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VR, Why does it seem so IMPOSSIBLE


maketheturn

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Hey guys

 

I am science student like probably most of you so most of the essays I've written in university have been scientific.

I am trying to study the VR section with EK101/EK reading (thin one)

I keep scoring 8-9 and 80% of the time, I'm not certain about the answers I circle.

 

I have read some suggestions in this section.

VR still seems like the ultimate hurdle lol

Anyone feel the same way???

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Hey guys

 

I am science student like probably most of you so most of the essays I've written in university have been scientific.

I am trying to study the VR section with EK101/EK reading (thin one)

I keep scoring 8-9 and 80% of the time, I'm not certain about the answers I circle.

 

I have read some suggestions in this section.

VR still seems like the ultimate hurdle lol

Anyone feel the same way???

 

for some reason, I find VR easier then PS and BS.. I think its becasue I havent fully reviewd all the PS and BS yet, and so no knowledge = no answers.. BUt for VR, all the answers are already there

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Maybe try a very black and white approach to your answers?

 

3 answers are definitely wrong and 1 answer is definitely right. Instead of picking the one you think is probably the most right, find the one that looks right and move on. When you read answers it should be

 

1. A) no B) yes

2. A) yes

3. A) no B) no C) no D) yes

4. A) yes

 

i hope that makes sense. Give it a try and it might work for you! A lot of mistakes in verbal is changing your right answers into wrong ones when you're not sure.

 

Good luck!

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A big part of verbal reasoning is thinking the way that they want you to think. Keep an open mind and try not to treat it like any other science test. Getting a hang of the questions and mentality all comes with practice though, so the best tip I can give is practice, practice, practice! Also it's normal to feel uncertain about your answers. Sometimes you'll get those right, sometimes you'll get those wrong - imo that's why most people have a fairly large range in VR, rather than consistently scoring the same. Do lots of practice and you'll raise this score range!

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Maybe try a very black and white approach to your answers?

 

3 answers are definitely wrong and 1 answer is definitely right. Instead of picking the one you think is probably the most right, find the one that looks right and move on. When you read answers it should be

 

1. A) no B) yes

2. A) yes

3. A) no B) no C) no D) yes

4. A) yes

 

i hope that makes sense. Give it a try and it might work for you! A lot of mistakes in verbal is changing your right answers into wrong ones when you're not sure.

 

Good luck!

 

I don't mean to sound like a dink here, but as a VR tutor that this is the opposite of the approach I would recommend. I think this is a very common attitude people take going into VR, and I think it shoots a lot of people in the foot, very hard.

 

The problem in VR is that, very often, there are NOT three wrong answers and one right one. There is one answer that is superior to all the others, and often one other that is pretty solid and, given the lack of the first answer, would be perfectly good. Approaching the questions with a black-and-white outlook, so appropriate to any other section, leaves overly analytical minds easily trapped: these are the people VR is designed to trick.

 

When there are two right answers but one that is "more" right, analytical folk will often latch on to the less right one because (for example) it is more specific (but uses specifics not supported by the text) or more intuitive (but intuits based on outside knowledge) or sounds great and uses words from the text in a logical way (but takes those words out of context to twist the meaning) or any number of other tricks. Approaching these questions as black and white will kill most peoples' score.

 

In general it's hard to say why VR is hard for someone, because it depends on how they approach it. Here are a few pointers though.

 

1) Generalisations are harder to disprove; specific points in an answer can be disproven in the text. Therefore, generalisations (even ones that are worded very wishy-washy to sound like weak statements) are often correct. Be careful though, because not all questions follow this pattern.

 

2) Questions are not connected to each other. If you find one question hard, calm down and move to the next. Don't let stress over one question affect your performance on the next. Everyone gets a couple questions wrong in VR. If you get six or seven wrong you're probably sitting at a score of 12-13.

 

3) Beware answers that are very specific, containing buzzwords that leap out at you as things that are mentioned in the text. Scan the text for those buzzwords and make sure the original context says the same thing as the suggested answer. Often, the answer is taken out of context to appear correct, but in fact the original text said the opposite.

 

4) Beware phrases like "in the author's opinion". The author may not have been right. In these questions, usually one answer will be intuitively correct in real life, but it is not supported in the text. If it is not supported in the text, it is a wrong answer, no matter how logical the conclusion it draws.

 

Don't get twisted up over VR. It tests shades of grey, and stress. Approach it calmly, remember that each question stands alone, and don't let your mind wander. Your focus should be on understanding the passage. Do not fear the section; it is all just basic logic problems at the core, requiring only that you comprehend what you have read and answer logical questions based on what you read, not your outside knowledge.

 

Hope that helps.

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I don't mean to sound like a dink here, but as a VR tutor that this is the opposite of the approach I would recommend. I think this is a very common attitude people take going into VR, and I think it shoots a lot of people in the foot, very hard.

 

The problem in VR is that, very often, there are NOT three wrong answers and one right one. There is one answer that is superior to all the others, and often one other that is pretty solid and, given the lack of the first answer, would be perfectly good. Approaching the questions with a black-and-white outlook, so appropriate to any other section, leaves overly analytical minds easily trapped: these are the people VR is designed to trick.

 

When there are two right answers but one that is "more" right, analytical folk will often latch on to the less right one because (for example) it is more specific (but uses specifics not supported by the text) or more intuitive (but intuits based on outside knowledge) or sounds great and uses words from the text in a logical way (but takes those words out of context to twist the meaning) or any number of other tricks. Approaching these questions as black and white will kill most peoples' score.

 

In general it's hard to say why VR is hard for someone, because it depends on how they approach it. Here are a few pointers though.

