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Need to improve my timings in CR. Any suggestions

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Need to improve my timings in CR. Any suggestions [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2011, 02:16
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Guys,

I have recently given 2 GmatPrep tests. During the tests, I figured out my weakness. I am consistently taking 3 minutes, at an average, to solve every CR question. And this is hurting my time management in verbal section. If I try to read quickly, then I tend to loose focus and the chances are that I will surely get that CR wrong.

I am through with my Official Guides and my exam is in another couple of weeks.

Please suggest me how to practice and adapt myself so that I get hold of my CR during exam.
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Re: Need to improve my timings in CR. Any suggestions [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2011, 07:22
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The key to good timing on CR is understanding the argument thoroughly before going through the answer choices. Can you clearly identify the conclusion of the argument and the premises that it is built upon? Can you think of any assumptions the author is making, or possible flaws in the argument? Although this initial work can seem time-consuming at first, with a little practice it should greatly improve your speed and accuracy on the answer choices. You will be able to spend less time considering some of the less likely answers, and you will be better prepared to choose between those last two choices that always seem so similar.

To improve your ability, you should spend some time going back through the Official Guide. Make sure you have identified the parts of the argument accurately, and then spend some time analyzing each answer choice. It helps if you have a record of your work, because then you are better able to determine where you are having the most trouble. Did you break down the argument properly? Did you get stuck between two answer choices? Did you fall for a tempting weaken when you were supposed to strengthen? The more you can recognize common traps and patterns in the answer choices, the faster you will get at slicing through them.

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Re: Need to improve my timings in CR. Any suggestions [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2011, 08:00
Hi Dmitry,

Great advice. I will work on it. In addition, I have also decided to give a lot of time based CR questions attempts. This will help me adapt to the time pressure. Till now, I haven't practiced much under time pressure and I guess this is one of the major reasons that killed me during my practice tests.
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Re: Need to improve my timings in CR. Any suggestions [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2011, 09:25
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Absolutely. Timed practice is essential. I recommend that you practice with strict timing, but then go back untimed and analyze your work. Before you check the answer, you should be able to explain why you made the choice you made, and why the other 4 choices are incorrect. If you turn out to be incorrect, you will need to recalibrate and figure out where you made a mistake in your reasoning.

By the way, some people find that they do best on CR if they allow themselves an extra 30 seconds or so as needed. If you want to experiment with going to 2:30 on some CR problems, you will just have to find that time in your overall "budget." On the other hand, you may find that extra time makes little difference to your accuracy, in which case you may want to stick to 2 minutes max.

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Re: Need to improve my timings in CR. Any suggestions [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2011, 09:53
Hello Dimtry,

These suggestions are helpful. Can you please suggest some similar suggestions for RC section?
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Re: Need to improve my timings in CR. Any suggestions [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2011, 22:55
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Basically, everything above applies to RC above. The only difference is in how you adjust your timing. You may find that you have a particular topic area or passage type that takes you a little longer. If so, give yourself permission to read for a little longer up front. For instance, some students have a hard time with complicated science passages. If you take 5 minutes up front, rather than the usual 4 for a long passage, that only translates to an extra :15 per question. If this extra time makes the difference between getting the passage and not getting it, then it's time well-spent.

Of course, if you find yourself going over on both RC & CR on a regular basis, you have a timing problem. You need to make sure that your timing plan includes counter-balances. Where are you going to save time?

A few suggestions:

1) It's not a good idea to rush through an RC passage, or choose a passage to "write off." However, if you realize after several questions that you have misunderstood the material, it's probably not worth trying to go back and re-read the whole thing to salvage the remaining questions.

2) The best problems to drop are CR. Since SC problems are so short, you don't gain a lot of time by skipping them. That's not to say that you should skip CR problems often, but if you find yourself short on time, that's the best thing to cut.

3) While you're practicing, make a habit of analyzing your time usage. What takes you the longest? Are you spending your time productively? Are there problem types, answer choices, etc., that eat up your time? When you go overtime on a problem, do you tend to change your answer, or do you end up producing the same answer that you would have if you'd finished on time? If you run this kind of analysis, you can find safe ways to cut time, while making sure that any overtime you incur is actually helping to increase your score.

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Re: Need to improve my timings in CR. Any suggestions [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2011, 05:35
Thanks a lot for the suggestions!! I'll try to work on these. Basically I am having timing issues on both CR and RC.
Re: Need to improve my timings in CR. Any suggestions   [#permalink] 31 Aug 2011, 05:35
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