RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

ZombiesAhead
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:47 pm

RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby ZombiesAhead » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:25 pm

Avoiding any questions of Voyager vs. "Just Read" vs. whatever techniques, what are you guys thinking as you open up that fresh RC section on test-day?

How do you pace yourselves as far as moving to the next passage if you're taking too much time? How willing are you to skip around on questions for a passage if you're struggling? Would you ever move ahead and plan to return to an earlier passage?


I am basically -0/-1/-2 on most of the RC sections from 30-early 40's but I am way less consistent especially in the 50's. I sometimes can get -2/-3 but I'm not too surprised by a -5. Then I was -7 in December and it didn't feel like a terrible fluke or anything. I can read a passage and usually "get it" but sometimes I am less-than-100% and I waste time looking back to the passage, bomb a few questions, miss the main point, etc. I sometimes spend too much time trying to decide between two AC's and that extra time still doesn't seem to give me a better than 50% shot most of the time.

Sometimes my confidence is low but I go with my gut and I ace a few questions. Other times, this strategy leads to disaster but the only other solution when I'm struggling is to spend 12+ minutes looking back to the passage to prove/eliminate each AC for a few difficult questions.

I have a mindset or game plan for LR and LG but I too-often get disastrously lost in an RC section.

User avatar
existenz
Posts: 927
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:06 am

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby existenz » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:31 pm

Sounds like you want to discuss RC strategy, but the first sentence of your post also says you want to avoid discussion of techniques?

I just plan to focus intensely on what I'm reading. That's really the only way to conquer RC. If you are thinking about time, jumping between different questions, panicking, etc. then you are doomed. Read the passage, understand it, take little margin notes if that's your style, and go after those questions one by one.

User avatar
booboo
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:39 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby booboo » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:35 pm

For me, RC came down to making sure that every time I dove into a passage, I kept a mental checklist of the things that I wanted to note in that passage. Elements like main idea, a recognition of the positions on an issue, structure of the passage, and sometimes what role a paragraph in the passage plays in the passage as a whole (for passages of the humanities, which I had my biggest problems with).

ZombiesAhead
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:47 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby ZombiesAhead » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:54 pm

You guys are getting at what I'm asking. I was trying to avoid talking about the "mechanical" approaches of how to write, notate, what to read for, etc. I'm more curious about how people tackle the section as a whole. For example, if I had 15 minutes per passage to confirm every AC against the text, I would rock RC. However, time limits can force us to rely on our memory from our sole reading.

So what mindset enables confidence when you can't necessarily "fact-check" each question against the passage? When are you willing to spent 10 minutes on a passage if you know it can bump you from 80% confidence in some answers up to 100%?

Conversely, when do you feel comfortable flying through an easier passage in 6 minutes at 90% confidence in AC's to potentially save time for a deep understanding of a harder passage you may not have looked at yet?

How do you keep yourself moving when you're stuck between AC's?

GentlemanJim
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:59 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby GentlemanJim » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:55 pm

I burn straight through. I've done enough of these things that I'm pretty familiar with what they're gonna ask me.

User avatar
booboo
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:39 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby booboo » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:03 pm

GentlemanJim wrote:I burn straight through. I've done enough of these things that I'm pretty familiar with what they're gonna ask me.


If you're lucky enough to be like GentlemanJim, then you're set.

I wasn't though, ;).

I understand your concerns on confidence. What I aim for each RC passage is to be able to complete at least 75% of the questions with the belief that these should be correct. For the remaining 25% I may look back at the passage (quickly!) to glean a small detail I may not remember. In RC (especially the recent ones) phrasing and word choice by the LSAC is often imperative. Misreading or reading passively (happened to me too often) may cost you questions, even though if you had it read it in active, correct manner, you would have scored the point. Just try and avoid such trip ups.

GentlemanJim
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:59 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby GentlemanJim » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:22 pm

Ha, see that's my stratefy for logic games. 75% correct.

gmreplay
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 6:47 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby gmreplay » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:43 pm

I got -7 on preptest 56, which was awful. A professor of mine who did well on the LSAT recommends abstracting and generalizing the topic of the passage to get the point of it down (some guy invented a computer technique... he used it to determine how oil seeps through rock... he used a tree-like technique to do it), and also focusing the most on answer choices that mention or seem to deal directly with the main point of the passage. All too often I feel like for each question I'm trying to fact check every answer against the passage, but she was able to zero in on the answers by giving the most attention to any choice that explicitly mentions the main point.

Other than that, I'm stuck too. I find that underlining is totally pointless, and I never read the notes to myself that I write on the side. There is a better way, and in the next day or two I intend to find it.
Last edited by gmreplay on Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dynomite
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby dynomite » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:46 pm

I skim the questions (VERY quickly) first. Yes, there are those who say that this is a waste of time, as you'll need to read them again anyway. But for me:

1) Most obviously, I get a sense of the topic and the information I'll need to extract from the passage.
2) I get a sense of the main point by seeing what most of the questions are asking about, which helps focus my reading on those areas that deal with the general theme of the questions.
3) Any questions that contain line references ("Which of the following is closest in meaning to the phrase 'blah blah blah' as used on line 35") I star the lines ahead of time so I know to pay close attention when reading. (and can often answer the question immediately when I get to that part of the passage, saving a lot of time)
4) This helps with those "The author mentions each of the following as an example of the XXX EXCEPT" questions which normally take forever. I know to pay attention to those examples and number them 1-4 when reading, making it very easy to reference come question time.

