doing reading comp completely untimed?

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flash21
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doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby flash21 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:15 pm

Is this fine for drilling purposes? I want to make sure I get 100percent accuracy but not sure if its just a bad idea or not, would like some opinions.

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Nova
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby Nova » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:32 pm

its a good idea

just like its a good idea to do LR/AR untimed until you have a decent grasp

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d cooper
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby d cooper » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:36 pm

I agree with Nova. Any time you learn a new skill it's better to get the mechanics and technique down first before you consider working on timing.

Take your time to thoroughly consider every answer choice and find justification for your selection in the passage.

KDLMaj
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby KDLMaj » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:37 pm

There's nothing wrong with starting off that way, but be sure you have an actual goal you're trying to achieve aside from "get the questions right". Practice identifying the scope of a passage and practice spotting opinions, for example. Or practice answering questions and marking in the passage where the answers came from, so you can start to see what the LSAT chooses to test in a passage. (Tip: RC is an issue spotting exercise. It's NOT about general reading comprehension, it's about your ability to pick out the gist of an author's main idea and to learn to spot certain things regardless of the subject matter)

You can also try creating a hybrid semi-timed exercise to help you out a bit and then focus on answering questions without any time. Here's one I've often suggested to people. Feel free to make it your own:
Suggested Practice for Home to speed up your reading:

Take your average reading time and subtract between 15-30 seconds from it (The closer to 3minutes, the less you subtract. But if you're starting out taking 8 minutes- be patient with yourself and just cut it down to 7.5 at most). This new time is your reading goal for your passage.

Pick an RC passage. Divide the paragraphs up by length- assigning an appropriate amount o f time to each. The total should add up to your new reading goal.

Get a timer out and set the time for paragraph 1. Read and map the first paragraph and the 1st sentence of each paragraph. If you don't finish before the timer goes off, draw a big line after the point you stopped. If you do finish before the time allotted- record how much faster you did it. When you read the 1st sentences of each paragraph, try to anticipate what the paragraph will be about. (most of the time, RC passages follow 6th grade writing rules. Topic Sentence at the beginning, supporting and useless crap in the middle, and concluding sentence at the end)

Now- re-read the paragraph (and those sentences) at a normal pace. Run through and ask yourself if there are any opinions, any contrast, or the location of any noteworthy details- make a list of them. Check to see if you passage notes from your timed read reflect all of the items on your list. If not- ask yourself how you could've spotted them. Next, ask yourself what you could have read less carefully/more quickly.

Repeat the process for every paragraph. When you're finished- tackle the questions and mark the location in the passage where each correct answer comes from. Use this to verify the accuracy of your passage notes and if you missed the piece of the passage tested- or a particular note was no good- ask yourself how you could've known to spot it next time and/or how you could've written your note differently to make it more useful.

Once you are able to comfortably hit your goal time, push yourself by dropping it a little bit more. Keep doing this over time, and you'll build up your speed AND your ability to figure out what matters and what doesn't.

Hope that helps.

meegee
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby meegee » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:46 pm

I'm going to disagree. I think it's okay when you first start, just to get a feel of what RC passages and questions are like. So maybe a few of RC passages. But then after that, I think you must do them timed. The hardest part about RC is time management. You will not have the luxury during the real thing to go through the passages at your own comfortable pace.

Don't let yourself become used too/familiar with doing RC untimed, because in my opinion, that will form bad habits that will not serve you as well during testing conditions. Develop the skills necessary to tackle RC due to time constraint during drilling to more adequately prepare yourself for the real thing.

That's why many guides talk about looking at the big picture, focusing on the "forest" and not the "trees." Making notes of what the purpose of each paragraph is, highlighting key areas in the passage that you feel are of particular significance, and skimming the paragraphs/passage as you go back to it while you go through the questions - these are all tactics that revolve around the issue of timing.

You should def spend as much time as you need during review to get a thorough understanding of why the wrong answers are wrong, and the correct answers are correct. You should also look out for patterns, as there common questions that pop up in RC, such as author's tone, main point, etc.

