2 VR Strategies Verbal Reasoning Passage Types and Strategies. – The natural science passage. Subjects include mainly astronomy, biology, chemistry, and physics. Don’t assume you’ll do well on this section because of your experience with science courses. – NSPs are challenging because they are usually lengthy and full of details. – Examinees tend to focus on details and lose track of main ideas. – Examinees expect questions that will test their recollection of facts. Your mission is to understand the ideas and arguments of the passage.
3 VR Strategies – Reading strategies for the natural science passage. Identify two or more competing arguments or ideas. Understand who and what supports each idea, and separate that from the author’s stance. Form conclusions in your mind based on the facts. Summarize the main idea of each paragraph as you read (Begin by physically doing this then move on to “mental mapping).
4 VR Strategies – Question strategies for the natural science passage. Test makers often ask for answers you’d least expect. Natural science questions often ask about hypothetical opponents or supporters of various theories discussed in the passage. – Identify the main arguments and ask yourself which group would support one hypothesis over another. Read answer choices A through D extremely carefully for each question, and eliminate wrong answers as you proceed. – Note extreme, unqualified words like always, never, not, and must because they generally indicate incorrect answers.
5 VR Strategies Try to recall the dates and time periods mentioned in the passage (But not at the expense of losing the main idea). Pay attention to which arguments the author supports or rejects. – The author’s usually espouse a position on the topic. Do not overanalyze natural science questions. Eliminate wrong answers. – Look for obvious wrong answers and use the strikethrough to eliminate them. – Usually one or two answers are obviously false. – Obvious wrong answers are clearly opposite to what is stated in the passage.
6 VR Strategies – The Social Science passage. Most of the passages come from journal articles and are very challenging. The range of topics include sociology, anthropology, economics, psychology, political science, education and history.
7 VR Strategies – Reading strategies for the social science passage. Be prepared to read about cultural or political movements, along with important dates, time periods and key arguments. Some key strategies to employ with social science passages. – Look for comparisons made by the author. » Usually, these passages present two or more points or arguments.
8 VR Strategies – Reading strategies for the social science passage. Pay attention to the argument supported by the author compared to others that he or she writes about. Identify the assumptions of the author and look for any biases. Identify any assumptions relevant to the arguments made by competing experts. Consider what groups of people would support or reject various theories or ideas presented in the passage. Read every sentence carefully. Identify implied ideas woven into the passage.
9 VR Strategies – Question strategies for the social science passage. Social science questions often test your understanding of how certain views relate to statements from the passage. Pay attention to the tone of the author and rarely is this tone extreme or strident. Many social science questions ask about the intentions of the author. Read the passage first, and then answer questions. Read each answer choice A through D carefully and twice to make sure you understand each question completely.
10 VR Strategies – The Humanities passage. Because pre-med students generally have poor exposure to subjects in the humanities, “bone up” on these topics by reading books and journals dealing with them. The range of topics include art, language, literature, communication, religion and philosophy. Be prepared for many details and facts including important dates, time periods, artistic or literary movements, cultural groups, etc.
11 VR Strategies – The Humanities passage. Reading strategies for the humanities passage. – Keep track of facts and dates, as well as key ideas. – Expect to read about people who criticize certain viewpoints. – Determine the strengths and weaknesses of arguments expressed by critics. – Be sure to understand how the opinions of the author compare to those of other experts mentioned in the passage. – Read for meaning and not just details.
12 VR Strategies – The Humanities passage. Question strategies for the humanities passage. – Many questions test your direct understanding of the various viewpoints found in the passage. – Some questions ask about how the author would respond to a concept in the passage. – Try to answer the question in your own mind before reading the answer choices because answer choices are tricky and misleading. – For each point that the author makes, determine why the author is making that point. – Look for assumptions upon which the conclusion is based because the correct assumption is one that must be true in order for the conclusion to stand.