MCAT Lecture Notes Lesson #2

Lecture Notes for
Verbal Reasoning
Lesson 2
Strategies, tactics and tips for reading the VR passages
according to Exam Krackers
Strategies, Tactics, Tips
Time Management
Plan on at least eight minutes per passage
Some passages take longer than others
Check your timer only once.
After you’ve finished 3rd or 4th passage
Checking time too frequently is distracting
Try to finish VR section with two minutes to spare
Don’t try to finish early in order to return to difficult
Practice timed reading
A 600 word journal passage in three minutes.
Strategies, Tactics, Tips
Read for the main idea of each passage
Don’t worry about reviewing the passage for facts.
Imagine listening to a friend’s story.
Listen for the main idea and ignore the details.
Strategies, Tactics, Tips
Try to identify the function of each part of the text.
Read with questions in mind:
What’s the author trying to say?
What’s the author’s point?
What’s the author’s position on the topic?
What’s your impression of the author?
Scrutinize the structure of each passage.
Organize a mental map.
Each paragraph will explore a new angle of the main idea.
Each paragraph will provide supporting detail for the main
Passage structure is logical, manageable, and even
Strategies, Tactics, Tips
Avoid judging the passages.
Don’t get caught up in your reactions to the ideas or
your lack of interest in the subject.
Don’t focus too much on details and specifics.
Emphasis will be on the main idea, the author’s purpose
and the argumentative structure.
Don’t skim for information or use speed reading
Very little information retention from skimming.
Read as you normally would with careful concentration.
Save time when answering questions
Strategies, Tactics, Tips
Increasing reading speed has little impact on your
verbal score.
Focus on enhancing efficiency at answering questions.
Test-takers lose crucial time because they:
Hunt for the answer in the passage.
Read the passage many times over.
Don’t waste time and distract yourself by jotting
margin notes.
Passages present one overriding theme
Details are less important than overarching theme.
Emphasis on ambiguities and gray areas
Certainty with an answer can be a trap.
Strategies, Tactics, Tips
Don’t read the questions first
A waste of time because it forces you to read for detail.
Short term memory lapse guarantees you’ll forget the
Don’t circle of underline words
Directs focus to details.
Interrupts reading of the passage.
Strategies, Tactics, Tips
Reflect on the main idea after completing a passage.
Take 20 seconds and mentally construct the main idea
in a couple of sentences.
Writing the main idea takes too much time.
Don’t skip passages, but rather address them in order.
Jumping around wastes time.
Loss of concentration and confidence.
It’s difficult to determine which passages are more

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