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VR Timing

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by joshto, May 29, 2008.

  1. joshto

    joshto Nervous&Neurotic
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    How do you allot your time in the VR section?

    I think there are 7 passages and 60 questions, but im not certain?
    Can anyone confirm the # of questions and passages and let me know how long you spend on each passage (reading and answering)?
     
  2. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    7 passages 40 questions. It works out to about 8.5 minutes a passage. If you do the first 6 in 8.5 minutes then you will actually have 9 minutes for the last passage.

    The way I did it was i figured out the checkpoints for 8.5 minutes and i wrote them down so i'd have something to check myself with. So on a sheet of scratch paper I had 60, 51.5, 43, 34.5, 26, 17.5, 9.

    So, starting on my first passage i knew that i should have been done by the time the timer on the screen said 51:30....second passage i knew i had to finish by 43..... I also knew that if i was a few seconds over it wouldnt matter b/c I had 9 minutes for the last passage. It worked out very well and is an easy way to keep track of time.

    another thing i recommend which worked well for me is DO NOT do the passages in the order if you dont want to. I got good enough that I could tell whether or not I would like a passage within the first 3 words. If i didn't like it b/c i thought it would be boring or if i didnt like it b/c it seemed hard....i skipped it. Do the passages that keep your interest FIRST, they are all worth the same amount of points. It would be dumb to spend 12 min on the first passage b/c it was ridiculously, long, hard, and boring and you had trouble with the questions. Chances are you are going to get those questions wrong anyway...save them til the end and make sure you have time for the questions you know you can get right. they make it very easy to go back and forth between passages. at any time you can click the "review" button and it shows you every "marked" or skipped question.
     
  3. LikeClockWork

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    This is some good advice. :thumbup:

    I never did the passages in the order they were presented to me on the practice tests and I didn't do it on the real test either. It's a much bigger confidence booster to fly through a few easy passages before tackling the harder ones too.

    Also, I timed myself on an every-other-passage timetable. 17 minutes for each of the 3 pairs of passages and 9 minutes for the remaining passage. This way I didn't have to look at the clock so much (which always freaked me out).
     
  4. joshto

    joshto Nervous&Neurotic
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    I wish I had the skills to be able to sort through passages and find the easy ones. I've attempted it before with no luck, what happens is that I can never really determine which passage is "easy" within the first couple sentences. Any advice on that?
     
  5. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    if you practice enough VR, you will notice that there are only a few topics that they rotate. the passage either has to do with art and history, or science, or philosophy, etc. etc.

    For me, the easy passages were the ones i was most interested in, and you can tell right away the subject of the passage. The easy passages are the ones that you can pay attention to the entire time. You could have an interesting passage and really hard questions, but chances are if you were intersted in the passage you caught on to details and maing themes and things like that which will make the questions easier. you know what i mean?

    i'd say try and figure out which topics/subjects you like the best and which ones you like the least. when you read the first few words you should be able to classify the topic and then can make a decision from there to move on or continue reading. it shouldnt take more than a few seconds. i dunno, thats how i did it.
     
  6. dreams

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    I just go right into them all and try my best to get interested, and with this sometimes its the boring passages to me that have the best questions and the ones I do well on, so I would not skip over any, the passage might seem tough but maybe the questions wont be, ya never know.... but thats just me
     
  7. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    whats the con in skipping a passage? if you make the decision right away, there really isn't any.
     
  8. dreams

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    ..... but what if you skip it thinking its hard, then try another that you think looks easy and the questions end up being hard, and you spend a lot of time on them and then you get back to the other one rush through only to find the questions were better than you thought but now you have less time so you rush. Just saying I think its hard to tell but everyone has their own ways and I have heard pros and cons about skipping around, but havent heard anything bad about just going at each one as they come.
     
  9. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    i guess you can find a con for every strategy. all i know is what worked well for me...all you know is what worked well for you. its up to the OP to figure what works well for him/her.

    my strategy didn't deal so much with the difficulty of the questions, but the difficulty of the passage. i was confident that if i could pay attention to the passage, i could answer the questions well. i got really good at determining whether or not I'd like a passage or not and it worked way better for me than just reading straight through even if i hated the passage.
     
  10. LovelyBRass

    LovelyBRass Eternal Internal
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    Hey joshto

    I like to give three minutes to read each passage and one minute to answer every question. If you add it up, it ends up being 61 minutes (eep), but I find that three minutes per passage is quite manageable and you end up spending less then 1 minute on most questions than you do spending more than one minute. I thought allotting equal time to each passage gave too much time to passages with fewer questions and this was what I came up with (with help from EK and TPR).

    I hope this helps!
     
  11. godzilla0120

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    I am having a hard time finishing the 7 passages in time.
    my average is 10 min per passage, that leaves me 1 passage short.
    If I do 8.5 min per passage, I would lose my accuracy.

    Tried skimming, speed reading...but that would end up losing my concentration and focus.

    I really need to know how to increase my speed yet with high precision.
    Everybody suggests practice more...but HOW???
    I almost just want to admit my reading skills IQ doesn't meet MCAT level.

    Any input would be appreciated...cuz I feel like losing hope.
     
  12. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    when i first started, every practice test i took had 6 passages, so i gave my self 10 minutes per passage. I took my first AAMC test and took 10 minutes for the first 6 and didn't even know there was a 7th passage til it was too late! so i was in the same boat as you and i had to find away to get it down to 8.5 a passage.

    Stop taking full verbal tests and just do one passage at a time until you can consistently do them in 8.5 minutes. if you can't read fast w/o losing precision and accuracy, then you are just going to have to suck it up and face the fact that that is what needs to happen. you need to get through all of the questions. it does no good if you are skipping entire passages with 6-7 questions blank.

    if you have to break up your practices... time yourself reading the passages w/o answering the questions. get it so that you are finishing the passages in 3 minutes or less. once you can do that consistently, then start answering the questions. one thing i found that helped me was differentiating between the questions that required specific info from the passage (like which of the following did the author say) and ones that asked you to infer things from what you read. I answered all the inferring questions first b/c you don't need to know the details to answer, you just need to understand the main point of the passage and the authors main arguments. any question that asked about specific detail i saved til the end of that passage b/c then I could take the extra time to go and find it in the passage. i dunno if it will work for you, but it worked best for me.
     

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