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RSum

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Jan 4, 2011
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Hey everyone,

As I review several verbal exams, (I am thankful to AAMC Score report for pointing this out), I noticed that I miss A LOT of problems on "Comprehension." The types of problems that I may miss are:

-According to passage
-The author asserts, states or implies
-Statement probably refers to
-Term refers to
-Passage most clearly suggests

I understand that I have a very low Verbal score but the only way to improve is to critically understand what I am getting wrong and how to improve it! Which is why I wanted to ask what you all think? Specifically, what can I do during the test to try and improve on this? (Ex: Go back more, take more time on passage, etc)

I feel like I get a decent grasp on the main idea and I do well on the "Application" type questions but everything else seems pretty bad. Please help :confused:
 

IRASNA

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This comes with practice. Eventually you be able to read a passage, get the points in your head, AND understand what the author's point is. I used to "map" passages, but now I just straight read it and find the purpose of the article and write that down. Try reading articles from the Economist or New Yorker and write down what the author is talking about and why. Practice makes perfect!
 

Medical Muse

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I think the best choice for you might be to preview the questions before you start reading. Pick two of the question stems that give you the most difficulty and look for those while you read. Don't pick any questions involving inference or implication because they are usually too hard to find. When you read the passage, look for the answers to those two questions that you picked as well as the main idea.
 
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TieuBachHo

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Hey everyone,

As I review several verbal exams, (I am thankful to AAMC Score report for pointing this out), I noticed that I miss A LOT of problems on "Comprehension." The types of problems that I may miss are:

-According to passage
-The author asserts, states or implies
-Statement probably refers to
-Term refers to
-Passage most clearly suggests

I understand that I have a very low Verbal score but the only way to improve is to critically understand what I am getting wrong and how to improve it! Which is why I wanted to ask what you all think? Specifically, what can I do during the test to try and improve on this? (Ex: Go back more, take more time on passage, etc)

I feel like I get a decent grasp on the main idea and I do well on the "Application" type questions but everything else seems pretty bad. Please help :confused:
Application questions can be easy if you understand the scope of the passage. For now, when you read each paragraph, stop and ask yourself what is its purpose? How does it play into the overall cope of the passage. Each one must serve a point, otherwise it wouldn't be there. Don't time yourself yet, but read fast as you would do in normal VR practices.

-According to passage --> THIS IS THE AUTHOR'S POINT OF VIEW.

-The author asserts, states or implies --> TRY NOT TO USE OUTSIDE KNOWLEDGE AND KEEP IT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE PASSGE ITSELF.

-Statement probably refers to --> USE THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION TO CROSS OUT THE WRONG ANSWERS.

-Term refers to --> READ AT LEAST 2 SENTENCES B4 AND 2 SENTENCES AFTER TO FIGURE IT OUT.

-Passage most clearly suggests --> THE OVERALL PURPOSE OF THE PASSAGE.
 

RSum

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Application questions can be easy if you understand the scope of the passage. For now, when you read each paragraph, stop and ask yourself what is its purpose? How does it play into the overall cope of the passage. Each one must serve a point, otherwise it wouldn't be there. Don't time yourself yet, but read fast as you would do in normal VR practices.

-According to passage --> THIS IS THE AUTHOR'S POINT OF VIEW.

-The author asserts, states or implies --> TRY NOT TO USE OUTSIDE KNOWLEDGE AND KEEP IT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE PASSGE ITSELF.

-Statement probably refers to --> USE THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION TO CROSS OUT THE WRONG ANSWERS.

-Term refers to --> READ AT LEAST 2 SENTENCES B4 AND 2 SENTENCES AFTER TO FIGURE IT OUT.

-Passage most clearly suggests --> THE OVERALL PURPOSE OF THE PASSAGE.

