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Verbal-> predictor of med school performance

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by debuci, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. debuci

    debuci New Member

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    Hey

    Did anyone heard this before? My friend's kaplan teacher said to her that studies have shown that Verbal score by itself is the most consistent predictor of how well students do in med school. Have anyone heard or known of such studies?

    Thanks
    just curious here.
     
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  3. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Bloody Plumber
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    I don't remember that from my Kaplan class and I don't know if it's true. Not that I would complain if it were true.... and at least no one said the best predictor was PS!
     
  4. Chris127

    Chris127 Senior Member
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    Wouldnt be surprised.

    I am learning now that college is all reading. If you are an effective reader, meaning you are able to read at a moderate speed and retain and comprehend what you just read, then the easier school may be.
     
  5. MollyMalone

    MollyMalone I'm a Score Quadruplet
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    Apparently MCAT VR score has the highest correlation of any indicator (GPA, overall MCAT, etc.) with Step 1 score... or, at least, that's my understanding of where that idea comes from.
     
  6. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl
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    Oh my God!!! There's hope for me yet.
     
  7. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    i've heard this over and over again from varying sources. i've also heard its the most important (weighted most highly) section of your MCAT for adcommers.
    -mota
     
  8. shift_roro

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    uh.. that sucks :(
     
  9. debuci

    debuci New Member

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    I don't know why they bother giving PS and BS in MCAT then. Just more torture and more justification to charge a fortune to take the fking test.

    Though I doubt that weighing heavily is true bc many people I know score higher in VR than the other two and still had trouble getting interviews.
     
  10. Dakota

    Dakota Senior Member
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    I've also heard this before . . . including from one interviewer at UConn who said they consider the MCAT in general, but the verbal score in particular to be a very good (possibly said best, can't remember exactly tho) indicator of future medical school performance. I have not, however, found anything substantiative.

    However, in terms of the general correlation between MCAT and boards, this is a fairly interesting read . . . (or perhaps uninteresting . . . surprise! there's a correlation :eek: )

    http://www.academicmedicine.org/cgi/content/full/80/10/910
     
  11. Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell Senior Member
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    I heard prep courses were spreading around that rumor. I wouldn't trust Kaplan. That company can't even put together a decent practice test. I doubt they conducted any research on med school performance based on MCAT sections.

    I heard the physical science section was the best predictor. I don't know why the biological science section wouldn't be.
     
  12. osli

    osli Senior Member
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    Probably because med school and being a doctor isn't just about memorizing facts.
     
  13. funshine

    funshine at the fateful hour
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    That's funny...I think all it takes to get a good verbal score is 1.) basic reading comprehension (no more than is required for SATs or AP English) and 2.) a lot of intuition. During the whole MCAT verbal section, I kept thinking "WHO is writing these questions? They're so unfair...it'd be easy to mess up. I often wanted to choose a different answer, yet I usually still "knew" what answer they wanted. Weird...
    Maybe what they're finding is that people with stellar verbal scores tend to be good test takers. Nothing more.
     
  14. USArmyDoc

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    This is interesting. I was told that verbal was the most important also who happen to know one of the adcoms at a school.
     
  15. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    i think its more that you can take information about something you have very little background about and then apply that information to whatever question you are being asked. yes- some of those questions were ridiculous at times and i always thought 2 answers were equally right. but its all about learning a certain system of answering questions. which is i guess what doctors do. a lot of applying information you've just recently gathered to make certain decisions.
    -mota
     
  16. Saluki

    Saluki 1K Member
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    Good news for me and the rest of the humanities people:) If that's true, I no longer have to wonder about getting an interview invite from Harvard, just await its arrival :laugh:
     
  17. erin682

    erin682 Senior Member
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    Med school GPA is really and truly related to how hard you work and how well you memorize. This is not all that related to the MCAT. There are studies that show that MCAT is correlated to Step 1 score.
     
  18. lattimer13

    lattimer13 good boy!
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    yeah, i've heard the rumors about this...never actually looked to see if there were any studies to support such a claim.

    my $0.02, i did very poorly on the verbal section of the MCAT, w/ avg to just above avg scores on the other sections and ended up well above the mean on step I and have done well thus far in classes and on rotations (sorry but i don't like to share scores). so in my case the MCAT didn't predict jack for me...perhaps i'm one of the few that don't fall w/in the 95% on the bell curve.

    i agree with the above post about hard work and getting good grades in med school. in addition, IMHO the MCAT and Step 1 are two completely different tests.
     
