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Verbal slowless

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by Nasem, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Nasem

    2+ Year Member

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    So, I am planning to take the MCAT this June / July, I seem to have a good grip on the sciences, I started my preparation about 3 weeks ago....

    But the verbal is tearing me a new one (seriously)... this section is tough.

    Here is an example of a Verbal nightmate:
    I just finished a 550 word passage about the most boaring topic on earth (history of ships and the development of sails, very very uninteresting reading, hard to underestand too).... anywho, It took me 14 minutes and 54 seconds to finish the passage and 7 questions.... I managed to get 5 right and 2 wrong....

    I am freaking out becuase I am working these passages too low, and I don't know what to do, no matter how hard I try, I just can't get my reading / comprehension speed to go up

    Any advice on what I can do?
     
  2. swamprat

    Physician Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    practice, practice, practice
     
  3. Ibn Rushd

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    Try forcing yourself to finish reading in four minutes, then, force yourself to answer the questions in four minutes. See what happens when you limit yourself to eight minutes per passage. Try sticking to eight minutes even if you feel you haven't fully comprehended the ideas/message/argument being conveyed. See how you feel and how you perform when you do this. Most people give themselves eight minutes.
     
  4. NeuroChaos

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    verbal is an art..as EK would say it..
    So it will take time. Do not expect to improve with in a week or so.

    Just stick with your practice and over time u will start to see a pattern in the questions, answer choices, and the passage. Do a little bit each day.
    your score of 5/7 is excellent--pretty amazing actually.

    It means that you are understanding the passage, argument, and what the question is asking for. The only culprit may be your reading speed. Increase your reading speed over time...day by day. Do not expect to go from 30 words/min to 60 words/min w/in a day. it will take pracitce. so practice and be patient.

    There is something called speed reader..try googling it. I donot have the website, but I got it from SDN at somepoint. that may be helpful. try that.


    Keep working hard and you will definitely see result.
     
  5. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu...
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    I am working through the Examkrackers 101 Passages VR book right now. I give myself 7.5 minutes per passage (or 52.5 minutes for a 7 passage exam). You get 60 minutes on the real thing...it seems to be helping me speed up.
     
  6. Nasem

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    Ok, I figured out what my big problem is...

    I am 27 years old and I just took a reading speed test... I read approx 160 words per minute (thats if I wanna underestand what my eyes are looking at), if I speed it up to 200 or more, my comprehension drops down to almost nothing.... so there I have it... I am a very slow reader

    I think with this, on the MCAT, I am only going to be able to handle the first 4 passages, then when I have 40 seconds left, I am going to guess my answers for the rest (probebly pick C for everything else).... this is going to destroy my score, I'll be lucky to get a 6
     
  7. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu...
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    You're not taking the test for six months. Get your hands on all the practice verbal material you can find and practice...
     
  8. korsibor

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    Nasem, I understand you perfectly. You're not alone. Same age, same problem and it really hurt me on my first MCAT. I'm working full-time, 12hr shifts and trying to study for this thing. Lets keep practicing. PM me if you have any questions
     
  9. Nasem

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    Alright folks, I did another passage, this one was 578 words... and it was WAYY harder than the first passage I did, this one was about Arcangelo Corelli’s developement of the violin.

    Anyways, to those of you who encouranged me, I wanted to say THANK YOU, I was able to finish this passage in 10 minutes and 51 seconds, out of 7 total questions, I managed to get 4 right, which means, I am learning to drop my time pretty well over the past 3 - 4 days..... I know 10:51 is not 8 minutes, its its WAYYY better than my previous 15 minutes.

    The thing now that is working for me (as NeuroChaos said it best "verbal is an art") as soon as I hit the timer, I scrol down and read the first 4-5 questions (not the answers, just the questions).... This takes about 30 seconds of my time and I do this because it gives me a pretty good idea what the passage is going to be about before I even start reading the first sentense... As I read along, I remember the keys words from the questions, which helps me return back to the question everytime I find something similar in the passage...

    One thing I learned is, even thought my reading speed SUCKS, I can relay heavily on my short term memory and concentration power to get through this verbal nightmare lol

    Anyways, wish me luck, I am planning to drop my time to a good 7-8 minutes per passage, and keep my accuracy to over 50%
     
  10. Nasem

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    one thing I forgot to mention is, the passages I am using are from the free trial version of this verbal book from here:

    www.inquartashop.com

    You can download the PDF for free which has 5 trial passages, so far I've done 2, I don't know how representitive they are of the real verbal, but they are not easy reads.
     
  11. minhaj

    minhaj Awesomeness Incarnate
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    Usually how fast you read does not really matter because an average reader fast enough to finish the test in time. But in your case, I think your reading speed is holding you back. Have you tried www.spreeder.com? It is a free website that has a program that can help you speed up your reading. You have to simply copy paste any paragraph/article and hit play. It will throw words at you at a pre-determined speed. You can slowly work your way up to 300-400 words per minute. You have six months! you could improve a lot.
     
  12. SN2ed

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    I think you have two problems. First, you're probably getting too caught up in the minute details of the passage. You do NOT need to know that much depth. When reading, you want to grab the main idea and the author's feelings. NEVER re-read anything. Your reading speed isn't the problem. 160 words per minute is more than enough. With that speed, you should be able to finish reading a passage in ~4 minutes. By the way, I also read very slowly.

    Another issue is that you're letting yourself get bored by these passages. You must attack every passage and treat it like it's the most interesting thing you've ever read. True, this is a hard skill to master, but you have time. If you let yourself get tricked into losing focus, you will do badly. It doesn't matter how many words per minute you could read if you easily get distracted and bored. Attack those passages.

    I strongly encourage you to read Vihsadas's guide on verbal:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=6022602&postcount=96
     

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