Reading Comp Passage Selection

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txadv11
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Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby txadv11 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:29 am

I'm trying for a mid-high 150's. I don't know how you 160's-170's people do it, but WOW 8)

That being said, I cannot miss more than about 8 per section without making up on another. My LR scores are consistent at around -16 or -17 combined. Games is usually a -8, sometimes less. My problem is in reading comp, where I seem to either miss around 7-9, ...or I miss 16-17 :oops: . I typically only get to 3/4 of the passages and it seems that I have trouble selecting which passage to "skip" (I currently just use a guess letter). My question: how do you choose which passage to skip?

On a side note, I recently tried to do the three passages that had the most number of questions, leaving a 6 question passage for my guess letter. On that test, I actually went -16/26, on one passage that I attempted I went -5/8! After the test when I read the forth passage and answered the questions, timed, I went 5/6. I have searched online but can't find consistent answers beyond what I have already tried. Although I wouldn't try this, I feel like I could spend 15 min a piece, on two medium to large passages and guess on the other two, and probably get more than freaking 11 correct... Anyways,

Given that no topics jump out at me as an interest etc, and knowing that my accuracy is this bad, passage selection seems to be crucial. How can I be more certain in choosing passages that are 'easier'? I read about average speed IRL, Is it likely that I am still reading for a intense understanding rather than more general tone, idea, structure etc?

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Knock
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby Knock » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:21 am

txadv11 wrote:I'm trying for a mid-high 150's. I don't know how you 160's-170's people do it, but WOW 8)

That being said, I cannot miss more than about 8 per section without making up on another. My LR scores are consistent at around -16 or -17 combined. Games is usually a -8, sometimes less. My problem is in reading comp, where I seem to either miss around 7-9, ...or I miss 16-17 :oops: . I typically only get to 3/4 of the passages and it seems that I have trouble selecting which passage to "skip" (I currently just use a guess letter). My question: how do you choose which passage to skip?

On a side note, I recently tried to do the three passages that had the most number of questions, leaving a 6 question passage for my guess letter. On that test, I actually went -16/26, on one passage that I attempted I went -5/8! After the test when I read the forth passage and answered the questions, timed, I went 5/6. I have searched online but can't find consistent answers beyond what I have already tried. Although I wouldn't try this, I feel like I could spend 15 min a piece, on two medium to large passages and guess on the other two, and probably get more than freaking 11 correct... Anyways,

Given that no topics jump out at me as an interest etc, and knowing that my accuracy is this bad, passage selection seems to be crucial. How can I be more certain in choosing passages that are 'easier'? I read about average speed IRL, Is it likely that I am still reading for a intense understanding rather than more general tone, idea, structure etc?


I would just skim the 4 passages very briefly, and choose the 1 that is the most boring to you, if you can. Simply because the less engaged you are with the RC passages, the harder it is to answer the questions quickly and accurately.

OR

For example: start with passage 1, go to passage 2, go to passage 3 and you see it's crazy difficult (i'm looking at you noguchi, cake-walk, talk-story, etc.), skip that one, and go on to passage 4. So the main idea with this strategy is to skip the passage based on how difficult you think it is while you're working through the sections.

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2014
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby 2014 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:45 am

I would suggest one of three things to consider.
1. Skip the passage that has 5 or 6 questions...if you are going to miss one, might as well miss the one with the least number of questions.
2. Skip the science passage (If you are bad at it). Most people struggle with the language of the science one, so if you aren't going to do them all, that is as good as any to bail on.
3. Skip the comparative passage. There aren't many PTs out there to practice comparative, and it probably takes more time on average because people are overwhelmed with the different viewpoints floating around in that form.

You obviously can't do all three, but maybe one of those choices will be the best choice for you, and it is easy to tell which one falls into each of those categories on the test.

