So I spent most of this past week reviewing verbal strategies so much so, that I've completed 6 of the 11 chapters in the TPR book. And my approach this time was to as best I could, blank my mind of everything I'd ever learned about doing these types of problems and start fresh.
Initially, the results were pretty bad in 5-6 score range, but over the past 2 days, I've improved significantly to the 10-11 range. But as strategies go, I have mixed feelings about what was taught in TPR, finding a good amount of it to be a waste of time. The strategy I'm finding most useful is to always remind myself to erase whatever knowledge I may have about the passage out of my mind and to VERY closely determine what each question is asking. Along these same lines, I'm also focusing on how I determine which of the answer choices is correct and contrary to popular teaching methods, I'm not focusing as much on recognizing extreme words as much as I'm focusing on the context those extreme words are used. In other words, just because I see extreme words, doesn't mean that answer choice can't be the right answer.
As anyone who has taken the MCAT knows, changing the verbal score is the most difficult and having taken a class in neuropharmacology, I know exactly why ( rewiring your brain to think differently is quite a task). However, I KNOW without a doubt how critical it is for me to do whatever is necessary NOW to get this in order since it will not only help my MCAT score in other areas where I'm seeing good improvement, but down the road as well for all 3 of the STEPS and beyond.
Speaking of other areas, I also started my Bio review beginning with chapter 6 (don't ask me why in the middle of the book), and my scores were very good in the 11-13 range. Again, my performance was enhanced by the verbal review I did earlier in the week and I'm finding that with time, my complaints about always being able to narrow my answer choices down to 2 yet choosing the wrong one, will soon come to an end!
Finally, I heard back from a PI regarding a Bioinformatics gig and when she returns from vacation in 2 weeks, I'll have set up a gig at the school where I'll be pursuing graduate study in Bioinformatics this Fall. Of course, this is going to involve a HUGE change in salary but as I've seen so many times in my life, money doesn't always equate to happiness!!