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Vicviper's RC Strategy

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by Vicviper, Apr 1, 2009.

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  1. Vicviper

    Vicviper Steve McAwesome 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Visalia, CA
    Hi Everybody, I got like 20 PM's when I mentioned the RC strategy that I used and got a 30 with, so I thought I might as well just make a new thread so other people could see it as well.

    HUGE OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER
    :
    This is a method I used and it worked for me, but it very well may not work for you. It is also very risky because it can take a significant amount of time if you get stuck. Being a fast reader also really helps with this strategy. Please don't go into the DAT and use this without trying it out and seeing if it actually works for you first, and then practicing with it if it does. I REPEAT, it worked for me, and it may or may not work for you!
    ==========================================

    That said, Search and destroy works most of the time, but you need to find a search and destroy method that works well for you.

    Here's what I did, but it's really risky because it can take a ton of extra time, and it didn't work for every question, but the first practice test I tried this on I got a 29, and on the actual DAT I got a 30 (Though I was lucky on getting 1 passage I was already familiar with). First, you need to be able to read through and only focus on key terms, that is the most important thing, as most everything else is filler.

    1) Look through ALL the questions for a passage, and look for any word that could POSSIBLY resemble a key term, any names of muscles, chemicals, enzymes, places, names, etc. Put these terms in the back of your head.

    2)Start BROWSING through the passage carefully looking for any word that might be a key term, and every time you come upon an important looking key term, read the sentence it's in closely, and then go through ALL of the questions for that passage and see if that term is used in any of them. If it is, you should be able to easily answer the question, as most often key terms are only used in the paragraph where they show up, and the one after it.

    3) Continue to go through the passage slowly, and if you need to, go through the questions again to refresh your memory of what terms to be looking for.

    4) Keep going through all of your remaining questions for that passage whenever you come across a key term, and as you are going through, make a mental sketch of how the passage is laid out.

    5) Once you've gone through the entire passage, you should have maybe 3 or 4 questions left. Go back and look at them, and then focus on 2. Start skimming through the passage again, looking for those key terms, and if you see key terms related to some of the other unanswered questions, jot their location down on your paper.

    6) At this point, focus on any questions that do not work for search and destroy - often these are question which asks "Which of these is not mentioned" or the ones which give a statement, and asks you if it is true or false, and if the reasoning given in the question is proof of the statement.

    7) Go onto the next passage, and if you've spent more than a third of your time, know that you're going to need to either a) speed up, b) not be as through, or C) Use a backup strategy.

    Like I said, this worked well for me, but on the actual test I was 2 minutes over on my first two passages - I consider myself a fast reader, and it is still very risky. This isn't for everyone, try it if you like, but then if it doesn't work on your practice tests, use a different SnD method. RC is definitely a good part practice and skill, but luck also plays a big part in it.

    Good luck!
     
    Gunacaik and odpropofol like this.
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  3. tsitneD

    tsitneD 2+ Year Member

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    thanks man. It does sound risky. well im very unlucky when it comes to RC still i ll use it on practice test and see how it goes.
     
  4. DiscoBalls

    DiscoBalls 2+ Year Member

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    Pretty good, although I don't reccommend looking over all 20 questions before you begin reading, maybe like the first five or so. Chances are a question pertaining to an early part of the passage will be in the first five

    But how can I argue with someone who got a 30?
     
  5. Vicviper

    Vicviper Steve McAwesome 7+ Year Member

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    You know, you're definitely right, but time and time again when I was only looking at the first 3-5 questions it kept being that they were in the middle or near the end, and it just frustrated me to no end, and that caused me to make the ultimate jump to just look at all 15-17. I kept running into it where like the last or second to last question was answered in the first paragraph or two.

    You're definitely right in thinking that it's hard to keep track of all of the questions, so I made sure to always go back and refresh my memory of the questions every so often, because hell, you're under lots of stress, it's easy to get confused.

    Like I said, I just wanted to throw my idea out there, and I highly suggest that you make a strategy that works best for you. If anyone tries my strategy and likes it, I'd be happy to know. :)
     
  6. Ryltar

    Ryltar 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 9, 2009
    How does this method work for tone questions?
     
  7. Vicviper

    Vicviper Steve McAwesome 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Visalia, CA
    As I said in the explanation, SnD doesn't work for all question types. Tone questions are very tricky because I personally think they're open to interpretation. There's no "method" that would really let you perfect getting tone questions, just practice with tone questions. BUT, I'd think that after you browse through the entire passage as my method calls for, you'd have a fairly decent understanding of where the author was coming from.
     
