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## Improving RC time

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This topic has 3 expert replies and 6 member replies
bgs4gmat Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
04 Apr 2012
Posted:
13 messages

#### Improving RC time

Wed May 16, 2012 12:33 pm
Hi guys,

need a more directed and case (mine) specific advise on RC pacing.
I have already gone through most of the RC advises and this what i am following:
2. Read the passage attentively (no skimming), paraphrase after each paragraph in my own understanding, map it in my mind.
2. No writing on scratch pad etc, no picking of pen (with an exceptional of any logical mapping, rarely)
3. Understand the whole passage and the message from it.
4. Attack rest of the questions.

I am able to answer the 700-level questions with 90% accuracy. Given GMATPrep1 and GMATPrep2 with 2 wrong RC questions in each. I am not a native speaker but a Indian software engineer so read enough English material.

Main Problem:
Most of the time, I am taking 8+ minutes to answer a 3Q RC (Short) passage) and 11+ minutes to answer a 4Q RC (Long passage).
How to improve the speed in answering the Q's?
I am going to give GMAT in 2 weeks time.
Any hope for me to improve my timing?
I am sure if i don't reduce this, i am going to struggle in the 4th RC passage in my real GMAt exam

digvijayk Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
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Posted:
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Test Date:
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Target GMAT Score:
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GMAT Score:
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Thu May 17, 2012 5:13 am

Hi,

I was in a similar situation as you. I have a similar strategy except I don't read the question first, I know that at least one question will force me to find the crux of the passage and so I always read complete passage without biasing myself with a specific question. Here's what I did, with a similar strategy - Practice!

Sounds simple, but I don't mean practice with just 10 or 20 passages. I used my strategy on at least 50 passages - about 20 from OG, another 20 from VR2 and then some more from GMATprep software as well as some LSAT passages relevant to GMAT. At first I was taking as much as 20 minutes on one passage! Then, my timing started taking care of itself, the reason being that if you have the passage consumed within the first 3-4 minutes (which will come through practice, don't rush), you take as little as 3 seconds and as much as 20 seconds(max) to answer a question.

So that's what you need to do and if you think that's going to take a lot of time, its not. Yesterday i solved 20 short passages in under 90 minutes! I couldn't do the same about 2 weeks back. So, you will improve naturally.

One thing that's missing in your strategy -> When you say ATTACK the questions, how you do that is most important. My accuracy is about 95% on 700-800 level questions and it came up from 90%. Here's how. Once I had the passage in my mind:
a. I looked at the question, really understood it as fast as possible.
b. Went back to the passage, because the test-makers love to trick you by confusing info from one part of the passage with the other.
c. Used POE(process of elimination)
d. When I got confused between two choices, scrutinized both answer choices "meaning-wise" till one of them broke down and told me, "I give up"
e. All this now happens in less than 5 minutes. Wow.
So practice did that for me. I am an Indian, i.e. a non-native speaker too.

I hope this was very case specific

bgs4gmat Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
04 Apr 2012
Posted:
13 messages
Tue May 22, 2012 6:07 am
Thanks buddy !

I do look back to the passage in Inference and specific detail Q's.

With more practice i am able to take my accuracy to 100% but timing is still not very good.
Tough RC passage with 4 Q is taking 10+ minutes and with 3Q it is going into 8+ min zone.

Following is what happened in the MGMAT CAT 1 yesterday.
RC (1 Repeat RC passage and 3 new RC passages), Total 12Q
6Q wrong, Out of 6Q, 3Q Inference (All 3Q 700 800 level) and 3Q Specific Detail (Anchor Phrase) (2Q 600 700 level and 1 Q 700 800 level)

In the 3 new RC passages the time for answering first Q in each passage (Passage Reading + Answering Q) was as follows:
5 Min (2 Large Paragraphs)
3 Min (2 Large Paragraphs)
5 Min (2 Large Paragraphs and 1 medium size para)

Which i think is good enough time?

Accuracy in stress and time constraints ( Without time constraints i am scoring 100% in RC of even at 700 800 level but in exam it reduced to 50%, I was able to do the RC 950% correct post exam)

The 5 wrong Q i didn't use PoE in exam (unintentionally)but post exam with no time constraints i used PoE and solved 5 out of 6 wrong Q.

Regards
Gaurav

digvijayk Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
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Posted:
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Test Date:
12/17/2012
Target GMAT Score:
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GMAT Score:
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Tue May 22, 2012 1:59 pm
What are your avg timings on SC and CR ?
How many tests do you hope to take before T-day ?

bgs4gmat Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
04 Apr 2012
Posted:
13 messages
Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:43 am
I took my tests and scored 690 (Q47, V37).

