Any RC advice?

honestabe84
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Any RC advice?

Postby honestabe84 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:19 pm

This section is absolutely killing me. I've tried a bunch of different techniques, and while I have improved slightly, it is still by far my worst section. Is there anyone out there that was also horrible at RC but managed to improve a lot? What helped you?

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Relientkate
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby Relientkate » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:32 pm

Use the rc bible... I went from -10 per section to -1 using their techniques.

honestabe84
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby honestabe84 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:38 pm

Relientkate wrote:Use the rc bible... I went from -10 per section to -1 using their techniques.


What does their technique consist of?

dynomite
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby dynomite » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:04 pm

There are a number of threads about this if you type in some searchwords in the upper left.

Here's what I said in another thread to someone with a similar question:

dynomite wrote:Gotta walk before you can run.

Don't worry about speed -- that'll come naturally. (And you've got months to get there anyway) Worry about comprehension. Don't skim, READ. Use a pen/pencil and underline if you need to. Do the same thing with the New York Times. Like anything else, comprehending dense reading takes practice and patience. It's February, meaning you have months to get to where you need to be.

I'm going to take a guess: you don't read much for fun.

Is that right? If not, I apologize. But if it is, reading -- at all -- will help train your brain to read as well as teaching you about things you're actually interested in.

So try to read something dense you actually LIKE and are interested in, so long as you're doing this. If you like baseball, read "Moneyball." If you like basketball, read Halberstam's "The Breaks of the Game." If you like American history, read "John Adams" or "A People's History of the US" or "Battle Cry of Freedom" or something. Read classics like Dickens and the original Sherlock Holmes stories and Hemingway.

Again, don't skim -- READ.


I disagree (strongly) with those who say to just read "boring" material because the LSAT is "boring." Quickly reading dense material is a learned skill that needs to be acquired through practice.

I'm guessing a lot of your study materials offered advice for "test tricks" -- reading questions first, which words to underline, etc.

All of those are inferior to simply being a great reader. Become a better reader = become a better RC section taker.

pattymac
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby pattymac » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:44 pm

I'm having trouble too.

I think the internet has royally fucked our generation's ability to read. i tend to skim over things which, like the other poster said, is the opposite of you want to do. I've spent 4 hours a day for the last 10 years of my life reading bullshit online and my comprehension is asbolutely terrible if I'm not into the material. Even when I try to read dense philosophical material that I'm actually into (think Kant and even some of Mill), I can't string together anything.

makingwaves
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby makingwaves » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:40 pm

pattymac wrote:I'm having trouble too.

I think the internet has royally fucked our generation's ability to read.


amen.

honestabe84
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby honestabe84 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:49 pm

dynomite wrote:There are a number of threads about this if you type in some searchwords in the upper left.

Here's what I said in another thread to someone with a similar question:

dynomite wrote:Gotta walk before you can run.

Don't worry about speed -- that'll come naturally. (And you've got months to get there anyway) Worry about comprehension. Don't skim, READ. Use a pen/pencil and underline if you need to. Do the same thing with the New York Times. Like anything else, comprehending dense reading takes practice and patience. It's February, meaning you have months to get to where you need to be.

I'm going to take a guess: you don't read much for fun.

Is that right? If not, I apologize. But if it is, reading -- at all -- will help train your brain to read as well as teaching you about things you're actually interested in.

So try to read something dense you actually LIKE and are interested in, so long as you're doing this. If you like baseball, read "Moneyball." If you like basketball, read Halberstam's "The Breaks of the Game." If you like American history, read "John Adams" or "A People's History of the US" or "Battle Cry of Freedom" or something. Read classics like Dickens and the original Sherlock Holmes stories and Hemingway.

Again, don't skim -- READ.


I disagree (strongly) with those who say to just read "boring" material because the LSAT is "boring." Quickly reading dense material is a learned skill that needs to be acquired through practice.

I'm guessing a lot of your study materials offered advice for "test tricks" -- reading questions first, which words to underline, etc.

All of those are inferior to simply being a great reader. Become a better reader = become a better RC section taker.