  8. cookie13

    cookie13 5+ Year Member

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    I ABSOLUTELY love your method!!! I went from scoring a 14 on the first practice test to scoring a 19 on the 3rd one!! THANK YOU!!!
    And I just got a 20 on the 4th!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  9. Ruthless

    Ruthless 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 15, 2008

    So do u read the entire essay 1st or do u read thru all the questions first?
     
  10. MowgliR

    MowgliR 7+ Year Member

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    would it possible to write down the key terms in the questions instead of sticking it in the back of your head?
     
  11. Emmie

    Emmie 2+ Year Member

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    Aug 17, 2008
    Vicviper: your strategy reminds me of EK's method. Read the questions/keywords first then read the passage, an expanded version of SnD ;)
     
  12. Marmaduke

    Marmaduke 2+ Year Member

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    May 31, 2009
    Wooooow this is intense! I'm okay with my score but I'm going to have to try your method out. though I'll probably confuse myself. thanks for sharing!
     
  13. dentrilla

    dentrilla 2+ Year Member

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    Aug 15, 2008
    hows this been workin for every1?
     
  14. Vicviper

    Vicviper Steve McAwesome 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Visalia, CA
    I'm so glad to hear that people are improving their scores with my method!

    And yeah, modify the method for however you feel you are most comfortable. If you don't think you'll be able to remember the terms from the questions, you could write them down, though that might take more time. I guess an alternate method would be to write down key terms for each question, and then when you find the term in the passage, you know exactly what question it's from.... kind of a reverse mapping the passage.

    To Cookie: Awesome improvement! Keep up the good work!

    To Ruthless: Yes, I read all 15-17 questions before I even look at the passage.

    Emmie: Yup, I started off small, just looking at the first 3-5, and then I would constantly find the answers to the 17th question in like the first two sentences, and it totally irritated me, so I made the jump to looking at all of the questions first.

    To Marmaduke: Yup, it's a bit daunting at first, and it's not for everybody, but if it works for you, it really works well. Oddly enough, I actually came up with this the night before my DAT, when I was doing a practice test, and I kinda wanted to skip through RC because I was already getting like 20-21 so I could get to sleep earlier, and so I just skimmed all of the questions first before I went to the passage. That practice test I got a 29, like 10 hours before my DAT, so I went into the real thing rolling the dice with my new method, and it worked like a charm.

    Let me know if anyone has any questions, I'm glad to help. All I'm doing is packing and getting ready to move to Pitt to start school next week... blarg, I know I'm going to miss the CA weather in a few months when it's 10 degrees in Pitt, haha.
     
  15. dentrilla

    dentrilla 2+ Year Member

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    bumpppp
     
  16. americanpierg

    americanpierg Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    these passages are so small, it takes 1-2 minutes to read each passage and still remember stuff. flipping through 10+ different questions each time takes up way more time than necessary. i dont see how people dont just read and the search and destroy after that. 2 minutes per passage with 3 takes up only 6 minutes of your time. that leaves 44 left for 50 questions, and most questions take like 20 seconds at most.... sigh ill never understand people.
     
  17. zellyen

    zellyen 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 21, 2009
    it takes u 2 minutes to read the WHOLE passage?
     
  18. Vicviper

    Vicviper Steve McAwesome 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Visalia, CA
    You must be quite the speed reader! Some of my passages had 12-15 paragraphs!

    If you read through first and then try to SnD, you're going to end up reading the entire passage multiple times, just in segments. My method has you really only reading the passage once for the majority of the questions, and then going back and cleaning up the few remaining ones, and any that can't be solved using SnD.
     
  19. dentrilla

    dentrilla 2+ Year Member

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    You'll never 'understand' people with that narrow minded stupidity.
    Some people are good at RC. You are one of them, would you like a pat on the back? I'm guessing you think all people read at the exact same speed right?
     
  20. dds10

    dds10

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    Hey.. what would you recommend doing for the extremely long passages. I think it's a little hard answering the tone type questions unless you've read the passage. Is there an easier way to do these questions, since SnD probably wont work?
     
  21. jay47

    jay47 Think Positively! 5+ Year Member

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    I agree with his post (AmericanPierg). I think the problem is people get all "worked up" because it is the "big bad DAT". It really is just a dense scientific passage. Read through the first through questions, I wouldn't do all of them, then go ahead and read the passage. I'm sure that even moderately fast readers, or medium speed at that, can complete 95% of the passage every time. You cannot read them in 1-2 minutes, but 6-7 minutes is pretty doable for a 13 paragraph passage, leaving 13-14 minutes to answer 17 questions.