  19. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    i agree with this statement. some schools are pass/not pass. and so your residency placement is entirely dependent on your step 1 scores and LORs. so for these schools, a lot more weight rests on the board scores since no med school GPA exists. you have to work pretty hard for good board scores too.
    -mota
     
  20. lynn42

    lynn42 Senior Member
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    I have a hard time correlating success in med school with one exam section taken on one day! Personally, I didn't do so well on the ACT/SAT's, but I worked very hard in college and did well. There was absolutely no link between my standardized test score and success in college. Similarly, I can guarantee I will do well in med school because I am so dedicated and motivated, not because I can score well in verbal. I did poorly on the verbal section, yet I still have an acceptance (when I say poorly, I mean REALLY CRAPPY). I also have a total of 12 interviews so far (including one at Yale). I thought for sure I wouldn't get any interviews or acceptances with my verbal score. However, I am living proof that a poor verbal (or MCAT) score will not necessarily keep you from being a doctor. I've learned that the ADCOM looks at the whole package. Now- that's not to say that some schools aren't number fanatics. It depends on the school. Some schools look at the verbal section more than the others and vice versa. I know a good score doesn't hurt, but if one has a lower MCAT, it is NOT the end of the world. :luck:
     
  21. CTSballer11

    CTSballer11 Senior Member
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    I was told many times that med school is just sitting down and memorizing a ton of facts.
     
  22. Zweihander

    Zweihander Billygoat Gruff
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    If you think the MCAT is expensive, wait until you have to start shelling out big bank for the board exams! :scared: :scared: :scared:
     
  23. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    true. i would even argue the same thing for college
    -mota
     
  24. Zweihander

    Zweihander Billygoat Gruff
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    Not true. You can do that, of course, but it's not more effective than just studying for comprehension. Further, a bunch of memorized facts won't allow you to interpret data the way you need to in order to be a good clinician.
     
  25. Faust

    Faust Senior Member
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    Verbal or MCAT does not predict jack $hit. Standardized tests are gatekeepers. Their sole purpose is to keep people out.
     
  26. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    or...to get people IN. i think we all know who the pessimist is here.
    -mota
     
  27. StevenRF

    StevenRF Senior Member
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    I didn't do so hot on my verbal for SAT, and it probably prevented me from getting into the very top undergrad colleges. Im sure my not so hot verbal on the MCAT will do the same. Anyone else completely despise the verbal section??? There is hope though... the USMLE doesn't have verbal :love:

    BTW, I can't understand how that verbal section correlates at all with real life. According to my SAT and MCAT I should be illiterate. :laugh:
     
  28. 2DEG

    2DEG Senior Member
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    "We do not torture" - George W. Bush.
     
  29. USArmyDoc

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    We don't! ;) We just play a little rough. I am okay with that! :thumbup:

    Anyway, off the politics. I agree with FAUST. The MCAT is designed to keep you out.
     
  30. Faust

    Faust Senior Member
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    For every one person that is let in two are turned away. More people are sent away than accepted. Thus the gatekeeper metaphor is not something based on pessimism, but governed by real facts. If the MCAT was designed to allow people in then more people would be accepted than rejected.
     
  31. Minion677

    Minion677 Senior Member
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    i thought it was just a way for my princeton review verbal teacher to get me to attend class :rolleyes:
     
  32. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    that's if you're assuming that the MCAT is the sole determinant to get you in or out. if only half as many people applied as usual this year than your logic would be faulty. not the mcat's fault.
    -mota
     
  33. Faust

    Faust Senior Member
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    One day, I hope you get what I mean kid. It is not about logic. It is about the AMA. Investigate primary sources and do some deep research of why the MCAT exists. And if you still believe I am making assumptions or using faulty logic after doing the research then I will mail you a cracker.
     
  34. I agree with this statement! Being a strong reader who retains and comprehends info well is crucial to success in practically all standardized testing. And I know this because I have something better than scientifc evidence. I have anecdotal evidence. :rolleyes:
     
  35. ahumdinger

    ahumdinger Senior Member
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    You're not out of the woods yet! There's a hell of a lot of reading on the step 1. It's all about reading a clinical vigniette and being able to extract the relevant information and drawing conclusions. typical pre-meds are notoriously bad at verbal because in most undergrad science classes, you don't have to draw your own conclusions about what you read. You just accept it. However, med school, and the USMLE, is about critical reading, which is what the verbal section tests. So I am not at all surprised that there are claims to VR being the section correlated with success on the USMLE. My advice-- practice reading and thinking about what you read! Editorials, scientific papers, etc, are all good practice for med school. There's really no other good way to be better at it... that's why I don't teach verbal at Kaplan, my teaching method would consist of: "here's how to find the right answer to this question--- you read the passage, and find the answer."
     
  36. CTSballer11

    CTSballer11 Senior Member
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    It is a good thing you are not a lawyer. Anecdotal evidence is not evidence.
     
  37. Zweihander

    Zweihander Billygoat Gruff
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    Fantastic post. This couldn't be truer. :thumbup:
     
  38. jebus

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    Why not? That's how I did it. Seriously.
    Oh, and to the person promising crackers: I get what you're saying, can you mail me a cracker?
     
