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RC timing

Is it better to spend more time on the questions in RC or passage ? And if so what is a proper distribution of time ?(i.e 4 min on passage 5 min on questions)

Comments

  • Forever Addicted to CoffeeForever Addicted to Coffee Monthly Member
    edited April 2021 540 karma

    I see this as a phenomenon of a bell-shape curve (normal distribution). There's a sweet-spot for maximum effectiveness.

    I do well when I can spend between 4 to 5 minutes reading each passage. That's enough time for me to digest most of the material, understand the POVs, main point, tone, structure, and details. It also allows me to answer most of the questions on the passage quickly without skimming them. Coupled with an effective skipping strategy, I am able to finish the passages on time.

    If I take 6 minutes to read the passage, no matter how good my understanding of the passage is, I just don't have time to go through all of the questions without skimming them. I start losing points because I didn't read the answer choices thoroughly enough. That's my point of diminishing return.

    I'm not suggesting that EVERYONE should spend 4 to 5 minutes on reading the passage. Instead, ask yourself the following: how much time does it take ME to sufficiently digest the passage? For you, that could be a 3.5 min read. For others, it could be 5.5 min.

    Once you have the foundations of RC down, try to experiment with this. The goal is to find the range in the sweet-spot that works well for you. Start conservatively, by taking as much time needed to understand the passage. Go through the questions timed. How did you do? On other passages, try going slightly faster by eliminating some of the inefficiencies with your reading. How does this compare to your previous performance?

  • M1logicformulaM1logicformula Alum Member
    64 karma

    Wow thank you for the very detailed comment! I must ask how do you keep up with the timing while testing? When starting a passage do you stop reading at a specific time lets say passage 1 where the clock starts at 35 do you automatically go to questions at around 31 minutes no matter how much of the passage you understand?

  • sammmm93sammmm93 Yearly Member
    109 karma

    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" Do you mind sharing what you currently avg on RC?

  • Forever Addicted to CoffeeForever Addicted to Coffee Monthly Member
    edited May 2021 540 karma

    @7sajuicez said:
    Wow thank you for the very detailed comment! I must ask how do you keep up with the timing while testing? When starting a passage do you stop reading at a specific time lets say passage 1 where the clock starts at 35 do you automatically go to questions at around 31 minutes no matter how much of the passage you understand?

    No, for the most part, I try to calibrate my "feeling" with the timing. At this point, I have done enough RC passages to know when to move on to the answer choices without having to look at the clock. Also, difficult passages could take longer time to read. Once you find the right timing for you, keep practicing until it becomes second nature. That being said, my goal is to try and net two passages and questions in 15 minutes.

  • Forever Addicted to CoffeeForever Addicted to Coffee Monthly Member
    540 karma

    @sammmm93 said:
    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" Do you mind sharing what you currently avg on RC?

    I'm still trying to narrow down my variance in my RC scores. Right now, it's between 2 - 6 questions wrong per section on average. Sometimes I have a bad day and get 8 questions wrong. Sometimes I have a really good day and get 1 or 2 questions wrong. But before this, I used to get around 10 questions wrong consistently!

  • Lowry0707Lowry0707 Monthly Member
    102 karma

    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" Thanks for the response. I still struggle a lot with RC. Just out of curiosity, how long did it take to go from that -10 to (-2,-6). Also, I did all the RC in the CC, what did you do after that. Just take random RC sections and go through them ?

  • sammmm93sammmm93 Yearly Member
    109 karma

    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" thanks! My RC varies so much. I’ll start trying your approach and see how it goes!

  • Forever Addicted to CoffeeForever Addicted to Coffee Monthly Member
    540 karma

    @Lowry0707 said:
    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" Thanks for the response. I still struggle a lot with RC. Just out of curiosity, how long did it take to go from that -10 to (-2,-6). Also, I did all the RC in the CC, what did you do after that. Just take random RC sections and go through them ?

    To be honest, I am not exactly sure how long it took. Because I practiced RC on and off along with studying for the other sections, it's probably safe to say that it took a few months for me. Now, I'm at the phase in studying where I need to let the timed PTs guide my studying for the week.

    You can use pre PT35 RC passages for practice. Try using one passage at a time, blind review, and analyze your performance. And repeat until you have a pretty good grasp of the timing that works for you. Depending on when you want to take the LSAT, you may need to balance that with taking timed PTs.