    The thing is, just don't try to memorize everything in the passage. All you need to do is create a roadmap, mental OR on the dry erase sheet, to help you recall facts.

    Don't stress out, just read it like you would read a newspaper article.
     
  22. dentrilla

    dentrilla 2+ Year Member

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    thanks, that's good advice, i got my DAT tomorrow and RC/Bio are the sections I'm most worried about.. I think i relied to much on my Major.. Oh Wells... ** i really hope there isnt any taxonomy lol **
     
  23. Vicviper

    Vicviper Steve McAwesome 7+ Year Member

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    Visalia, CA
    Well, like you said, SnD doesn't work for inference questions, but remember, with my method, you are reading the passage, and so after you've gone through and picked off all of the questions you can, it's a bit of a gamble.
     
  24. dds10

    dds10

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    Alright. Have you seen the achiever passages? I just bought it recently and I found the passages to be very long and the questions were much harder compared to Topscore. What would you say the real DAT is closer to?
     
  25. americanpierg

    americanpierg Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    On my DAT, one of the passage was similar to Topscore (though Topscore put the questions in more of a chronological order), and the final passage was similar to Achiever. Practicing Achiever is better than practicing topscore. Other than that (and PAT keyholes), achiever sucks for everything else.
     
  26. Vicviper

    Vicviper Steve McAwesome 7+ Year Member

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    I thought Kaplan was most similar to the RC on the real test, Achiever was somewhat similar, but had longer passages with shorter paragraphs if I remember correctly.
     
  27. wiiturtledove

    wiiturtledove

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    Erm anyone else use this strategy? I did the EK method. They said to READ the passage anything else someone tells you is baloney. It said you should actively try to see what the heck the paragraph is trying to say or else you are just wasting time going back and forth.

    So people that used this method did you crack 22+??? I can get a low 20 doing Kaplan's method. This method just seems so intense and lots of memorizing.
     
  28. Vicviper

    Vicviper Steve McAwesome 7+ Year Member

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    If you're getting low 20's using Kaplan, by all means keep using that, haha. Those are still amazing scores! I just never had much luck with the Kaplan method, I was always really bad at mapping out the passages on paper, it just took way too long for me. And while my method doesn't work for everyone, and can be a bit risky based on your reading speed and the chance of the passage, it really doesn't involve too much raw memorization. It's more that by looking at all of the questions first, and identifying key words in the questions, when you go through and actually read the passage, a little light will go off in the back of your mind saying, "Hey! I've seen this word before!" When that happens, you read the sentence that's before it and after it, and then flip through all of the questions and find where that keyword was that flipped that switch.
     
  29. caloriefree

    caloriefree 7+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the tip, Vicviper!

    I tried your method on a few practice passages and got decent results and I hope to improve on them with more practice. Do you have any resources that I can use as practice passages other than Kaplan/Achiever etc?

    Also, on the real DAT, how were the passages laid out with the problems, was it easy to go back and forth between problems/passages etc?

    Thanks! :luck:
     
  30. winnie bear

    winnie bear 5+ Year Member

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    Isn't each passage about 15 to 17 paragraphs long? I read that in another post so wasn't sure. If it is, it'll definitely take longer than 2 minutes to read each passage.
     
  31. Rlow04

    Rlow04 7+ Year Member

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    I found that in the actual DAT the passages seemed a little shorter than Topscore.
     
  32. Atticus

    Atticus 5+ Year Member

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    Jul 15, 2008
    I followed this same strategy when I took it last July and got a 23 on RC... If you're having troubles, you really need to try it!
     
  33. ammarm

    ammarm 2+ Year Member

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    So when you mentioned the first step to look at the questions, do you mean to look at the questions along with the answer choices given and to find key words in both the question and the answer choices or you mean to look at the question itself without the answer choices and to look for key terms in the questions itself.

    I am mentioning this because i tried to follow your procedures while i was doing a passage in CRACK DAT Reading and i really could not follow it the way you have written down the steps. There are questions like what is the thesis of the passage?; What is the author's view of the passage?; which statement actually contradicts the author's view? I think these type of questions are not possible to be answered with the above method..

    If you think it can work then please do explain a little in detail. In short, i tried following these procedures but i was not able to follow up with it. I get 16-17 in my RC section in CRACK DAT Reading and i am very desperate to get a high score to like 23 and above. So please advice.
     
