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 kupwarriors9
  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: Jul 01, 2021
|
#89037
Hi,

I feel as if my score isn't improving drastically for each practice test I take. I've for sure noticed improvements in my logic games (averaging 20/23) and my logical reasoning is slightly approving (50, 54, 58); however, my reading comprehension keeps dropping. How do you guys stay focused and don't run out of time for the reading comprehension? Also, I always get questions 19-25 wrong for LR. Should I be jumping straight to the last ten to start if they need more time?

Thank you,

Warriors9
User avatar
 rocketman16
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: Jul 26, 2021
|
#89074
I am currently in the process of prepping for my first test as well, so I'm hardly the expert, but I'll give my two cents in case they may be helpful.
As for timing in RC, I will say that it is one of my most difficult sections to time as well. One general piece of timing advice that I have found helpful is to break down each piece of each section into individual times to see where you are at and start working to "trim" seconds off from there. For example, as you do a RC passage, time how long it takes you to get through reading the passage, then pause and mark it. Then restart the clock and see how long it takes to finish the sections. If it is taking you a long time to finish reading the passage (let's say 3+ minutes), then you know you can shave some valuable time off just be speeding up on your reading. Personally, I have noticed that by deliberately speeding up the reading, I can now get through the reading portion in around 2 minutes most of the time, but I sometimes slow down on the questions because I have not committed as much of the passage info to memory (and it can sometimes hurt my accuracy). So I know now that it would benefit me to slow down a tad on the reading to improve retention for the questions. The trick is to find the sweet spot where you are working on time without compromising accuracy, and that sweet spot will change depending on your strengths.
As for your difficulties with LR, I recently saw a couple of other posts expressing concern for the same issue. The admins pointed out that oftentimes, the questions at the end of a section are the hardest (I've noticed that they're also often some of the longest). As I have improved on LR, I've noticed that, in a section that goes well, I can be 100% accurate on the first 10-15 questions, but among the few I miss are most likely in the range you mentioned (so you're not alone here). You asked if it would be advisable to skip to the last 10 questions to start if those questions need more time, and I will say NO to that. LR sections tend to start off easy and get harder (according to the LR Bible). Getting the easy questions done quickly and confidently helps a lot to establish a rhythm for the rest of the section, IMO. One of the major elements of review that I think is essential is asking yourself why you got a question wrong: Is it because of time pressure or a lack of understanding? If it is lack of understanding, skipping to those questions would not increase the likelihood of getting the questions right. If anything, I think it may hurt your chances because you're going in to some of of the hardest questions cold! If the issue is time pressure, I still don't think skipping to them is worthwhile. Remember that each question is worth only 1 point, regardless of how hard it is. If spending a bunch of time on hard questions takes essential time away from easier questions and you miss them, you're not experiencing a net gain in your score. Timing is easier to correct than understanding, so if understanding is off, you need to do some review and evaluate what is going wrong. Doing some untimed practice sections helps to iron out weaknesses like that. If timing is the big issue, refer back to my thoughts on breaking down the section. I usually mark the time in my practice after questions 10 and 20. If you know where you're at, you know where you need to go.

Anyway, sorry for the long reply. This is my first response, so hopefully you find it at least a little helpful. Good luck to us all!
User avatar
 Bob O'Halloran
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 61
  • Joined: Jul 06, 2021
|
#89111
Hi Kupwarriors,
Thank you for your question. As Rocketman16's reply shows, you are not alone in these chanlleges! In addtion to Rocketman16's advice, here are some links to help with RC:

https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/a-timi ... rformance/
https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/readin ... tic-tests/
https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/bid-32 ... rehension/
https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/lsat-p ... ill-tests/

