When we talk about the MCAT we think about developing critical skills such as critical thiking and stamina, among other skills. We don’t usually think about reading skills unless we’re studying for the CARS section. Of course, reading will improve you comprehension and to increase your speed while reading, but there are other benefits of reading books, blogs 😉, newspapers, etc.
Some people will say: “So yeah, I read all the time when I’m studying for my classes” but, when you study you are focused on understanding and analizing whatever you are studying. You are not necessarily focused on practicing reading comprehension and measuring you reading speed. So, obviously, reading more will help you increase your speed when you are reading the passages, but more importantly, it will help you comprehend better what you are reading.
Now, this post is very important for my fellow Puerto Rican readers, and other readers whose first language is not English.
I don’t know if you noticed, but there is a reason why I wrote this article in English instead of Spanish. So you could practice and start getting used to the language. Yes, we literally study in English, our professor’s Power Point presentations, books, notes, etc., might be written in English but most, if not all, of our tests are written in Spanish. Yes, most of this community is bilingual, but studying biology, chemistry, and physics concepts and processes is not the same as reading an arts and literature passage. Let alone, reading in at a good speed while comprehending it at the same time.
That is also why people whose first language is not English might not get scores as high as English native speakers. I am not saying we don’t get good scores, because we do. I’m just saying that you should take it into account when you take the test and you should never compare your scores to anyone else’s. Each one of us have our own strenghts, weaknesses, and story.
I wish you lots of success on your journey!
Let me know about you favorite readings in the comments!
Disclaimer: I am NOT an MCAT coach nor am I affiliated with the AAMC or any MCAT related company. This is just my experience and advice I have received from my many mentors. Thank you!
“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn