Jul 7, 2017
433
679
Status
Pre-Dental
I took my first 3 reading comp tests beginning 2 days ago and scored terribly: 16, 15, 15. I don't understand why I am doing so poorly. I'm pretty sure I just don't have a good strategy. I read and write a lot. I am a liberal arts major and my major requires an excessive amount of reading and writing. I have been complemented on my essay writing by various upper div professors.
Literally idk what I'm doing wrong with RC..
Please throw your best strategies at me in hopes that I can find something to boost my score. Thanks!
 

ppaa

2+ Year Member
Apr 7, 2017
173
105
Status
Pre-Dental
I was similar to you for my first Reading BC tests, I took two and I got 16 and then less than 15 on the other.
This strategy changed my score for Bootcamp less than 15 to 24 on BC, on the actual DAT I received 21.
1. Number 1-15 (3x) this is for each paragraph, some might have more some might have less, but yeah just number. I couldn't write during the break so I only wrote it once and made 3 columns for each prompt.
2. Read the title, excite yourself a little, read the first question just so you know what you are going to be reading about.
3. Start reading the paragraphs, i wrote 2-3 words for each paragraph (words describing the main idea or key words) AND use the highlight function for definitions and key words.
4. If you answer the 1st question, click next, see if u can answer it, if not continue reading until you can
**IF i got to one of those questions where they say first statement is correct, the next one isn't blah blah early on (like questions 1-4 for each passage), I would just mark it and come back to it after I finished the rest of the questions for that passage.

This strategy did wonders for me, I had about 5 minutes left by the time I finished and then I go back to the ones where I thought it could be between 2 answer choices. This strategy worked for me HOWEVER for the actual DAT the questions were different and straightforward for 1 prompt so I did some search and destroy for that one. Also 20 min on each prompt...if you go past that its going to be hard to finish. Good luck!!
 
OP
Auntymarkovnikov
Jul 7, 2017
433
679
Status
Pre-Dental
I was similar to you for my first Reading BC tests, I took two and I got 16 and then less than 15 on the other.
This strategy changed my score for Bootcamp less than 15 to 24 on BC, on the actual DAT I received 21.
1. Number 1-15 (3x) this is for each paragraph, some might have more some might have less, but yeah just number. I couldn't write during the break so I only wrote it once and made 3 columns for each prompt.
2. Read the title, excite yourself a little, read the first question just so you know what you are going to be reading about.
3. Start reading the paragraphs, i wrote 2-3 words for each paragraph (words describing the main idea or key words) AND use the highlight function for definitions and key words.
4. If you answer the 1st question, click next, see if u can answer it, if not continue reading until you can
**IF i got to one of those questions where they say first statement is correct, the next one isn't blah blah early on (like questions 1-4 for each passage), I would just mark it and come back to it after I finished the rest of the questions for that passage.

This strategy did wonders for me, I had about 5 minutes left by the time I finished and then I go back to the ones where I thought it could be between 2 answer choices. This strategy worked for me HOWEVER for the actual DAT the questions were different and straightforward for 1 prompt so I did some search and destroy for that one. Also 20 min on each prompt...if you go past that its going to be hard to finish. Good luck!!
sweet i will definitely try this out, thanks
 

FeralisExtremum

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
May 17, 2008
2,912
3,212
Status
Dental Student
What's going wrong in your RC tests currently? Is the issue speed (not enough time to finish reading the passages/answer all the questions)? Are there certain question types you're finding more challenging than others (inference/tone-based, statement true/reason false, etc.)?
 
OP
Auntymarkovnikov
Jul 7, 2017
433
679
Status
Pre-Dental
What's going wrong in your RC tests currently? Is the issue speed (not enough time to finish reading the passages/answer all the questions)? Are there certain question types you're finding more challenging than others (inference/tone-based, statement true/reason false, etc.)?
Speed isn't the issue. I can skim the passage and write a few words down in about 5-6 min depending on the length. It just takes me forever to find the answers to the questions. Sometimes i feel i might be reading too fast but i'm afraid if i slow down i won't have enough time for the questions. I hear people talking about search and destroy but im not too familiar with what it is. I did get some tone questions wrong, but then again i got most of the problems wrong...
But yea I definitely am sucking with timing in regards to answering the questions.
 

