Speed reading for the Lsat?

Prime321
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Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby Prime321 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:44 pm

So I bought a book on speed reading to maybe help me for the LSAT and they talk about eliminating subvocalization when you read so your basically looking at the words as images. Has anyone tried using speed reading techniques for the Lsat and do they compromise comprehension so much that its useless?

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Anaconda
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby Anaconda » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:04 pm

I was literally about to post this question. Just bought a speed reading book too, and was wondering if it could be successfully used to improve time while maintaining or possibly even improving comprehension or if it's a bad idea all together.

I figure saving time on the passage can't hurt, especially if you can re-read portions of it quickly as well.

Which speed reading book did you buy?

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NoleinNY
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby NoleinNY » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:29 pm

"I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia."

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Anaconda
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby Anaconda » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:16 pm

Seriously though, many of the speed rating books get very high marks on Amazon, it's just a question of whether 3 months is enough to see big improvement, and whether or not it would hinder the RC section on the LSAT in anyone. I'm sure at least a few of TSL'ers have tried formal speed reading.

james2121
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby james2121 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:22 pm

I think you are wasting your time with a book. I had the same idea and bought Evelyn Woods book on speed reading. I thought she was an authority and would have the best book. It was mostly reading exercises and you pretty much summed up all the content in your post but it took her a full book to say it. You had to use a stop watch to time your reading and she did not even have word counts so you had to go back and count the words after each exercise. It was a waste of time.

Speed reading, however, is not and I pursued it further. I tried the Dummies Guide to speed reading, and as with most of their titles, it is not deep enough for those seeking real understanding and too deep for those just beginning. It told me nothing I had not already learned off the web.

I mentioned to a co-worker that I was trying to learn speed reading and he recommended a software system called Speed Reader-X. Apparently it is the leader in the industry of speed reading. It had a lot of information that was not in any of the books or online resources, video trainers, and exercises. I really liked it. They do say you can double your reading speed by lesson 3 and this is true, but what they dont tell you is that you cannot remember ANYTHING!

But that was ok, because by that point I understood that speed reading is a skill that takes practice and comprehension is developed over time after practicing. I stuck with it and my reading speed went from 220 words per mnute to 660 wpm now and I am still improving plus my comprehension is now at the same level it is with slow reading(it did take me a couple of months of practice to get to that level). It has bee a great help to me in my work though. Even during the learnign process when my comprehension was low I could go through doucments quickly to locate specific information.

Overall I love speed reading and highly recommend it. It is not as easy as some of the sales literature may lead you to believe but it can be learned with practice.

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jwaters
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby jwaters » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:26 pm

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Last edited by jwaters on Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dominkay
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby dominkay » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:31 pm

Speed reading is the opposite of what you should be doing on the LSAT. You should be reading SLOWLY, for comprehension. I know slow readers who did wonderfully on the exam, but people who skim are dead in the water.

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Anaconda
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby Anaconda » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:44 pm

dominkay wrote:Speed reading is the opposite of what you should be doing on the LSAT. You should be reading SLOWLY, for comprehension. I know slow readers who did wonderfully on the exam, but people who skim are dead in the water.


What happens if it take 4-5 minutes to read each passage?

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dominkay
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby dominkay » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:59 pm

Anaconda wrote:
dominkay wrote:Speed reading is the opposite of what you should be doing on the LSAT. You should be reading SLOWLY, for comprehension. I know slow readers who did wonderfully on the exam, but people who skim are dead in the water.


What happens if it take 4-5 minutes to read each passage?


I think 4 minutes is fine, if you're making good use of that time (meaning that you don't have to go back to reread as you're answering the questions).

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:19 am

Speed reading can be effective, but not as a whole. There are certain things that are great tips, for instance, you should rid yourself of subvocalizing because it is a bad habit. It lowers comprehension and significantly lowers reading speed. The other tip that is vital is that if you have speed problems you should use a pacer, like your pen or finger. These tips can be very very effective, but don't try to race through a passage, this strategy will not work well.

koolfrog11
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby koolfrog11 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:16 am

DO NOT SPEED READ FOR THE LSAT!! 4 minutes is perfect for answering questions. Speed reading encourages you to get the gist of what you are reading and not the full article. RC is VERY detail oriented and if you do not read everything carefully you will miss something. I took between 4.5-6 minutes to read each article but if you read thoroughly and marked it you can answer the questions in a couple minutes because you know it all. There's my 2 cents.

