160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

How much time do you spend reading RC passages?

30 seconds - 1 min
1
1%
1 min - 1.5 mins.
1
1%
1.5 mins - 2 mins.
9
10%
2 mins - 2.5 mins.
11
13%
2.5 mins - 3 mins.
11
13%
3 mins - 3.5 mins
22
26%
3.5 mins - 4 mins
18
21%
4 mins - 4.5 mins
9
10%
4.5 + mins.
4
5%
 
Total votes: 86

letsdoit1982
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:59 pm

160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby letsdoit1982 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:24 am

Also, please post any random RC advice. Thank you.
Last edited by letsdoit1982 on Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

gmreplay
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 6:47 pm

Re: How much time do you spend reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby gmreplay » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:11 pm

Here's what I learned from a lot of 175+ masters and a good amount of practice
(just keep these in mind. if you try to remember 10 things to do you will forget most).

Look for the main theme in the answers. Answer choices that have something to do with the main theme of the passage (rather than just about one factoid in the passage) often have a higher chance of being correct.

Look for viewpoints and speakers, not details.

Bracket point of view summaries.

Look for evidence and the conclusion WITHIN each paragraph.

Always ask yourself "what's the purpose of this piece?" or "to what end?"

And lastly, this technique has really helped me a lot- read the damn questions first, but when you do so, write down the main topics that you're dealing with in the questions next to the passage. For instance, 3/5 questions might ask something about "1943 edition", "James's book" and "African authors during the 20th century". I will jot those all down quickly, and then try to remember them while reading, occasionally glancing at them to make sure I haven't forgotten them. This method allows you to mark off the areas that you know will be asked about, and even to jump straight to that question if you feel you can answer it right away. It's like cheating because you get the questions before the passage. Reading the whole passage first is hamstringing yourself, especially when a 30 second read over of the questions can knock you down from 6-7 wrong to 3-4 wrong per section.

letsdoit1982
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: How much time do you spend reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby letsdoit1982 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:10 pm

gmreplay wrote:Here's what I learned from a lot of 175+ masters and a good amount of practice
(just keep these in mind. if you try to remember 10 things to do you will forget most).

Look for the main theme in the answers. Answer choices that have something to do with the main theme of the passage (rather than just about one factoid in the passage) often have a higher chance of being correct.

Look for viewpoints and speakers, not details.

Bracket point of view summaries.

Look for evidence and the conclusion WITHIN each paragraph.

Always ask yourself "what's the purpose of this piece?" or "to what end?"

And lastly, this technique has really helped me a lot- read the damn questions first, but when you do so, write down the main topics that you're dealing with in the questions next to the passage. For instance, 3/5 questions might ask something about "1943 edition", "James's book" and "African authors during the 20th century". I will jot those all down quickly, and then try to remember them while reading, occasionally glancing at them to make sure I haven't forgotten them. This method allows you to mark off the areas that you know will be asked about, and even to jump straight to that question if you feel you can answer it right away. It's like cheating because you get the questions before the passage. Reading the whole passage first is hamstringing yourself, especially when a 30 second read over of the questions can knock you down from 6-7 wrong to 3-4 wrong per section.


I'm skeptical about reading the questions first, but I'll give it a shot.

PoliticalJunkie
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: How much time do you spend reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby PoliticalJunkie » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:14 pm

After 3 minutes your chances decrease significantly in finishing all the questions.

Try and identify the type of passage, number of VP's, categories, etc. If you can identify the types of passages that LSAT offers (only 6 or so) and the types of questions associated with them, you'll be able to read through the passages in 1-2 minutes and finish the entire section with 5-10 min to spare.

I was able to move from 4 min/reading the passage (8:30-9min including reading/questions) to an average of 1.5min for reading and another 5 min for the questions. This is fast, but I was able to increase my accuracy to about 95%.

Practice makes perfect

gmreplay
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 6:47 pm

Re: How much time do you spend reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby gmreplay » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:04 pm

The entire trick with RC is that they give you far more information than you need to know. Reading the questions first gives you a good idea of just what you DO need to know, thereby allowing you to read with the right amount of focus on each part.

letsdoit1982
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Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: How much time do you spend reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby letsdoit1982 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:26 pm

bump

Near
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Re: How much time do you spend reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby Near » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:01 am

I much prefer the quick read, and then checking back to the passage when necessary. My mind is less clouded without trying to keep the questions in mind while I read.

Near
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:08 pm

Re: How much time do you spend reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby Near » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:05 am

PoliticalJunkie wrote:After 3 minutes your chances decrease significantly in finishing all the questions.

Try and identify the type of passage, number of VP's, categories, etc. If you can identify the types of passages that LSAT offers (only 6 or so) and the types of questions associated with them, you'll be able to read through the passages in 1-2 minutes and finish the entire section with 5-10 min to spare.

I was able to move from 4 min/reading the passage (8:30-9min including reading/questions) to an average of 1.5min for reading and another 5 min for the questions. This is fast, but I was able to increase my accuracy to about 95%.