  • shinshintoushinshintou Monthly Member
    3 karma

    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" said:

    @Lowry0707 said:
    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" Thanks for the response. I still struggle a lot with RC. Just out of curiosity, how long did it take to go from that -10 to (-2,-6). Also, I did all the RC in the CC, what did you do after that. Just take random RC sections and go through them ?

    To be honest, I am not exactly sure how long it took. Because I practiced RC on and off along with studying for the other sections, it's probably safe to say that it took a few months for me. Now, I'm at the phase in studying where I need to let the timed PTs guide my studying for the week.

    You can use pre PT35 RC passages for practice. Try using one passage at a time, blind review, and analyze your performance. And repeat until you have a pretty good grasp of the timing that works for you. Depending on when you want to take the LSAT, you may need to balance that with taking timed PTs.

    Why only pre-PT35?

  • yang9999yang9999 Alum Member
    413 karma

    @7sajuicez said:
    Is it better to spend more time on the questions in RC or passage ? And if so what is a proper distribution of time ?(i.e 4 min on passage 5 min on questions)

    This is highly dependent on what works best for you. If it's an easy passage, you should be shooting to finish the set as fast as possible to bank up enough time for harder passages down the road. I personally shoot for finishing an easy passage + questions in under 7 minutes so that I have enough time for the hard passages near the end (I tend to spend about 12 minutes total on the hardest passages+questions).

  • Forever Addicted to CoffeeForever Addicted to Coffee Monthly Member
    540 karma

    @shinshintou said:

    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" said:

    @Lowry0707 said:
    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" Thanks for the response. I still struggle a lot with RC. Just out of curiosity, how long did it take to go from that -10 to (-2,-6). Also, I did all the RC in the CC, what did you do after that. Just take random RC sections and go through them ?

    To be honest, I am not exactly sure how long it took. Because I practiced RC on and off along with studying for the other sections, it's probably safe to say that it took a few months for me. Now, I'm at the phase in studying where I need to let the timed PTs guide my studying for the week.

    You can use pre PT35 RC passages for practice. Try using one passage at a time, blind review, and analyze your performance. And repeat until you have a pretty good grasp of the timing that works for you. Depending on when you want to take the LSAT, you may need to balance that with taking timed PTs.

    Why only pre-PT35?

    I try to reserve exams after PT35 for timed full-exams. Material from prior to PT35 and prior takes are good sources for practice.

  • sammmm93sammmm93 Yearly Member
    109 karma

    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" said:

    @sammmm93 said:
    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" Do you mind sharing what you currently avg on RC?

    I'm still trying to narrow down my variance in my RC scores. Right now, it's between 2 - 6 questions wrong per section on average. Sometimes I have a bad day and get 8 questions wrong. Sometimes I have a really good day and get 1 or 2 questions wrong. But before this, I used to get around 10 questions wrong consistently!

    Coming back to this after some time and was wondering whether you read passages in a specific order or if you do them as they come up, 1-4.

  • Forever Addicted to CoffeeForever Addicted to Coffee Monthly Member
    540 karma

    @sammmm93 said:

    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" said:

    @sammmm93 said:
    @"Forever Addicted to Coffee" Do you mind sharing what you currently avg on RC?

    I'm still trying to narrow down my variance in my RC scores. Right now, it's between 2 - 6 questions wrong per section on average. Sometimes I have a bad day and get 8 questions wrong. Sometimes I have a really good day and get 1 or 2 questions wrong. But before this, I used to get around 10 questions wrong consistently!

    Coming back to this after some time and was wondering whether you read passages in a specific order or if you do them as they come up, 1-4.

    This is an excellent question. I try to do the passages according to my terms, not theirs. This is especially evident for Passages 3 and 4. I generally stick with doing the Passages 1 and 2 in order. Passages 3 and 4 are generally where I may flip things around. If I see that Passage 4 has more questions than Passage 3, I would be inclined to do that Passage 4 first.

    I suggest that you experiment on yourself to see which one works best for you. Some people leave the comparative passage at the very end. Some people skim through all the passages and choose the one that they are most comfortable with. Personally, I found that leaving the CO passage at the very end sometimes helps. But skimming through all the passages, I find, not effective for myself.

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