Improving Speed: What worked for all of you?

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dsn32
Posts: 435
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Improving Speed: What worked for all of you?

Postby dsn32 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:44 pm

Hey everyone,

So I had a suspicion after an awful PT that rushing through questions was a huge portion of the reason I've been so wildly inconsistent on PTs (between 162 and 169, with seemingly no scores in the 164-166 range), which I sort of confirmed by doing an Untimed-timed PT today (untimed in the sense of no limit, but timed in the sense that I know how long each section took me). Truth be told, pretty much all of the questions I've been leaving on the table in LG and RC turned into correct answers on the Untimed test, and I felt substantially more calm while doing both LR sections (which were already my strong suit, but were improved slightly nonetheless). My question is: who has dealt with similar issues in regards to having 1-5 minutes too few in LG and RC on a consistent basis, and what did you do to get this issue under control and achieve the consistency you wanted by test day?

Below is the breakdown of the PT scores and times (these seem pretty representative of my usual scores)

LG - 23/23 in 37 minutes (the last three questions were after the 35 minute mark)
LR1 - 25/26 in 34 minutes (improvement over my usual -2, 3, or 4 on this section)
RC - 23/27 in 40 minutes (18/21 within the 35 minute mark, +4th passage read w/o answering any Q's)
LR2 - 21/25 in 34 minutes (very average section for me, seemed fatigued at the end)

Any suggestions to shave time off of these two sections? I was thinking that for LG, just going with answers and neglecting to consider other choices once I find one I deem "correct" on the final game or two could achieve a two minute bump, but I have no idea where to start for RC.

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Moomoo2u
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Re: Improving Speed: What worked for all of you?

Postby Moomoo2u » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:58 pm

it's hard to shave off 2 minutes, and I expect it will vary a lot with what type of game you get etc (I know it did for me). The risk of just choosing the first one that is correct is that you may have fallen into a trap and not realize it by not looking at the other answers (also if you're as neurotic as I am you check each answer).

For RC you're in trouble if you're not even getting to the 4th one. You could try skimming the text then reading the questions and looking for answers in the text.

Most important is to NEVER have stuff like 25/26, 23/27, 21/25 (assuming those numbers are the number answered not just number correct) you are not penalzied for wrong answers so if you have 1 minute left and havent answered any of the questions for the last RC just guess, you have a 20% chance of getting at least 1 extra point.

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dsn32
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Re: Improving Speed: What worked for all of you?

Postby dsn32 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:15 pm

Moomoo2u wrote:it's hard to shave off 2 minutes, and I expect it will vary a lot with what type of game you get etc (I know it did for me). The risk of just choosing the first one that is correct is that you may have fallen into a trap and not realize it by not looking at the other answers (also if you're as neurotic as I am you check each answer).

For RC you're in trouble if you're not even getting to the 4th one. You could try skimming the text then reading the questions and looking for answers in the text.

Most important is to NEVER have stuff like 25/26, 23/27, 21/25 (assuming those numbers are the number answered not just number correct) you are not penalzied for wrong answers so if you have 1 minute left and havent answered any of the questions for the last RC just guess, you have a 20% chance of getting at least 1 extra point.


The 25/26, etc are correct/total in the time allotted, I certainly wouldn't leave answers blank.

As for RC... I've tried skimming but it seemed like you are completely screwed on a passage if you don't have a good understanding of it. As of right now, my RC scores will range anywhere from 17 correct on a bad test to 23 on a good one within the 35 minute time limit, but I'm obviously looking for ways to score more 23's than 17's and I thought the slower pace could be an option (although I don't know at which point quality of reading the passage becomes overkill). Would experimentation be my best bet at this point or is there some other way people have used to gain speed without sacrificing their understanding of the passages?

rachue
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: Improving Speed: What worked for all of you?

Postby rachue » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:40 am

I have a similar problem. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about LG. Someone on this forum recommended to me that for RC I go to the passages with the most questions first. That way, even if I do run out of time, I used my time efficiently to answer more questions than if I had just gone straight through. That doesn't help your time necessarily but it might help you get a few more questions correct.

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dsn32
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Re: Improving Speed: What worked for all of you?

Postby dsn32 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:10 am

rachue wrote:I have a similar problem. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about LG. Someone on this forum recommended to me that for RC I go to the passages with the most questions first. That way, even if I do run out of time, I used my time efficiently to answer more questions than if I had just gone straight through. That doesn't help your time necessarily but it might help you get a few more questions correct.


Yeah, I think this is the overall best strategy I've found thus far. I feel like if one can get to the 23-24 question with about a minute left and have answered them accurately, then guess on the last 3-4... there is a good shot a getting a 23-24 on that section, which is my goal and I'd think most would gladly take.

rachue
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: Improving Speed: What worked for all of you?

Postby rachue » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:42 am

Cool. It works for me, too. You wouldn't have figured out anything for LG? It sucks, I always seem to just get bogged down on only one set which brings down my whole overall LG score bc I can't finish the rest in time...

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clouds101
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Re: Improving Speed: What worked for all of you?

Postby clouds101 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:15 am

dsn32 wrote:Hey everyone,

So I had a suspicion after an awful PT that rushing through questions was a huge portion of the reason I've been so wildly inconsistent on PTs (between 162 and 169, with seemingly no scores in the 164-166 range), which I sort of confirmed by doing an Untimed-timed PT today (untimed in the sense of no limit, but timed in the sense that I know how long each section took me). Truth be told, pretty much all of the questions I've been leaving on the table in LG and RC turned into correct answers on the Untimed test, and I felt substantially more calm while doing both LR sections (which were already my strong suit, but were improved slightly nonetheless). My question is: who has dealt with similar issues in regards to having 1-5 minutes too few in LG and RC on a consistent basis, and what did you do to get this issue under control and achieve the consistency you wanted by test day?

Below is the breakdown of the PT scores and times (these seem pretty representative of my usual scores)

LG - 23/23 in 37 minutes (the last three questions were after the 35 minute mark)
LR1 - 25/26 in 34 minutes (improvement over my usual -2, 3, or 4 on this section)
RC - 23/27 in 40 minutes (18/21 within the 35 minute mark, +4th passage read w/o answering any Q's)
LR2 - 21/25 in 34 minutes (very average section for me, seemed fatigued at the end)

Any suggestions to shave time off of these two sections? I was thinking that for LG, just going with answers and neglecting to consider other choices once I find one I deem "correct" on the final game or two could achieve a two minute bump, but I have no idea where to start for RC.


Actually, I wouldn't be so worried if this is the one of the few tests you did. Your accuracy is pretty good and your timing isn't terrible (34 mins on LR and missing only 1 is great!). I would repeat what you're doing 4-5 more times to nail down your accuracy and then start being more mindful of time limits.

For LG, I think timing naturally comes with doing a ton of practice.

For RC, you might be spending too much time notating the passage and/or searching for evidence in the passage. This isn't really endorsed by a lot of folks, but I personally stop after each paragraph, quickly skim the questions & answer the ones I can. I hated the fact that I was sinking 1-2 minutes on one nitty-gritty detail question because I couldn't find the damn circle/box/notation in the passage. Focusing on one paragraph at a time, I could usually nail those detail questions with more confidence.




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