I can see how, for some, this strategy wouldn't help, but for me it's worth spending 15 seconds ahead of time to save up to 60 seconds afterwards.

(Edited to make the points a little clearer)

User avatar
TheTopBloke
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby TheTopBloke » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:52 pm

It is most important to be interested in what you are reading, actually read it, don't let your mind wander off.

ZombiesAhead
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:47 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby ZombiesAhead » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:58 pm

TheTopBloke wrote:It is most important to be interested in what you are reading, actually read it, don't let your mind wander off.


I hear you but this always sounds like 100% platitude to me. I guess I can't imagine many people who can study LSAT full time for months on end but somehow can't push themselves to follow a few hundred words of text at maximum intensity.

User avatar
booboo
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:39 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby booboo » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:02 pm

ZombiesAhead wrote:
TheTopBloke wrote:It is most important to be interested in what you are reading, actually read it, don't let your mind wander off.


I hear you but this always sounds like 100% platitude to me. I guess I can't imagine many people who can study LSAT full time for months on end but somehow can't push themselves to follow a few hundred words of text at maximum intensity.


You must not have read the passage on cakewalks.

ZombiesAhead
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:47 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby ZombiesAhead » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:51 pm

booboo wrote:
ZombiesAhead wrote:
TheTopBloke wrote:It is most important to be interested in what you are reading, actually read it, don't let your mind wander off.


I hear you but this always sounds like 100% platitude to me. I guess I can't imagine many people who can study LSAT full time for months on end but somehow can't push themselves to follow a few hundred words of text at maximum intensity.


You must not have read the passage on cakewalks.


Yeah but I've been dancing the cake-walk all my life so I was actually into it anyway.

User avatar
SJU2010
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:21 am

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby SJU2010 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:19 pm

All the private tutors and prep books I have read keep telling me to set the passage up to have good areas to turn to during questions however, I find that if I simply read the passage FOCUSED on the passage its structure maybe make a note or two then I spend a lot less time looking for the answer and instead picking it from memory. I end up getting more right and have a lot more time. Even had 2 minutes left on the last pt.

dynomite
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby dynomite » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:08 am

booboo wrote:You must not have read the passage on [strike]cakewalks[/strike] drilling mud composition.


Fixed that for you.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby keg411 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:19 pm

Read fast, underline a couple of things, write out the Main Point, then answer questions. Sometimes I do really well, sometimes not-so-well. Large structured diagrams waste time. Part of me still wants to read the questions first, but it must be really advised against for a reason, so I don't do it and haven't tried it since the first time I ever did RC passages.

User avatar
mountaintime
Posts: 222
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:38 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby mountaintime » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:27 pm

Back in September, I thought to myself "I've read a hundred of these damn things. This next one is no different."

dynomite
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby dynomite » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:32 pm

keg411 wrote:Part of me still wants to read the questions first, but it must be really advised against for a reason, so I don't do it


Obviously it's a little late for you to switch, but for others reading this I guess I question the assumption underlying this logic. Right? Treat it like an LR question:

Evidence: Others recommend not to read RC questions first.

Conclusion: Therefore, I should not read RC questions first.

Underlying Assumption: What works best for others will work best for you.

Maybe this assumption is correct, and maybe it's not.

For me, reading the questions first works. For others, it doesn't. LSAT advice should be treated as just that: advice. Like the description of the Pirate Code in "Pirates of the Caribbean," LSAT advice is more of what you would call "guidelines" than actual "rules."

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby keg411 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:23 pm

dynomite wrote:
keg411 wrote:Part of me still wants to read the questions first, but it must be really advised against for a reason, so I don't do it


Obviously it's a little late for you to switch, but for others reading this I guess I question the assumption underlying this logic. Right? Treat it like an LR question:

Evidence: Others recommend not to read RC questions first.

Conclusion: Therefore, I should not read RC questions first.

Underlying Assumption: What works best for others will work best for you.

Maybe this assumption is correct, and maybe it's not.

For me, reading the questions first works. For others, it doesn't. LSAT advice should be treated as just that: advice. Like the description of the Pirate Code in "Pirates of the Caribbean," LSAT advice is more of what you would call "guidelines" than actual "rules."


I just feel like that at a certain point you have to trust the "pros" when they all agree with a strategy. It isn't like there is an argument (like say in LR "read the stimuls first" vs. "read the stem first"). EVERYONE says "read passage before reading the questions".
It's not like I'm a 180 scorer and I might have discovered "the secret". Plus, it's too late in the game to try something new because I won't have enough time to test and see if it really works for me.

Now I'm not a "by the book" in terms of the test strategies. To a certain point, I do what works best for me... but it's usually some type of hybrid, not a new thing altogether.

dynomite
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: RC Game Plan? (not specific strategies)

Postby dynomite » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:31 pm

keg411 wrote:It isn't like there is an argument (like say in LR "read the stimuls first" vs. "read the stem first"). EVERYONE says "read passage before reading the questions". ... It's not like I'm a 180 scorer and I might have discovered "the secret".


That's fair. I will say, though, that it's possible that "everyone" recommends this because it works for most students (80% or something).

Overall I doubt this is a deal breaker. You've studied hard for a long time, and ultimately one method vs. another is less important than that kind of studying.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bearedman8, bns212, cherrygalore, dg1090, eageragnostic, laqueredup, Majestic-12 [Bot] and 16 guests