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Help with Test Prep? Blind Review Rollercoaster

katherine.tkatherine.t Alum Member
in General 101 karma
So I'm wondering if anyone has any advice as to what the hell I should be doing. Background: I've been studying for about a year now. I'm aiming for the high 160's and my pacing is getting worse as I do more tests? I think this is a matter of pacing, as sometimes I dont finish a section. Usually I finish all the RC passages and questions with time left, but this last test I didn't get to passage 4. Whats the best way to make some improvement?

PT 42: 163/ 172 BR
PT 44: 164/ 168 BR
PT 46: 160/ 178 BR
PT 48: 159/ 178 BR
PT 51: 163/ BR - not yet done


  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11536 karma
    Take a break from taking PTs. Maybe a few days or a week. Maybe all you need to do is recharge. You shouldn't be digressing. If this happens it's usually the result of burn out
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    27377 karma
    I think that, at a certain point, pacing does begin to suffer as a consequence of increasing your abilities actually. Based on your BR scores, it seems likely that you have reached that point. What happened to me is I learned how to do all this stuff, but I didn’t realize when not to use it. I was throwing everything I had at every problem when it didn’t need it. It can get a bit like using a sledge hammer to hang a picture. You tap in the tiny nail all the way with the heel of a shoe, and then you pull out the John Henry hammer and really drive it in good. That probably overextended the metaphor, but I thought it was a funny visual.

    If you can find an answer choice that matches your pre-phrase, choose it and move on immediately. Doing anything more is using the sledge hammer. Don’t eliminate the other answers, don’t even read them. If it matches your pre-phrase, how often are you actually going to change your answer after reading through the other answer choices? Not very often. Let’s say 5% of the time. Weigh the difference between 100% certainty and 95% certainty against the 30 seconds you’re going to save by moving on. It’s no contest, the 30 seconds is far more valuable. You’ve got to buy time, and the currency is certainty. Trust yourself when you see an answer you like and take the risk. What’s more, you may even have time to go back and eliminate all those unread answer choices at the end. If you don’t have time for everything though where do you want to lose that time? Breaking open the curve breakers or confirming the 95% certain ones? No question the 95% is pretty low priority.

    Try some LR drills and let yourself get reckless. Try to move so fast you make mistakes. Make it your goal. Tell yourself, "On this drill I’m going to move so fast I’m going to miss points because of overlooking things I normally would not overlook.” See what happens and see how far you can take it. When you do start seeing errors, slow it down a bit. If you don’t see errors, see if you can push it a little farther. Find your balance.
  • katherine.tkatherine.t Alum Member
    edited August 2016 101 karma
    @"Cant Get Right"
    SO true. Sound advice and I love the metaphor. I think I am spending too much time over-analyzing some LR questions and not finishing as a result, especially those parallel reasoning questions that are so damn long to read. Do you recommend the 15-in-15 or the 20 in 20 method?
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    27377 karma
    @katherine.t , I recommend as much as you discover you can handle. 25 in 20 is totally possible.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    27377 karma
    That’s including skipping, of course.
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