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I take 4 minutes on each of the reading passages

GraceloverGracelover Alum Member
edited October 2014 in General 440 karma
So I have no problem with speed....Trust me, I can read the passages in 2 minutes or less....but in one sense I do have a problem with speed, because if I read any faster than 4 minutes then I sacrifice accuracy on the questions...I could get away with reading the passages in 3 or less minutes on the older RC's, but there are a lot harder inference, definition, and analogy questions on the newer RC's that if I don't read closely enough I miss all of them..but obviously I want to comprehend what I am reading even faster...

I have tried spreeder before....honestly, it doesn't work for me. Simply reading words faster doesn't mean I comprehend the passage on the certain level which is required for the newer RC's faster...If I only read for "structure" I miss the main point, or I don't make a key inference which is based upon some sort of detail I might skip over when reading for "structure"...To do all the "push back" I need to do to connect passages and draw out key inferences requires that I comprehend faster...not just read faster

Anyone else have the same problem?


  • GraceloverGracelover Alum Member
    440 karma
    Maybe any tips?
  • cnguye15cnguye15 Member
    64 karma
    I don't think it is a problem if you do better on it. I think it is important to skip some time-sink questions. It used to be natural for me to spend 4 minute reading and relied on my memory (similar 7 sage technique). I remembered getting -4 and -5 consistently. I became greedy and then speed reading but ended up having strange not deeply understanding what i read. I got more answers wrong and got worst. I am gonna re-practice for 7 sage technique and rely on my memory for inference questions. After trying so many techniques, memory method is still the best.
  • marleybabymarleybaby Alum Member
    194 karma
    combine spreader with the 7 sage memory method?
  • danballinger5danballinger5 Alum Member
    198 karma
    I have found a method that has improved my RC scores significantly. Maybe it will work for you.

    I read quickly, but do not skim. As I read, I underline the stuff that is important rather than writing stuff to the side or trying to memorize. I find that this reinforces what I just read and only takes 1-3 seconds.

    Here's an example from Prep Test 43:

    Paragraph 1
    I underlined "Reader-response theory" - the first three words from the first sentence - after reading the first sentence, for no other reason than to smash that idea into my head.
    Next I underlined, "the literary text alone renders no meaning; it acquires meaning only when encountered by individual readers." Bam! - now I know the value the author places upon reader-response theory.
    Lastly I underline, "However, since no theory has a monopoly on divining meaning from a text, the formalists' view appears unnecessarily narrow." This looks to me like a good contender for a main point of the passage.

    All this underlining adds about 30 seconds to my reading time, but greatly enhances my understanding of the passage - much more so than summarizing does. And, like a logic game that requires a bunch of front-end work, I can zip through most questions. I can easily reference back to the passage for questions that give me trouble, as my underlining has diced it up a bit.

    I definitely underline words or phrases that are going to set up some important idea: however, in fact, in some cases, proponents of, etc. I don't waste time underling the stuff that comes after those words, since I can always come back and read it if I have to.

    Hopes this helps you out, or at least helps you create you own method of attack.
    Personally, I have always been a somewhat slow reader. I read faster out loud than in my head, due to focus issues. But, since I have employed the above method I have been able to finish several consecutive RC sections within the 35 minutes while missing 3 - 5 questions. Before, I was running out of time and missing 8 - 10 questions.
  • GraceloverGracelover Alum Member
    440 karma
    Hey, thank you guys!! I am trying really hard to increase my reading speed, so I will try more of the memory method and the underline method. I really need to decrease my time....without sacrificing accuracy....
  • cmb_1992cmb_1992 Alum Member
    edited October 2014 48 karma
    Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. If it takes you a little longer to read the passage but you understand it after reading it, then that's good. If you take much less time on questions because you took your time and really understand the passage, then great.

    It's like LG game boards. If you take the time to make the correct game board and all of the inferences, it may take you a little longer than you'd like. However, you can then breeze through the questions. A lot of times, we feel like it is taking us too long while reading a passage or setting up a game because we feel we need to get to the questions. Similarly, a lot of times we underestimate the time we spend on questions. We think that time spent on questions is good and time spent on passage or game board is bad. But if you take the time and understand a passage or a game board really well, the questions are MUCH EASIER to go through and MUCH SMOOTHER. Instead of spending 1:30 on a question because you rushed through, you answer it in 25 seconds.
  • chrijani7chrijani7 Alum Member
    827 karma
    I just want to say that I think there are a lot of great responses in this thread, specifically the LG comparison. I have heard the comparison before, but it did not really sink until this thread. I feel like many (including myself) try to power through the passage worried about the 2 minute time limit, which can be harmful. It's harmful for two reasons:
    1) Like Gracelover stated, and I face the same issue. If you are reading to FAST then you comprehend nothing.
    2) If you didn't take the time up front to understand it, now your wasting EVEN MORE time on the questions, because you flew through it.

    I haven't had a chance to work through this yet, but reading this post made me realize this. Take the time up front, if it takes you 3-4 minutes but you can hammer through the questions super fast (like in LG), then it doesn't matter.

    There are some videos from PT 70 (I believe) that show videos of JY doing RC in real time. While you can't see the the passage, you can see how he works and it really opened my eyes. He constantly refers back to previous paragraphs, so for instance he might be in paragraph 3, but you'll see him jump up to paragraph 1. Whereas, I usually just barrel through beginning to end, I might slow down to comprehend a sentence, but I usually don't like back once I move on past a paragraph.
  • GraceloverGracelover Alum Member
    440 karma
    Thank you guys for all the feedback!

    Here is one thing which I do that really helped with my comprehension, in addition to figuring out the scope and main point of the passage: connecting the pieces of evidence within each paragraph to the small point it supports and quickly trying to figure out why they're relevant to that point(s). A lot of questions require you to understand what the main point of each paragraph was. For example, a question will ask about a piece of evidence which was used in a paragraph to support a small point made in that paragraph, and will ask you questions about that piece of evidence, such as why it is there, what is it's purpose...basically answering the question correctly requires you to see how that evidence or examples is relevant to the point being made.
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