Science Submitted For Your Peer Review
posted by April 2 at 11:55 AMon
MCAT Preparation Using The Stranger Enhances Verbal Reasoning Scores
(1) Institute for Advanced Pre-Medical Education
Preparation for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) verbal reasoning section is a frequent source of frustration for prospective medical students. Practice passages are of hideous quality, leading to despair. In these experiments we applied a passage from a recent edition of The Stranger to a study system for the MCAT. The test scores on standard practice passages significantly improved (from 44.2% to 88.4%; p < 0.05) for a study subject subjected to Stranger writing. These findings provide hope for pre-medical students everywhere and are likely to have a major impact on medical admission practices and standards.
Introduction and Background
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is the primary standardized test used for medical school admissions. The verbal reasoning section of the MCAT is comprised of a series of gruesomely written passages on various subject followed by approximately a dozen inane questions about the passage. The abominable quality of the writing in conjunction with the subjective nature of the questioning makes this section a frequent source of distress for hopeful pre-medical students everywhere.
Methods and Materials
A pre-medical volunteer read and answered questions from two standard MCAT Verbal Reasoning section practice passages (Kaplan). After a short break with coffee and butter cookies (Uptown Expresso) the volunteer went over in detail “Nothing Gold Can Stay” from the March 26th 2008 edition of The Stranger (Index Publications) with an instructor.
Following several days of rest, the volunteer again read and answered questions from two standard MCAT Verbal Reasoning section practice passages (Kaplan), distinct from those used in the pre-training period.
Percentage correctly answered questions were calculated, and the pre- and post- test results compared using a Student’s t-test with two tails and unequal variance (R Project).
Pre Stranger-based preparation, the volunteer correctly answered 5 out of 13 and 6 out of 12 questions on two standard MCAT verbal reasoning section passages, for an overall average of 44.2%.
During the Stranger-based training period, the student was lead through the Chow review, prompted with questions like:
“What parallel is the author establishing in the first two paragraphs?”
“Would the author agree or disagree with the following statement: ‘Focus on restaurant menus is a good thing.’”
“To what ‘talent’ is the author referring in the fifth paragraph?”
In addition, the volunteer was directed to determine the main point of each paragraph and if the paragraph was primarily concerned with expressing an opinion, conveying fact or both.
After this training period, the volunteer was instructed to attempt two additional standard sample verbal reasoning passages. The scores improved to 11 out of 13 and 12 out of 13 correct answers, for an overall average of 88.4%. This improvement was statistically significant as per a p value of less than 0.05 via the Student’s t-test with two tails and unequal variance.
In this set of experiments, we were able to nearly double a volunteer’s score on the verbal reasoning section of the MCAT examination using the writing contained within the pages of the Stranger. With this vastly improved studying method, we can expect verbal reasoning section scores on the MCAT to increase dramatically. Additionally, we can expect an entire generation of medical students to have a far finer appreciation for the Hooters dining experience.
While the Stranger is currently available for free, we expect that these findings will rapidly push up the subscription price of the publication into the stratosphere, resulting in Stranger contributors becoming even more vastly wealthy than they are now.
Our ongoing studies seek to apply the escort ads to preparation for the biological sciences section of the MCAT.