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Knock
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby Knock » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:48 am

2014 wrote:I would suggest one of three things to consider.
1. Skip the passage that has 5 or 6 questions...if you are going to miss one, might as well miss the one with the least number of questions.
2. Skip the science passage (If you are bad at it). Most people struggle with the language of the science one, so if you aren't going to do them all, that is as good as any to bail on.
3. Skip the comparative passage. There aren't many PTs out there to practice comparative, and it probably takes more time on average because people are overwhelmed with the different viewpoints floating around in that form.

You obviously can't do all three, but maybe one of those choices will be the best choice for you, and it is easy to tell which one falls into each of those categories on the test.


Ehhh, I think 2 and 3 fall on a more case-by-case basis. Sometimes the science passage has the easiest or most straightforward questions. I think i'd rather answer questions many of the times about what happened rather than attempt to articulate the subtleties of African-American tribal art centers. And a lot of the times the comparative passage is one of the easier passages.

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2014
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby 2014 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:56 am

I actually agree with you Knock, but for someone who is already facing a time crunch, I know the science one and the comparative one both take a ton of time up, especially for those who struggle with RC. Plus if you only have time to choose one out of the blue to not do, you won't be able to check out the questions and see that the science questions for example happen to be easy on the test and are not the stupid basin ones.

The credited answer is probably to just choose the one with the least number of questions though :p

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txadv11
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby txadv11 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:53 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone. I will surely keep those options in mind. Ideally, I would have a 5-6 question tough science passage (skipping it), since I seem to do a little bit worse on those than anything else. I'm probably going to cry (on the inside) if I get an 8 question hard science passage and an 8 question artsy 18th century diversity/culture passage.

2011Law
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby 2011Law » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:04 pm

Haven't gotten around to the PTs with the comparative reading yet (going for Dec test), but the science passage usually kills me (not that I do horrendous on it, but it takes a little longer and I have to put way more focus into it), so if I were to skip a passage (though I won't) it would be that one. OP, mind if I ask how long you usually take to just read the passage vs answering questions?

JJDancer
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby JJDancer » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:19 pm

If you have 5-6 mins to read a passage then you really should be making notations on the page.
Do you note MP (main point)
and tone
structure (intro theory, support theory, show minor drawback but still say better than older theory) [something like this]
write 1-2 phrase summary of each paragraph.
if you spend 11-12 mins on each passage while doing this you shoule be able to hit 16ish correct (doing 3 passages and guessing on the hardest/one with least qs).

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txadv11
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby txadv11 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:45 pm

2011Law wrote:Haven't gotten around to the PTs with the comparative reading yet (going for Dec test), but the science passage usually kills me (not that I do horrendous on it, but it takes a little longer and I have to put way more focus into it), so if I were to skip a passage (though I won't) it would be that one. OP, mind if I ask how long you usually take to just read the passage vs answering questions?


I would say around 2.5 minutes to 4 minutes, typically around 3 minutes. Probably 30 seconds to upwards of two minutes in extreme cases for questions, average is probably a minute or just over.
So for an 8 question passage, probably 3 to read + 8ish minutes= 11 minutes.

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txadv11
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby txadv11 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:47 pm

JJDancer wrote:If you have 5-6 mins to read a passage then you really should be making notations on the page.
Do you note MP (main point)
and tone
structure (intro theory, support theory, show minor drawback but still say better than older theory) [something like this]
write 1-2 phrase summary of each paragraph.
if you spend 11-12 mins on each passage while doing this you shoule be able to hit 16ish correct (doing 3 passages and guessing on the hardest/one with least qs).


This looks pretty good! I'm going to try this on a PT or two.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby Blumpbeef » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:19 pm

I would recommend skipping one of the games.

You really shouldn't be getting -8 on the games section. You should be able to answer virtually every question correctly, so give yourself more time on 3 of the games and skip one. Your numbers will go to -4 to -6, depending on how lucky your guesses are.

lsatextreme
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby lsatextreme » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:27 pm

I'm sure you've already considered this but is there really no way for you to take a course somehow? I only ask since you seem like a candidate that could improve well after a course

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txadv11
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby txadv11 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:48 pm

dhrizek wrote:I would recommend skipping one of the games.