Thank you for the advice. I have definitely been trying to SLOW down. It seems to have helped a bit, but I still have trouble (especially on the more recent tests). Unlike the other two sections, it seems like with RC you either have it or you don't. Sure can improve, but nearly as much as you can with LG.

One thing that I don't understand is why everyone recommends reading random material. Wouldn't it make more sense to just RC passages (assuming you haven't run out)?

honestabe84
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby honestabe84 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:50 pm

makingwaves wrote:
pattymac wrote:I'm having trouble too.

I think the internet has royally fucked our generation's ability to read.


amen.


I agree also, but I also think that TV has made most of us stupid.

dynomite
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby dynomite » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:15 am

honestabe84 wrote:One thing that I don't understand is why everyone recommends reading random material. Wouldn't it make more sense to just RC passages (assuming you haven't run out)?


See, your problem isn't that you don't know how to read 600 word essays and extract information quickly. Your problem is that you don't know how to read and extract information quickly.

Once you develop your reading skills, reading dense material will become much, much easier and faster.

Again, from the sounds of it you aren't a good reader. You don't read for pleasure, and when you do it's bite sized articles online/message boards. (Not a crime, just a bad idea if you're taking the LSAT :) )

You need to become a better reader, period. Reading dense material every day (like the New York Times, a good book, a good magazine like the Economist or the New Yorker or Harper's) will help you improve on both Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning.

AND DON'T SKIM.

Edit: Also, if you'd like, tell us what you're interested in and people here can try to suggest some good books to read. From your username -- honestbabe -- it sounds like you're a relatively young woman. So, silly as it sounds, Oprah's Bookclub might be a good idea for you. She actually picks decent books (for the most part) and as a young woman I'm sure I'll be fairly easy for you to watch TV a few extra times per week.

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DGLitcH
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby DGLitcH » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:12 am

Hey Dynomite, you provided some good advice but I was wondering, since the RC are usually much shorter than a book or some of the articles in magazines such as the New Republic or the Atlantic, would reading something that's similar in length as the RC passage (like Economist or NY Times Opinion) be more useful? Or does it not really matter. I have been wondering whether it was better to read something that's similar in length. Thanks

By the way, I have a lot of troubles with Philosophy or abstract RC passages. Any advice on what I can read to improve that?

dynomite wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:One thing that I don't understand is why everyone recommends reading random material. Wouldn't it make more sense to just RC passages (assuming you haven't run out)?


See, your problem isn't that you don't know how to read 600 word essays and extract information quickly. Your problem is that you don't know how to read and extract information quickly.

Once you develop your reading skills, reading dense material will become much, much easier and faster.

Again, from the sounds of it you aren't a good reader. You don't read for pleasure, and when you do it's bite sized articles online/message boards. (Not a crime, just a bad idea if you're taking the LSAT :) )

You need to become a better reader, period. Reading dense material every day (like the New York Times, a good book, a good magazine like the Economist or the New Yorker or Harper's) will help you improve on both Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning.

AND DON'T SKIM.

Edit: Also, if you'd like, tell us what you're interested in and people here can try to suggest some good books to read. From your username -- honestbabe -- it sounds like you're a relatively young woman. So, silly as it sounds, Oprah's Bookclub might be a good idea for you. She actually picks decent books (for the most part) and as a young woman I'm sure I'll be fairly easy for you to watch TV a few extra times per week.

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

Re: Any RC advice?

Postby dynomite » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:54 am

DGLitcH wrote:Hey Dynomite, you provided some good advice but I was wondering, since the RC are usually much shorter than a book or some of the articles in magazines such as the New Republic or the Atlantic, would reading something that's similar in length as the RC passage (like Economist or NY Times Opinion) be more useful? Or does it not really matter. I have been wondering whether it was better to read something that's similar in length. Thanks


I guess it depends on how much you struggle with RC and how much you're looking to improve.

Here's why I think this is a mistake: taking the LSAT, even though you don't realize it, is akin to reading a 20-30 page novela. (And we aren't even talking about the reading comprehension needed for law school, which will make the LSAT seem like a infant's picture book)

Think about how much reading you have to do on the entire test, on which you're intensively reading every word. Now imagine it's test day, and you've gone through page after page after page of dense, complicated reading. All of a sudden you turn to Section 5 and BAM -- it's the real Reading Comprehension.

