Breaking out of a bad habit

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Breaking out of a bad habit

Postby burtlantin » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:03 pm

Hey all,

Been PTing for a little bit now and am intensely frustrated (/stressed) about all these careless mistakes I'm making on LR. Usually they deal with missing details here in there in the stimulus and to a lesser extent the scope of the answer choices. Has anyone else ever broken out of something like this before? And what did you do (aside from obvious answers like "pay more attention to detail" or "read slower")?

I would appreciate any insight. Thanks!

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Re: Breaking out of a bad habit

Postby flem » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:18 pm

Circle and underline key words so you don't lose focus.

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Re: Breaking out of a bad habit

Postby PeanutsNJam » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:38 pm

I used to have the same problem. I know you don't want to hear this but the way I solved it was to suck it up and remind myself to stay focused. A practical way is that I make sure I 100% understand the stimulus before moving on, which sometimes requires reading it twice. I never run out of time on LR, however.

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Re: Breaking out of a bad habit

Postby gaud » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:40 pm

If I drank an energy drink of sorts before PTing my silly mistakes on LR usually went away.

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Re: Breaking out of a bad habit

Postby kaseyb002 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:58 pm

Are you taking everything timed?

Are they careless errors in the sense you missed a "not" or answered a question for a different type of question stem? If so, would having unlimited time make a difference in getting the right answer? What I am trying to get it is if your problem is accuracy or speed.

If you feel like you would still get some problems wrong with two hours per LR section, then that's obviously an accuracy problem. If you're getting questions wrong because you feel like you have to rush through the test with the time constraint, then that's obviously a speed problem.

I found myself in a similar situation a couple of weeks ago. Here's what I personally did.

I decided to start going through LR sections untimed and just going for 100% accuracy. Read the stimulus WELL. It doesn't just mean slowly; it means you read it with a purpose so that you comprehend it. For me, that meant reading much more slowly, not moving past sentence until I was sure I comprehended it, and then a little post-stimulus analysis to make sure I got the structure of the argument down and that I fully understood it. Just like on LG's when you invest nearly half of your time in the setup, it's time well worth it (IMO)!

After a few untimed LR sections I did I went from -5 or so to 0 to -1 consistently. I then took a couple timed sections and got -3 for each (a substantial improvement). At that point I realized it was a speed issue for me, and that I was just going to have to get faster. From what I can tell, getting faster mainly entails A LOT of drilling so that you can transition from analysis to recognition.

Long story short, I will repeat what many people here have said before. Accuracy comes first; speed comes second.

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Re: Breaking out of a bad habit

Postby burtlantin » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:53 pm

Thanks for all the advice!

PeanutsNJam: That mental slap might be what I need. I'm typically going -3 to -5 on timed LR sections -- usually finishing with a couple minutes to spare -- so I suppose there is some time that I can use to reread stimuli.

kaseyb002: That sounds like pretty reasonable. I'll give it a shot on the Superpreps since I've never done any LR sections untimed.

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Re: Breaking out of a bad habit

Postby junibus » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:43 pm

you are not alone. when I look back all of my missed questions, most of them are careless mistakes that make me hit my forhead and say what the hell was I thinking. I guess just staying calm and not rushing is the key and as someone else already said it i think its a good idea to keep reminding myself to stay focus.

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