Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

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azahwa
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Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby azahwa » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:02 pm

Hey guys just wondering if I wanted to get more practice in my RC, should I take verbal sections of the MCAT to get more practice? Ive heard the structure is the same. what do u guys think?

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sarlis
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby sarlis » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:35 pm

Just do LSAT RC for LSAT RC help

tram988
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby tram988 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:47 pm

azahwa wrote:Hey guys just wondering if I wanted to get more practice in my RC, should I take verbal sections of the MCAT to get more practice? Ive heard the structure is the same. what do u guys think?


Before I began my LSAT prep I did use the RC from the MCAT as a warm up. It worked well for me. After that I did only LSAT RC. I got -4 on RC both times I took the LSAT.

Sky'stheLimit
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby Sky'stheLimit » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:48 pm

azahwa wrote:Hey guys just wondering if I wanted to get more practice in my RC, should I take verbal sections of the MCAT to get more practice? Ive heard the structure is the same. what do u guys think?




I guess the more RC exposure the better, but unless you've gone through all of the past RC passages, I would just stick to LSAT material. It gets mixed reviews on TLS, but I thought PS RC bible was great. Also, the this site is great, especially;

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/ac ... ricks.html
^#5 Is key^
http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/ne ... -tips.html
--LinkRemoved--.
http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/ls ... sages.html
^the section titled how to look for a Passage's structure is great^

tomwatts
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby tomwatts » Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:27 pm

azahwa wrote:Ive heard the structure is the same.

The "structure" is not the same (7 passages in 60 minutes, so about the same per-passage timing but a different total length). Many of the question types are the same, though, and the level of difficulty is comparable. You will notice the following differences:

* What constitutes a right answer on the MCAT is significantly more context-dependent. On the LSAT, the right answers are pretty consistently supported to the same degree and the wrong answers are unsupported to the same degree, but on the MCAT, sometimes a right answer will be nearly verbatim from the passage (very well supported) and sometimes they'll just be the most reasonable guess based on the passage whereas everything else you're given is complete garbage. Questions will feel flakier.

* The topics of the passages will vary more, and the passages will often seem more aimless. LSAT passages are typically on the same handful of familiar topics, but MCAT passages can be on anything. I saw an MCAT passage on the different types of biplanes and triplanes used in WWII. LSAT passages are usually making some sort of point, whether obvious or not obvious. MCAT passages are sometimes just info dumps.

* Some of the question stems will not be of the same types as you see on the LSAT. The MCAT occasionally will give a bunch of new information in a question stem and ask how that relates to the passage. The LSAT doesn't do this much if at all. I feel like the MCAT is not as fond of main point/primary purpose questions, but I may just be making that up. Anyway, the question types are not identical.

* MCAT passages don't have line numbers, so the questions don't have line references.

* Oh, and the MCAT is computer-based. You can get paper-based materials for the MCAT, so it's not as big a deal as it seems, unless you're actually taking the test, which you're not.

So, in short, the basics of understanding the passage to enough of a degree to answer the questions, understanding question stems, eliminating wrong answers, etc., are the same, so it's probably decent practice. But be aware that the styles are a little different.

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GTman11
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby GTman11 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:37 pm

sarlis wrote:Just do LSAT RC for LSAT RC help


+1. I will also add that it may be helpful to do some extra reading of dense literature, and ask yourself what the main points were in the article. The skill of comprehending what you are reading is all that is tested in reading "comprehension." I agree different standardized tests have different formats and you don't want to mess up your rhythm. Extra reading similar to LSAT form can always help though.

Bgd736j2
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby Bgd736j2 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:00 pm

tomwatts wrote:
azahwa wrote:Ive heard the structure is the same.

The "structure" is not the same (7 passages in 60 minutes, so about the same per-passage timing but a different total length). Many of the question types are the same, though, and the level of difficulty is comparable. You will notice the following differences:

* What constitutes a right answer on the MCAT is significantly more context-dependent. On the LSAT, the right answers are pretty consistently supported to the same degree and the wrong answers are unsupported to the same degree, but on the MCAT, sometimes a right answer will be nearly verbatim from the passage (very well supported) and sometimes they'll just be the most reasonable guess based on the passage whereas everything else you're given is complete garbage. Questions will feel flakier.

* The topics of the passages will vary more, and the passages will often seem more aimless. LSAT passages are typically on the same handful of familiar topics, but MCAT passages can be on anything. I saw an MCAT passage on the different types of biplanes and triplanes used in WWII. LSAT passages are usually making some sort of point, whether obvious or not obvious. MCAT passages are sometimes just info dumps.

* Some of the question stems will not be of the same types as you see on the LSAT. The MCAT occasionally will give a bunch of new information in a question stem and ask how that relates to the passage. The LSAT doesn't do this much if at all. I feel like the MCAT is not as fond of main point/primary purpose questions, but I may just be making that up. Anyway, the question types are not identical.

* MCAT passages don't have line numbers, so the questions don't have line references.

* Oh, and the MCAT is computer-based. You can get paper-based materials for the MCAT, so it's not as big a deal as it seems, unless you're actually taking the test, which you're not.

So, in short, the basics of understanding the passage to enough of a degree to answer the questions, understanding question stems, eliminating wrong answers, etc., are the same, so it's probably decent practice. But be aware that the styles are a little different.





I disagree. First and foremost the passages are numbered. I dont know what book you were using. second, MCAT passages-for the most part- are designed to see how well test takers can break down arguments/ understand arguments/identify arguments. To support what i am saying go on AMCAS.org(they are to the mcat what LSAC is to the lsat) and they will explain the MCAT verbal section and its purpose.