If you've spent the last few months reading little baby 600 word op-eds, you might not have the stamina to quickly and accurately read the passages.

If you've spent the last few months improving your overall reading abilities and powering through, say, Dickens, you're more likely to perform up to your peak capacity on that last section.

As I see it, you need to practice before you scrimmage. When you're at basketball camp, you don't just spend all day playing 4x4 round robin tournaments, right? Think of it like in "Hoosiers" when Gene Hackman has his team practice without the ball. You start out running suicides to build up your speed and stamina. You work on technique. Then you work on ball handling, spend hours shooting free throws, and do passing drills until you can't feel your fingers.

You want the LSAT to feel easy -- that's how you get into the 170s. Once you expand your vocabulary and spend hours getting used to reading dense language, reading 600 word passages on drilling mud and answering inference questions about it will seem straightforward by comparison. So, sure, read the NY Times editorial section, but also built up your stamina elsewhere.
Last edited by dynomite on Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

honestabe84
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby honestabe84 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:56 am

dynomite wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:One thing that I don't understand is why everyone recommends reading random material. Wouldn't it make more sense to just RC passages (assuming you haven't run out)?


See, your problem isn't that you don't know how to read 600 word essays and extract information quickly. Your problem is that you don't know how to read and extract information quickly.

Once you develop your reading skills, reading dense material will become much, much easier and faster.

Again, from the sounds of it you aren't a good reader. You don't read for pleasure, and when you do it's bite sized articles online/message boards. (Not a crime, just a bad idea if you're taking the LSAT :) )

You need to become a better reader, period. Reading dense material every day (like the New York Times, a good book, a good magazine like the Economist or the New Yorker or Harper's) will help you improve on both Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning.

AND DON'T SKIM.

Edit: Also, if you'd like, tell us what you're interested in and people here can try to suggest some good books to read. From your username -- honestbabe -- it sounds like you're a relatively young woman. So, silly as it sounds, Oprah's Bookclub might be a good idea for you. She actually picks decent books (for the most part) and as a young woman I'm sure I'll be fairly easy for you to watch TV a few extra times per week.


LOL HonestAbe not HonestBabe.

You're right in assuming that I don't read substantial literature for fun. I really have no excuse for not doing this over the summer, but over the school year I just have no time. I suppose that I could read the newspaper during breakfast or something. However, everyone on here seems to think that RC is a skill that is acquired over years and not months. With how atrocious my RC scores are, I'm willing to try anything.

dynomite
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby dynomite » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:58 am

honestabe84 wrote:LOL HonestAbe not HonestBabe.


Haha, whoops. Thought Lincoln was pretty sexy...

honestabe84 wrote:You're right in assuming that I don't read substantial literature for fun. I really have no excuse for not doing this over the summer, but over the school year I just have no time. I suppose that I could read the newspaper during breakfast or something. However, everyone on here seems to think that RC is a skill that is acquired over years and not months. With how atrocious my RC scores are, I'm willing to try anything.


Never too late to start. I'm telling you -- pick a subject you like and have at it. You will absolutely improve over 3 months.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby Sauer Grapes » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:07 pm

Relientkate wrote:Use the rc bible... I went from -10 per section to -1 using their techniques.

+1.

Although I underperformed on the actual test for RC, I went from missing like half the questions to missing one per passage average (small sample size though). Missed 6 on the actual, which made it by far my worst section. Still, quite an improvement over how I started and I only went through about half the RC bible.

honestabe84
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby honestabe84 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:30 pm

Sauer Grapes wrote:
Relientkate wrote:Use the rc bible... I went from -10 per section to -1 using their techniques.

+1.

Although I underperformed on the actual test for RC, I went from missing like half the questions to missing one per passage average (small sample size though). Missed 6 on the actual, which made it by far my worst section. Still, quite an improvement over how I started and I only went through about half the RC bible.