You really shouldn't be getting -8 on the games section. You should be able to answer virtually every question correctly, so give yourself more time on 3 of the games and skip one. Your numbers will go to -4 to -6, depending on how lucky your guesses are.


I will consider this, especially because now that I think about it, reasonably untimed (like 10ish min games rather than 845) I usually only miss 1-2. If their is any section I am rushed for time on it is definitely games.

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txadv11
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby txadv11 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:51 pm

lsatextreme wrote:I'm sure you've already considered this but is there really no way for you to take a course somehow? I only ask since you seem like a candidate that could improve well after a course


I took Sept 09 with basically zero prep (I'm not sure what the heck my problem was....) and got a 144 :oops: . I took the PowerScore full-length this Summer. I have ended up getting 149-150 on a VERY BAD day, and typically 151-157. A recent untimed was 167, with scores of: -11 LR (combined), -1 LG, -6 RC.

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txadv11
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby txadv11 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:09 pm

Ok, I took June 2007, the "free" one.

I went: -9 LG, -14 LR (-7, -7), -8 RC, for a raw score of 69/100

My RC strategy was to 1. Calm down 2. Focus on structure,tone, attitude, assertions/proposals rather than detail. 3. Decide within a minute or so which one of the four I would skip. and 4. Very carefully examine and criticize answer choices when bogged down.


Topically:
Poetry and fiction categorization: 7/8 (-1)
Comparative A & B type about language and music in human evolution: 2/6 (-4)
Internet copyright law, regarding ''linking'' documents: 8/8 (-0)
*Irish historical landscape from documents (2/5) (-3)

* I did the finished the first three passages and questions in around 32-33 minutes. I chose to find the "The phrase ___ in lines XX and XX primarily refers to..." question and attempt it (got it correct) and then guess 'B' on the rest.
Overall I am content with this '155'. However, -9 on games (-3,-1,-2,-3 respectfully) is not great... Back to the original topic of RC, I can live with getting 19/27 correct on test day, but I am not happy to go 2/6 on a passage that I actually read and worked through...

Any thoughts?

JJDancer
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Re: Reading Comp Passage Selection

Postby JJDancer » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:20 pm

txadv11 wrote:Ok, I took June 2007, the "free" one.

I went: -9 LG, -14 LR (-7, -7), -8 RC, for a raw score of 69/100

My RC strategy was to 1. Calm down 2. Focus on structure,tone, attitude, assertions/proposals rather than detail. 3. Decide within a minute or so which one of the four I would skip. and 4. Very carefully examine and criticize answer choices when bogged down.


Topically:
Poetry and fiction categorization: 7/8 (-1)
Comparative A & B type about language and music in human evolution: 2/6 (-4)
Internet copyright law, regarding ''linking'' documents: 8/8 (-0)
*Irish historical landscape from documents (2/5) (-3)

* I did the finished the first three passages and questions in around 32-33 minutes. I chose to find the "The phrase ___ in lines XX and XX primarily refers to..." question and attempt it (got it correct) and then guess 'B' on the rest.
Overall I am content with this '155'. However, -9 on games (-3,-1,-2,-3 respectfully) is not great... Back to the original topic of RC, I can live with getting 19/27 correct on test day, but I am not happy to go 2/6 on a passage that I actually read and worked through...

Any thoughts?


Details are becoming increasingly imp in RC in my opinion. (more so in the 50s PTs than the 30s let's say). You want to understand the main argument and the structure used to prove it.
But underline anything that seems imp as you read. You shouldnt really have to spend a minute 30 on a question if you know where to look for the answer. Also when it references a line # or specific exact words/concepts from the passage, READ A little above and below because the answer can sometimes be the next sentence, rather than the one that mentions that line or concept.




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