MCAT Verbal Flashcards
For many students, the MCAT, or Medical College Admissions Test, represents the most challenging part of the medical school application process. If you are preparing to take the MCAT after taking time away from undergraduate work, reacquainting yourself with the types of questions asked and complexity of language presented in the Verbal Reasoning section of the MCAT can be challenging. As with the Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences sections, continued practice with understanding complex prose passages provides a way to succeed on the Verbal Reasoning section. Whether you need MCAT tutoring in Atlanta, MCAT tutoring in Houston, or MCAT tutoring in San Francisco, working one-on-one with an expert may be just the boost your studies need.
The Verbal Reasoning section of the MCAT contains 40 passage-based questions that test cognitive thinking, inference, and attention to detail. Given the section length of 60 minutes, each question is allotted roughly one minute and thirty seconds each. In contrast to the Physical and Biological Sciences sections, this section does not test a student’s background knowledge about specific scientific topics. In fact, bringing in outside knowledge often serves as a hindrance to selecting the correct response and is best avoided by using only the information presented in the passage. Varsity Tutors offers resources like free MCAT Verbal Reasoning Practice Tests to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an MCAT Verbal Reasoning tutor.
There are four types of question on the test:
1.) Comprehension: These questions require you to identify the main purpose of the passage, understand the evidence used to support a claim, use context clues to determine the meaning of a quote or vocabulary word, and identify assumptions necessary to understand the passage.
2.) Evaluation: Evaluation questions ask you to determine the validity of an argument by an author. The credibility of quotes, progression of conclusions, strength of evidence, and relevance of information may all be evaluated.
3.) Application: These questions go beyond just the passage by asking you to predict results of an unrelated situation based on the information contained in the passage. Alternatively, you could be required to determine what events may have occurred prior to the events of the current passage, in order to make the passage appropriate or valid.
4.) New Information Incorporation: When a question provides additional information not contained in the passage, the question often asks you to weigh the strength of new evidence, determine if the conclusions in the passage may have changed based on the new information, or recognize potential solutions to resolving the differences between claims.
Preparation for the Verbal Reasoning section of the MCAT takes continued practice with passages. A variety of skill sets, such as passage mapping to identify the main thesis and purpose of the passage, are helpful in succeeding on the MCAT Verbal Reasoning section; however, these skill sets must be practiced extensively to be of use. Some students have trouble acclimating to the complexity of language used in the passages. If this is the case for you, you should try reading publications designed for college graduate reading levels, which often allow readers to expand their vocabularies and understand complex sentence structure. Also, you can use Varsity Tutors’ free MCAT Verbal Flaschards to determine your strengths and weaknesses regarding MCAT Verbal material. Use them to hone your reading comprehension skills and practice understanding the difficult language and answering the variety of question types that can be featured on the MCAT Verbal Section. Overall, continued exposure to complex language is the best way to prepare for the MCAT Verbal Reasoning section, and Varsity Tutors’ free MCAT resources can help you do just that. In addition to the MCAT Verbal Reasoning flashcards and MCAT Verbal Reasoning tutoring, you may also want to consider using some of our MCAT Verbal Reasoning Diagnostic Tests.