Well I still mark without using a formal notation system. Underlining works surprisingly well - you're underlining key points, not necessarily so you can check it back later but to help you comprehend as you're reading. You should still be circling key words, names, and notating viewpoints somehow on the side. Other than that, don't worry about other notations, it should be a very simple system. I can imagine the questions would be hard without any form of underlining or circling.
Not notating simply means your main priority is reading to comprehend rather than to notate. It works damn well, at least for me and many others on TLS. However, I think different strategies will work for different people. Keep on experimenting with different types of notation. The idea is that if you notate so much and put in a conscious effort into it, it heavily distracts you and takes up a lot of time. While I notate, I'm not really consciously notating, it's very natural and doesn't interfere with my reading. I'm a slow reader but I'm able to do sections in 7-10 minutes now, much better than the 10-13 minutes it was taking me when I would consciously notate and mark.
Next time you do a RC section, try underlining major points to help instill it in your mind, circle key names/terms, and put a simple V on the side to indicate opinions/criticisms/etc (along with whose viewpoint it is). On the earlier (aka easier) RC sections, I've brought down my score from an inconsistent -7-10 to a more respectable -6 average. I actually got -3 on the RC of my last PT, my best before changing strategies was a -7.
northwood wrote:RC fun update:
attempted a RC section without doing any note taking and found it difficult to stay focused and ontop of the article. While I was able to get through the reading quicker, and able to complete the entire section in time, I had to constantly go back through the article to find the right spot, and made more mistakes on the questions.
Attempted another RC section doing some notes, and was able to get through 3 and a half sections. Missed anywhere between 1 and 3 questions per passage. Not totally happy with the performance, but this was a good exercise to see what method works better for me. Just have to adjust my markings and write in shorthand along the margins and i think ill be fine. Does anyone else notice that its harder to stay focused in RC when you arent marking? I found myself skimimg more, and understanding less. Anyone know of a good way to practice marking up a passage so that you mark only important things, and not unecessary info?