Suggestions for Reading Comp Timing

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onlyhere4fun

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Suggestions for Reading Comp Timing

Postby onlyhere4fun » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:06 pm

Hey guys, I just recently took a preptest and did pretty well by my standards, but I noticed that my RC performance is quickly becoming my problem child of the test :lol: .

This past test I got -4 in RC but 2 of those right answers of the 23 I got right were guesses so I really consider it -6, which is my typical range for RC (between -6 which is what I get on a good day to -10 which is what I get on a really bad day). I used a RC experimental for this past test and I noticed that I ran out of time for both sections. I ended up guessing the last 4-5 questions because by the time I get to the final passage I have maybe a little over 5 or 6 minutes left, which really only gives me time to do the easy questions like main point, author's attitude, line reference/word reference. In the past couple preptests I've done I actually did finish all 4 passages and had time to attempt each question. My accuracy was still around the same range. What I did differenty this past preptest was to take time to think about the Main point, and main takeaways from each paragraph, I took a little time to think about the organization of the passage, and finally I also took a little time after reading the passage to think about the author's attitude about the topic. I'm a little concerned that all of this time I take to think about these things (If I had to guess maybe 5-15 seconds) coupled with trying difficult/time consuming questions (i.e. "what is most strongly supported by the text" questions which sometimes require you to refer back to the text to figure out which of 2 answer choices, which both seem to be supported, is actually correct)is hurting my ability to have time to attempt every question in the section with high accuracy.

When I was in my Blueprint course my instructor suggested this strategy of thinking briefly about these crucial things in the passage before going to the questions to improve accuracy consistently, and it definitely works. But this strategy seems costly in time. He also told me to skip challenging/time consuming questions to give myself more time for the others and to come back to them if I had extra time, and this did work for a while, but honestly it seems like I have to answer a few of those questions correctly if I want to consistently get in the -4< RC range which would put me in a good position to get a 170's score.

I do what's generally recommended by most people on here by reviewing passages I got wrong thoroughly afterwards (i.e. reading the passage slowly and reviewing the questions I got wrong/was unsure of thoroughly), but I feel like I have hit a plateau in terms of my RC score. Any tips for improvement would be greatly appreciated!

bluesweater200

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Re: Suggestions for Reading Comp Timing

Postby bluesweater200 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:54 am

as counter intuitive as it seems, for me the best way to improve my RC timing was to spend more time reading the passages. I am generally a slow reader so would try to get through them as quickly as possible to make up for it and then really screwed me over my making me spend forever on each question having to deliberate and check back in the passage. I started being a lot more careful and slower with reading the passages, underlining circling, thinking about the paragraph before i move on to the next one etc, which of course added at least a minute or two to my reading time but made the questions go by twice or three times as fast and with many many more of them correct. try it out for yourself and see, maybe that strategy wont work for you, but I found it to be a complete gamechanger, RC was by far my worst section ran out of time each time and got a ton wrong and after a while of doing it that way I was able to get a only one or two wrong per section.

another thing is just to realize that while the answers to RC questions may seem subjective, your not looking for the "best" answer, there is only one answers, the other 4 are wrong. Once you realize that and know that every answer but one will have something wrong with it, whether it be that its complete off, the opposite answer, or just a slight technicality in the wording, a qualifier they slipped in, that its phrased too strongly, correct but referring to something else in the passage and not what this question is asking for, etc, it becomes a lot easier to eliminate answers quickly and spend less time deliberating.

onlyhere4fun

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Re: Suggestions for Reading Comp Timing

Postby onlyhere4fun » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:02 pm

bluesweater200 wrote:as counter intuitive as it seems, for me the best way to improve my RC timing was to spend more time reading the passages. I am generally a slow reader so would try to get through them as quickly as possible to make up for it and then really screwed me over my making me spend forever on each question having to deliberate and check back in the passage. I started being a lot more careful and slower with reading the passages, underlining circling, thinking about the paragraph before i move on to the next one etc, which of course added at least a minute or two to my reading time but made the questions go by twice or three times as fast and with many many more of them correct. try it out for yourself and see, maybe that strategy wont work for you, but I found it to be a complete gamechanger, RC was by far my worst section ran out of time each time and got a ton wrong and after a while of doing it that way I was able to get a only one or two wrong per section.

another thing is just to realize that while the answers to RC questions may seem subjective, your not looking for the "best" answer, there is only one answers, the other 4 are wrong. Once you realize that and know that every answer but one will have something wrong with it, whether it be that its complete off, the opposite answer, or just a slight technicality in the wording, a qualifier they slipped in, that its phrased too strongly, correct but referring to something else in the passage and not what this question is asking for, etc, it becomes a lot easier to eliminate answers quickly and spend less time deliberating.


I think this is great advice actually because I have actually made significant improvement in the past by slowing down when reading the passage as well. I just didn't think to try slowing down even more haha. I felt like I was going too slow as is. But it actually totally makes sense. If you take the time to really read and understand the passage the questions do go by much quicker and you often don't even have to refer to the passage nearly as often because you absorbed so much of the knowledge in your first paced reading. I will definitely try slowing down some more.

