how to do better on reading comp

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mellyy85
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:21 pm

how to do better on reading comp

Postby mellyy85 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:24 pm

Hello, I have taken the Kaplan Course and I am still having trouble completing the reading comp section of the test. I understand that I may be focusing on details too much, but when I try to skim the important facts and research later for the questions I seem to lose focus on the passage. Besides the obvious more practice answer can anyone give some helpful information on how to improve on this section.

Kurst
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:33 pm

Re: how to do better on reading comp

Postby Kurst » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:37 pm


rubydandun
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:58 am

Re: how to do better on reading comp

Postby rubydandun » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:44 am

my advice if timing is your issue...

realize that it doesn't matter how good your comprehension is, IF you fail to get to the questions.

Try this: put your pencil down and take NO NOTES at all. i used to take a decent amount of notes and as soon as i stopped - my score went from consistently -8 to consistently -3 or -4 because I had more time to tackle the questions. Especially on the more modern tests, the questions are like LR problems - you have to put a lot of thought into them.

Also check out ATLAS reading comp. It's the best RC strategy book ive seen.

How I improved/other tidbits:

1.) take ATLAS, VOYAGERs RC strategy and read them until you're blue in the face. Take detailed notes.
2.) Turn these notes into a condensed notecard that you put next to you every time you're about to do a RC passage. Do a RC passage untimed, making sure that you're applying all the techniques.
3.) see what works for you and what doesn't.
4.) Repeat over and over and over, slowly beginning to time until you REALLY start understanding how RC passages are structured. Just like LR, there are about 8-10 templates/passage types. After a while, when you're reading, you'll read a sentence and think "A-ha! this will definitely be asked about"!

^another interesting point..there are always 1-2 points in time when you're reading a RC passage where you just think WTF is going on. It'll be either very complex, convoluted, or written in a deliberately confusing/unclear way. Most people will be like uhhh whatever and just keep going. NO -STOP and make sure you understand it - this is confusing by design and trust me, there will either be a question directly from this portion, or it'll play a pivotal role in the passage as a whole and you not understanding will ruin you.

Also -

I could explain why, but just trust me on this - SEEK OUT wrong answers, don't look for right answers. Bc reading comp passages are long, there's a lot of room for them to use synonyms to confuse you and make the right answer look totally wrong.

Also -

don't bust your learning nut by compulsively checking the answers as soon as you finish passage. NO. stop, and review each question that gave you problems, re-read the passage and try and realize what mental lapses you tend to fall into. This is especially pertinent in LR, but this is the #1 way to improve - to really identify trends through tons of repitition and coming up with a strategy for yourself.

And to people who say RC can't be improved - it definitely can, it's just a huge pain in the ass because every single person is differnet and there are few "general fixes".

What I do

1.) I blaze through the passage as fast as I possibly can, reading for detail and structure. When a paragraph ends I ask myself what role the paragraph played and how many points of view i read, what their evidence was etc. Then i try and guess where the next paragraph is going. I convince myself this stuff is incredibly fascinating.

2.) I ONLY write notes if it's something I'm 100% sure wil be asked baout or referred to.

3.) When i finish the passage, i skim it again really quickly (15 seconds) and cement the structure, main players, evidence used, etc

4.) I actively and aggressively seek out wrong answers

5.) if a question is giving me grief - I skip it. No time to screw around with RC. I'll eliminate what I can and come back later.

hope this helps

youarereadingthis
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:57 pm

Re: how to do better on reading comp

Postby youarereadingthis » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:48 am

rubydandun wrote:my advice if timing is your issue...

realize that it doesn't matter how good your comprehension is, IF you fail to get to the questions.

Try this: put your pencil down and take NO NOTES at all. i used to take a decent amount of notes and as soon as i stopped - my score went from consistently -8 to consistently -3 or -4 because I had more time to tackle the questions. Especially on the more modern tests, the questions are like LR problems - you have to put a lot of thought into them.

Also check out ATLAS reading comp. It's the best RC strategy book ive seen.

How I improved/other tidbits:

1.) take ATLAS, VOYAGERs RC strategy and read them until you're blue in the face. Take detailed notes.
2.) Turn these notes into a condensed notecard that you put next to you every time you're about to do a RC passage. Do a RC passage untimed, making sure that you're applying all the techniques.
3.) see what works for you and what doesn't.
4.) Repeat over and over and over, slowly beginning to time until you REALLY start understanding how RC passages are structured. Just like LR, there are about 8-10 templates/passage types. After a while, when you're reading, you'll read a sentence and think "A-ha! this will definitely be asked about"!

^another interesting point..there are always 1-2 points in time when you're reading a RC passage where you just think WTF is going on. It'll be either very complex, convoluted, or written in a deliberately confusing/unclear way. Most people will be like uhhh whatever and just keep going. NO -STOP and make sure you understand it - this is confusing by design and trust me, there will either be a question directly from this portion, or it'll play a pivotal role in the passage as a whole and you not understanding will ruin you.

Also -

I could explain why, but just trust me on this - SEEK OUT wrong answers, don't look for right answers. Bc reading comp passages are long, there's a lot of room for them to use synonyms to confuse you and make the right answer look totally wrong.

Also -

don't bust your learning nut by compulsively checking the answers as soon as you finish passage. NO. stop, and review each question that gave you problems, re-read the passage and try and realize what mental lapses you tend to fall into. This is especially pertinent in LR, but this is the #1 way to improve - to really identify trends through tons of repitition and coming up with a strategy for yourself.

And to people who say RC can't be improved - it definitely can, it's just a huge pain in the ass because every single person is differnet and there are few "general fixes".

What I do

1.) I blaze through the passage as fast as I possibly can, reading for detail and structure. When a paragraph ends I ask myself what role the paragraph played and how many points of view i read, what their evidence was etc. Then i try and guess where the next paragraph is going. I convince myself this stuff is incredibly fascinating.

2.) I ONLY write notes if it's something I'm 100% sure wil be asked baout or referred to.

3.) When i finish the passage, i skim it again really quickly (15 seconds) and cement the structure, main players, evidence used, etc

4.) I actively and aggressively seek out wrong answers

5.) if a question is giving me grief - I skip it. No time to screw around with RC. I'll eliminate what I can and come back later.

hope this helps


#1 on your list helped me out. Epic post. Great advice. Reflecting on the paragragh is helping me out.

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minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: how to do better on reading comp

Postby minnbills » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:51 am

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