Please review and let us know if you have any additional questions.
Bob
 kupwarriors9
  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: Jul 01, 2021
|
#89300
This was extremely helpful thank you.
rocketman16 wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 5:44 pm I am currently in the process of prepping for my first test as well, so I'm hardly the expert, but I'll give my two cents in case they may be helpful.
As for timing in RC, I will say that it is one of my most difficult sections to time as well. One general piece of timing advice that I have found helpful is to break down each piece of each section into individual times to see where you are at and start working to "trim" seconds off from there. For example, as you do a RC passage, time how long it takes you to get through reading the passage, then pause and mark it. Then restart the clock and see how long it takes to finish the sections. If it is taking you a long time to finish reading the passage (let's say 3+ minutes), then you know you can shave some valuable time off just be speeding up on your reading. Personally, I have noticed that by deliberately speeding up the reading, I can now get through the reading portion in around 2 minutes most of the time, but I sometimes slow down on the questions because I have not committed as much of the passage info to memory (and it can sometimes hurt my accuracy). So I know now that it would benefit me to slow down a tad on the reading to improve retention for the questions. The trick is to find the sweet spot where you are working on time without compromising accuracy, and that sweet spot will change depending on your strengths.
As for your difficulties with LR, I recently saw a couple of other posts expressing concern for the same issue. The admins pointed out that oftentimes, the questions at the end of a section are the hardest (I've noticed that they're also often some of the longest). As I have improved on LR, I've noticed that, in a section that goes well, I can be 100% accurate on the first 10-15 questions, but among the few I miss are most likely in the range you mentioned (so you're not alone here). You asked if it would be advisable to skip to the last 10 questions to start if those questions need more time, and I will say NO to that. LR sections tend to start off easy and get harder (according to the LR Bible). Getting the easy questions done quickly and confidently helps a lot to establish a rhythm for the rest of the section, IMO. One of the major elements of review that I think is essential is asking yourself why you got a question wrong: Is it because of time pressure or a lack of understanding? If it is lack of understanding, skipping to those questions would not increase the likelihood of getting the questions right. If anything, I think it may hurt your chances because you're going in to some of of the hardest questions cold! If the issue is time pressure, I still don't think skipping to them is worthwhile. Remember that each question is worth only 1 point, regardless of how hard it is. If spending a bunch of time on hard questions takes essential time away from easier questions and you miss them, you're not experiencing a net gain in your score. Timing is easier to correct than understanding, so if understanding is off, you need to do some review and evaluate what is going wrong. Doing some untimed practice sections helps to iron out weaknesses like that. If timing is the big issue, refer back to my thoughts on breaking down the section. I usually mark the time in my practice after questions 10 and 20. If you know where you're at, you know where you need to go.

Anyway, sorry for the long reply. This is my first response, so hopefully you find it at least a little helpful. Good luck to us all!
User avatar
 atomic94
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: Jul 18, 2021
|
#89321
rocketman16 wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 5:44 pm One general piece of timing advice that I have found helpful is to break down each piece of each section into individual times to see where you are at and start working to "trim" seconds off from there. For example, as you do a RC passage, time how long it takes you to get through reading the passage, then pause and mark it. Then restart the clock and see how long it takes to finish the sections. If it is taking you a long time to finish reading the passage (let's say 3+ minutes), then you know you can shave some valuable time off just be speeding up on your reading. Personally, I have noticed that by deliberately speeding up the reading, I can now get through the reading portion in around 2 minutes most of the time, but I sometimes slow down on the questions because I have not committed as much of the passage info to memory (and it can sometimes hurt my accuracy). So I know now that it would benefit me to slow down a tad on the reading to improve retention for the questions. The trick is to find the sweet spot where you are working on time without compromising accuracy, and that sweet spot will change depending on your strengths.
I really benefited from this too. Thanks so much for sharing!
 kupwarriors9
  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: Jul 01, 2021
|
#89326
Do you have any recommendations for LR? I find Im stuck in a score too. Your tips helped me nail a 22/27 on the RC(from a 12/27)!
rocketman16 wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 5:44 pm I am currently in the process of prepping for my first test as well, so I'm hardly the expert, but I'll give my two cents in case they may be helpful.
As for timing in RC, I will say that it is one of my most difficult sections to time as well. One general piece of timing advice that I have found helpful is to break down each piece of each section into individual times to see where you are at and start working to "trim" seconds off from there. For example, as you do a RC passage, time how long it takes you to get through reading the passage, then pause and mark it. Then restart the clock and see how long it takes to finish the sections. If it is taking you a long time to finish reading the passage (let's say 3+ minutes), then you know you can shave some valuable time off just be speeding up on your reading. Personally, I have noticed that by deliberately speeding up the reading, I can now get through the reading portion in around 2 minutes most of the time, but I sometimes slow down on the questions because I have not committed as much of the passage info to memory (and it can sometimes hurt my accuracy). So I know now that it would benefit me to slow down a tad on the reading to improve retention for the questions. The trick is to find the sweet spot where you are working on time without compromising accuracy, and that sweet spot will change depending on your strengths.
As for your difficulties with LR, I recently saw a couple of other posts expressing concern for the same issue. The admins pointed out that oftentimes, the questions at the end of a section are the hardest (I've noticed that they're also often some of the longest). As I have improved on LR, I've noticed that, in a section that goes well, I can be 100% accurate on the first 10-15 questions, but among the few I miss are most likely in the range you mentioned (so you're not alone here). You asked if it would be advisable to skip to the last 10 questions to start if those questions need more time, and I will say NO to that. LR sections tend to start off easy and get harder (according to the LR Bible). Getting the easy questions done quickly and confidently helps a lot to establish a rhythm for the rest of the section, IMO. One of the major elements of review that I think is essential is asking yourself why you got a question wrong: Is it because of time pressure or a lack of understanding? If it is lack of understanding, skipping to those questions would not increase the likelihood of getting the questions right. If anything, I think it may hurt your chances because you're going in to some of of the hardest questions cold! If the issue is time pressure, I still don't think skipping to them is worthwhile. Remember that each question is worth only 1 point, regardless of how hard it is. If spending a bunch of time on hard questions takes essential time away from easier questions and you miss them, you're not experiencing a net gain in your score. Timing is easier to correct than understanding, so if understanding is off, you need to do some review and evaluate what is going wrong. Doing some untimed practice sections helps to iron out weaknesses like that. If timing is the big issue, refer back to my thoughts on breaking down the section. I usually mark the time in my practice after questions 10 and 20. If you know where you're at, you know where you need to go.