Also it depends which MCAT books you are using. Examcrackers, princeton review, kaplan, berkeley review, or AMCAS passages. IT is popular consensus that Amcas passages are more difficult than the rest.



I have 209 Kaplan passages 110 Examcrackers passages 72 princeton review passages(plan on getting more- 36 more) and i will get some official passages (AMCAS) off ebay.


in total i'll have roughly 500 Passages to practice with

Bgd736j2
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby Bgd736j2 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:04 pm

The reason i know this works is from someone who scored a 175 on the LSAT. I contacted the person on this very forum. So it has been tried and tested and it will help in improving reading comprehension skills. As a matter of fact, reading alone is insufficient in improving your RC skills unless passages are added to the equation. If you are a person who is worried about the potential to burn through LSAC passages then use MCAT passages. If not then this doesnt pertain to you.

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TheLuckyOne
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby TheLuckyOne » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:06 pm

God no!!!

MCAT and LSAT are 2 different stories. I have the Examcracker's 101 passages book and I still have no clue why would people advise MCAT's RC as a supplementary material.

If anything, GMAT is VERY close to the LSAT, but still you can feel notable differences.

Honestly, any non-LSAT related RC or LR such as GMAT's can arguably be good before you move to the LSAT tests, not after.

tomwatts
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby tomwatts » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:33 pm

Bgd736j2 wrote:I disagree. First and foremost the passages are numbered. I dont know what book you were using.

That's pretty hilarious. Are you replying to my statement that the passages don't have line numbers? If so, check that statement again: they don't have line numbers. Those things along the side of the passage that say, line 5, line 10, etc. They have passage numbers, so you know whether you're doing the first passage (Passage I), the second passage (Passage II), or whatever, but that's really, really different. :P

And the "book" that I'm using is the AAMC tests. (Not AMCAS tests; AMCAS stands for American Medical College Application Service. AMCAS is roughly the equivalent of LSDAS, where AAMC is the equivalent of LSAC.) Oh, plus the one real MCAT that I took.

Bgd736j2 wrote:second, MCAT passages-for the most part- are designed to see how well test takers can break down arguments/ understand arguments/identify arguments. To support what i am saying go on AMCAS.org(they are to the mcat what LSAC is to the lsat) and they will explain the MCAT verbal section and its purpose.

From the 2010 MCAT Essentials, straight off aamc.org: "The Verbal Reasoning section evaluates your ability to understand, evaluate, and apply information and arguments presented in prose style" (emphasis mine). Sometimes you're given passages that make full-blown arguments. Sometimes, not so much. And my point was that the MCAT has these aimless passages more regularly than the LSAT does.

Bgd736j2 wrote:Also it depends which MCAT books you are using. Examcrackers, princeton review, kaplan, berkeley review, or AMCAS passages. IT is popular consensus that Amcas passages are more difficult than the rest.

That's an oversimplification. Are you talking about books or online diags? (Or old printed versions of currently online materials?) Are you talking about lower-numbered AAMC tests or higher-numbered ones? You have to specify; it does make quite a bit of difference.

Anyway, most of this is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Getting good at reading comp is getting good at reading comp, to some extent, but LSAT reading comp and MCAT reading comp are not identical. Practicing on the MCAT helps on the LSAT, but not as much as practicing on the LSAT does. Thus, if you need to supplement because you're running low on real LSAT stuff, MCAT (or, as has been pointed out, GMAT) stuff is fine, but I wouldn't make it your primary focus.

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azahwa
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby azahwa » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:23 pm

okay thanks guys, just wondering. my sis had a bunch of mcat prep books lying around from her studying, I thought I might put them to use lol!
I have almost absolutely no idea whats in the MCAT,i had just been talking to my sis had told me that she compared the test w/ her bf(who took the lsat) and they saw some comparisons int hose sections. *shrug* i guess not.
People seem to be generally saying IF u use them, use only if youve used all of reading comp. Im not even CLOSE to finishing so I do not need to be looking at these right now haha!

Bgd736j2
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby Bgd736j2 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:57 pm

I would recommend that the MCAT passages be used before LSAT passages.

Reasons:

1. Prevent burnout of MCAT passages
2. Improve Reading abilities before touching LSAT material- so that when you start using the material you just have to fine tune your already enhanced reading skills to deconstruct the LSAT passages/questions.

3. Learn how to pace yourself with MCAT passages before touching LSAT passages so that pacing is not that big of an issue when conquering those lsat passages. MCAT passages are just as long, if not longer than LSAT passages. So it is good for pacing practice.


If you do the math, i believe we have 250+ official LSAT passages at our disposal. These should be treated like gold. I have 400+ MCat passages from Princeton review, Kaplan, and Examcrackers. I believe that a decent reading regimen coupled with the use of these MCAT passages will improve our pacing, critical reading, and also endurance. Is it sufficient by itself? OF COURSE NOT. when this is done we attack the real material.

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JazzOne
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Re: Take MCAT verbal sections for RC LSAT help?

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:56 pm

Hey OP, former MCAT and LSAT teacher here. Tomwatts hit this one out of the park. Bgd seems to be less informed. Regarding the line numbers, there may be some confusion because the MCAT used to be a paper-and-pencil test. At that time, the lines were numbered on the verbal reasoning passages, so the lines were numbered in the prep materials as well. When the test went to the computer-based format, Princeton Review changed its materials to reflect the fact that there were no longer line numbers alongside the passages. However, there are probably still a lot of Verbal Reasoning materials floating around with numbered lines.




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