How to improve speed?

Techsan23
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:21 pm

How to improve speed?

Postby Techsan23 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:40 pm

My untimed PT scores are mid 170's but when I take them timed I get lower to mid 160's. What is an effective way to close the gap? I just have trouble understanding the argument when I force myself to read faster. There isn't any particular type of questions that I'm missing. It just seems to be the "tough" questions in general. As far as drilling goes, should I just drill sections or question types at a time? It's frustrating because I know I have the concepts down but it's not showing when it actually matters.

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boblawlob
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Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:29 pm

Re: How to improve speed?

Postby boblawlob » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:53 pm

Same here. Timing KILLS me on RC and occasionally on LR.

bp shinners
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Re: How to improve speed?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:15 pm

Techsan23 wrote:I just have trouble understanding the argument when I force myself to read faster.


Your problem is that you're trying to save time by reading faster. But it's not the reading that's slowing you down (in fact, reading closely/a little more slowly than average usually speeds you up, overall); it's what you do after the reading that slows you down.

There are two things that build up speed:

1) Not doing extraneous work. Most students lose time thinking about things that will in no way get them closer to a correct answer. Ironically, these extraneous thoughts increase when you put a time constraint on yourself because your brain starts jumping around ideas hoping for something to click fast.

That's not how it works.

Have a method for each question type. Know that method inside and out. When you get to a question, diagnose the question type, then stick to the method. Don't start doing something else because you think it will save you time - it won't, and you'll end up back at your method you should have started with.

Honestly, if I had you sit down and just read the LSAT without thinking about the questions, your comprehension would probably go up and you'd get through the entire thing in about 30 minutes. Your time is not wasted reading slowly/carefully, so don't try to save time by reading quickly/carelessly.

2) Confidence. And this is related to 1). Know that you know how to do the questions. Know the methods, and trust that they work. When you're confident that you know how to do this stuff, you'll stop wasting time double- and triple-checking answer choices (or analyzing ones that you know are wrong, but you don't trust yourself/your first instinct).

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Ixiion
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:02 am

Re: How to improve speed?

Postby Ixiion » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:46 pm

I agree with everything bp shinners said.

On top of that, I'm also having issues with RC. My best score was a -4, but normally I get between -5 and -7. This time, I just did an RC section on its own and I didn't time it. Instead, what I did was I timed how long I took to complete each individual passage and its questions, just to get a general idea of how long it takes me when I'm not setting any sort of constraint.

Also, just to note, I did it on PT 24 because those are the ones I usually use for experimental sections, so I wouldn't do one that would later affect a real PT.

My results were:
1st passage: 6 minutes, 0 wrong.
2nd passage: 9 minutes, 0 wrong.
3rd passage: 9 minutes, 0 wrong.
4th passage: 8 minutes and 30 seconds, 1 wrong.

In total, it took me 32 and a half minutes - giving me 2 and a half minutes to review - and for the first time ever, I only got ONE wrong! (YAY.)

I didn't quicken my reading at all. Quite the opposite, actually. I've realized that on timed PTs I'm messing up because while reading, I start to lose focus or I'm not digesting the material well enough because I'm reading so quickly that I'm forgetting everything I just read - which then forces me to go back and re-read, which loses time in the end. So actually, by reading slower, I spent less time reading over-all then I ever did while "speed-reading".

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BlaqBella
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Re: How to improve speed?

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:02 pm

Ixiion wrote:I didn't quicken my reading at all. Quite the opposite, actually. I've realized that on timed PTs I'm messing up because while reading, I start to lose focus or I'm not digesting the material well enough because I'm reading so quickly that I'm forgetting everything I just read - which then forces me to go back and re-read, which loses time in the end. So actually, by reading slower, I spent less time reading over-all then I ever did while "speed-reading".


+1 at bolded. I'm still trying to work on this. I realize that when I'm not returning to the passage for confirmation on answer choices, I end up having just enough time for the 4th passage. With confirming my answers, I only get to three passages.




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