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Skimming all RC passages before you start for a pacing strategy?

kellysmellykellysmelly Alum Member
edited September 2014 in Reading Comprehension 84 karma
During a PT, does anyone skim the RC passages before you start? If so, do you find it helpful as far finding a pacing strategy through the RC section.

I noticed when I skimmed the upcoming passage 4 - to confirm the number of Qs, I was more confident about spending time on the hard passage 3 that I was working on.


  • kraft.phillipkraft.phillip Free Trial Member Inactive Sage
    444 karma
    I think that would be a waste of precious time. The only sort of previewing I have done was if I was running really, really low on time after the second passage, I'd check passage 4 to see if it has more questions than passage 3, and I'd do passage 4 first if that were the case.

    I don't do that any more, though. You should just practice RC and try to get more efficient at it. Tricks like this might help in the short term to minimize the damage done by, say, not getting to a passage at all. but if you have, for example, 15-16 minutes left at the end of the 2nd passage, and the third passage is just 5 questions, you really should just do them in order. If you do the 8 question 4th passage first, you risk not finishing the reading of the 3rd passage to answer any questions, whereas if you finish the third and then get to the fourth, you'd have just run out of time on perhaps a couple questions at most. So, unless you are barely finishing three passages and have no hope of changing that, you should just focus on the passages as they are.
  • kellysmellykellysmelly Alum Member
    edited September 2014 84 karma
    Thanks for your reply. I am generally bubbling the last 1-2 Qs on the fourth passage when the timer runs out. No extra time. I felt a large sense control, and accordingly a calm after taking a peak and knowing what was ahead on that PT that day, but I can see this working against me too. Had the peaking of passage 4 revealed something else it might have had more anxiety/lack of focus effect on the Qs I was currently working on.

    I will try to get more efficient. Thank you for the push!

  • kieferlight92kieferlight92 Alum Member
    10 karma
    My friend is taking one of the Kaplan classes that you have to pay fifteen hundred for and they recommended taking thirty seconds to attack the easier passages first. According to that instructor, not doing so is a "recipe for disaster."
  • $chedda$$chedda$ Alum Member
    72 karma
    @kieferlight92 What does that mean? Just looking at the easier passages for 30 seconds? Trying to answer questions within just 30 seconds?
  • David WayneDavid Wayne Free Trial Member
    571 karma
    Assessing passage difficulty without reading and answering the questions is not possible, period. Even if a brief glance reveals it is a science passage which may have you thinking you'll flunk it, that is not necessarily the case. Nor is question quantity a reliable indicator of difficulty, as some of them may be extremely easy. Nor are comparative passages definitively more difficult, as some of their difficulty levels have paled in comparison to other passages in the same set (mirrors, anybody?) There is no strategy through which you can infer an optimal order through which to approach the passages, period. Do them in order, and do them right.
  • Nilesh SNilesh S Alum Inactive ⭐
    3438 karma
    yeah...loss of time on a test where you roughly have a minute and a half to answer questions... I would much rather understand the passage thoroughly... and then go thru the questions quick... the only trick I would apply is that if I were running short of time, I would do the passage with more questions first.
  • kellysmellykellysmelly Alum Member
    84 karma
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