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flash21
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby flash21 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:57 pm

meegee wrote:I'm going to disagree. I think it's okay when you first start, just to get a feel of what RC passages and questions are like. So maybe a few of RC passages. But then after that, I think you must do them timed. The hardest part about RC is time management. You will not have the luxury during the real thing to go through the passages at your own comfortable pace.

Don't let yourself become used too/familiar with doing RC untimed, because in my opinion, that will form bad habits that will not serve you as well during testing conditions. Develop the skills necessary to tackle RC due to time constraint during drilling to more adequately prepare yourself for the real thing.

That's why many guides talk about looking at the big picture, focusing on the "forest" and not the "trees." Making notes of what the purpose of each paragraph is, highlighting key areas in the passage that you feel are of particular significance, and skimming the paragraphs/passage as you go back to it while you go through the questions - these are all tactics that revolve around the issue of timing.

You should def spend as much time as you need during review to get a thorough understanding of why the wrong answers are wrong, and the correct answers are correct. You should also look out for patterns, as there common questions that pop up in RC, such as author's tone, main point, etc.


so do it timed (which is how much, 8:45? ) - then take as much time as needed for the review process?

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.

Postby 10052014 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:01 pm

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Last edited by 10052014 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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flash21
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby flash21 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:06 pm

jaylawyer09 wrote:
flash21 wrote:
meegee wrote:I'm going to disagree. I think it's okay when you first start, just to get a feel of what RC passages and questions are like. So maybe a few of RC passages. But then after that, I think you must do them timed. The hardest part about RC is time management. You will not have the luxury during the real thing to go through the passages at your own comfortable pace.

Don't let yourself become used too/familiar with doing RC untimed, because in my opinion, that will form bad habits that will not serve you as well during testing conditions. Develop the skills necessary to tackle RC due to time constraint during drilling to more adequately prepare yourself for the real thing.

That's why many guides talk about looking at the big picture, focusing on the "forest" and not the "trees." Making notes of what the purpose of each paragraph is, highlighting key areas in the passage that you feel are of particular significance, and skimming the paragraphs/passage as you go back to it while you go through the questions - these are all tactics that revolve around the issue of timing.

You should def spend as much time as you need during review to get a thorough understanding of why the wrong answers are wrong, and the correct answers are correct. You should also look out for patterns, as there common questions that pop up in RC, such as author's tone, main point, etc.


so do it timed (which is how much, 8:45? ) - then take as much time as needed for the review process?


Be careful, some passages took me 6 minutes, while some took me 11minutes. They differ in difficulty, so to say 8:45 each is VERY misleading. Which is why you should drill in sections, instead of individual passages. - btw, i drilled 1-40, and re-did the majority of them


I think for now I will drill individual passages - what is a safe bet for timing then? I will start to do RC section though.

KDLMaj
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby KDLMaj » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:42 pm

Your safe bet is to start with what you naturally spend reading them, and then slowly- but surely- reducing that time as you go along. Shooting for a random number is more likely to screw you up than help you. Ultimately, though, an ideal reading time is between 2-3:30 minutes. That takes a lot of practice to get to for most people, however.

meegee
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby meegee » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:05 am

I'm also an advocate of drilling by section and not passages. It only takes 35 minutes. You shouldn't be so busy you can't afford to give the LSAT 35 minutes of your undivided attention.

I think one inherent challenge in RC is the endurance aspect of it. Some passages will be boring. Sometimes you'll find yourself having difficulty concentrating. Drilling RC by section (and even back-to-back sections in case you get two RCs in a row on the real exam) will help you in regards to that.

You can drill by passage when you first start out, to ease your way into it. But I think you should def transition into sections sooner rather than later.

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flash21
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby flash21 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:20 am

meegee wrote:I'm also an advocate of drilling by section and not passages. It only takes 35 minutes. You shouldn't be so busy you can't afford to give the LSAT 35 minutes of your undivided attention.

