LR Timing help

gspiel1232
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LR Timing help

Postby gspiel1232 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:06 pm

I've been taking PTs for the last couple of weeks and I'm noticing some very terrible trends in them.
Although my understanding of the LR continues to rise, I feel as though I'm horribly constrained by time. This leads me to make especially dumb mistakes around 15-20, and inevitably miss a couple easy ones along the way too. I feel as though time is to be made up in the first 15, and although I'm very close to getting to the 15-in-15, I'm not there yet.

Is the recommendation to keep PT'ing to try and get those first questions a little faster so that I have a couple more minutes on the later ones?

Also, I've found that since I've gone away from eliminating every answer one-by-one, my careless mistakes have seemed to pop up again. Who here recommends going one by one through elimination? I'm starting to think that this is safer, except for the few where its BLATANTLY obvious what the answer is (MP, possibly some MSS, and a few early others).

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Davidbentley
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby Davidbentley » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:26 am

Yes, more practice. Drilling LR really helped me. Speed is a byproduct of accuracy. In my own case, I used to finish LR sections in 22-27 minutes consistently. I found that I improved my average significantly by incorporating more deliberation into my attack on the section.

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Captain Rodeo
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby Captain Rodeo » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:36 pm

Davidbentley wrote:Yes, more practice. Drilling LR really helped me. Speed is a byproduct of accuracy. In my own case, I used to finish LR sections in 22-27 minutes consistently. I found that I improved my average significantly by incorporating more deliberation into my attack on the section.


Do you mean drilling sections or by type? Also could you elaborate on what you mean by "incorporating more deliberation into my attack in the section"?

Thanks!

PS- I would love to go to SLS.... Visited a class there. Fantastic.

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Davidbentley
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby Davidbentley » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:13 pm

I drilled by type, but only after I had a clear notion of where I was struggling. By deliberation, I mean focus on getting them right first, and then worry about time. You should not be making mistakes as you increase the speed. The speed should come from mastery of the genre. That is, as you become more acquainted with the kind of reasoning/questions deployed, you will be able to take "shortcuts"(for lack of a better word) without missing key points. Drilling by type and the sections in general will help. This could also be an issue of mental stamina. I know I felt that finishing in 25 minutes was easier than finishing in 35 minutes, even if I missed things, just because I was not expending as much energy. You have to overcome that and be able to apply as much focus to the more complex later questions as you do to the earlier --usually shorter and more direct-- fact patterns. Try doing some sections backwards. If you find you're missing the complex ones still, then that might suggest a need for more drilling on those tough questions. But, if you find you're missing the easy ones now, then that suggests your issue is not comprehension but stamina.

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Captain Rodeo
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby Captain Rodeo » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:26 pm

Davidbentley wrote:I drilled by type, but only after I had a clear notion of where I was struggling. By deliberation, I mean focus on getting them right first, and then worry about time. You should not be making mistakes as you increase the speed. The speed should come from mastery of the genre. That is, as you become more acquainted with the kind of reasoning/questions deployed, you will be able to take "shortcuts"(for lack of a better word) without missing key points. Drilling by type and the sections in general will help. This could also be an issue of mental stamina. I know I felt that finishing in 25 minutes was easier than finishing in 35 minutes, even if I missed things, just because I was not expending as much energy. You have to overcome that and be able to apply as much focus to the more complex later questions as you do to the earlier --usually shorter and more direct-- fact patterns. Try doing some sections backwards. If you find you're missing the complex ones still, then that might suggest a need for more drilling on those tough questions. But, if you find you're missing the easy ones now, then that suggests your issue is not comprehension but stamina.



Wow- I am definitely going to do that (start from the end). I've heard that advice before, but not as a means to see what I'm struggling with (just as a preference for attacking the section).

Was your strategy to do the first 15 in 15?