Practice makes perfect

Exactly. VP = viewpoints ?

letsdoit1982
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: How much time do you spend reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby letsdoit1982 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:13 am

PoliticalJunkie wrote:After 3 minutes your chances decrease significantly in finishing all the questions.

Try and identify the type of passage, number of VP's, categories, etc. If you can identify the types of passages that LSAT offers (only 6 or so) and the types of questions associated with them, you'll be able to read through the passages in 1-2 minutes and finish the entire section with 5-10 min to spare.

I was able to move from 4 min/reading the passage (8:30-9min including reading/questions) to an average of 1.5min for reading and another 5 min for the questions. This is fast, but I was able to increase my accuracy to about 95%.

Practice makes perfect


I disagree. When I read slowly, I can zip right through the questions.

There shouldn't be a specific time you try to adhere to when reading passage, rather you should try and make sure you have a good grasp of the passage.. If this take 1.5 mins then great, but if it takes longer (i.e. 4 mins) then so be it. You shouldn't start skimming the passage just because you want to finish in some predetermined time. It will definitely hurt you in the end IMO.

Near
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:08 pm

Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby Near » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:31 am

Yeah, except finishing in some predetermined amount of time is exactly what you want to do. Reading for 3, leaving 5 and a half for the questions is stress inducing for me. Knowing that you have less than a minute per question sucks when you run into one that you have to think about.

letsdoit1982
Posts: 151
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Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby letsdoit1982 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:56 pm

Near wrote:Yeah, except finishing in some predetermined amount of time is exactly what you want to do. Reading for 3, leaving 5 and a half for the questions is stress inducing for me. Knowing that you have less than a minute per question sucks when you run into one that you have to think about.


I think it's stress inducing when you don't fully understand the passage because you read to quick.

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autarkh
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Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby autarkh » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:59 pm

As much as I need, but as little as possible. I don't really keep track of individual passages, or the time spent on the passage vs. the questions. I know that I finish with about 3-4 min to spare, and I average -1/-0. If I had to guess, I'd say 3-4 min.

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Mattalones
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Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby Mattalones » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:04 pm

letsdoit1982 wrote:
Near wrote:Yeah, except finishing in some predetermined amount of time is exactly what you want to do. Reading for 3, leaving 5 and a half for the questions is stress inducing for me. Knowing that you have less than a minute per question sucks when you run into one that you have to think about.


I think it's stress inducing when you don't fully understand the passage because you read to quick.

Or typed "to" quickly :lol: ... I'm sorry. I'm just super sensitive to "too," two," and "to" because I have been teaching them to my 6th graders for a while now.

letsdoit1982
Posts: 151
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Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby letsdoit1982 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:30 pm

autarkh wrote:As much as I need, but as little as possible. I don't really keep track of individual passages, or the time spent on the passage vs. the questions. I know that I finish with about 3-4 min to spare, and I average -1/-0. If I had to guess, I'd say 3-4 min.



How in the world do you finish with 3-4 mins to spare and still manage to get only -1/0? What is your markup strategy? A lot or a little?

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autarkh
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Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby autarkh » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:11 am

letsdoit1982 wrote:
autarkh wrote:As much as I need, but as little as possible. I don't really keep track of individual passages, or the time spent on the passage vs. the questions. I know that I finish with about 3-4 min to spare, and I average -1/-0. If I had to guess, I'd say 3-4 min.



How in the world do you finish with 3-4 mins to spare and still manage to get only -1/0? What is your markup strategy? A lot or a little?


LOL. How in the world do people manage to finish LG with 3-4 min left and get -0/-1? =)

Anyway, my markups are usually a convoluted mess. I tend to run my pencil lightly under each word so that I really read it. If I see something that screams "authors' attitude" I circle it, but I seldom refer back. If I recognize a sentence that performs a specific critical function in the overall argument, I tag it. It's pretty ad-hoc. Someone else looking at it would be very confused, and probably assume a 4-year-old had been let loose with a pencil.

I discussed some drills in this other thread.

Timing in the RC section has never been that big of a problem for me. In fact, if anything, it has actually gotten a bit tighter as I've improved in accuracy. I took my very first diagnostic in a crowded classroom. When I finished and looked up, with about 5 minutes remaining, I saw everyone around me working furiously, so I assumed I had done something wrong. I went to pee, then sat down back down and tried to keep working. I ended up getting -3.

My advice would be to just read tons of passages and, whenever you get something wrong, look back at the passage to figure out what caused you to pick the incorrect answer. Usually you'll find a key word or phrase that you skimmed or misinterpreted. With time, you learn to eliminate these and read what's actually there. For me, running the pencil under the words is fundamental.

Shrimps
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Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby Shrimps » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:19 am

I finish my RC sections (from older tests) usually with a few minutes to spare (sometimes over 5) and rarely make any mistakes (my last three RC sections, from roughly PT 21-25 were -0,-1,-0). On the other hand, a single slightly unusual AR game will set me back 12-15 minutes. Sigh. If only they let us redistribute time as we saw fit among sections during the actual test. Slow-RC people would benefit. Slow-AR people would benefit. Let's write a collective petition.

