Prospective medical school students must first pass the Medical College Admission Test. Scoring high on the MCAT is vital since admission to medical school is competitive. The verbal reasoning portion of the MCAT lasts for 60 minutes. It consists of several 500- to 600-word-long reading passages, which test takers must read and analyze. Up to 10 multiple choice questions accompany each reading passage. The questions ask test takers to decipher the author's opinion or analyze his argument.
Take a practice verbal reasoning test. The Association of American Medical Colleges, which administers the MCAT, offers an online practice test. See how long it takes you to complete the test and identify any other barriers to success.
Analyze newspaper editorials or opinion pieces published in magazines to dissect arguments. Identify the author's purpose and look at how she structured her argument.
Find a study partner. You can both read the same articles, dissect the arguments and then compare notes.
Read materials covering a wide variety of subject matter. Read news stories you might typically skip, magazines that ordinarily escape your attention and books you would never think to read. Reading things outside of your usual interest area can sharpen your reading skills, expand your vocabulary and widen your base of knowledge.
Experiment on the practice test with different methods of answering the questions. Find what works best for you. Options include reading the passage and then answering the questions, skimming the passage before a more comprehensive read, or reading the questions before the passage.
Take another practice test. Examine the areas where you still did not do well and continue to study, focusing on those areas.
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- Association of American Medical Colleges: Medical College Admission Test; Preparing for the MCAT Exam; How Can I Prepare for the Verbal Reasoning Section?
- Association of American Medical Colleges: Medical College Admission Test; About the MCAT Exam
- Kaplan Test Prep: MCAT Verbal Reasoning
- MCAT Prep: Preparation for MCAT Verbal Reasoning
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