In my last post I told you exactly how I approached each and every MCAT Verbal Reasoning passage. Now I want to show you the method in action. Finding a VR passage that I could legally use as an example was an ordeal, but I finally decided on one that is already on the internet and completely free to access at anytime. The AAMC actually provides the free sample passage here. Ideally, you should take 10-15 minutes and test yourself on this passage before reading any further. The sample passage is roughly 680 words, so it should take you no more than 5 minutes to actively read the entire thing. There are 10 questions provided, which is more than you will see on any given VR passage on the real MCAT, but it works for our purposes. If you are working on timing, you should be completely done with this practice exercise in 15 minutes. As a reference, it took me almost 10.5 minutes to finish.
I am providing my annotated version of the Verbal Reasoning passage with answers here: MCAT_VR_Answers
The yellow highlighting is where I would have used the actual highlighting feature on the computer based test, it also marks the correct answers. I used the black pen to strikethrough what I thought were really bad answer choices, and the red pen is used for a couple annotations and random notes to consider.
100. Correct Answer: C Difficulty - Easy Did I refer back to the passage? NO
101. Correct Answer: C Difficulty - Moderate Did I refer back to the passage? NO
102. Correct Answer: C Difficulty - Easy Did I refer back to the passage? NO
103. Correct Answer: B Difficulty - Easy Did I refer back to the passage? NO
104. Correct Answer: A Difficulty - Moderate Did I refer back to the passage? NO
105. Correct Answer: D Difficulty - Easy Did I refer back to the passage? YES (paragraph #2)
106. Correct Answer: A Difficulty - Hard Did I refer back to the passage? NO
107. Correct Answer: B Difficulty - Easy Did I refer back to the passage? YES (last paragraph)
108. Correct Answer: D Difficulty - Moderate Did I refer back to the passage? YES (6th paragraph)
109. Correct Answer: C Difficulty - Moderate Did I refer back to the passage? YES (1st paragraph)
I am not going to explain each answer. I can't help you pick the correct answer, I can only help you with your approach. If you actively read, understood the main point of the passage, and created a mental map of where in the passage certain details are discussed, than you shouldn't have had too many problems. I think 7 or 8 correct answers should be your low on this practice passage. If you scored lower, what happened? What did you highlight? Were you able to cross-through and eliminate some of the same answer choices that I did? Did you refer to the passage too much? Not enough? Was timing an issue? Did you understand the questions?
In part 4, the final post about improving your VR score, I will discuss miscellaneous hints and tips for MCAT Verbal Reasoning.
Let me know what you think in the comments. What question did you have the most difficulty with?