It seems to me that verbal is one of those topics that is easier to ignore, and a little more vague to study. It is something that takes time and practice to master, and unfortunately many premeds try to cram for it, which just doesn’t work. Hey, it’s worth 1/3 of your total MCAT score, so it’s definitely worth your time!
Here is the chart that I promised before that maps out how I am studying for the verbal portion of the MCAT. I have started doing 3 passages a day in the morning. The first one I do untimed and really focus on integrating the strategies I’ve learned from the TPR Verbal Review Book. The point is to get all the questions correct and master using the strategies.
The next two I record the time it takes for me to complete the reading portion and time it takes for me to answer the questions. Right now I am just recording the time, in two weeks I will probably begin to push myself to go faster.
Then comes the hard part: Analyzing your responses. It’s one thing to know your score, it’s another thing to know why you got that score. Knowing what you did wrong and what you did right is essential to knowing what to do on the exam. When I go over my score for each passage, I focus on each question. In the end I write a short summary of the overall passage. My summaries tend to answer these questions:
1. Which question was easy for me and why?
2. Which question was hard (usually this is one I got wrong, but it doesn’t have to be), and why was it hard?
3. What did I do well over all?
4. What do I need to work on?
Like I said, it’s a slow process, but I’m already seeing better results in how I’m doing on individual passages. I’ve also noticed that it’s not a topic you can work on, stop studying for a while, and then expect to pick up where you left off. Consistency is key!