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VR Score NOT improving

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by PreMedMachine, 01.14.14.

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  1. PreMedMachine

    PreMedMachine

    Joined:
    01.15.13
    Messages:
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    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    As most students I'm feverishly studying the verbal section of the mcat and trying to improve it. PS and BS are fine, but what holds me back is the verbal score. On FL exams (from Kaplan) I score a 5 or 6. Recently, I have started doing 7 passages/day UNTIMED to try to learn how to "read and reason critically" yet when I score these passages (from a variety of books/sources I received from Kaplan) I keep scoring 5 or 6. I'm worried that verbal isn't improving and doing endless passages isn't helping me; i.e. quantity isn't necessarily a good thing. What should I be doing to really improve on these passages? When I go over the questions I always think "Oh that was a simple mistake" or "The answer was in another paragraph _______ words means ______ word in the answer choice." I don't want to burn up any more verbal passages if they aren't going to help me. I'm open to any and all suggestions on really improving verbal. I have a few months before my MCAT and thus I have ample time to improve my score, I'd just like some tips/opinions/strategies on how to really read and answer the verbal questions. Thanks!
     
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  3. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    You're probably trying to burn through all of the passages as quickly as possible. Reading is a skill. It is something you practice by doing it a lot. I would encourage you to read more whenever you have the time, preferably long, meaty articles such as what you'd find on The Atlantic or in the Wall Street Journal. My bet is you don't read regularly, and are thus not used to digesting reading material to begin with. MCAT passages are quite difficult, and provide even the most proliferative of readers with a challenge. You need to bump up your basic reading comprehension before you can take down such a beast. No number of tricks can really save you. They might net you an extra point or two, but you can't cheat the very act of understanding a passage. So get to reading some hefty opinionated pieces like those in the aforementioned publications. Don't focus on volume, focus on understanding what the author is saying. And certainly don't focus on speed. You need to walk before you can run, after all.
     
    Fluorescence likes this.
  4. PreMedMachine

    PreMedMachine

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    Pre-Medical
    Thanks Mad Jack, that's really solid advice. I really appreciate it. I've been told doing a few passages a day is also good, what's your opinion on that? Just to actually track progress and keep the mind thinking about answering questions.
     
  5. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    You'll probably burn yourself out doing passages and regular reading every day. Maybe cut it down to a few passages every other day. If you do it every day, you'll either be zonked out during your regular reading or during the passages, whatever you do last. Focus is key, and you won't have that if you're doing it day in and day out while seeing zero progress.
     
    Fluorescence likes this.

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