I think one inherent challenge in RC is the endurance aspect of it. Some passages will be boring. Sometimes you'll find yourself having difficulty concentrating. Drilling RC by section (and even back-to-back sections in case you get two RCs in a row on the real exam) will help you in regards to that.

You can drill by passage when you first start out, to ease your way into it. But I think you should def transition into sections sooner rather than later.


at what point though? I'm thinking to go through all passages in cambridge once (i really have not done much drilling at all for RC, been mainly LR and games) , then exclusively doing sections. what do you think

meegee
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby meegee » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:58 am

flash21 wrote:at what point though? I'm thinking to go through all passages in cambridge once (i really have not done much drilling at all for RC, been mainly LR and games) , then exclusively doing sections. what do you think


I feel that I must preface my post with this statement: I am not an LSAT guru, and RC was by far my worst section. Even during the late stages of prep, my RC still swung anywhere from -0 to like -6 I think. There are many people on this forum who regularly scored -0s, so if they chime in, you should probably listen to them instead.

I would do at max 10 passages individually (maybe do 8 so you would have done two full sections) with adequate review. Check out Mike from the Trainer and his post about reviewing RC. After you've done the stuff Mike said, and after you've graded your passage, go through each question and then go back to the passage, underlining/marking/notating the information needed to answer the question. This is to help give you a sense of what kind of stuff to look out for when doing RC. You'll notice there will be a lot of underlining. If that is your style, it should be fine. If it isn't, just don't underline as much (or underline at all if that suits you better) when drilling.

It shouldn't take too many passages to get acclimated to the RC portion of the LSAT. After that, start drilling timed sections. When you start, let the timer run past 35 mins if it ends up taking you longer. Just notate how long you eventually took when you're done with the section. The whole purpose of this is to get your thinking into "time mode." Try to work through it without rushing yourself too much, but understand that the whole purpose of this exercise is to train yourself to do RC under time pressure.

After that, moved on to strictly timed drilling.

Mike talks about reviewing your RC sections without re-reading the passage because during the real thing, that's kinda how you'll be feeling. You'll be working through the questions with an understanding that is not as complete had you had more time to go through it thoroughly. This is why I think drilling RC under timed conditions is so important. It shouldn't be too difficult to get a "bigger picture" understanding of RC after you've done some drilling. Remember, the trick to RC isn't memorizing the details.

I feel like LG (especially LG) and LR can be solved in a more mechanical fashion. That is why drilling LG and LR untimed is a good idea. The whole point of drilling LG and LR is to build yourself up to the point of complete understanding. "Oh, I've seen these kinds of matching questions before. I will start eliminating answers by checking the conclusions first."

RC, on the other hand, feels less "mechanical." For me at least, I often found myself going with my "gut feeling" for the harder questions. The easier ones usually can be easily pinpointed, either during the actual question or in review: "Which of the following did the author NOT mention? What is the common theme for both of the passages?" But the harder ones, I found myself going like "hmm, well A and C is def wrong. The scope of D seems too broad. Although Y was brought up in the passage, it didn't feel essential to the passage, and that is why E seems too narrow. The author does mention X a couple of times, so B feels like the best answer." During review, you'll probably be able to pinpoint every single answer and understand why it is wrong or why it is correct, with enough time. But during the actual thing, there just simply isn't enough time. You won't have the luxury of agonizing over this one question, re-reading the passage, consulting with people online as to why B cannot be the correct answer.

ETA: Like the previous poster KDL said, the whole purpose of drilling RC is to perfect your "RC process." It's less about getting the questions correct, and more about tuning and honing your system so that eventually you get the questions correct. You can drill enough LG and LR that eventually, timing isn't even an issue. You naturally move through the process accurately and quickly, without giving "timing" a second thought. The nature of RC doesn't lend itself to this type of drilling. Reading and reading comprehension is a skill that is built over the years. It's hard to improve reading comprehension quickly. To an avid reader of difficult material, perhaps they move through RC the way we move through LG. It's a relatively natural and accurate process where they don't give a second though to timing because they are so skilled. But these people probably have been "practicing" for years. Your goal is to maximize the amount of points you can get within the time limit. If doing so requires you to underline key sentences, jot down a couple of words identifying the purpose of each paragraph, etc, then do it.

