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Verbal Tactics to think about...

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by ancientmd, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. I was reading a post made quite awhile ago by someone named Mike. He (I assume) outlined a strategy for attacking the verbal where one does the natural sciences first, followed by the social sciences, and saves the humanities for last. Is anyone out there utilizing this strategy... does it work? I am going to try it. The post also said to read only the first and last paragraphs, skimming the others. Does this work? Please let me know! I am floating between 8 and 9 on my exams, but think that this strategy might be helpful because most of the stuff in passages is just fluff... so it seems

    Please tell me your strategies as far as skimming etc. and skipping passages

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  3. Mike59

    Mike59 Sweatshop FP in Ontario 7+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2001
    The inner-net
    I have throughly read and tried Mike's (a different mike :) ) method, and it didn't work for me. In my opinion, he's right on in terms of looking for the main idea, but I much rather prefer reading the whole passage (as opposed to skimming). I feel your pain about 8's and 9's, that's what I was getting on TPR and Kaplan stuff a couple of weeks back while trying that method. The "read first and last paragraphs for main idea" trick is very difficult when you have those annoying passages that are only three paragraphs but each have like 250 words, Or science passages that are broken up into about 15 small paragraphs.

    In terms of skipping passages, I'm not a big fan of that either. I just knock em down in order (per Examcrackers). I've since gone back to reading the whole passage, reading for the main idea, and going back to the passage as little as possible. When I do AAMC exams, I score in the mid 50's/65, which leads me to believe that once you learn to read for the main idea (however your technique), stick to AAMC stuff (which best approximates the exam style) and hope for the best.

    His info may have been very helpful to some, but I have found a little more success using other methods. It's a matter of whatever works best for you. GOOD LUCK!:)
  4. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    i wouldn't skip/skim paragraphs either. sometimes there are detail questions, and you won't know them unless you've read each paragraph. even worse, you might not know which paragraph the answer is in if you've only skimmed. anyway, that's just how i feel about it. maybe it works for other people, but i end up wasting a lot more time looking for answers when i don't carefully read the passage than i do when carefully read the passage. in the end, it takes me less time/passage to read and answer the questions when i carefully read the passage.
  5. AlternateSome1

    AlternateSome1 Burnt Out Physician 10+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2002
    It seems like it would be a little silly for a verbal comprehension section to not require all of the reading. I guess it is a standardized test though...

  6. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel 10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 2001
  7. turk00

    turk00 Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2002
    What Mike meant by "skimming" was to read each paragraph by all means, just don't get hassled by all the details it presents, or how the arguments are presented (wordiness, etc.). Instead, paraphrase each paragraph and understand what its main purpose is in relation to the main idea of the entire passage, and move on. Basically, speed read through these sections but at the same time jot down a note as to what idea the paragraph is portraying, that way if you get a detail question you can refer back to the paragraph that contains the answer. The other questions deal with inferences or logic (structure of author's argument)...which you should be able to get from a general understanding of the main idea of the passage or the notes you took as to the main idea of each paragraph. Everything else seems to be "fillers" that would only contribute to slowing down the readers who are trying to capture every little detail in the passage. Remember, time counts, so skimming is a good idea (actively skimming is what i would call it, read fast, but get the idea of each paragraph). Good luck everyone.
  8. DrBravesgirl

    DrBravesgirl Surgeon for a year 7+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2002
    what do you guys think of reading question stems before reading the passage to get an idea of what to look for? or is that counterproductive and just a time-waster?
  9. lady bug

    lady bug 7+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    I think thats a major time-waster. I can hardly finish it as it is! Verbal is driving me crazzzzzyyyy! :( :(
  10. DrBravesgirl

    DrBravesgirl Surgeon for a year 7+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2002
    see, that's my problem too. i was always finishing my kaplan full-length verbal sections, but i didn't finish the real thing. i don't really get that. nerves? i'm trying to find SOMETHING and ANYTHING to help me get through it quicker and i thought maybe knowing what to look for might make things go faster....sigh. guess i'll have to invent a new tactic
    :confused: :confused:

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