My Verbal timing on an average were close to in Mocks:
100+ seconds for SC
120-150 seconds for CR
6-7 minutes for Short Passages with 3Q
8-10 minutes for Long Passages with 4Q

I took following Mock tests:
GMATPrep 2 (AWA + IR) 710 (06th Aug)
Kaplna 610 (28th July)
GMATPrep 1 (AWA + IR) 710 (22nd July)
MGMAT CAT 2 (AWA + IR) 680 (1st July)
MGMAT CAT 1 (AWA + IR) 680 (24th June)
MGMAT CAT 1 (AWA)690 (21st May)
GMATPrep 2 (AWA) 720 (16th May)
GMATPrep 1 (AWA) 710 (13th May)

I am planning to retake in few months still trying to figure out the remedy to my Verbal Problems.

### GMAT/MBA Expert

Brent@GMATPrepNow GMAT Instructor
Joined
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Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:01 am
I suggest:
Plan A) See if your accuracy remains high if you speed up your reading. If it does, then problem solved.

For many students, a reduction in reading time will drastically decrease their accuracy. For most non-native English speakers, reading faster is not an option. This leads us to . . .

Plan B) Given your high accuracy with RC questions, you should make it a point to tackle all RC questions. Since this will undoubtedly take away time from your other questions, you'll need to decide what kinds of CR and SC questions you're going to guess on (in order to manage your time).

It looks like CR questions eat up a lot of your time. So, I suggest that you skip/guess on CR questions that have very long passages and long answer choices.

With any luck, you won't need to guess on many CR questions, and that the extra time you have for RC questions will more than make up for the CR guesses.

Cheers,
Brent

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bgs4gmat Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
04 Apr 2012
Posted:
13 messages
Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:24 pm
Brent@GMATPrepNow wrote:
I suggest:
Plan A) See if your accuracy remains high if you speed up your reading. If it does, then problem solved.
No Accuracy reduces significantly if i speed up reading and avoid taking notes
Brent@GMATPrepNow wrote:
For many students, a reduction in reading time will drastically decrease their accuracy. For most non-native English speakers, reading faster is not an option. This leads us to . . .
I am planning to retake GMAT sometime in Jan 2013 (My office is closed for 10-12 days during X-mas holidays). Is it possible to improve my reading? What are the tools or best practices to improve it?
Brent@GMATPrepNow wrote:
Plan B) Given your high accuracy with RC questions, you should make it a point to tackle all RC questions. Since this will undoubtedly take away time from your other questions, you'll need to decide what kinds of CR and SC questions you're going to guess on (in order to manage your time).

It looks like CR questions eat up a lot of your time. So, I suggest that you skip/guess on CR questions that have very long passages and long answer choices.

With any luck, you won't need to guess on many CR questions, and that the extra time you have for RC questions will more than make up for the CR guesses.
My accuracy for CR is also high if i take notes but again time to solve moves in 2 minutes plus range Have a look at my another post: http://www.beatthegmat.com/how-to-reduce-time-to-solve-for-cr-q-s-t117707.html#493534

My weakest area as of now is SC and i am revisiting my error logs to see whats wrong and what can be improved?

### GMAT/MBA Expert

Brent@GMATPrepNow GMAT Instructor
Joined
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Posted:
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Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:12 am
bgs4gmat wrote:
I am planning to retake GMAT sometime in Jan 2013 (My office is closed for 10-12 days during X-mas holidays). Is it possible to improve my reading? What are the tools or best practices to improve it?
I suggest reading a lot of GMAT-like materials in your spare time. These include publications like The Economist, Scientific American, and The New York Times.

I also suggest practicing your note-taking skills by taking the 1-Day Challenge.

For a complete list of recommended reading materials and to learn about the 1-Day Challenge, you can watch this free video: http://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-reading-comprehension?id=1130

Cheers,
Brent

_________________
Brent Hanneson â€“ Founder of GMATPrepNow.com
Use our video course along with

Check out the online reviews of our course
Come see all of our free resources

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### GMAT/MBA Expert

Brent@GMATPrepNow GMAT Instructor
Joined
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Posted:
11519 messages
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GMAT Score:
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Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:44 am
bgs4gmat wrote:
My accuracy for CR is also high if i take notes but again time to solve moves in 2 minutes plus range Have a look at my another post: http://www.beatthegmat.com/how-to-reduce-time-to-solve-for-cr-q-s-t117707.html#493534

My weakest area as of now is SC and i am revisiting my error logs to see whats wrong and what can be improved?
I think it's important to note that your goal at this point should be to maximize your score. For many non-native English speakers, it may be unrealistic to expect their reading speeds to increase dramatically in a short period of time.

Given these less-than-perfect conditions, what can be done to maximize one's score?

In addition to identifying and strengthening areas of weakness, students should also be looking at test-taking strategies that are best aligned with their weaknesses. In many cases, the best (score maximizing) strategy is to look for strategic guessing opportunities that allows them the most time to capitalize on their strengths.

Cheers,
Brent

_________________
Brent Hanneson â€“ Founder of GMATPrepNow.com
Use our video course along with

Check out the online reviews of our course
Come see all of our free resources

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bgs4gmat Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
04 Apr 2012
Posted:
13 messages
Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:29 am
Let me try to work on these lines

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