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Examkrackers verbal strategy


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Hi everyone,


I was just reviewing the Princeton review verbal strategy which encourages going back to the passage on most questions (unless its too general/main idea). But examkrackers is the opposite, saying its best to base a lot of answers on main idea of the passage as a whole.


But I realized that even in examkrackers answers, a lot of questions are answered with referring to specific parts of the passage, which I dont think is possible (at least not for me) to remember by reading passage itself.


I was wondering if there is anything about EK apporoach that I did not understand? when do we know we need to go back to psg?


Id appreciate any help/ comment :o

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I dont like the EK strategy as well even thought its supposed to be gold.


Personally, I just read the passage thoroughly once while making sure I understand what i am reading and making sure i get an idea of what the author is trying to say. This seems to be the most effective technique, at least for me.

With EK strategy I would get 6-7, with this one I get anywhere from 9-11 depending on how well I understood the passage, not great, but better then a 6!.


The EK strategy says to avoid going back to the passage, but honestly, it feels like sometimes you have to do it, unless your good at absorbing details on your first round of reading.

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imo, VR is not really about details. a few questions will come along (max 2-3 per passage If i remember right) that, yes, are details and you KNOW you can get the answer of by looking back. but sometimes the question will refer to a specific part of the passage, but if you go back and analyze that section, it won't help you. ie if it asks 'what did the author mean by xxx', xxx being a particular word. you might be tempted to go back and look at that word and how he used it. but this is a question you shouldn't be going back to look at. you should answer it based on your overall impression of what the author's tone, and purpose of the essay


if the question asks 'which of the following topics did the author discuss, I,II,III,IV-style choices', then by all means, go back and look (this saved me 1 question on the real mcat!)

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I found the same thing regarding the EK passages. There are a few types of questions about the main ideas and the tone which you should not refer back to the passage for, but I feel that a good amount you need to refer back to in order to answer.


The main thing to do is map the passage out, so when you have to refer back to the passage to retrieve an answer or eliminate an answer choice you can do it efficiently and quickly. This does not mean create a long list of things about what the passage is, you should be able to map the passage out in a couple words or in your head. All you need is a brief understanding of the entire paragraph (as far as specific details go).


The thing that helps me the most when mapping is visualizing each and every paragraph when I read. It allows each paragraph to adopt a different setting, be it a specific place or colour or object which I can attribute the paragraph to.


For instance, I read about a passage on video game consoles today, I would map parts of the passage in a few words in my head so when there was a specific question like "Accoring to the passage..." I could refer to the right paragraph immediately and sweep through it for the right answer.


I knew the first paragraph was an intro, and I knew it was a brief overview of how video games were introduced in the 70's (visually i thought of kids opening a present with a video game for the first time). The second paragraph talked about Atari and its influence (thought about a pong arcade machine), thats all I needed to know. The third was about nintendo (thought about super mario on gameboy) , and the final paragraphs were about the competition in the marketplace (visualized sonic /sega / nintendo characters battiling it out together).


This is just one example, but if a question was to ask "What are the similarities between nintendo and atari"? I would IMMEDIATELY go to the two paragraphs which talked about them and scan for the right and wrong answers. It doesn't always work and is not a fullproof method, but it has improved my score to the 11-12 range on EK 101 recently.



Again, there are some questions which are tone/thesis based, those should DEFINITELY be answered without referring to the passage unless you have no idea what the **** was going on (in some rare cases that does happen). Some questions are stand alone, and could be answered without you even reading the passage. Some say "according to the passage", and if you have mapped properly are the easiest and are free right answers IMO. It is up to you to discern these types and answer them as quick as possible.

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