I would like some feedback from those OPM’ers that were able to score a 10 or above on VR. I am starting off by every day with one day off per week, doing VR passages. I usually do anywhere from two-five per day depending on how long my other subject studying takes me. I am an avid reader have been since middle school so time is not my problem. I am able to finish plus answer all the passages within the alloted time of 8 minutes per passage. I usually get anywhere from 0-2 wrong per passage, this is many times due to not reading the question correctly. Since I have just started am I going about this the right way? should I be doing whole VR exams? meaning the full 85 minutes or should I wait until I start the PR course to do this (in Jan)? I am feeling increasingly confident about VR, for you do get somewhat used to the “feel” of it, but I am not doing full length yet. I am also worried that I may end up running out of VR passages before the MCAT rolls around. Right now I am using EK and a Kaplan (5th Edition) to go through passages, I have just purchased the 101 passages by EK, and will also be doing all the AAMC practice exams and the TPR ones. Any more sources for verbal passages and should I continue doing it the way I am or doing full length starting now? any help will be appreciated. Thanks guys!
The MCAT folks spend a lot of time refining the verbal questions - probably more than Kaplan or TPR. You may be just fine - see how your scores look after taking one or two of the AAMC practice exams.
Such was my experience - I was missing one or two questions per passage on the TPR and Kaplan practice tests. I found many of their questions very ambiguous, and occasionally thought all four answers were pretty awful. But once I hit the real MCAT tests - with questions that had been thoroughly reviewed and tested - my verbal score was much closer to my actual score.
I have no experience with the EK material.
So maybe it's time to test yourself with the verbal questions in a really old AAMC exam. You may be in better shape than you think.
Susan - Chicago
My best prep for the Verbal and writing section for MCAT was reading the editorials from the Washington Post and New York Times every day. I analyzed each editorial and wrote out formal rebuttals or agreements with a different tone. I also used this strategy on test day. I looked at every passage first; the things that I hate (sociology, psychology, history) I read first; the things that I like (science fiction, science) I read last. I read the questions first and then read the passages taking time to underline the key transition points. I was able to finish the Verbal with time to spare.
Good luck with the prep!
I think the key is that you have to practice enough to find what works for you. I’ve always been a good reader, and always have done well on reading comprehension type exams.
I didn’t do any of the underlining or explicit summarizing. I read the passage once, not too fast, and then answered the questions. I did the passages in order. I rarely had to refer back to the passage in order to answer a question. But YMMV. Others have been very successful with the strategies that Nat mentions. Again, find what works for you. And that takes practice to find. The important thing is getting the gist of the passage in order to answer the questions in the allotted time.
what I DID do was rigourously review all of the explanations for all of the practice passages that I did. I wanted to understand WHY each wrong answer was wrong, even on the questions I got right. As well as WHY the right one was right - even if I got it right. I think, in hindsight, that this analysis helped me more than the practice itself as it taught me about how the verbal was structured.
I used this analysis of right/wrong answers in all sections, not just verbal. Also - when taking practice sections or practice exams, I always noted if I guessed on an answer, or if I was torn between 2 answers. I used a “G” next to it to indicate a guess, and a slash through any alternate I was considering (compared to the full bubble-in answer). This helped me when I went back over the answers and explanations to understand where my thinking was going astray, or what trick I had fallen for in that question.
(for practice passages w/out bubble sheets, I’d just put the alternate answer in parentheses )
Yeah, that is a good point that I have been using with physics and bio (about looking to see why I got something right or wrong) and will be doing the same with VR. Lisa about how many can you get wrong per passage and still muster about a 10? I have been looking for that answer but cannot find it. I keep reminding myself that even the folks that got perfect scores still missed some questions right? but how many did these people miss? one, two, or five or six?
you should be able to derive that from the score scaling guides on the practice exams (e.g. 55/60 = 12+ - not really just an example) - and then just divide it up by number of passages - there should be a score scaling for the EK verbal book 30 min exams - or just open up the AAMC IV or V and have a look at the scoring scale.