Deepa100

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2006
1,027
1
Status
Hi,
TPR Verbal review book says do the best passages first and don't worry about it if you have to guess on all of the "killer" passages. I am curious to know if anyone is following this? I would like to target at least reading all of the passages such that I would get the best possible score...
 

RSAgator

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2006
864
0
Status
It's a bad strategy and a waste of time in my opinion. You really just never know if a passage is easy or hard until you go through the passage and the questions. I've had passages I thought "wow I actually understand this really well" where I've gotten the most questions wrong and passages where I think to myself "this one's going to be tough" and I get everything correct. You literally never know, and in verbal where most people are pretty down to the wire you don't want to waste a minute looking for a passage that at best you can speculate about the difficulty.
 

nikkiMD19

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 1, 2007
177
0
Miami, FL
Status
Medical Student
Kaplan encouraged using this method as well and I highly recommend it. The reasoning is that you're probably going to waste more time on those killer passages and are likely to get several answers wrong anyway. Then you're left with less time to tackle the easier passages, and you rush through them, making it more likely to answer these questions incorrectly, too.

If you tackle the easy passages first with plenty of time on your hands, you'll be more likely to answer those questions correctly. You don't want to waste time on more difficut passages that you probably won't do well on anyway, when there are easy passages that you can confidently and quickly select the right answer.

In my experience, my scores for VR section tests in which I used this method were higher (by about 2 points). Of course, what is considered a "killer" passage varies from person to person. Generally, if you read the first paragraph of a passage and have absolutely no idea what you just read, it's a good idea to move on and leave it for last.
 
About the Ads

unsung

10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2007
1,356
13
Status
Resident [Any Field]
It's a bad strategy and a waste of time in my opinion. You really just never know if a passage is easy or hard until you go through the passage and the questions. I've had passages I thought "wow I actually understand this really well" where I've gotten the most questions wrong and passages where I think to myself "this one's going to be tough" and I get everything correct. You literally never know, and in verbal where most people are pretty down to the wire you don't want to waste a minute looking for a passage that at best you can speculate about the difficulty.
Yep. Pretty much. There are psych passages I think are super breezy to read through, interesting, I'm comfortable with (have a degree in it), but then I end up getting bucket loads of the Qs wrong. Then there are passages I really feel uncomfortable with, feel like I'm guessing on the Qs, etc., but it turns out I've gotten everything right. Really impossible to predict.

I DO sometimes skip around in answering the Qs though. But I don't skip around in choosing which passage to read.
 

RSAgator

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2006
864
0
Status
ultimately you'll do whatever works for you...any response is going to be pretty anecdotal, but every question is worth the same amount of points so the easy ones are just as important as the hard ones. Once again I stress the point that it's impossible to know until after the fact what's going to give you trouble. I usually have the most trouble with literature/philosophy passages but on my actual administration I felt it was the easiest one for me. You'll see once you start practicing more, if you're serious about it give it a shot, but I'm always a bit weary of the "i used this strategy and my score jumped x points" comments. Correlation does not mean causation.
 

dangit

10+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2006
415
1
Status
Medical Student
so do you guys feel that some passages are really difficult to read?? i was getting super sad cuz i was thinking if i have a reading problem.... you know?
 

RSAgator

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2006
864
0
Status
so do you guys feel that some passages are really difficult to read?? i was getting super sad cuz i was thinking if i have a reading problem.... you know?
It can be a bit disheartening at times. I've had many tests where I simply felt like I didn't get any of the verbal passages. In fact I ended AAMC 7 absolutely unable to recall ANYTHING from the passages that's how badly it went. Quite the opposite though I felt like AAMC 5 was the one verbal I actually just got everything in. Some of them are difficult to read but you need to be prepared for that and maintain your composure through it and be sure you don't waste too much time trying to get it. The passages are picked to challenge you and to be difficult to understand, you just need to be in the right mindset and prepared for it. You've been reading almost all your life so it's difficult when something so second nature to you is challenged, but I think it's important to have confidence and to plow on through the difficult ones without wasting too much time.
 

dangit

10+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2006
415
1
Status
Medical Student
how do you plow through it? cuz i can't answer the questions if i don't understand what i read. i think i read too much for detail instead of the main idea. i feel i'm better at getting the main idea if i take my time, but when i start timing myself, i feel pressure and then don't understand the main idea...yea, i think it's a matter of state of mind. the time pressure really gets to me...without the time pressure, i'm okay.
 

RSAgator

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2006
864
0
Status
you need to stay actively focused and realize that for the next 60 minutes you need to do the verbal like it's the only thing that matters in the world. One thing that helped me a ton was to highlight single words as I went on. If you double click on a word it will highlight, and it doesn't take away much from the flow of the passage. I'd highlight names, italics, examples, important words, peculiar words, and I felt it really helped me to stay focused. Also it gave me a better understanding of where things were so that I could very easily find them in the passage. I think reading for the main idea is a bit overemphasized but there will be people who absolutely disagree with me. Quite frankly everyone's different. Everyone reads differently, and everyone finds different strategies work for them that may not work for others. Most important thing to do is to stay focused and not let your confidence get shaken by a difficult passage in the middle of the test.
 
OP
D

Deepa100

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2006
1,027
1
Status
Thanks for the responses, guys. But what I am really wondering is - is it wise to leave the "killer" passage out and completely guess it? Shouldn't we try our best to get to all of the passages?
 

RSAgator

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2006
864
0
Status
Thanks for the responses, guys. But what I am really wondering is - is it wise to leave the "killer" passage out and completely guess it? Shouldn't we try our best to get to all of the passages?
your reading comprehension clearly IS lacking...

as I've already said, every question is worth the same amount of points, and you never know which passage will be hard until you do it. Obviously it's a bad strategy to pick a passage you "think" is difficult and just guess on it, and obviously you should try your best to do all the passages. Do you really need to ask if guessing on 5-7 questions will help your score? at a 25% guess rate that's already roughly 4 questions wrong, not to mention the questions you probably got wrong on other passages as well. Seriously dude...
 

bigman225

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 1, 2007
362
0
Status
Bad strategy in my opinion. You are wasting time that should be spent focusing on the passage determining if it is "hard" or not. Also, the worst thing you can do is get half way through a passage and use your "strategy" as an excuse to copout and move to the next one after wasting tons of time. I'd also like to point out that perceived passage difficulty and actual question difficulty are two entirely different things. As far as VR is concerned, if you want 10+, YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO MISS AN ENTIRE PASSAGE, OR EVEN DO POORLY ON ONE.
 
About the Ads