Poll: Do you read the questions first

Do you read the questions first?

Yes
48
55%
No
39
45%
 
Total votes: 87

nosleeptillsuccess
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Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby nosleeptillsuccess » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:54 am

Feel free to elaborate

Jredelman15
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby Jredelman15 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:56 am

It is nice to know what you are looking for when you read the stimulus. For me, prephrasing becomes easier.

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Jaqen
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby Jaqen » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:57 am

Generally, no, though sometimes I will for questions with two speakers or with abnormally long stimuli.

bp shinners
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby bp shinners » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:36 am

I just don't get people who don't read the question first - you can't analyze the stimulus nearly as well without knowing what you're looking for.

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby Teflon_Don » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:42 am

I agree. I took the June test reading stimulus--> question. Then studied for the Oct with question first. Questiom first is a lot better imo because you know what you are looking for in the stim. I didnt find it distracting at all to have the fact that I was supposed to have a sufficient assumption, for example, in mind while reading the stimulus. Just try it different ways on a timed section, see what works for you

guinness1547
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby guinness1547 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:55 am

bp shinners wrote:I just don't get people who don't read the question first - you can't analyze the stimulus nearly as well without knowing what you're looking for.

It's personal preference and whatever works best for you. I'm the exact opposite.

Swimp
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby Swimp » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:56 am

bp shinners wrote:I just don't get people who don't read the question first - you can't analyze the stimulus nearly as well without knowing what you're looking for.


In my experience, it's pretty unusual to run across a stimulus that's so complicated that you have to read the question in order to analyze it. I always read the stimulus first.

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TopHatToad
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby TopHatToad » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:08 am

Swimp wrote:
bp shinners wrote:I just don't get people who don't read the question first - you can't analyze the stimulus nearly as well without knowing what you're looking for.


In my experience, it's pretty unusual to run across a stimulus that's so complicated that you have to read the question in order to analyze it. I always read the stimulus first.


Ditto this. But this is a silly poll in general; "reading" the question should usually take about half a second as you glance over it.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby Rahviveh » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:53 pm

I'm convinced it makes little difference and is just one way for the companies to make themselves appear useful and something to have a strong opinion on (and distinguish themselves).

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nickb285
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby nickb285 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:06 pm

I didn't at first, since LR was by far my strongest section even at the beginning, but then I tried it on a couple PTs and improved by a couple points fairly consistently. Dunno why but it seemed to work for me. YMMV but it's worth trying I think.

Theopliske8711
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby Theopliske8711 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:09 pm

It might do well to skim the question to determine if its a flaw/parallel/assumption etc etc. but I don't think a detailed reading would be that great.

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cahwc12
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby cahwc12 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:19 pm

bp shinners wrote:I just don't get people who don't read the question first - you can't analyze the stimulus nearly as well without knowing what you're looking for.


Couldn't agree more here. I realize there is a whole "different strokes for different folks" but I feel like reading the question stem before the stimulus is always better.

Why read a question without knowing what you are looking for beforehand?

Kurst
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby Kurst » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:26 pm


afitouri
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby afitouri » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:59 pm

I always, always, always read the question first in LR and RC. It is MOST important in RC, because you can find all of those questions that say "line 18" or "paragraph three" or "with the phrase _____________" and mark those spots in the passage before you begin reading, so that you know to go back and check the question as you read.

In LR, I just glance at the question to know what type it is. If it is assumption, you need to read the stimulus ONLY to find a gap between premise and conclusion. If it is main point, you ONLY need to find the conclusion, etc.

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:40 pm

bp shinners wrote:I just don't get people who don't read the question first - you can't analyze the stimulus nearly as well without knowing what you're looking for.


I guess I could start doing that now... but it's a little late in the game for me to be switching up my method (which has worked fairly well thus far).

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gaud
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby gaud » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:41 pm

bp shinners wrote:I just don't get people who don't read the question first - you can't analyze the stimulus nearly as well without knowing what you're looking for.

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dproduct
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby dproduct » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:44 pm

When I first started out I read the question first, but I eventually found it to be a crutch due to my inexperience.

When you finally become extremely familiar with the exam and your pre-phrasing becomes strong, I would highly advise reading the stimulus first. Not only does it create better habits, but you'll begin to not only anticipate the question type, but the answer as you read the question.

More often than not, I knew the question type and the subsequent answer just based on reading the stimulus.

Moreover, reading the question + reading the stimulus + reading the question again is a waste of time IMO.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby NoodleyOne » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:46 pm

Meh, I don't think either is inherently better than the other. I believe this ends up being one of those "whichever works best for you" situations.

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CalAlumni
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby CalAlumni » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:50 pm

Personally, I do. That may have been what brought my LR score down from -4 to -2/-1.

vegso
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby vegso » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:11 am

reading question first helped me shave minutes off my LR times

Theopliske8711
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby Theopliske8711 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:09 am

Interesting. Gonna try it then.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby BlaqBella » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:36 am

I always read the question first since depending on the question, the approach (and ultimately the correct answer choice) will vary.

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mqt
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby mqt » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:39 pm

I can see where it might be helpful, but I personally never tried it. It always just felt right to read the stimulus first, and for my prephrasing, I would just do it after the question anyway.

bp shinners
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby bp shinners » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:22 pm

Swimp wrote:
bp shinners wrote:I just don't get people who don't read the question first - you can't analyze the stimulus nearly as well without knowing what you're looking for.


In my experience, it's pretty unusual to run across a stimulus that's so complicated that you have to read the question in order to analyze it. I always read the stimulus first.


But here's the thing - it takes me .5 second to read the prompt. Here's what I automatically know from that:
1) Do I have an argument/Should I be looking for a conclusion?
2) Will I have to find the flaw in the argument?
3) Is there likely to be causal language?
4) Should I start diagramming if I see a conditional keyword?

And that's just a start.

If I'm in the implication family, I know to not bother trying to keep the argument structure in my head - it's not an argument, just a series of facts. If it's a Must be False question, I know to focus just on statements strong enough to be broken by an answer choice. If it's a soft Must Be True, I know to look out for very strong statements. If it's a Must Be True, I know diagramming will most likely be useful.

If I have a Main Point question, I stop when I find the conclusion. If I have a Flaw question, I know that I should find the conclusion and then focus right away on a flaw. If I waste time finding the flaw when I don't need to, I'm shooting myself in the foot. If I don't spend time thinking about the flaw until I read the prompt, then I've just spent a second or two not thinking about the stimulus, which is going to decrease my retention of the material (a minute amount, but still by a certain degree).

Since it takes essentially the same amount of time to read stimulus->prompt and prompt->stimulus, and I really can't think of any benefit to reading the stimulus first (though I can definitely think of benefits to prompt first, as listed above), I think it's a no-brainer.

I'm seriously asking here - to those who say stimulus first, what's the benefit in doing that? I've never heard a good answer to that question.

jjrialva
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Re: Poll: Do you read the questions first

Postby jjrialva » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:04 pm

I understand better the stimulus when I don't read the question. Probably because I got use to reading the stimulus first and when I tried reading the question first I had something in my head that distracted me. Anyway, after so many PTs, when reading the stimulus first I could predict the question with a lot of accuracy. I would say that for maybe 1-3 questions of each sections I was truly surprised by the question stem.




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