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verbal, verbal, verbal...PLEASE HELP.


New Member
Jan 22, 2010
    I'm retaking the mcat because I did horrible on VR on my first one.
    I took the Kaplan prep course the first time around but didn't really use their mapping strategy for VR (or for any other sections..but the science sections didn't give me any trouble).

    Now that I'm studying for the mcat again and trying to really focus on VR, I just don't know where to start/what to do. For those of you that did use Kaplan's mapping method, did it actually work on your test day? For those of you that disapprove of Kaplan's mapping, why do you think it doesn't work and what did you use to study? I've been using EK 101 Passages over the last couple weeks but I don't really know how to use this book effectively to improve my score. Are there any other good resources/books that I can use to prepare for VR? I'm so desperate. Other tips/guidelines regarding VR would be very very helpful. Please help me!


    Full Member
    Oct 21, 2009
    1. Medical Student
      Disclaimer: I haven't taken the MCAT yet.

      That said, I find EK Verbal Reasoning very straightforward. Read the passage, answer the questions. Get an understanding of the author, their point of view, the reason for writing the article.

      What seemed to help me is to think of the passage as jumping into the middle of an article, skipping the introduction and conclusion. It doesn't make sense as a complete article, because it isn't one. We're always taught to "tell them what you're going to say, say it, then tell them what you said". Intro, body, conclusion. You're just getting the body and need to figure out the intro and conclusion. Sort of like a riddle. If you approach the passage in that fashion, it might make a little more sense.

      Otherwise there is some very good advice in the stickies about studying for VR - from people who have actually taken it!


      Full Member
      10+ Year Member
      Nov 10, 2008
      1. Medical Student
        Seconded on EK 101. The first two passages I did I scored very low, but as you go through you quickly figure out the way you need to think. You've got 101 passages. Take one, review, understand why those were the right answer, take another one, repeat. It can be very annoying, especially when it's some petty little thing involving wording (Oh, sorry I didn't know that if it was explicitly stated, it's not an assumption) but don't try to argue or reason with the book, or the test. If you got it wrong, you are wrong and it is right, even when you may actually be right. Don't overthink.

        In your everyday life, read stuff. Ideally it would be something like The Economist, but do it for everything you read. Ask yourself what the author's opinion is, what kind of background does he seem to have, and why he is writing this?
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        hit it, H
        10+ Year Member
        Nov 12, 2008
        1. Pre-Medical
          i've been doing pretty good on the aamc verbal (11+ thanks to EK 101) and I think the most important part of the verbal is 1) figuring out the main argument/central thesis of the passage is and being able to distintuish it from anecdotal/merely supportive topics. And 2) have a general idea where everything is located in the passage so that if you need to go back to th epassage for info, you can find it quickly.

          A tentative 3rd point would be to begin to recognize the various MCAt strategies to trick you. For instance, I really get thrown off by dates and a lot of times the MCAt will trick you by giving you a plausible answer but a wrong time frame. That comes with lots of practice and I recommend EK 101.
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