Completely missing the point on some reading passages

dba415
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:50 pm

Completely missing the point on some reading passages

Postby dba415 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:15 pm

There are instances where I completely miss the point of a reading comp passage, causing me to miss almost every single question.

Example: I did a section and went through the first 21 questions only missing 1, and then in the final passage, missed 5 out of 6!

Turns out that I completely bombed it because I misunderstood the passage.

My reading comp scores are highly volatile. I've gone from missing -2 all the way to -11 one time, and this is after studying (not diagnostic or anything).

7 days left, average -6 to -8 on LR, -2 to -1 on LG, and reading is all over the place that I can't really gauge how I am doing, feeling like I need some luck on test day.

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pizzabrosauce
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:06 pm

Re: Completely missing the point on some reading passages

Postby pizzabrosauce » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:46 am

dba415 wrote:There are instances where I completely miss the point of a reading comp passage, causing me to miss almost every single question.

Example: I did a section and went through the first 21 questions only missing 1, and then in the final passage, missed 5 out of 6!

Turns out that I completely bombed it because I misunderstood the passage.

My reading comp scores are highly volatile. I've gone from missing -2 all the way to -11 one time, and this is after studying (not diagnostic or anything).

7 days left, average -6 to -8 on LR, -2 to -1 on LG, and reading is all over the place that I can't really gauge how I am doing, feeling like I need some luck on test day.


Try holding off judgement on what the passage is about. Sometimes things will not be clear until the very last few sentences. For confusing passages where you are unsure, some people have recommended a strategy like solving a puzzle, where you answer detail questions (skipping main point/purpose questions) and work your way into a full understanding of the passage.

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john1990
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:49 pm

Re: Completely missing the point on some reading passages

Postby john1990 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:57 am

scoring for the RC section is commonly the most volatile.

In your case was this caused by a time crunch? I only ask because it was the final passage.

If your running out of time then study more and improve your speed, if you cant improve your speed then don't bother forcing it on a passage because you will mess it up. Answer as many as you can and guess on the rest.

You should go back and reread the passage to find out why you misread that specific passage. You will learn your weak spots that way. It's hard to say why you missed the point without going over the passage. If you know the test # i'm sure someone will be able to help if you need a walk through.

ExcelBaller
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: Completely missing the point on some reading passages

Postby ExcelBaller » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:46 pm

Same thing used to happen to me all the time, but fight through it. The more passages you do, timed or untimed, you will start to see that questions are very similar. main point of passage, inference, author agrees/disagrees about, what did the author mean by ____ in line X-X, what did this group think about ___, etc. Once this clicked I began to read with these questions in mind and the RC section sort of unlocked itself. Also keep in mind that you will be reading on a limited number of topics. You know it will be like science law literature or history most of the time, so you are prepared from that standpoint as well. The passage will either give you facts 2 sides of an argument or be persuasive so you can also know that. Find confidence in knowing what to expect and you can do it.

dba415
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:50 pm

Re: Completely missing the point on some reading passages

Postby dba415 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:14 pm

The passage in question was the one on PT 41 about Victorian Philanthropists.

During the test I failed to make the distinction that the two theories were actually related to one another, rather, I thought that the two theories were actually competing with one another. Had no clue what the author was actually attacking when criticizing it, and the last paragraph seemed to go over my head. I got 5 out of 6 wrong.

bjlee85
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:33 pm

Re: Completely missing the point on some reading passages

Postby bjlee85 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:50 pm

I'm glad I'm not the only one who experiences these kinds of results on RC. I've found that the best way to do it is to read the passage with extreme focus. For me, LG is the easiest section, but I never realized that when I do them, I'm actually SUPER focused. I can do them when there's a TV in the background or even when someone is talking right next to me. At first I thought it was just because LG was "easy" for me, which might play a role, but the big part of it is I'm actually SUPER focused on the test when I'm doing LG.

I did not realize I wasn't doing the same for RC. I would be reading in my head and not really even paying attention. My mind would be too focused on other things - usually things like "crap I'm going too slow, crap I'm going to run out of time, crap I suck at RC and this is gonna ruin my score..." etc. With that attitude things are bound to go wrong. One of the reasons I'm able to do well on LG is I'm not worried about the time - I've done so many timed sections that I know if I work at my normal pace, I'll have enough time.

Lately I've just been doing timed sections for RC over and over without timing myself but working as if I were timed. Take the time you need to finish and work from there. When you are comfortable knowing how much time you need to do a whole RC section, you can strategize how you want to handle it on test day, either slowing down a bit to really focus on three passages only, or speeding up a bit and going for all four, whatever.

In the end I think having 100% focus on the passage is the most important thing for RC. When you are able to do that, see how long it takes for you to do all four passages. With recent practice and building a bit of confidence about it, my whole approach to RC has changed from "hoping for the best", to "I can get ALL of these right if I focus."

By the way, our scores on each section are so similar, it's kind of funny that we're having the exact same problem!




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