I've been hesitant to buy the RC Bible because of all the mixed reviews. I also don't understand what exactly that Bible could teach you. As a poster mentioned above, people perform well on RC, because they know how to read, not because they've learned little tricks (as with LG and LR). Nevertheless, I'm willing to try anything at this point.

What exactly does the RC Bible teach you to do?

How long does it take to get through the this Bible? Is it about the same as the other two Bibles?

It seems like all it could teach would be very common sense stuff (i.e. underline changes in tone, opinions, etc.). I was told that this is pretty much the RC Bible in a nutshell - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7240

Thanks for the advice.

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typ3
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby typ3 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:23 pm

It is shorter than the other bibles. It takes less time to get through, it teaches you how/what to diagram in RC. You can probably raise your score to -1 just from doing PT's and reviewing though. You'll notice a pattern after like 5-6 PT's. Or just read voyager's guide. It's free.

CMDantes
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby CMDantes » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:45 pm

honestabe84 wrote:
makingwaves wrote:
pattymac wrote:I'm having trouble too.

I think the internet has royally fucked our generation's ability to read.


amen.


I agree also, but I also think that TV has made most of us stupid.


I disagree, I think every generation has obstacles that individuals must overcome to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack.

It may have fucked over YOUR ability to read, and TV may have made YOU stupid...but it's really no excuse for the general laziness of an entire generation.

I use the internet to read interesting things and as a resource, and I rarely watch TV. Maybe it's the fact that I don't have a facebook or spend hours of my time bullshitting about trivial things. So speak for yourself, don't contribute to the notion that our generation is stupid and lazy because YOU may be.

honestabe84
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: Any RC advice?

Postby honestabe84 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:41 pm

CMDantes wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:
makingwaves wrote:
pattymac wrote:I'm having trouble too.

I think the internet has royally fucked our generation's ability to read.


amen.


I agree also, but I also think that TV has made most of us stupid.


I disagree, I think every generation has obstacles that individuals must overcome to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack.

It may have fucked over YOUR ability to read, and TV may have made YOU stupid...but it's really no excuse for the general laziness of an entire generation.

I use the internet to read interesting things and as a resource, and I rarely watch TV. Maybe it's the fact that I don't have a facebook or spend hours of my time bullshitting about trivial things. So speak for yourself, don't contribute to the notion that our generation is stupid and lazy because YOU may be.


Evidently you do.

I was just making the point that often times people will watch TV rather than reading books, and this has contributed to laziness and low attention spans. Don't get so offended from comments on an internet message board. I can just imagine what you do when you disagree with someone in a face to face conversation.

CMDantes
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby CMDantes » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:48 pm

honestabe84 wrote:
Evidently you do.

I was just making the point that often times people will watch TV rather than reading books, and this has contributed to laziness and low attention spans. Don't get so offended from comments on an internet message board. I can just imagine what you do when you disagree with someone in a face to face conversation.


Yes, reading through an LSAT preparation forum while I am in the process of studying for the June 2010 LSAT is equivalent to spending hours bullshitting about trivial things like people do on facebook. Clearly you've presented the better argument here.

It's not that I'm offended by your comments or even that I think you're stupid... I just don't like it when people from our own generation substantiate the notion that we're all stupid and lazy by saying the internet/tv is what makes us stupid and lazy.

When I disagree with someone in a face to face conversation, I try to correct them. I don't think I've done anything out of the ordinary here.

honestabe84
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Re: Any RC advice?

Postby honestabe84 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:55 pm

CMDantes wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:
Evidently you do.

I was just making the point that often times people will watch TV rather than reading books, and this has contributed to laziness and low attention spans. Don't get so offended from comments on an internet message board. I can just imagine what you do when you disagree with someone in a face to face conversation.


Yes, reading through an LSAT preparation forum while I am in the process of studying for the June 2010 LSAT is equivalent to spending hours bullshitting about trivial things like people do on facebook. Clearly you've presented the better argument here.

It's not that I'm offended by your comments or even that I think you're stupid... I just don't like it when people from our own generation substantiate the notion that we're all stupid and lazy by saying the internet/tv is what makes us stupid and lazy.

When I disagree with someone in a face to face conversation, I try to correct them. I don't think I've done anything out of the ordinary here.


ok




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