  39. funshine

    funshine at the fateful hour
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    true, although in standardized tests, I think some people end up learning/following the system without even knowing what it is they're doing. Some people always do well on standardized tests and multiple choice, but when it comes to essay, they're stuck. And teaching others what they've learned? Forget it.
     
  40. funshine

    funshine at the fateful hour
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    I've noticed that the people who do poorly in verbal just don't read enough. And they refuse to read when you tell them that's all they need to do to prepare...b/c they hate reading that much.
     
  41. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    so true.
    -mota
     
  42. debuci

    debuci New Member

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    Thanks for all your 2 cents... now it's like equal to a dollar 40.

    I'm in my 2nd year in a top 20 med school. I got a really bad verbal score 2 years back (veritably embarrassing). I could have sworn that's the reason why I didn't get called by the big schools but i'm mellow now. I think.

    I used to think it's BS that verbal can be such a predictive factor but now I wonder. As I sit here right now studying for my umpteenth exam memorizing just an amazing amount of information, I wonder whether being a better verbal reasoner would make life easier or get me more honors grades. I'm a phys science guy through and through and think in terms of abstract concepts and numbers in college so there lies my problem.

    I also heard from a very reliable source (a radiology chair who selects residents) that Step one is a great indicator of residency performance, as opposed to step two, and I believe him.

    However, I think step one and Mcat VR are different animals. MCAT passages are pulled out from someone's malodorous cloaca. They're dry and unnecessarily dull and ridiculous in its pretentious intellectual tone and obscureness. Med literature, in particular case studies on which step one is based, can be very interesting and really justifies all this mindless brain stuffing.
     
  43. StevenRF

    StevenRF Senior Member
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    Ahh but I can do the physical and social science stuff. What killed me was one or two passages on some philosophy or art. Of the 9-11 pasages I would get 8-9 completely correct and bomb 1 or 2. BTW this is what I meant by "verbal"... oh well, I guess Im the only one that hates those...
     
  44. WholeLottaGame7

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    I think it's obvious that the number of medical school students is kept at a certain level, and I think that some many qualified students do not get admitted. However, if it wasn't the MCAT "keeping them out," then it would just be GPA or something else, something probably more subjective, like all these one-shot interviews. It's not like if the MCAT disappeared, all of a sudden more people would get into medical schools.
     
  45. argonana

    argonana SDN Donor
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    I agree completely. I'm a slow reader and therefore didn't have much time to read for pleasure in college...I really struggled to get an 11 on VR.


    I'd have to side with the pro-MCATers, by the way. :thumbup:
     
  46. Centinel

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    Great; then we can all agree that legislation prohibiting torture should not affect current practices, and as such there should be no opposition to its passage!
     
  47. DarkFark

    DarkFark Senior Member
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    Good point. I can only imagine that whatever they replace the MCAT with would be far more random and arbitrary; more people would apply, but the same number would get in, meaning more would have to be blocked later in the process.
     
  48. masterMood

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    I'm a living example that if you work hard for verbal multiple choice you will get better. I'm better at science and math than verbal.


    On my PSATS I got 1180. SAT I - 1250 (620 verbal 630 math).
    SAT 2nd time 1450 (690 M 760 Verbal)
    SAT in writing 600

    I am a terible writer and extremely hard for me sometime to explain general things. In fact, I find it much easier to write very technical essays and explaining things that are very mechanical. I think verbal multple choice questions are like that too. Do not assume what you think is right or wrong in the passage, the statements are said in stone in the passage. Do not assume that the author is using "creative" language to express his ideas. When people write, they write what they think. So you need to realize what they are thinking when they write and when you figure this out (took me like 2 months of practice to do this), you will do well on those damn verbal sections.

    Also, I think it's not enough to just to read hard technical stuff and make your own opinions. It might be beneficial to read mcat verbal **** passages and read them if you only care about improving your score. But as people said previously, it seems as though that the critical thinking high verbal scoring people have is a quality you have to maintain through med. school (and not just cram for the mcat). As to how to improve this naturally and consciously, I don't know how to do this.

    Now if anyone can explain how to improve writing I'm all ears.
     
  49. crazy_cavalier

    crazy_cavalier T3-Weighted
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    Totally agree with this. :thumbup:
     
  50. BooMed

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    :clap: :clap: :clap:
     
  51. it.

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    verbal sucks. i've got verbal-ADD-itis. i'd be given a passage:

    and kinda like the way you took a glance at that and said to yourself, "**** reading that", i think i subconsciously did that during the real mcat. so when i "read", this happened:

    now i've realized what i've done, and i'm thinkin, "wtf, goddamnit, son of a..."
    so now i'm :confused: and i go over the passage again, sometimes just as absentmindedly as before. then i'm kinda :mad: and i start to blame my situation on churchill all of a sudden...always-constipated-lookin, british, tea-sipping bastard...
     

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