F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

lsatntr
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F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby lsatntr » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:37 pm

I have been reading all the posts on how to improve in the RC and I have been trying to implement those strategies without much success. Reading for structure, reading for viewpoints, reading slowly, skimming, taking notes, marking and underlining, whatever else.

Today's result was about as polarizing as it will get. -0 on games. -2 on logical reasoning. -12 on reading comprehension. WHAT THE F--- IS GOING ON? Is there any hope for me? Has anyone been able to go from an inconsistent -8 to -15 on the RC section to a consistent -2 to -4 in 2 months? Should I postpone for October?

Main issue is timing. I can either slow down and get very good accuracy on 2 or maybe 3 passages or I can finish the passages in time and get very bad accuracy.

/rant

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Knock
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby Knock » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:11 pm

lsatntr wrote:I have been reading all the posts on how to improve in the RC and I have been trying to implement those strategies without much success. Reading for structure, reading for viewpoints, reading slowly, skimming, taking notes, marking and underlining, whatever else.

Today's result was about as polarizing as it will get. -0 on games. -2 on logical reasoning. -12 on reading comprehension. WHAT THE F--- IS GOING ON? Is there any hope for me? Has anyone been able to go from an inconsistent -8 to -15 on the RC section to a consistent -2 to -4 in 2 months? Should I postpone for October?

Main issue is timing. I can either slow down and get very good accuracy on 2 or maybe 3 passages or I can finish the passages in time and get very bad accuracy.

/rant


Here is something that has helped for me, although RC is my naturally strongest section.

Underline a ton. Tear up the passage. At least for me, this forced me to really read everyword and not skim. Underline the entire "line of reasoning". Then, when they move onto a different "line of reasoning" put brackets the length of that line of reasoning. Then keep on alternating underlining/bracketing. This really breaks down the passage, and allows you to see how the overall main point of the passage develops throughout and at the end. It also easily allows you to go back into the passages and pick out bits of information. If the question asks for something discussed in line of reasoning X, you can find it pretty easily.

Edit: It also takes out a lot of the whole "staring at a wall of text" anxiety. Also, by grouping the entire passage into "lines of reasoning" you can sort of break up the passage into portions. When going back to look for a detail asked in a question, you can know that it must be in this paragraph, this line of reasoning. This is a lot easier than trying to find a single detail in an entire passage. You can just go quickly go back to the relevant line of reasoning. Think of it sort of like assigning letters to represent the different lines of reasoning, that taken together equate to the passage. You're assigning a "shortcut key" to the different parts of the passage.

It's kind of hard to explain, so let me know and I can try and explain better.

OmbreGracieuse
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby OmbreGracieuse » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:20 pm

Knockglock wrote:Here is something that has helped for me, although RC is my naturally strongest section.

Underline a ton. Tear up the passage. At least for me, this forced me to really read everyword and not skim. Underline the entire "line of reasoning". Then, when they move onto a different "line of reasoning" put brackets the length of that line of reasoning. Then keep on alternating underlining/bracketing. This really breaks down the passage, and allows you to see how the overall main point of the passage develops throughout and at the end. It also easily allows you to go back into the passages and pick out bits of information. If the question asks for something discussed in line of reasoning X, you can find it pretty easily.

Edit: It also takes out a lot of the whole "staring at a wall of text" anxiety. Also, by grouping the entire passage into "lines of reasoning" you can sort of break up the passage into portions. When going back to look for a detail asked in a question, you can know that it must be in this paragraph, this line of reasoning. This is a lot easier than trying to find a single detail in an entire passage. You can just go quickly go back to the relevant line of reasoning. Think of it sort of like assigning letters to represent the different lines of reasoning, that taken together equate to the passage. You're assigning a "shortcut key" to the different parts of the passage.

It's kind of hard to explain, so let me know and I can try and explain better.


I know this isn't my post, but I want to say thanks for this advice! I am going to try it the next time I do a practice exam... hopefully it helps me too! :D

Oblomov
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby Oblomov » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:21 pm

.
Last edited by Oblomov on Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Knock
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby Knock » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:22 pm

OmbreGracieuse wrote:
Knockglock wrote:Here is something that has helped for me, although RC is my naturally strongest section.

Underline a ton. Tear up the passage. At least for me, this forced me to really read everyword and not skim. Underline the entire "line of reasoning". Then, when they move onto a different "line of reasoning" put brackets the length of that line of reasoning. Then keep on alternating underlining/bracketing. This really breaks down the passage, and allows you to see how the overall main point of the passage develops throughout and at the end. It also easily allows you to go back into the passages and pick out bits of information. If the question asks for something discussed in line of reasoning X, you can find it pretty easily.

Edit: It also takes out a lot of the whole "staring at a wall of text" anxiety. Also, by grouping the entire passage into "lines of reasoning" you can sort of break up the passage into portions. When going back to look for a detail asked in a question, you can know that it must be in this paragraph, this line of reasoning. This is a lot easier than trying to find a single detail in an entire passage. You can just go quickly go back to the relevant line of reasoning. Think of it sort of like assigning letters to represent the different lines of reasoning, that taken together equate to the passage. You're assigning a "shortcut key" to the different parts of the passage.

It's kind of hard to explain, so let me know and I can try and explain better.


