VB, i knew i am doing fine with time if i have only the last 2 passages left when the timer was down to 20 minutes.

    I used the same strategy on the real deal for my January mcat and it worked out fine. One tip i would give is, do not take the real mcat until you have at least 5 minutes left on each section when taking the practice FL tests. This is because due to anxiety and increased level of difficulty, you will most likely not able to have much extra time left when taking the real mcat.
  5. IncognitoGuy

    IncognitoGuy life of leisure 5+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2011
    I would also suggest for the PS sections, don't read the passages TOO thoroughly. As you have probably seen, most of the time the passage information isn't terribly important to finding the answer.

    That is to say, don't skim them either - just read actively and efficiently. One thing I noticed over time is that I unconsciously began to cherry pick facts/data easily from the passages, and that made a huge difference for me. And I averaged 20-25 minutes left over when I finished each section, including on the real thing. But this only really started happening by my last three or four practice tests.

    If you also have practice passages, try and finish them under a very strict time limit to see if you can still score well. If you practice to, say, finish each passage in 5 or 6 minutes maximum, that translates to 35 to 42 minutes spent on practice test passages, leaving you plenty of time for discretes and double-checking. Practice is key - especially if you're extremely stringent with yourself!

    As for VR, I honestly think it's all about managing your time. Since you have less time for the section, it's essential to periodically watch the clock to make sure you don't spend too much time on a passage. And if you practice this too, it should hopefully become so routine that it doesn't interfere with your test-taking.

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