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FloorMasta

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Hello,

Like many people here, I have the most difficulty with verbal section. And I'm usually pressed for time. Worse, I often lose my focus and while reading the passage, I realize halfway, I don't know what I just read! Knowing that I'm gonna run out of time, I just keep on reading the passage without fully understanding the author's main idea. Still worse, while reading the questionnaires, I have to read two, three times to fully understand what the question is asking. I think it comes down to my inability to focus. If you guys can give me any helpful tips on HOW TO BETTER FOCUS, that would be wonderful. Thank you. :)
 

secants

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I also parallel the above poster's method. I usually take a monster or Rockstar energy drink before studying/verbal or I too start to lose focus. I'm worried what I'm going to do test day because that stuff really makes you pee a lot!
 

SN2ed

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I don't really think there's a silver bullet here. It's up to you to figure out what it takes to get you to focus. I wouldn't suggest taking energy drinks or pills since that can lead to addiction. I know a couple people in college that got addicted to both. Plus, it sets up a bad precedent.
 
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iA-MD2013

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I don't really think there's a silver bullet here. It's up to you to figure out what it takes to get you to focus. I wouldn't suggest taking energy drinks or pills since that can lead to addiction. I know a couple people in college that got addicted to both. Plus, it sets up a bad precedent.
:thumbup: I agree with this completely! Don't do that.
 

Howzat

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I don't really think there's a silver bullet here. It's up to you to figure out what it takes to get you to focus. I wouldn't suggest taking energy drinks or pills since that can lead to addiction. I know a couple people in college that got addicted to both. Plus, it sets up a bad precedent.

It's really not addiction if you are taking ALL NATURAL SUPPLEMENT with absolutely NO SIDE EFFECTS. People take multi vitamins all the time, it doesnt mean they are "addicted" to multi vitamins..its the same with all natural supplements.
 

Howzat

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I also parallel the above poster's method. I usually take a monster or Rockstar energy drink before studying/verbal or I too start to lose focus. I'm worried what I'm going to do test day because that stuff really makes you pee a lot!

Yes, haha.
 

RoadRunner17

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It's really not addiction if you are taking ALL NATURAL SUPPLEMENT with absolutely NO SIDE EFFECTS. People take multi vitamins all the time, it doesnt mean they are "addicted" to multi vitamins..its the same with all natural supplements.

Just what are you peddling here?
 

Howzat

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Just what are you peddling here?

I am not peddling anything, just saying that when someone uses the word "addiction" - it usually means something negative. and there is difference between taking something which has all natural ingredients vs something that has side effects.
 

Doctor Bagel

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I am not peddling anything, just saying that when someone uses the word "addiction" - it usually means something negative. and there is difference between taking something which has all natural ingredients vs something that has side effects.

All natural doesn't mean free from side effects. However, thanks for not mentioning the name of the supplement. :)

So can we steer the conversation back to non-medication related ways to improve concentration. And if you really feel like you have a medical problem causing lack of focus, it's best to contact your physician about that.
 

spo01

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verbal is all about staying focused and keeping your cool and not getting all anxious. verbal is so ambigious in it's answers that it cant help but be any other way. i know that awful feeling: you start reading then by the end of the first paragraph you start over bc you have no clue what you just read. that feeling of reading the words but not comprehending anything. your mind wonders left and right and up and down and you consciously tell yourself to pay attention to the passage (but is that really good to do?!). that feeling of panic when you dont understand the main idea or what the hell the author just said yet you have a ton of answers that you have no clue what they are asking. then you start doubting your ability, feeling like ****, and well, you get my point.

my grandpa recently told me that maturity is doing something that needs to be done even when you don't want to do it. verbal sucks. reading sucks. and i'd rather watch a g'damn movie then read a stupid book. but we all gotta do this section, and that's only going to come through discipline. control your anxiety by knowing your **** and discipline yourself. i've gone from a 5 avg to a 9 avg in a matter of weeks by just keeping myself together like this.
 

RSAgator

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I drink the occasional rock star, but I think for me the most important thing is to be consistent. The MCAT was really the first time I've ever consistently studied. Find when the best time for you to study is, for me it's the morning. I wake up, go to school, and study for a few hours. I take a little walk around when I feel I've just tossed a lot in my brain and get back to studying. While I'll take the occasional energy drink I think it's a good thing to try avoiding any stimulants because quite frankly you do develop some sort of dependence on them if it's even just a psychological one, and you're not always going to have your rockstar at hand. Develop a schedule, and most importantly stick to it (especially for the first few weeks). It will eventually become more and more routine and just easier to do.
 

FloorMasta

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Thanks a lot for your responses. People have been saying, "you got to focus during the entire test." But I wasn't sure how other people deal with this issue. I have a follow-up questions to you guys then. For those of you who took the actual test (or those who know this for a fact), are we allowed bring coffee or energy drinks to the test center? Or does it depend on test centers?
 

RSAgator

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oh wow just realized the thread was tips on how to focus DURING the test haha. I highly suggest not drinking coffee or energy drinks or anything that will make you need to pee midway through a section. Obviously everyone's body is different but don't try anything new for the test, take it like you've been taking your practices.
 

Coccinelle

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This is what works for me:

1) Always take a 5-10 second breather between verbal passages. I literally look away from the screen and take deep breaths until my mind is clear (of course not for more than a few seconds).

2) After reading a paragraph, look away and verbalize the main point of that paragraph to yourself. It's easier to do after each small paragraph than the whole passage. At the end of the passage, i usually look again at the first paragraph and that helps trigger my memory for the overall point and tone of the author. This is not something that you should spend much time on at all, i.e. you shouldn't waste time writing these things down or trying to perfect the wording of what the paragraph means. Just quickly refresh in your mind what you just read and it will stay with you.

3) Avoid looking back at the passage if you can. There are often questions that seem right simply because when you go back to the passage you find the exact words you saw in the answer. They are traps.

4) Trust your intuition. If you do #1 and 2, then you should have a good understanding of the passage and trust yourself to know the answers even if they seem highly ambiguous.

Hope this helps... good luck! :luck:
 

presto530

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Don't read the timer at the bottom of the screen, or at least only every 2nd or 3rd passage.

It's like chinese water torture watching the seconds tick down, and every time you look at it, you distract yourself from the passage. I did this a LOT and it was a hard habit to break
 

wizenedone

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Don't read the timer at the bottom of the screen, or at least only every 2nd or 3rd passage.

It's like chinese water torture watching the seconds tick down, and every time you look at it, you distract yourself from the passage. I did this a LOT and it was a hard habit to break

Haha. Agreed.
 
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