Reply To: Getting back into timed test

September 14, 2016 at 10:33 am #2725
Mike Kim

Hey Ltownsjr —

For # 2 — yes

For # 1 — I think it’s a bad idea to tie it such decisions to time (if you are thinking, “I’ve now spent 30 secs, 40 secs, 50 secs, 1 min …” I guarantee you are distracting yourself) —

Rather, you want to base those decisions on
a) your sense of how well you are doing on a problem and
b) process

For (a) — a great quote that comes to mind is that “you don’t know actually have a competency unless you know the edge of it” (paraphrasing from Charlie Munger) — this is absolutely true — you want to work to develop a stronger and stronger sense of when you know you are right and when you don’t, and be able to trust in that. I know that’s easier said than done, but it’s absolutely essential.

You should know you are on the right track when you clearly see the argument in an LR stimulus, when you draw a diagram that allows you to be in total control of the rules of a Logic Games, when main purpose RC q’s go exactly as you’d expect, and so on — and you should know you are not on the right track based on similar signals — you can’t anticipate what answer choices will address for an LR q, you have to create multiple hypos to answer several q’s for an LG, you have trouble seeing the structure of a passage even after you are totally done reading it, etc. —

Again, keep working to sharpen these instincts (blind review is very helpful for this).

For (b) –As you mentioned, not being able to eliminate answer choices is a great indicator. You want to be able to use your process to know when things are going right, when they are not, and when you ought to move on — for example, you LR, you may decide to use a strategy of saying — anytime you have trouble anticipating what you might see in answers, and when the answers don’t go as you’d like (not being able to eliminate, not feeling like you know how to evaluate them properly) — you will give yourself just one more close re-evaluation of the stimulus, then take a best guess and move on — make some decisions for yourself about how you will use process to know when you’ve taken too long/are struggling too much — then practice making and using such decisions on your pt’s —

HTH — Mike