artist2022

yes, I'm a girl
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2016
1,946
2,487
Status
Dental Student
My strategy was similar to ppaa's above, and this is what I used on the real thing (only took that 1RC as you know, didn't have a strategy at that time lol) :
1) Number according to how many paragraphs you have
2) I read each paragraph quickly and summarized it in one sentence - I did this for all the paragraphs. Highlighted important stuff like names/dates/keywords
3) Attempted the questions - most of mine were in order, so I read what it was asking, looked down at my paper with my summary sentences, found the paragraph it would most likely be in, answered the question.
** I did take too long on the second passage, cause man it was so boring, so I modified my plan. But the steps above worked really well for my first two passages, and would've worked on the third had I not spent so much time on the second boring one.
3rd passage's strategy: modified S&D I guess
1) I looked at questions 1-5, wrote what they were asking down.
2) Read the paragraph until I had come upon every question. After I found an answer for a question, I wrote it down on my paper (I didn't answer it right away). Highlighted important stuff.
3) I quickly answered the first 5, boom boom boom. Went onto the next 5, did the same thing. Again, most of my questions were in order and it ended up working very well for me.
Hope it helps :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Auntymarkovnikov

FeralisExtremum

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
May 17, 2008
2,912
3,212
Status
Dental Student
Speed isn't the issue. I can skim the passage and write a few words down in about 5-6 min depending on the length. It just takes me forever to find the answers to the questions. Sometimes i feel i might be reading too fast but i'm afraid if i slow down i won't have enough time for the questions. I hear people talking about search and destroy but im not too familiar with what it is. I did get some tone questions wrong, but then again i got most of the problems wrong...
But yea I definitely am sucking with timing in regards to answering the questions.
Search and destroy is basically just skipping the passage and going straight to the questions, then trying to go back and find the answers in the passage. I don't recommend it because it makes tone/inference questions very challenging, and even finding straightforward answers in the passage is more challenging than knowing roughly where to look from reading the passage first.

Try to slow down on the passage skimming and take a bit more time to soak in the information you're reading so you know where to look to verify answers in the passage. Do you do any practice beyond the practice tests (e.g. Scientific American articles)?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Auntymarkovnikov
OP
Auntymarkovnikov
Jul 7, 2017
433
679
Status
Pre-Dental
Search and destroy is basically just skipping the passage and going straight to the questions, then trying to go back and find the answers in the passage. I don't recommend it because it makes tone/inference questions very challenging, and even finding straightforward answers in the passage is more challenging than knowing roughly where to look from reading the passage first.

Try to slow down on the passage skimming and take a bit more time to soak in the information you're reading so you know where to look to verify answers in the passage. Do you do any practice beyond the practice tests (e.g. Scientific American articles)?
I will try it out, possibly what was hurting me. Yea no I've only read like 3 of those articles. I'm currently reading a history book on the side for fun but that's about it
 
OP
Auntymarkovnikov
Jul 7, 2017
433
679
Status
Pre-Dental
My strategy was similar to ppaa's above, and this is what I used on the real thing (only took that 1RC as you know, didn't have a strategy at that time lol) :
1) Number according to how many paragraphs you have
2) I read each paragraph quickly and summarized it in one sentence - I did this for all the paragraphs. Highlighted important stuff like names/dates/keywords
3) Attempted the questions - most of mine were in order, so I read what it was asking, looked down at my paper with my summary sentences, found the paragraph it would most likely be in, answered the question.
** I did take too long on the second passage, cause man it was so boring, so I modified my plan. But the steps above worked really well for my first two passages, and would've worked on the third had I not spent so much time on the second boring one.
3rd passage's strategy: modified S&D I guess
1) I looked at questions 1-5, wrote what they were asking down.
2) Read the paragraph until I had come upon every question. After I found an answer for a question, I wrote it down on my paper (I didn't answer it right away). Highlighted important stuff.
3) I quickly answered the first 5, boom boom boom. Went onto the next 5, did the same thing. Again, most of my questions were in order and it ended up working very well for me.
Hope it helps :)
Jesus this is so intense hahaha
 
  • Like
Reactions: artist2022

artist2022

yes, I'm a girl
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2016
1,946
2,487
Status
Dental Student
Jesus this is so intense hahaha
But first, who reads a history book for fun :p haha it's really a race against time on the real thing, and I had to improvise for my last passage. Thank goodness whatever strategy I made up & used worked, and I'm lucky to have gotten my 25:) So yes, it's intense but it worked for me :p
 
  • Like
Reactions: Auntymarkovnikov
Jul 25, 2017
28
21
Status
Pre-Dental
I used S&D on the real DAT, but it wont work on bootcamp. On the last passage I did on the real DAT I did passage mapping just cause i only had 15 minutes left, it definitely helped with time. I finished the last passage with mapping way faster and with more ease than the other 2 without. Still S&D though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Auntymarkovnikov

AN4TOMY

2+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2015
1,065
1,310
Status
Dental Student
Mapping is the way to go! And force yourself to focus. You really need to read in depth in these, rather than focusing on only reading fast


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
  • Like
Reactions: Auntymarkovnikov

roblesc182

2+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2017
47
45
I know people always mention to read the first question and keep reading if you can't answer it, etc. I just find that it's impossible with bootcamp. The questions usually are not in order
 
  • Like
Reactions: Auntymarkovnikov