I like the idea of doing the first 15 in 15 minutes- but I've seen multiple times where there are a few hard question in those early teens, and then in the 20s there are easier ones. Finishing the section in 25 minutes is fast. I seriously need to increase my speed- I think that I'm just taking too much time- finish 10 mins too slow- usually get 3 or 4 wrong. I've only done drills and multi-section prep (as far as timing is concerned) In a couple days I will begin taking
full-length PTs for December... I've been freaking that's not enough time to do full PTs (have 28 lined up to do)...however I've put in months of studying in already- so I'm not green- I just need to wed the timing with understanding.

I've also heard the suggestion to just go through all of the questions and answer all of the ones that you're fairly certain on and go back and do the ones that would require more time. Is that a wise strategy?

And thanks for the explanation

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Davidbentley
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby Davidbentley » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:16 am

I just tried to focus on 1 minute per question. But, you don't have to be wed to that. What ends up happening is you take 30 seconds to do one, and 90 seconds to do the next one. The skipping/ best guessing and coming back thing is great. But, you have to be sure that you leave yourself enough time to come back. I never wanted to do that with more than one or two. Also, decide where you stand on the reading question stems first issue. I know that works for some people but it completely screwed me up. For some folks though, it can significantly increase their speed. You've got plenty of time to study though.

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arcanecircle
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby arcanecircle » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:41 am

I personally read the stems first, but I know others who hate doing that. I started learning that way so I never changed things.

Are you keeping track of your accuracy on time outs? Say you get 19/20 and you timed out on 21-25 of a section. Try doing the last 5 or so on your time out sections and giving yourself roughly 1min 25s each to see how you'd do if they came up any earlier. I've tried this on any time outs in my sections and I was surprised that sometimes the 20's took less time to solve than the 10-19s.

Ultimately there are going to be a few curve-balls in the earlier numbers but that is also where the safest points tend to be. Depending on what score you're aiming for, you could adjust your strategy assuming you're going to time out, and trying to make sure your accuracy stays high on those questions you do do (This applies to LG/RC the most since they're divided into 4, but it could work for LR if this is a weaker section for you than the others)

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:26 am

gspiel1232 wrote:I've been taking PTs for the last couple of weeks and I'm noticing some very terrible trends in them.
Although my understanding of the LR continues to rise, I feel as though I'm horribly constrained by time. This leads me to make especially dumb mistakes around 15-20, and inevitably miss a couple easy ones along the way too. I feel as though time is to be made up in the first 15, and although I'm very close to getting to the 15-in-15, I'm not there yet.

Is the recommendation to keep PT'ing to try and get those first questions a little faster so that I have a couple more minutes on the later ones?

Also, I've found that since I've gone away from eliminating every answer one-by-one, my careless mistakes have seemed to pop up again. Who here recommends going one by one through elimination? I'm starting to think that this is safer, except for the few where its BLATANTLY obvious what the answer is (MP, possibly some MSS, and a few early others).


Drilling a lot definitely helps and the first 15 in 15 helped me start finishing them well ahead of time by getting a feel for the time constraints. I'll also say something that has helped me a ton is doing the problems starting with 11 to end and then going back for 1 - 10. This lets me feel like I have a bit more leeway in answering the more difficult, later questions which I can later use to calculate how quickly I need to be working on the easier ones. When I do them I try to finish 11 - 24/26 within 20 minutes but usually go over about a minute or so. I have not failed to complete an LR section in at least 4 months doing it this way and I rarely score worse than -2.

I will say though that the most important thing was drilling them over and over and over. I've done so many now that even on bad days when I am sleep deprived or in a coffee induced break-down I still get most of them right because I barely have to look at content anymore as I know what elements the right and wrong answers are going to have.

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BlaqBella
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby BlaqBella » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:10 am

CyanIdes Of March wrote:
gspiel1232 wrote:I've been taking PTs for the last couple of weeks and I'm noticing some very terrible trends in them.
Although my understanding of the LR continues to rise, I feel as though I'm horribly constrained by time. This leads me to make especially dumb mistakes around 15-20, and inevitably miss a couple easy ones along the way too. I feel as though time is to be made up in the first 15, and although I'm very close to getting to the 15-in-15, I'm not there yet.

