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Verbal Reasoning Help

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by NTS3, Jul 14, 2001.

  1. NTS3

    NTS3 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2001
    I need help with the verbal reasoning section of the MCAT! I have taken several Kaplan VR section tests (like the one in the home study notes), AAMC practice test 3 VR section and Kaplan full length 1. I can't do better than a 7 (no good!) I got a 5 on the VR Kaplan full length 1 (decent for the first one on the other sections). What does everyone recommend to improve. I need lots of help obviously. Thanks.
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  3. BeckyG

    BeckyG Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2001
    Hi NTS3,

    There was a post on the "Everyone" page within the last month that said something like "Verbal Reasoning Help - for those who want to know." I never read the post, but it may be useful to you. I'm not sure what advice anyone can give you without knowing where you are having problems.

    So, I guess the best thing to figure out is: 1) is it a timing issue (either going too fast or too slow) or 2) is it a comprehension issue (either getting too absorbed in one passage at the expense of others or that you just aren't "getting it" with some passages)? These are the things most people have to work through with VR, I think. If you are taking a prep course, get extra help from your VR instructor. If not, try getting the book "Reading Smart" by the Princeton Review. It teaches you how to read faster without compromising comprehension. It was helpful to me.

    However, if you are planning on the August MCAT, the best thing to do is identify where you are having the problem(s) and then create a strategy to deal with it. Some people go through all the passages, knowing they will miss a few questions, while others sacrifice getting to all the passages for higher accuracy on the ones that they do read. Obviously, reading all of them with 100% accuracy is ideal, but for most of us in a timed test, we have to sacrifice one for the other. Try a few different approaches on practice tests and then pick a strategy and go with it. Good luck!
  4. kreno

    kreno Candy Man 7+ Year Member

    Jul 7, 2001
    Hey I know where you're coming from.. I'm having a lot of trouble also on verbal. I started with 6-7's, now I'm up to 8-9s.. but its still way low for what i want. I know i'm not an idiot, i just seem to blow at reading i guess. I'm particularly worried 'cuz my physical and biological scores range in about 11-13 consistently... so i don't want a BIG differene in scores between the sciences and verbal.

    Anyway, what help me thus far is simple... I read in an examkracker book to basically stop all the BS tactics involved in kaplan/TPR and just try something unheard of... sit back, read the passage at your own pace, and then answer the questions (not going back to the passage every question for confirmation unless you ABSOLUTELY need to). What I found was spectacular.... VR became a lot more enjoyable and I did a lot better - AND i was finishing (the most important part). I hope to have 10's 11's by august 18th. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE

  5. Dylann FMD

    Dylann FMD Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2001
    Hey NTS3:

    I know where you are coming from. When I first started taking the VR tests I got like a 6. That was in December. By the time the april test came around, I was up to a 12. I had problems with both areas that Becky mentioned--I couldn't finish them in time, and the ones I did read i couldn't comprehend.

    The biggest thing I did was read. I read everything. Newspapers, editorials, textbooks, research papers, cereal boxes--anything I saw. It had been years since I had picked up a book, so I had not been aware how much ground I had lost.

    With all of these things, I read for comprehension. A lot of times I noticed that I had read the whole section and didn't have a clue what it was about--big problem. When I looked at my scores, I realized I would get all the questions right on one section and nothing right on another, mainly because I didn't particularly care for that section! That won't work for med schools, I can guarantee you. The solution is to bite the bullet and read stuff you don't like. The final thing was to look at strategy. There are like eight types or categories of questions. As you go through the section, classify them in the back of your head. I will try to see if I can dig those up.

    But that was the last step--start by practicing, and pay attention to speed. I cut the reading time in half.

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