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Verbal Strategy

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by mm6284, May 4, 2007.

  1. mm6284

    mm6284 2+ Year Member

    Jan 15, 2007
    This question is for people that are scoring above a 10 on the Verbal Reasoning Section... What is your strategy? Do you read the Passage straight through and then do the questions? Do you take notes or "map" the passage?... or Do you read the first paragraph, glance over the questions and then read the rest of the passage?....
    I have been using the EK method but have yet to score over a 10 and I am taking the test on May 16th
    Please help!!
    Thanks :D
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  3. Symphony101

    Symphony101 2+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2007
    I go with the "just do it" strategy. :D

    If you can't get the gist of a passage just by reading it, then try mapping it and see if you get the questions right. However, mapping is so time consuming and not ideal for test day.

    I don't like to glance at the questions until I'm done with a passage. With enough experience/practice for VR, you can pretty much predict what they will ask anyway.
  4. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    I more or less skim the passage and then go to the questions. Then I go to specific sections that apply to each question and re-read those if needed. It seems to work for me, I end my verbal sections (including the real thing) with about 15 minutes to spare. I don't completely kick its ass, but I usually get 12's in practice.
  5. holodynamics

    holodynamics 5+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2007

    I have a lot of problem in VR. My higest score is 9 and I made a 5 in AAMC 8 :thumbdown:
    I am reading "other" stuff - Economist etc for about 2 hours each day. I am also practising 2 passages each day - doing this for like 1 month.

    Any advices? I take about 4:30 min to read the passage as I make sure I read every sentence. Could this be my mistake? :(
  6. Fay

    Fay 7+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    What books/CD do you use to practice?? :)
  7. Symphony101

    Symphony101 2+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2007
    I started out w/Kaplan tests (averaged 11) and went crazy 3 weeks before the actual test w/AAMC's. It's probably not the best idea for PS/BS sections, but for VR I scored very high (14, 13, 15) on the last 3 AAMC's.

    Other than that, I read the NYTimes daily. I've made it a habit since freshman year (we have a free newspaper program at my school) and I go through the opinion & editorial section. You can always read it online, too.

    I have a subscription to the NewYorker, which I think has some intelligent writing (it's also online, free). I read skeptically, and try to constantly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the writing.

    Hope this helps. If not, PM me. :D
  8. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    You know, I never actually practiced for verbal. The only things not science related that I read in the past 6 months were probably the practice exams for the verbal sections. But I've always been a big reader, big ol' bookworm type growing up. So maybe that's why I didn't need the practice.

    I needed much more work on PS and BS, so thats where I devoted all of my time. Try skimming the passage and don't obsess over understanding the intricacies of each setence, just get the general feel for it. Then go back as needed to specific portions of each passage. Time yourself and see if that works for you. It may not be the right approach for you, but its always worth it to test out new strategies before the real thing.
  9. Tensyle

    Tensyle 3 more months 5+ Year Member

    May 4, 2007
    Verbal can be very tricky. You cannot spend 4:30 reading a passage. You dont need to read every sentence either. Just try and predict what is coming next...usually the author gives lots of examples...if it's an example, highlight KEY terms..like the name of the person used in the example. Skim through examples, as you WILL have to read them again if asked a question about it. But as you read the example, ask yourself HOW it supports the author's argument. Also, always paraphrase to yourself what the general IDEA is of each paragraph.

    I take about 3 mins to read a passage, and then spend about 10-15 seconds re-skimming it and thinking about the over-all argument. Then, when I attack the questions, I eliminate as MANY answers as possible, and pick the one that fits closest to the main idea that I formulated. If you have to look back at the passage, KNOW what you are looking for. A general rule of thumb: pick answers that HAVE TO BE TRUE according to the passage...even if a small bit of the answer choice is wrong, its FULLY wrong - you get no credit, so dont try to convince yourself it's right.

    So, while reading, u have to predict what to expect, so you can speed up in some areas while reading slow in other areas. Use POE. If you cant decide between two choices, pick one and KEEP MOVING. No one question is worth the 3 others you can possibly get right, if you move on.

    Hope that helps...keep working at it, you can do it!! I started at like a 5 in VR and now I'm at a 10ish, and ive done thirteen tests so far!!! keep going. :D
  10. singkri

    singkri 2+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2007
    I was just wondering, is there a search box on top of each passage using which you can search for particular terms in the Verbal passage? Time is a big factor for me...sigh.
  11. vicinihil

    vicinihil Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2004
    you can't search or annotate on the real test...aamc lies to you!!!!
  12. medicalmarvel

    medicalmarvel 2+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    in order to have a very good verbal score, the reading speed must be great. you dont worry about whether you are being able to understand everything or not, just get on with it. in the end, you will have a fare enough idea of it, then solve the questions.
  13. Vanguard23

    Vanguard23 5+ Year Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    I found using the highlight feature on the practice tests very helpful. To hell with Kaplan's strategy of writing things down.
  14. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Yea, that mapping strategy works only if you are taking the pencil paper exam. For the CBT it is not practical at all.

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