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Tips for Testing Faster?

SoupCitySoupCity Alum Member
in General 40 karma

I have been a slow test taker my whole life. I've never completed every question of a standardized test (ACT, GRE, LSAT) and even after two months of dedicated studying and taking 10 full timed LSATs I've never completed a single section (LR, RC, LG/AR) without guessing on 5+ questions in the last minute.

Has anyone else had problems like this and managed to overcome? I know the more I familiarize myself with the material the quicker it should come, but since this has been the case for me forever and I have been a good student, it seems like a bigger issue.

Some helpful tips I've been working on are to skip a question if I'm not understanding and come back, and take the test like I'm trying to get my actual goal score, not a 180 (avoid time sucks basically). Any other pointers?

Comments

  • listentothewindblowlistentothewindblow Monthly Member
    127 karma

    Hmmm are you doing the low resolution summaries for RC? Also maybe make sure you fully understand the passages before moving on to the questions. That way you don't waste time going back to search for the answers. This helped me a lot. Also you could try tracing the stimulus/passages with your mouse as you read as a way to try to force yourself to actively read (like you would trace with your finger/pencil on a paper test). I think that's all I can think of for now!

  • Jose16FerJose16Fer Alum Member
    48 karma

    I definitely had the same issue. Like @listentothewindblow's advice, if RC is the only section you are troubled with completing on time, I advice you to read the passage with 80% understanding. 80% understanding will ensure you getting most questions correct. With LR, you just have to be used to reading fast and understand the stimulus. I was slow in LR, but after practice over practice, I'm now able to complete 25 questions in 27 minutes and use rest of the time (which is 8 minutes) to solve the questions I flagged.

  • SoupCitySoupCity Alum Member
    40 karma

    @listentothewindblow I think my trying to fully comprehend is part of my problem with RC. I'm simply too slow, so it often will take me 7+ minutes just to feel pretty good with the passage. I have heard that advice and it totally makes sense, the answers should come faster. I have been using my mouse to follow for LR and RC and that has been very helpful for keeping me focused.

    @Jose16Fer I recently started trying the low resolution summary for RC and I'm hoping that will help get down the main points and not focus too much on the details.

    Unfortunately it's all 3 sections, although RC is my slowest and LR is my fastest.

    Thanks for the pointers and any others are welcome!

  • m.i.rivasm.i.rivas Alum Member
    203 karma

    Hi! Something that has helped me with time for RC is doing individual passage drills where I practiced over and over reading the passage and answering the questions in the allotted time. I usually spend about 4 - 4.5 minutes reading the passage and then depending on the amount of questions about 3.5 - 4 minutes on questions. I would say just get really used to answering RC questions quickly (around 30 seconds per question) and eventually you'll feel more comfortable with it. Pick you right answer and move on. Don't spend a lot of time doubting your gut instinct, and then do a really rigorous and diligent blind review. Eventually your accuracy will catch up with the time! This has helped me in RC a lot. Where I used to guess on an entire passage, I now can answer all of them right on time. Good luck!

  • dazedandconfused-1dazedandconfused-1 Alum Member
    258 karma

    Testing faster is a combination of
    1) mastering the fundamentals and
    2) skipping questions fast.

    I think people generally are aware of the importance of 1) but tend to underestimate the importance of 2). Of course skipping is important when it comes to saving time, but I think to really save time, you need to decide fast whether you are going to skip or not. That is to say, you have to make the decision to skip before the mental inertia kicks in for you to dwell on the question.

  • LogicianLogician Alum Member Sage
    2459 karma

    I think another important factor that I haven’t seen mentioned is confidence. Essentially this boils down to being more aggressive when applicable. For instance you’ve just read a stimulus, you’re certain you know where the gap is- go hunt for that AC. If you see it, pick it and move on.

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