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Sarah889Sarah889 Alum Member
edited April 2017 in General 877 karma

Hi All,

I would love to get some feedback from you guys about how you approach the issue of "misreading" questions in any of the sections, but specifically LR. I heard once (probably from someone on here...can't remember) that you are doing yourself a great disservice if you realize you got a question wrong because you misread the question, but just chalk it up to a careless mistake and you do not take it seriously enough to address the issue properly.

I'm wondering how to "address the issue properly." I have had this issue more times than I would like to admit. I will take a PT timed and end up really struggling with a question, only to return to it during BR and get it correct in 30 seconds because I realized I was misreading something crucial. Like for example, as I first read PT58.S4.Q15, I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on, mainly because I didn't know what types of "proofs" they were referring to. Film proofs? Printing proof? During my BR, I reread the question and recognized immediately that they were talking about math proofs and I was like " do I train myself to recognize that this quickly during the timed test?"

Sometimes my misreadings are less content based and more structure based. For example, on the same test mentioned above, for question PT58.S1.Q21, I missed this question because I did not register the word "not" in the last segment of the argument. None of the ACs made sense to me due to the fact that I missed such an important part of the argument because of careless reading. I want to chalk it up to an endurance/attention span issue, but there has to be a way to train myself out of this carelessness. I don't want to be overly cautious at the expense of my confidence, but I would love to eliminate the avoidable mistakes. I have no intentions of getting questions wrong on the real test that are within my reasoning capabilities to answer.

Thanks in advance!


  • ajcrowelajcrowel Free Trial Member
    207 karma


    I just looked over the questions you mentioned. In my opinion, these questions and those of their ilk are challenging not because they have some sort of very subtle or arcane logic. Instead the difficulty lies in the challenge of sentence construction and conveyance. You obviously understand that, so keep in mind that this test is as much an exercise of your ability to read for precision and achieve clarity from opaque meaning as it tests your ability to reason critically.

    As counter-intuitive as this might see the best way to go faster on these kinds of questions and on this test in general is to slow yourself down. What I mean is when you attack these sorts of questions you eyes slow down and stop at the end of each period and you ask yourself, okay, "so what difference does that make." When you're able to do that you'll have a very clear and tidy understanding of how the stimulus fits together. Then when you apply the question to it you extract some nature of the relationship between parts of the stimulus. Focus on going slow and checking your understanding on your first read through. At first you'll probably think "no way is this going to work, I only have about 1 minute to answer this puppy, so I need to go as fast as I can." But when you get good at this a minute will feel like a moderate about of time. You'll do these questions in 40ish seconds.

    The other part of this is ensuring you reserve your mental fortitude throughout the section. The easiest way the test can sap your fortitude is by using language to put you in a mental funk, then you get frustrated and go back and read it again quickly. However your own quickness ensures you can't really understand the stimulus so you're still trapped and time is ticking down. If this ever happens to you (and it happens to everyone) skip the question. A skipped question is a question waiting to be won. But when you fight again you'll do so on your own terms and with a better advantage. Skip, finish the section, go back and do those three questions when you have 6 minutes left. You'll probably even find those questions you thought were difficult on the first pass are easier because you get a "fresh" set of eyes on the problem.

    Hope this helps!

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Monthly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27615 karma

    Agreed with @ajcrowel .

    I particularly endorse the skipping strategy here, especially given the ease and speed with which you answer these questions in BR. A fresh look seems to solve this problem much of the time.

    Train yourself to recognize issues of language whenever they arise. You should have an internal alarm that goes off every time you find yourself in a stimulus with intentionally obtuse language. Once you recognize these questions in real time, you will be much better guarded against these errors.

  • Sarah889Sarah889 Alum Member
    877 karma

    This is great! Thank you, both. @ajcrowel and @"Cant Get Right"

  • Bevs ScooterMinionBevs ScooterMinion Alum Member
    1018 karma


    I'm having the same problem. Thanks for posing the question, @bswise2 !

  • JustDoItJustDoIt Alum Member
    3112 karma

    This happens to me on LG sometimes...thanks @ajcrowel! I agree

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