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verbal: difficult reading (ex. economist)? some psgs 100%, others 0% correct

jakefsu

Full Member
Sep 29, 2009
36
0
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    ok so, for example, a practice exam. 7 passages.
    3 of the passages i can get all the questions right.
    the other 3 passages i can do ok - miss 1 or 2 per passage.
    than there is one passage where i blank at- miss about 5 questions.

    I've done 3 aamc, and half way done with EK101 verbal. On 2 of the aamcs, I had 1 of these blank passages. On the other aamc, I had 2 where I blanked on. An on EK101, after 45 passages, I've blanked on 7 passages. And no I don't believe on the one "killer" passage.

    I tried putting the passage I miss at in a specific category (ex. humanities, social economics, etc) but it varies. I don't think it's the passage type, I think it is more that the passage is very foreign. Often has vocab I don't understand. Material I've never seen or even heard of (yeah, we all know you don't need background knowledge, but it sure helps if you know what they are talking about, ha). I just find the passage very hard to read. Confusing. Very long sentences. Usually not a whole picture, passage looks to be more of a part extracted from a larger picture.

    Any advice where I can find the most difficult reading (ny times, economist, etc.) or practice (maybe kaplan's mcat 45?) material?
     

    Parthenon89

    Full Member
    10+ Year Member
    5+ Year Member
    Aug 12, 2007
    298
    0
    1. Pre-Dental
      from what I've practiced, you don't want to try to identify the type of passage that it is. that really doesn't matter, scientific or humanities or social, the author will still have an opinion about what he's writing.

      your job is to read to understand his arguments and read to find potential flaws in his argument. you want to read like a "douche", what i mean is that read like a professor who just wants to find errors in the author's reasoning, but at the same time you have to realize the point the author is trying to make. Don't try to memorize any 'key words' in the passage, just read to understand.

      And I don't think reading the ny times or economist will help you. even with the most complex passages, if you take step back and look at the whole passage, you'll realize the main idea, which is all that you really need. recognizing the author's tone also helps.

      And use the question stems. Those things are sometimes more useful than the passage itself. Look for answers that have the same tone/voice/vocabulary as the passage and DON'T go with what seems like the obvious choice. Obvious choice answers usually LOOK right, until you really take them into consideration.

      good luck.
       

      Excelsius

      Carpe Noctem
      10+ Year Member
      Apr 6, 2008
      1,667
      12
        ok so, for example, a practice exam. 7 passages.
        3 of the passages i can get all the questions right.
        the other 3 passages i can do ok - miss 1 or 2 per passage.
        than there is one passage where i blank at- miss about 5 questions.

        I've done 3 aamc, and half way done with EK101 verbal. On 2 of the aamcs, I had 1 of these blank passages. On the other aamc, I had 2 where I blanked on. An on EK101, after 45 passages, I've blanked on 7 passages. And no I don't believe on the one "killer" passage.

        I tried putting the passage I miss at in a specific category (ex. humanities, social economics, etc) but it varies. I don't think it's the passage type, I think it is more that the passage is very foreign. Often has vocab I don't understand. Material I've never seen or even heard of (yeah, we all know you don't need background knowledge, but it sure helps if you know what they are talking about, ha). I just find the passage very hard to read. Confusing. Very long sentences. Usually not a whole picture, passage looks to be more of a part extracted from a larger picture.

        Any advice where I can find the most difficult reading (ny times, economist, etc.) or practice (maybe kaplan's mcat 45?) material?

        There's your problem. It doesn't matter if you know about the given material or not - none of us knows about everything. Just be as well-rounded as possible. But when you don't understand a word, you're pretty much done. One word can contain an entire idea. Also, when you come across it, it could be like a speed bump - your momentum will be broken and you'll have a circuit hangup in your cortex trying to figure out what that word meant while your optic nerve is still trying to make out the letters in the rest of the passage, without engaging comprehension.

        Reading the right materials can be very useful, but only if you peruse them. That means that you have to read actively and make sure that you look up every word you don't understand and memorize it. Any original books in philosophy will be challenging. You can start with Nietzsche (easier to read) and end with Kant (incomprehensible at times). In terms of periodicals, look into the New Yorker or the Atlantic. In terms of vocabulary, check out the Word Smart volumes by TPR, written for SAT/GRE. All this requires time and habits. This won't work if you have a test coming up in few weeks (unless you're planning on reading full-time, to the exclusion of the other sections on the MCAT).
         
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