Getting back into timed test

    • September 6, 2016 at 12:34 pm #2710

      Hey Mike, so I’m starting back into timed test with the idea of going slow. I’m going to redo PT 64, and then I’m going to do PT 65 which will be a new test. As you know I’ve done a lot of timed test before, but I haven’t gotten the gains I wanted. Ultimately. if I could get a 165 on my actual test I would be more than happy. When i use to take the test, it was just all about getting to as many questions as i could, and i didn’t take my time. (even though it felt like I did) I think getting some confidence is the most important thing for me right now. I feel like I have put the time into drilling, and now it’s a matter of putting it together. When I take PT 65 later this week, i made it a goal to get in the mid to high 150’s. Overall, for me to achieve that I should at least be able to attempt and ultimately answer 75-76 questions correct. I ‘ve broken it down by sections and I figured out that i would need to get about 19-20 questions right in logical reasoning,20 right on RC, and 17 right on logic games. That would be around 156-157. I feel like it’s necessary for me to feel as if i’m in control and not rushed by time, even if that means taking longer on some questions. Do you have any specific words of advice/strategy for me to think about considering how I want to approach timed test?

    • September 9, 2016 at 5:05 pm #2716
      Mike Kim

      Hey Ltownsjr —

      Hope the pt’s are going okay and hope this gets to you in time to be of use —

      In addition to all the usual stuff you’ve heard me say, here are a few thoughts/reminders that come to mind —

      1) always try to take as realistically as possible.

      2) yes, definitely do give yourself time and chance to answer q’s you should be able to get correct, but don’t slow down too much, and do know that no questions are designed to take a ton of extra time — so, typically, if you are solving a problem well, it should go fast, and if it’s taking a long time, you are having trouble, and going slower isn’t necessarily going to fix it. So, again, do give yourself time, but be careful about wasting time going slow unnecessarily / wasting time on q’s you are going to end up missing anyway.

      3) do your best not to get too up about a higher than expected score and not too low about a lower than expected score — in fact, if I were you, I may not score it at all, though I know that’s far easier said than done. Your score right now really doesn’t matter, one way or the other — what’s far more important is that you are improving, getting experience, and developing your own sense of personal authority — speaking of which —

      4) Make sure to put a significant gap between your first review of your work (without knowing the right answers) and your second (knowing the right answers) — there is so much to gain by holding off as long as possible on checking that, and so much to gain from working as hard as possible to develop your own internal sense of right and wrong.

      5) Finally, l think a lot of the most helpful advice I can give is about reviewing your work — I’ve gotten a couple of other q’s about that recently, so I’ll post a general response about that and link it here when I do so —

      Good luck ltownsjr — if you have any follow-up just let me know– mk

    • September 9, 2016 at 5:54 pm #2718

      Thanks Mike. So I have two things to follow-up on.

      1. You said go slow, but don’t go too slow because the questions should go fast. Ok so with that in mind, is there a quantifiable way that I can judge this? With the anxiety of the exam, (and the natural anxiety that has given me problems over the past few years), it’s hard for me to really “feel”when it’s time to move on. I know I’ve read in your book, or somewhere on the forum that you suggest taking 20 seconds to figure out if you have a clear way of solving each question for logic games, but for logical reasoning especially, how can I better recognize when it’s time to give up on a LR question? I know I shouldn’t think this way, but I hate failing on a question. (I did it too much of it in high school lol). I’m thinking that being able to eliminate three answer choices may be the best way to go? In other words If I can’t eliminate three than I’ll go to the next question?

      2. You said put as mush time as possible between my first review and second? Are you referring to blind review?

    • 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

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