The verbal reasoning section of the MCAT test is primarily designed to test an individual's reading comprehension skills. In order to test an individual's reading skills, the questions in the verbal section of the exam are designed specifically to analyze an individual's ability to understand the information he or she reads in a written passage, identify key attributes of the passage, and apply the information provided in the passage. However, there are certain key concepts about the verbal reasoning questions on the exam that an individual taking the exam might want to keep in mind. First, it may be a very good idea to read each set of verbal reasoning questions before reading the passage associated with that set of questions. This is a good idea because it is important, especially when time is a concern, to know what you are looking for in a particular passage prior to actually reading the passage. By reading the question sets before the passage, you can determine whether the question is looking for you to identify the main idea of the passage, identify the tone of the passage, answer a question about a fact presented in the passage, or draw a conclusion based on the information provided in the passage. You will usually only have to read one passage for every 5 - 10 reading comprehension questions.
Secondly, it is sometimes important to reread a section of a passage when a question asks you to apply information related to a particular fact. This is because these questions will often offer choices that may relate to information in the passage that has nothing to do with answering the question or information that relates to the question, but is taken out of context. In other words, some of these questions will offer choices that are deliberately designed to trick individuals that did not read the passage carefully. As a result, you may want to reread the area of the passage that describes the particular fact the question is asking about in order to make sure that you are choosing the correct answer.
Last Updated: 04/23/2012