Anyway, sorry for the long reply. This is my first response, so hopefully you find it at least a little helpful. Good luck to us all!
User avatar
 rocketman16
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: Jul 26, 2021
|
#89338
Kup, that is a HUGE jump, way to go!! I am so glad to see that you guys found my advice to be helpful!

As far as LR goes, I think that it is one of the toughest sections to obtain a big score improvement on. When I took my cold diagnostic test, my best LR section was a -7. As of now, I can score around -2 most of the time, but I still have some sections where I miss 5-7 questions, so the consistency is not perfect. I don't know how many specific points of advice I can give you for improving it, but let me relay my experience with LR and see if it can provide some insight:

I have approached every section in roughly the same way throughout my prep. I spent the first 8 weeks concentrating on learning the sections and question types as thoroughly as possible while focusing on untimed practice sections/tests to cement my understanding of the concepts. From the initial -7 and -13 on the LR sections of my diagnostic test, I got to a point where I was consistently hitting -2 to -4 max on my untimed LR sections.
One of the keys that I found to improving your untimed score is to track your performance and identify strengths and weaknesses in your game, and work on eliminating those weaknesses. In untimed sections, obviously your timing is not a major weakness you should worry about. Focus on identifying question types that you seem to consistently miss or take a really long time to answer, then take extra time to review those questions. Refer back to the LR Bible if you're not understanding something. Come here to the forum and look up the admins explanations for the questions you missed, then write out your own explanation in a way that you understand it. The big point here is to make sure you understand WHY you missed what you missed and develop a personal strategy to avoid such mistakes next time. You may not always successfully apply those strategies, or you may get tripped up here or there by a situation that you are unfamiliar with, but if you are understanding what you are doing wrong and consciously work hard to correct your mistakes, your score should improve over time.
Getting great scores on your untimed work will feel good and increase your confidence, but it doesn't mean much if you can't get it done in 35 minutes! So after I hit a comfortable level of mastery in untimed LR sections, introducing timing was the next step. Fortunately, I believe that getting the timing nailed is easier on LR than on any other section. I already laid out the strategy to develop timing in my last post as I have used the same "progressive trimming" technique on all of my sections. Something I will note about introducing timing though is that my score did drop off pretty considerably when I first started it, which can certainly be discouraging. However, as I got more comfortable going at a faster pace, I did not feel as though I had to rush through the questions. I simply got used to thinking faster and relying more on the intuitive understanding of the questions that I developed over the course of my untimed work, and my scores quickly caught up. The key is to introduce timing slowly in a way that will allow you to assimilate comfortably.

If you feel like you are plateauing in your scores, there is likely something going wrong. Sometimes it is just a matter of patience: I have had several times throughout my prep when I felt like my scores were going nowhere for a week or two, then all of a sudden I made a quantum leap forward into a new and improved score range. So if you haven't been stalled for that long, you may be fixing for a similar big jump! If it has been more of a persistent problem, you need to go back and find out where and why you are weak. If you started adding time pressure before you had an adequately strong understanding of the section, you may need to take a step back and do some more untimed work to cement your understanding. If you had a good understanding and were scoring well in untimed work but are consistently having trouble with the clock involved, you are likely forgetting things that were important to your previous success as a result of the clock. Go through the questions that you missed and try to find a trend. Evaluate what you did right and what you did not that you know you should have. If you are capable of scoring well without timing, you are capable of scoring just as well with it. You need to know that and just work on bringing the full package together for test day!

I hope you find some of this valuable. Again, what an awesome jump on your RC section! If you can do that for RC, I'm sure you can do the same on LR. You just need a plan to do it :-D

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