Missing question types because of careless / speed reading?

M.M.
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:16 pm

Missing question types because of careless / speed reading?

Postby M.M. » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:27 pm

Hey TLS, I've been making some satisfying gains lately, but as we approach the October LSAT I'm having an irritating, persistent but seemingly easily fixable problem: I often miss points because I either read too fast, or read carelessly. The worst part about it is that I usually finish sections a good couple minutes before the time is up, go back to questions I've circled (hard ones I'm unsure of), check those, am satisfied, and then when I check my answers I realize I missed one or two words on questions that I didn't bother to double check because they seemed easy.

Obviously, slowing down a little bit is one means of fixing this problem - but, given the time I've spent studying I've kind of made it a habit to go at this pace, and I'm sort of in the phase of my LSAT studying where I'm working on endurance rather than timing. I will try to slow down, but does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could easily amend my test taking process to fix this?

I am not super worried about it, as I surely won't be too careless reading on test day, but the prospect of scoring even a point lower than my potential because of speed issues and carelessness is obviously annoying.

Thank you
M.M.

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wtrc
Posts: 2057
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 9:37 pm

Re: Missing question types because of careless / speed reading?

Postby wtrc » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:01 pm

M.M. wrote:Hey TLS, I've been making some satisfying gains lately, but as we approach the October LSAT I'm having an irritating, persistent but seemingly easily fixable problem: I often miss points because I either read too fast, or read carelessly. The worst part about it is that I usually finish sections a good couple minutes before the time is up, go back to questions I've circled (hard ones I'm unsure of), check those, am satisfied, and then when I check my answers I realize I missed one or two words on questions that I didn't bother to double check because they seemed easy.

Obviously, slowing down a little bit is one means of fixing this problem - but, given the time I've spent studying I've kind of made it a habit to go at this pace, and I'm sort of in the phase of my LSAT studying where I'm working on endurance rather than timing. I will try to slow down, but does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could easily amend my test taking process to fix this?

I am not super worried about it, as I surely won't be too careless reading on test day, but the prospect of scoring even a point lower than my potential because of speed issues and carelessness is obviously annoying.

Thank you
M.M.


Yes, everyone has this problem.

What works for me: circle a word or two in the stem of each LR question. Agree/Disagree/Strengthen/Most Justify, etc. It seems so simple, but actually works. When I have time left at the end of the section, I quickly scan each question stem and answer again (literally like 5 seconds per easy question) and if there's a careless error, often I'll find it. IMO one of the most common careless LR errors is mixing up "on what points do the authors agree" with the more common "disagree" question.

LG is a bit harder to avoid dumb errors. My careless errors usually result from rushing, so picking an answer that "could be true" instead of a "must be true," and not reviewing the other answer choices (e.g. C says something that could but isn't necessarily a must be true; while E is a must be true). Just gotta be careful to look at every answer choice for something like this.

RC I haven't had as much problem with careless errors... just errors in general.

magickware
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:27 pm

Re: Missing question types because of careless / speed reading?

Postby magickware » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:10 pm

In LR at least, you might notice that a lot of the things that you think are careless errors are actually trickery by LSAC.

So be very very careful when you review. Don't go thinking "Oh, I misread that word and that's why I got it wrong". Chances are, LSAC intended that to happen to careless readers/people who don't know the intricacies of a well crafted LR question.

Kimikho
Posts: 3971
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:01 pm

Re: Missing question types because of careless / speed reading?

Postby Kimikho » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:22 pm

wtrcoins3 wrote:
M.M. wrote:Hey TLS, I've been making some satisfying gains lately, but as we approach the October LSAT I'm having an irritating, persistent but seemingly easily fixable problem: I often miss points because I either read too fast, or read carelessly. The worst part about it is that I usually finish sections a good couple minutes before the time is up, go back to questions I've circled (hard ones I'm unsure of), check those, am satisfied, and then when I check my answers I realize I missed one or two words on questions that I didn't bother to double check because they seemed easy.