As to your next point though, the answer choices that trip me up the most are technically wrong in regards to modifiers. Often I think I miss these types of questions as well because I am moving too quickly through the questions as well. It's just so nerve-wracking to move at such a deliberate pace through this test. I totally believe that slowing down works, because it certainly has helped in my other sections (finally -3ing in LR and that's because I learned to move quickly through 1-10 and take my sweet time on the remaining difficult questions). I guess I just need more timed practice trying to slow down on both the passages and the answer choices.

Thank you very much for your post!! I really appreciate it!!

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Rupert Pupkin

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Re: Suggestions for Reading Comp Timing

Postby Rupert Pupkin » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:06 am

bluesweater200 wrote:as counter intuitive as it seems, for me the best way to improve my RC timing was to spend more time reading the passages. I am generally a slow reader so would try to get through them as quickly as possible to make up for it and then really screwed me over my making me spend forever on each question having to deliberate and check back in the passage. I started being a lot more careful and slower with reading the passages, underlining circling, thinking about the paragraph before i move on to the next one etc, which of course added at least a minute or two to my reading time but made the questions go by twice or three times as fast and with many many more of them correct. try it out for yourself and see, maybe that strategy wont work for you, but I found it to be a complete gamechanger, RC was by far my worst section ran out of time each time and got a ton wrong and after a while of doing it that way I was able to get a only one or two wrong per section.

another thing is just to realize that while the answers to RC questions may seem subjective, your not looking for the "best" answer, there is only one answers, the other 4 are wrong. Once you realize that and know that every answer but one will have something wrong with it, whether it be that its complete off, the opposite answer, or just a slight technicality in the wording, a qualifier they slipped in, that its phrased too strongly, correct but referring to something else in the passage and not what this question is asking for, etc, it becomes a lot easier to eliminate answers quickly and spend less time deliberating.


I would agree with this wholeheartedly.. great advice. After you have been prepping, for the most part, it pays to slow down and comprehend what you are reading the first time (and take notes if that works for you- i mark LR sometimes not like RC but i will underline and circle), and if you get it the first time you wont have to re-read and can wrap your head around the whole passage. Then, the questions are a breeze. If you understand the passage completely there is no reason why you should struggle with the questions IMO

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Wolfie91

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Re: Suggestions for Reading Comp Timing

Postby Wolfie91 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:11 am

onlyhere4fun wrote:Hey guys, I just recently took a preptest and did pretty well by my standards, but I noticed that my RC performance is quickly becoming my problem child of the test :lol: .

This past test I got -4 in RC but 2 of those right answers of the 23 I got right were guesses so I really consider it -6, which is my typical range for RC (between -6 which is what I get on a good day to -10 which is what I get on a really bad day). I used a RC experimental for this past test and I noticed that I ran out of time for both sections. I ended up guessing the last 4-5 questions because by the time I get to the final passage I have maybe a little over 5 or 6 minutes left, which really only gives me time to do the easy questions like main point, author's attitude, line reference/word reference. In the past couple preptests I've done I actually did finish all 4 passages and had time to attempt each question. My accuracy was still around the same range. What I did differenty this past preptest was to take time to think about the Main point, and main takeaways from each paragraph, I took a little time to think about the organization of the passage, and finally I also took a little time after reading the passage to think about the author's attitude about the topic. I'm a little concerned that all of this time I take to think about these things (If I had to guess maybe 5-15 seconds) coupled with trying difficult/time consuming questions (i.e. "what is most strongly supported by the text" questions which sometimes require you to refer back to the text to figure out which of 2 answer choices, which both seem to be supported, is actually correct)is hurting my ability to have time to attempt every question in the section with high accuracy.

When I was in my Blueprint course my instructor suggested this strategy of thinking briefly about these crucial things in the passage before going to the questions to improve accuracy consistently, and it definitely works. But this strategy seems costly in time. He also told me to skip challenging/time consuming questions to give myself more time for the others and to come back to them if I had extra time, and this did work for a while, but honestly it seems like I have to answer a few of those questions correctly if I want to consistently get in the -4< RC range which would put me in a good position to get a 170's score.

I do what's generally recommended by most people on here by reviewing passages I got wrong thoroughly afterwards (i.e. reading the passage slowly and reviewing the questions I got wrong/was unsure of thoroughly), but I feel like I have hit a plateau in terms of my RC score. Any tips for improvement would be greatly appreciated!


It was a while ago, but I would finish every passage at between 1:45-2 minutes. I feel like the longer you spend on your initial read, the better of an idea you'll have for the questions.

As for timing as a while, push yourself. Set your LSAT timer to 32 minutes per section and try to push yourself to beat that clock. No matter how well you prepare, you're going to go a little bit slower on an actual test because the stakes are much higher with each question. If you train for 35 minutes over and over again, I think you'll find that you'll be stretched for time on the actual test.

Also, there are resources online where you can purchase "LSAT Hardest Reading Comprehension Passages" sections. Split those passages up into 4 and try to complete THOSE in 32-35 minutes when you get good enough. If you can score adequately and timely with those, the real test will be a cakewalk because there's always going to be 2/4 passages that are easier.



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