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je_ne_regrette_rien
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Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby je_ne_regrette_rien » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:08 am

Honestly, it depends on what works best for you.

Reading the questions first is a waste of time for me.

(Got -1 on RC in June 2009 and Oct 2009).

I just read the passage carefully but not too slowly. If I try to look over the questions first, it backfires. Instead of reading the passage more critically, I end up focusing on things that remind me of the questions and miss some major points.

Find your style.

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Fevsi
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Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby Fevsi » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:25 am

RC was by far the most difficult section for me. I started with -4 (way better than any other section) and ended getting occasional -2 in PTs (with -1 in other sections at most). RC was my only -0 section on the real test, so I guess I did some progress in the end.

Reading the questions first has never worked for me, so this must be an individual preference. I usually read the passage really carefully, in 3-4 mins, and then go through questions really fast bc they are usually less dense than the passage itself. I found that the most important thing for me, in terms of timing, was to keep an inner rhythm to reading. It helps to a) not to pronounce words silently (called subvocalization), saving time and attention for the text, and b) to make sure you read the passage closely, but don't get bogged down by details. Otherwise, though, the most important thing that helped was reading a lot of good-quality journalism on a daily basis. In terms of mark-up strategies, I always circled words that revealed intent/view of the author or those discussed and underlined the key phrases (who/what/why etc), trying not to underline more than 10% of the text as I felt it would destroy the purpose of underlining in the first place.

letsdoit1982
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby letsdoit1982 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:07 pm

autarkh wrote:
letsdoit1982 wrote:
autarkh wrote:As much as I need, but as little as possible. I don't really keep track of individual passages, or the time spent on the passage vs. the questions. I know that I finish with about 3-4 min to spare, and I average -1/-0. If I had to guess, I'd say 3-4 min.



How in the world do you finish with 3-4 mins to spare and still manage to get only -1/0? What is your markup strategy? A lot or a little?


LOL. How in the world do people manage to finish LG with 3-4 min left and get -0/-1? =)

Anyway, my markups are usually a convoluted mess. I tend to run my pencil lightly under each word so that I really read it. If I see something that screams "authors' attitude" I circle it, but I seldom refer back. If I recognize a sentence that performs a specific critical function in the overall argument, I tag it. It's pretty ad-hoc. Someone else looking at it would be very confused, and probably assume a 4-year-old had been let loose with a pencil.

I discussed some drills in this other thread.

Timing in the RC section has never been that big of a problem for me. In fact, if anything, it has actually gotten a bit tighter as I've improved in accuracy. I took my very first diagnostic in a crowded classroom. When I finished and looked up, with about 5 minutes remaining, I saw everyone around me working furiously, so I assumed I had done something wrong. I went to pee, then sat down back down and tried to keep working. I ended up getting -3.

My advice would be to just read tons of passages and, whenever you get something wrong, look back at the passage to figure out what caused you to pick the incorrect answer. Usually you'll find a key word or phrase that you skimmed or misinterpreted. With time, you learn to eliminate these and read what's actually there. For me, running the pencil under the words is fundamental.


Thanks for the advice. I'm definitely going to try your method of following along with a pencil. My problem is that I have a hard time picking out what is important and what's not. As a result, I spend too much time with irrelevant facts in the passages.

letsdoit1982
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: 160+ Scorers.....Time spent on reading RC passages? (POLL)

Postby letsdoit1982 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:19 pm

Fevsi wrote:RC was by far the most difficult section for me. I started with -4 (way better than any other section) and ended getting occasional -2 in PTs (with -1 in other sections at most). RC was my only -0 section on the real test, so I guess I did some progress in the end.

Reading the questions first has never worked for me, so this must be an individual preference. I usually read the passage really carefully, in 3-4 mins, and then go through questions really fast bc they are usually less dense than the passage itself. I found that the most important thing for me, in terms of timing, was to keep an inner rhythm to reading. It helps to a) not to pronounce words silently (called subvocalization), saving time and attention for the text, and b) to make sure you read the passage closely, but don't get bogged down by details. Otherwise, though, the most important thing that helped was reading a lot of good-quality journalism on a daily basis. In terms of mark-up strategies, I always circled words that revealed intent/view of the author or those discussed and underlined the key phrases (who/what/why etc), trying not to underline more than 10% of the text as I felt it would destroy the purpose of underlining in the first place.


I don't understand how this could possibly help anyone for the following reasons:

1. You have to read the stem twice.
2. Many of the questions are of no use when reading the passage (i.e., "What's the main point of the passage").
3. You have to constantly have the questions in the back of your mind when reading the passage.


I can see how some people would prefer the questions stem first approach for LR, but I have no idea why reading the questions first for RC would be beneficial. Soon someone is going to advocate reading LG questions first. LOL




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