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flash21
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Re: doing reading comp completely untimed?

Postby flash21 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:36 am

meegee wrote:
flash21 wrote:at what point though? I'm thinking to go through all passages in cambridge once (i really have not done much drilling at all for RC, been mainly LR and games) , then exclusively doing sections. what do you think


I feel that I must preface my post with this statement: I am not an LSAT guru, and RC was by far my worst section. Even during the late stages of prep, my RC still swung anywhere from -0 to like -6 I think. There are many people on this forum who regularly scored -0s, so if they chime in, you should probably listen to them instead.

I would do at max 10 passages individually (maybe do 8 so you would have done two full sections) with adequate review. Check out Mike from the Trainer and his post about reviewing RC. After you've done the stuff Mike said, and after you've graded your passage, go through each question and then go back to the passage, underlining/marking/notating the information needed to answer the question. This is to help give you a sense of what kind of stuff to look out for when doing RC. You'll notice there will be a lot of underlining. If that is your style, it should be fine. If it isn't, just don't underline as much (or underline at all if that suits you better) when drilling.

It shouldn't take too many passages to get acclimated to the RC portion of the LSAT. After that, start drilling timed sections. When you start, let the timer run past 35 mins if it ends up taking you longer. Just notate how long you eventually took when you're done with the section. The whole purpose of this is to get your thinking into "time mode." Try to work through it without rushing yourself too much, but understand that the whole purpose of this exercise is to train yourself to do RC under time pressure.

After that, moved on to strictly timed drilling.

Mike talks about reviewing your RC sections without re-reading the passage because during the real thing, that's kinda how you'll be feeling. You'll be working through the questions with an understanding that is not as complete had you had more time to go through it thoroughly. This is why I think drilling RC under timed conditions is so important. It shouldn't be too difficult to get a "bigger picture" understanding of RC after you've done some drilling. Remember, the trick to RC isn't memorizing the details.

I feel like LG (especially LG) and LR can be solved in a more mechanical fashion. That is why drilling LG and LR untimed is a good idea. The whole point of drilling LG and LR is to build yourself up to the point of complete understanding. "Oh, I've seen these kinds of matching questions before. I will start eliminating answers by checking the conclusions first."

RC, on the other hand, feels less "mechanical." For me at least, I often found myself going with my "gut feeling" for the harder questions. The easier ones usually can be easily pinpointed, either during the actual question or in review: "Which of the following did the author NOT mention? What is the common theme for both of the passages?" But the harder ones, I found myself going like "hmm, well A and C is def wrong. The scope of D seems too broad. Although Y was brought up in the passage, it didn't feel essential to the passage, and that is why E seems too narrow. The author does mention X a couple of times, so B feels like the best answer." During review, you'll probably be able to pinpoint every single answer and understand why it is wrong or why it is correct, with enough time. But during the actual thing, there just simply isn't enough time. You won't have the luxury of agonizing over this one question, re-reading the passage, consulting with people online as to why B cannot be the correct answer.

ETA: Like the previous poster KDL said, the whole purpose of drilling RC is to perfect your "RC process." It's less about getting the questions correct, and more about tuning and honing your system so that eventually you get the questions correct. You can drill enough LG and LR that eventually, timing isn't even an issue. You naturally move through the process accurately and quickly, without giving "timing" a second thought. The nature of RC doesn't lend itself to this type of drilling. Reading and reading comprehension is a skill that is built over the years. It's hard to improve reading comprehension quickly. To an avid reader of difficult material, perhaps they move through RC the way we move through LG. It's a relatively natural and accurate process where they don't give a second though to timing because they are so skilled. But these people probably have been "practicing" for years. Your goal is to maximize the amount of points you can get within the time limit. If doing so requires you to underline key sentences, jot down a couple of words identifying the purpose of each paragraph, etc, then do it.


okay good post. thanks.




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