Obviously, slowing down a little bit is one means of fixing this problem - but, given the time I've spent studying I've kind of made it a habit to go at this pace, and I'm sort of in the phase of my LSAT studying where I'm working on endurance rather than timing. I will try to slow down, but does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could easily amend my test taking process to fix this?

I am not super worried about it, as I surely won't be too careless reading on test day, but the prospect of scoring even a point lower than my potential because of speed issues and carelessness is obviously annoying.

Thank you
M.M.


Yes, everyone has this problem.

What works for me: circle a word or two in the stem of each LR question. Agree/Disagree/Strengthen/Most Justify, etc. It seems so simple, but actually works. When I have time left at the end of the section, I quickly scan each question stem and answer again (literally like 5 seconds per easy question) and if there's a careless error, often I'll find it. IMO one of the most common careless LR errors is mixing up "on what points do the authors agree" with the more common "disagree" question.

LG is a bit harder to avoid dumb errors. My careless errors usually result from rushing, so picking an answer that "could be true" instead of a "must be true," and not reviewing the other answer choices (e.g. C says something that could but isn't necessarily a must be true; while E is a must be true). Just gotta be careful to look at every answer choice for something like this.

RC I haven't had as much problem with careless errors... just errors in general.


++++++1. I cut down my stupid errors dramatically with that.

I make careless rule errors in games sometimes, but actually applying Manhattan's "big pause" before diving into the questions really helps. I probably make about one error per game (but usually notice it right away--like writing "A|B" and then checking it and seeing it should have been "A---B").

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Jeffort
Posts: 1896
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Re: Missing question types because of careless / speed reading?

Postby Jeffort » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:33 pm

wtrcoins3 wrote:IMO one of the most common careless LR errors is mixing up "on what points do the authors agree" with the more common "disagree" question.


Yeah, I've found through feedback from many students that that particular question type/stem is very effective at stealing a point from people that speed read/just skim or glance at stems instead of reading them carefully every time. Of course there is always a trap answer that would be correct for a disagree question so people that misread these typically go on their merry way thinking they got it correct. Good thing is that it is not a common question type, although it has been appearing a little bit more frequently on recent tests than it did in older ones.

Simply getting in the habit of always re-reading each stem after making your final answer decision and before bubbling it in is a good way to catch these mistakes. Careless stem reading mainly gets people with EXCEPT questions because people sometimes forget the except partway through analyzing the answer choices. Always re-reading the stem before bubbling works to catch this error too. It's a simple strategy to implement, you just have to force it to become habit. A little bit of LSAT paranoia after making the mistake a few times should help motivate you to adopt the re-read habit.

bp shinners
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Missing question types because of careless / speed reading?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:30 pm

Jeffort wrote:
wtrcoins3 wrote:IMO one of the most common careless LR errors is mixing up "on what points do the authors agree" with the more common "disagree" question.


Yeah, I've found through feedback from many students that that particular question type/stem is very effective at stealing a point from people that speed read/just skim or glance at stems instead of reading them carefully every time. Of course there is always a trap answer that would be correct for a disagree question so people that misread these typically go on their merry way thinking they got it correct. Good thing is that it is not a common question type, although it has been appearing a little bit more frequently on recent tests than it did in older ones.

Simply getting in the habit of always re-reading each stem after making your final answer decision and before bubbling it in is a good way to catch these mistakes. Careless stem reading mainly gets people with EXCEPT questions because people sometimes forget the except partway through analyzing the answer choices. Always re-reading the stem before bubbling works to catch this error too. It's a simple strategy to implement, you just have to force it to become habit. A little bit of LSAT paranoia after making the mistake a few times should help motivate you to adopt the re-read habit.


Add EXCEPT and MBF to that list as well. Strengthen/weaken mixups are also common. Blueprint did a study using student data some time ago, and I believe 1/6 correct answers would have been correct for a different question type. Obviously, some of those are just coincidental. But I'm sure a lot of them weren't.




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