  34. 267862

    267862

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    did this method work for you on achiever? I have a really hard time but it works really well for me on every other test (CDR, topscore, Kaplan). The achiever questions just seem really hard to me, they ask about stuff from different paragraphs and such.
     
  35. Vicviper

    Vicviper Steve McAwesome 7+ Year Member

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    Visalia, CA
    Hmm... I didn't do achiever, but I did Topscore and Kaplan, and I found them pretty similar to the real test. It always seemed to be more or less one fact to one question - of course with an exception here or there.
     
  36. 267862

    267862

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    Jun 3, 2009
    ok, i guess that's good news. thanks for the strat! and it definitely takes practice but is really good
     
  37. americanpierg

    americanpierg Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    woah, old thread

    well, i think it also depends a lot on what version of the test you got. I think my version had a very very easy RC section. I thought it was really easy when I finished it and scored a lot better than what I was shooting for going in (and i was shooting for 30s in the sciences lol). I went on this forum and found scores from people taking the same version of the exam I had (you can tell by 1. looking at their break downs they usually tell you the subjects, and 2. lining up the percentages and if like 2 of them matches youll know you have the same version). The majority of the people with my version didnt have as high a score I did in RC but still had higher than average RC scores (22+) and very low QR (18 and below) scores. I remember I found like 10 instances of people posting scores for the same exam version I had and like all but 2 of them had RC scores of like 22+ and like 1 person had a score of above 19 QR and the guy had almost perfect scores across the board. I made a comment about this on someone else's thread and showed all the scores and the SDN community concluded it was just a "coincidence" but I'm still saying the DAT is very unfair because some version ARE harder than others. I'm just lucky i got mine and not the piano one that came out later and killed everyones scores.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  38. MowgliR

    MowgliR 7+ Year Member

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    Hey Vicviper, did you read the questions along with the answer choices, or just the questions when you went through them initially?
     
  39. thejamespark

    thejamespark

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    hey man. i was wondering if you read the questions + answers when you did the initial step. or did you just read the questions?
     
  40. bluesolic

    bluesolic 2+ Year Member

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    hey, thank for the good solution for reading.

    However, I tried this way and I was messed up. The reason I couldn't make it is that " how would you memorize or get keys words from all the questions ?!! " I looked at the questions, and after 5sec, I forgot everything I remembered, Isn't that usuall ?

    How the heck did you do it ? just looking at the questions and get the ideas and come back read the passage and reconize the key words and go back to that specific question ?

    I don't think I can do it unless I have super computer memory...


    Do you have any suggestion for this type of difficulty ? I assume that you were not good at get the key words like the way you suggested, but you practice in some way how to make stick the key words in your head. right?
     
  41. DrRoyal Pains

    DrRoyal Pains 7+ Year Member

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    Just remember the concept/keywords from the problem. If you cant, just write down a few on the dry erase board. So yea, your right.
     
  42. john333

    john333

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    Hello, sorry to bump an old thread... but does this method still work for the current DAT tests?? Or are there more tone and inference questions nowadays instead of S&D questions... I need tips for this section! :( I always seem to run out of time
     
  43. Rlow04

    Rlow04 7+ Year Member

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    Wow, way old thread indeed.

    Why wouldn't it work? Even if there are more tone/inference questions, this method would work because you read and understand every paragraph. Unfortunately there's not too much you can do for the reading section other than pick a strategy that works for you and practice it until you're sure you can stick with it even during the stress of the actual DAT.

    Good luck.
     
  44. Vicviper

    Vicviper Steve McAwesome 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Visalia, CA
    Yeah, even though you're jumping around a bit with this strategy, you're still reading the entire passage, which should give you enough of an overview to answer theme and inflection questions.

    Good luck!
     
    parvazi likes this.
  45. LolaDent

    LolaDent

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    My test is On the 8th of this month. I wish I would have discovered this forum sooner! In any case, I will definitely use your strategy and let you know how it works.... That is unless I do super horrible, LOL! In any case, I am practicing your method right now. Thanks for the advice.
     
  46. sci3586

    sci3586 2+ Year Member

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    I just wanted to give a little more validation to this method by saying I used this on my DAT yesterday and got a 23 on the reading section! It worked very well for me after practicing only a few times on practice tests.
     
  47. Rlow04

    Rlow04 7+ Year Member

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    Congrats man, well done.

    I loved this strategy, I was surprised this thread active on the one day I was back on SDN.
     
  48. odpropofol

    odpropofol 2+ Year Member

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