Hedwig
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby Hedwig » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:39 am

I think if you're a naturally fast reader, or you work to increase your reading speed, you can both read and take in the passages at a quicker pace than 4-6 minutes per passage. I get through a passage in two minutes, and have been scoring -3/-4 in this section. And those questions aren't necessarily going to be helped by spending a longer initial time reading through, I think.

Long story short, reading faster doesn't always have to mean sacrificing comprehension. But it's probably not worth it to try to increase your reading speed rapidly through a speed reading program or what not, since it seems like it would take a lot of practice/time to develop comprehension to go with that speed.

Prime321
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby Prime321 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:40 am

To all those saying you don't have enough time to learn it all these books say you can do it in at least 4 weeks and some even give a week. There are 14 weeks left till the LSAT. It also wouldn't compromise studying for the LSAT it would just be an addendum to your RC study.

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:58 am

dominkay wrote:Speed reading is the opposite of what you should be doing on the LSAT. You should be reading SLOWLY, for comprehension. I know slow readers who did wonderfully on the exam, but people who skim are dead in the water.


TITCR. The questions are so specific and detail oriented that speed reading is going to hinder rather than help you. You need to be getting every nuance out of a passage, remembering the little things, remembering the 2nd time the author mentioned something and how that modified or added to his or her original attitude, crap like that. Speed reading will make you susceptible to the "tempting but wrong" answers LSAC always throws in to catch people who missed a critical detail.

Prime321
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby Prime321 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:03 am

KibblesAndVick wrote:
dominkay wrote:Speed reading is the opposite of what you should be doing on the LSAT. You should be reading SLOWLY, for comprehension. I know slow readers who did wonderfully on the exam, but people who skim are dead in the water.


TITCR. The questions are so specific and detail oriented that speed reading is going to hinder rather than help you. You need to be getting every nuance out of a passage, remembering the little things, remembering the 2nd time the author mentioned something and how that modified or added to his or her original attitude, crap like that. Speed reading will make you susceptible to the "tempting but wrong" answers LSAC always throws in to catch people who missed a critical detail.


All these Speed Reading books and Software programs claim that you actually increase your comprehension with the added speed.

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:21 am

Prime321 wrote:
KibblesAndVick wrote:
dominkay wrote:Speed reading is the opposite of what you should be doing on the LSAT. You should be reading SLOWLY, for comprehension. I know slow readers who did wonderfully on the exam, but people who skim are dead in the water.


TITCR. The questions are so specific and detail oriented that speed reading is going to hinder rather than help you. You need to be getting every nuance out of a passage, remembering the little things, remembering the 2nd time the author mentioned something and how that modified or added to his or her original attitude, crap like that. Speed reading will make you susceptible to the "tempting but wrong" answers LSAC always throws in to catch people who missed a critical detail.


All these Speed Reading books and Software programs claim that you actually increase your comprehension with the added speed.


I would imagine so. I don't believe they are as optimistic about their ability to substantiate those claims.

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Nulli Secundus
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby Nulli Secundus » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:50 am

That they claim an increase in comprehension occurs, proportional to the increase in speed, does not tell us anything. Just think of the opposite, as in, there was no such claim or go to the extreme and think if the ad was like:

"You will read 5000 words a minute but you will not have the first clue about what you just read!!! Use our technique for guaranteed lack of comprehension, while mileage may vary; we will pay your money back if you understand even the gist of the text."

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queenlizzie13
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Re: Speed reading for the Lsat?

Postby queenlizzie13 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:44 pm

dominkay wrote:Speed reading is the opposite of what you should be doing on the LSAT. You should be reading SLOWLY, for comprehension. I know slow readers who did wonderfully on the exam, but people who skim are dead in the water.


Agree. I am a natural speed reader. It did NOT help on the LSAT. When I slowed down the second time I took the test, I did 6 points better, which is quite a bit better on one section.

Also, towards the end of my prep I was able to improve my timing where I did finish all four RC passages, but I understood them all and was getting 4 or less questions wrong (mostly all inference questions).

I hate inference questions, but that's off topic.




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