 

1) Generalisations are harder to disprove; specific points in an answer can be disproven in the text. Therefore, generalisations (even ones that are worded very wishy-washy to sound like weak statements) are often correct. Be careful though, because not all questions follow this pattern.

 

2) Questions are not connected to each other. If you find one question hard, calm down and move to the next. Don't let stress over one question affect your performance on the next. Everyone gets a couple questions wrong in VR. If you get six or seven wrong you're probably sitting at a score of 12-13.

 

3) Beware answers that are very specific, containing buzzwords that leap out at you as things that are mentioned in the text. Scan the text for those buzzwords and make sure the original context says the same thing as the suggested answer. Often, the answer is taken out of context to appear correct, but in fact the original text said the opposite.

 

4) Beware phrases like "in the author's opinion". The author may not have been right. In these questions, usually one answer will be intuitively correct in real life, but it is not supported in the text. If it is not supported in the text, it is a wrong answer, no matter how logical the conclusion it draws.

 

Don't get twisted up over VR. It tests shades of grey, and stress. Approach it calmly, remember that each question stands alone, and don't let your mind wander. Your focus should be on understanding the passage. Do not fear the section; it is all just basic logic problems at the core, requiring only that you comprehend what you have read and answer logical questions based on what you read, not your outside knowledge.

 

Hope that helps.

 

WOW! Erk, that is close to perfection. I agree with everything you said. I wrote the MCAT twice. This was because of getting a damn N on the writing sample the first time. My first VR score was 12, my second (last summer) was 14.

 

My advice - I try not to use strategic tools or tricks when reading the passage. It is just distracting to your mind if you are trying to think about the aim/topic/scope/flavour of the passage (the flavour is always vanilla anyways). Just read it! If you don't focus, you lose track of the info and miss things. Don't over-think it.

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Hey guys

 

I am science student like probably most of you so most of the essays I've written in university have been scientific.

I am trying to study the VR section with EK101/EK reading (thin one)

I keep scoring 8-9 and 80% of the time, I'm not certain about the answers I circle.

 

I have read some suggestions in this section.

VR still seems like the ultimate hurdle lol

Anyone feel the same way???

 

I have had this issue at times also, especially when using EK 101. I find their passages far easier than AAMC, but the questions and answer choices far more ambiguous (Also, I have to laugh at some of their questions, cause I just know that AAMC would never ask something like it). For this reason, I think if answering questions is your weakness, EK is great, but if reading the passages is your weakness, then you should probably pick up some TPR VR material. They seem to have the most technical passages that I have seen, which, in my opinion, is great practice for AAMC.

 

Also, I am not sure if I agree that reading as much as possible is the best way to improve your VR, as some people say. What is more important, I think, is practicing reading like you would during a VR test; i.e. very focussed for ~3min at a time, and then trying to recall every single detail of what you just read. When you read the economist etc., you don't do this, and you don't need to do this, mainly because the articles are well written. The AAMC articles are not well written, they have a billion pieces of information condensed down to only several hundred words, which is not exactly the most elegant presentation, and definately requires a different reading strategy.

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I don't mean to sound like a dink here, but as a VR tutor that this is the opposite of the approach I would recommend. I think this is a very common attitude people take going into VR, and I think it shoots a lot of people in the foot, very hard.

 

Don't sweat it :D Everyone has what works for them and thats what worked for me (definitely not 14's but consistent 12's). I do urge the OP to take your advice ahead of mine though, you teach verbal for a reason ;)

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I have had this issue at times also, especially when using EK 101. I find their passages far easier than AAMC, but the questions and answer choices far more ambiguous (Also, I have to laugh at some of their questions, cause I just know that AAMC would never ask something like it). For this reason, I think if answering questions is your weakness, EK is great, but if reading the passages is your weakness, then you should probably pick up some TPR VR material. They seem to have the most technical passages that I have seen, which, in my opinion, is great practice for AAMC.

 

Also, I am not sure if I agree that reading as much as possible is the best way to improve your VR, as some people say. What is more important, I think, is practicing reading like you would during a VR test; i.e. very focussed for ~3min at a time, and then trying to recall every single detail of what you just read. When you read the economist etc., you don't do this, and you don't need to do this, mainly because the articles are well written. The AAMC articles are not well written, they have a billion pieces of information condensed down to only several hundred words, which is not exactly the most elegant presentation, and definately requires a different reading strategy.

 

This is an interesting observation - I find when switching between EK and PR VR, there are many shifts in logic...for instance, there was one EK question that asked me to use outside knowledge not provided in the passage and generally, PR's VR is very technical and retrieval-type more than EK. Glad to hear that someone found merit in using both

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am doing practice for verbal using both Kaplan and Princeton Review books. In order to keep track of how I am doing, I would like to know how I could calculate my score as they would on the AAMC. Should I do seven passages, than scale the score for the seven passages out 15?

 

I know ideally you would want to get all of the questions on the passage correct, but I started last week and I am still getting 2 min - 4 max questions wrong on each passage out of 7. How bad is that?

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I am doing practice for verbal using both Kaplan and Princeton Review books. In order to keep track of how I am doing, I would like to know how I could calculate my score as they would on the AAMC. Should I do seven passages, than scale the score for the seven passages out 15?

 

I know ideally you would want to get all of the questions on the passage correct, but I started last week and I am still getting 2 min - 4 max questions wrong on each passage out of 7. How bad is that?

 

That's about an 8-10 raw, but it depends actually...do the EK tests to see

 

Ideally you want to make only one mistake per passage - that will put you in the safe sone >11

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