Is the recommendation to keep PT'ing to try and get those first questions a little faster so that I have a couple more minutes on the later ones?

Also, I've found that since I've gone away from eliminating every answer one-by-one, my careless mistakes have seemed to pop up again. Who here recommends going one by one through elimination? I'm starting to think that this is safer, except for the few where its BLATANTLY obvious what the answer is (MP, possibly some MSS, and a few early others).


Drilling a lot definitely helps and the first 15 in 15 helped me start finishing them well ahead of time by getting a feel for the time constraints. I'll also say something that has helped me a ton is doing the problems starting with 11 to end and then going back for 1 - 10. This lets me feel like I have a bit more leeway in answering the more difficult, later questions which I can later use to calculate how quickly I need to be working on the easier ones. When I do them I try to finish 11 - 24/26 within 20 minutes but usually go over about a minute or so. I have not failed to complete an LR section in at least 4 months doing it this way and I rarely score worse than -2.

I will say though that the most important thing was drilling them over and over and over. I've done so many now that even on bad days when I am sleep deprived or in a coffee induced break-down I still get most of them right because I barely have to look at content anymore as I know what elements the right and wrong answers are going to have.



Thanks for this post.

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VUSisterRayVU
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby VUSisterRayVU » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:22 am

Drill by type. Focus on figuring out what the flaw or assumption is in weaken/strengthen/NA/SA problems is regardless of what the Q is asking. It's not necessarily about 10 in 10 or 15 in 15. It's about being able to get the answer without actually doing 'work'. For some, I really just find the right combination of words in the answer choice and pick it. I can usually recognize that it's right, then. If it's tricky, I'll read it and other ACs more thoroughly, but for a few questions, you should know the answer and that will save you time instead of eliminating four wrong answers. It's not something you do on every question, obviously, but if you do it on five, you've saved yourself a lot of work and energy (and time).

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Zensack
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby Zensack » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:15 pm

Time is not an issue for me on LR, and I feel that's partly because I read the question, then the arguments, then the answers. By doing this you should have a pretty good idea of what you're looking for when you read the answers. Parallel flaw/reasoning questions still tend to be time consuming because of the sheer amount of info you have to juggle, so consider skipping those if the clock is your enemy.

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Captain Rodeo
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Re: LR Timing help

Postby Captain Rodeo » Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:19 pm

Davidbentley wrote:I just tried to focus on 1 minute per question. But, you don't have to be wed to that. What ends up happening is you take 30 seconds to do one, and 90 seconds to do the next one. The skipping/ best guessing and coming back thing is great. But, you have to be sure that you leave yourself enough time to come back. I never wanted to do that with more than one or two. Also, decide where you stand on the reading question stems first issue. I know that works for some people but it completely screwed me up. For some folks though, it can significantly increase their speed. You've got plenty of time to study though.


Thanks Davidbently!

I will probably stick with getting a strong understanding of the stimulus first, then the stem. When I was drilling by section using Kaplan Mastery- I, (well anyone) knows what type of question they're doing- because we're drilling through that question type- for most of the questions one could get away without even reading the stem at all. So- it helps for familiarity with that question, but not for what it is like to proceed to a problem not knowing its type. I tried reading the stem first a few times- and ya, it messes me up. It's tempting for me, because it seems like an advantage- but I notice I want to do it only when I'm freaking out

I think 1 minute per question is a great goal, and I will definitely be shooting for that. Anyway, thank you for answering my questions.

arcanecircle:

Ya, I've been keeping track of them. Honestly, there's a lot of room for improvement. And I will probably try doing the section from the end, and go towards the beginning and see what that does. So, thank you for the advice. I'll get the timing down pat. Not finishing problems is not an option :)




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