THANKS. Along with everyone else, that is very helpful. Another question I have though is, sometimes after summarizing a paragraph, I have trouble reconstructing in my head what exactly was said. I try to "read with arrogance" forgetting minor details but sometimes I just don't know if it was me not focusing well on reading that particular part of the passage or if it is simply "a confusing paragraph that is more than likely confusing to others reading too." Does that make any sense? In other words, I am not quite sure where to critique myself in that aspect
 

Jay2910

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Hello Everyone,

I am totally happy that you brought this up RSum! Cause I have almost the exact same issues.

How do you all, tackle, the "What is the most relevant/what is least relevant" types of questions? A lot of times, for this one, I get the overall idea . . and I convince myself, using evidence from the paragraphs, to eliminate choices to find, what I think is the right answer. However, I find it very subjective cause, ( and this happens in the EK 1001 Verbal a lot), the authors have justified their answer in the other way. Then I end up, convincing myself the answer is right . . but I don't know how to apply it to a similar question of a different passage. Any tips on how to conquer this?
 
May 26, 2010
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thanks. Along with everyone else, that is very helpful. Another question i have though is, sometimes after summarizing a paragraph, i have trouble reconstructing in my head what exactly was said. I try to "read with arrogance" forgetting minor details but sometimes i just don't know if it was me not focusing well on reading that particular part of the passage or if it is simply "a confusing paragraph that is more than likely confusing to others reading too." does that make any sense? In other words, i am not quite sure where to critique myself in that aspect

rsum: Abilities with reconstructing the passage needs good practice, and I believe this can require outside sources/coaches/competition since your current behaviors/reading styles are not cutting it. . . you need new influences that your brain can use to MODEL off of as it adapts memory strategies. Most of my advice depends on having someone you can study with.. . . Eg, Read the passage as fast as you can, then give your friend the passage. Have them verbally quiz you on some of the stuff they see, like, names, places, order of events, etc. This can be a good dynamic way of building your memory powers by immediately correcting mistakes outloud. Even better, as I have suggested before, is racing another MCAT studier side by side with the same passage, then immediately discussing what you read to see what each other missed or mixed up. Verbal with friends helped me improve much more rapidly.:thumbup:

jay2910 said:
hello everyone,

i am totally happy that you brought this up rsum! Cause i have almost the exact same issues.

How do you all, tackle, the "what is the most relevant/what is least relevant" types of questions? A lot of times, for this one, i get the overall idea . . And i convince myself, using evidence from the paragraphs, to eliminate choices to find, what i think is the right answer. However, i find it very subjective cause, ( and this happens in the ek 1001 verbal a lot), the authors have justified their answer in the other way. Then i end up, convincing myself the answer is right . . But i don't know how to apply it to a similar question of a different passage. Any tips on how to conquer this?

For these types of questions, go in assuming that all of the answers are a little bit relevant to some part of the passage. That way, you stop looking for the right answer and then move into POE. I would eliminate answers that are relevant to some specific reference in the passage that is not representative of the main idea. Eg, if an answer choice supports the research of Dr X but Dr X was used to transition to introduce such-and-such theories (the main idea), then this is likely the wrong answer choice since it is not relevant to the main idea. I felt like there were lots of attractors like this.

Once you have eliminated answer choices that are relevant to the wrong parts of the passage, you need to address how much your imagination skews your perspective of "relevance". Your imagination is likely guilty of making inferences about the topics. Every inference you make then leads to secondary and tertiary inferences. . . now, you are WAY off point. The trick is figuring out which answer choice fits the question: For MOST RELEVANT question then you need the answer that uses the least amount of imagination. For the LEAST RELEVANT you need to use the most amount of imagination. How to do this?? Judge how many assumptions do you make to find relevance in the answer. This is gray area skills and for me I did not develop it on my own, but with discussions with others.

Hope this helps!!! Keep fishing for strategies that suit your learning styles and remember to maintain the changes through future practice. It is very common to make the changes for a few passages, do well, then get tired, and revert back to original bad habits. Positive and frequent affirmations of things to do and not to do . . . PLUS happy dances to increase your sense of awesomeness are key. :):luck:
 
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