I know this isn't my post, but I want to say thanks for this advice! I am going to try it the next time I do a practice exam... hopefully it helps me too! :D


No problem. Always glad to help out a fellow LSAT preparee, we're all in this together. Let me know if you need/want any more help/advice, and I will do my best to help anyone out!

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alphagamma
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby alphagamma » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:25 pm

Powerscore's RC Bible helped me out. One of their tips was to briefly summarize the content of each paragraph in your head as you go, mark parts of the passage where different viewpoints are voiced, and mark words that hint at the author's point of view.

Honestly, I find that I do the best when I focus on remembering and understanding the passage, answering the questions, then forgetting everything and starting the next passage.

Sandro
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby Sandro » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:13 pm

Sorry I have no sympathy for you. Skills like LR and RC are skills you should have. LG on the other hand should be killed.

tomwatts
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby tomwatts » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:14 pm

Build up your pace slowly while maintaining accuracy. If you can only do 2-3 passages accurately in the time allotted, then do two passages solidly and aim to run out of time while you're doing a third passage. Then, once you can do that well, start finishing the third passage. Then, once you're doing that well, finish three passages and run out of time while you're working the fourth. And so on. You're unlikely to hop from being able to do 2 passages in 35 minutes to 4 passages in 35 minutes in a single jump.

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jack duluoz
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby jack duluoz » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:21 pm

Just keep practicing, OP. I was terrible at RC at first, but on the real thing it ended up being my best section. I am naturally a slow reader, too. I kept working on it, and one day it just clicked. I always recommend trying to find the easiest passage first, and spend no more than 7 min 30 secs on it. This will set you up well for the 3 passages to come. Also, you'll realize how easy the first passage really is. I would feel like i didnt have nearly enough time, but would still get the questions all correct or miss one. You simply dont have time to sit back, go with your gut.

JasonR
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby JasonR » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:09 pm

Yeah, why should an aspiring lawyer be tested on his or her comprehension of difficult texts anyway?

GoBroncos22!
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby GoBroncos22! » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:14 pm

After much frustration with RC I decided to not study at all and I went from am average of -12 to now where I can do -3 or -4 very consistently. RC is 90% about how the passage develops, how the paragraphs relate and the authors view-this is what I focus on. It seems its fairly rare to get a specific question which can be found in the actual words of the text. Thats just my opinion.

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MoS
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby MoS » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:15 pm

RC just takes time. There are no real strategies that work until you are comfortable reading the passage. The best advise is to just read more, in general. Grab the economist, read the wall street journal, and anything else you have access to. Then when you can comfortably read the passage in the time period and feel at ease, your skills from LR should take care of the rest.

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Mattalones
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby Mattalones » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:37 pm

One thing I did was just read books, articles, newspapers, everything. I was not a very big reader and it showed up on the RC section. Games came quick cuz I have always loved logic and math (when I started studying for the LSAT I actually read math books WAY faster and better than novels and such). LR was easy too (easiest for me). But that F-in' RC, man!

I actually went all out and decided to become a reader, timing myself (without racing the clock, just timing my natural reading pace). I would get books that had about the same size pages and font and find my pages per minute, doing this for about a year. I found that comprehension is good at your natural reading pace, and I also found that reading a lot increases your natural reading pace (mine more than doubled). Anyway, a year later, I was missing between 0 and 2 questions when, the year before, I would consistently miss 12-15. Just get back to basics, man.

DivinerH
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby DivinerH » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:50 am

man, don't blame yourself, there are tons of non-native English speakers able to constantly score -4 in RC. That means it's just learnable like game section /w practice. Because you are good at LG, think RC passage as a set of rules (or possibly just a long Must be true question stimulus) need to be deconstructed and is frequently referred to.

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Ragged
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby Ragged » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:09 am

Knockglock wrote:
lsatntr wrote:I have been reading all the posts on how to improve in the RC and I have been trying to implement those strategies without much success. Reading for structure, reading for viewpoints, reading slowly, skimming, taking notes, marking and underlining, whatever else.

Today's result was about as polarizing as it will get. -0 on games. -2 on logical reasoning. -12 on reading comprehension. WHAT THE F--- IS GOING ON? Is there any hope for me? Has anyone been able to go from an inconsistent -8 to -15 on the RC section to a consistent -2 to -4 in 2 months? Should I postpone for October?

Main issue is timing. I can either slow down and get very good accuracy on 2 or maybe 3 passages or I can finish the passages in time and get very bad accuracy.

/rant


Here is something that has helped for me, although RC is my naturally strongest section.

Underline a ton. Tear up the passage. At least for me, this forced me to really read everyword and not skim. Underline the entire "line of reasoning". Then, when they move onto a different "line of reasoning" put brackets the length of that line of reasoning. Then keep on alternating underlining/bracketing. This really breaks down the passage, and allows you to see how the overall main point of the passage develops throughout and at the end. It also easily allows you to go back into the passages and pick out bits of information. If the question asks for something discussed in line of reasoning X, you can find it pretty easily.

Edit: It also takes out a lot of the whole "staring at a wall of text" anxiety. Also, by grouping the entire passage into "lines of reasoning" you can sort of break up the passage into portions. When going back to look for a detail asked in a question, you can know that it must be in this paragraph, this line of reasoning. This is a lot easier than trying to find a single detail in an entire passage. You can just go quickly go back to the relevant line of reasoning. Think of it sort of like assigning letters to represent the different lines of reasoning, that taken together equate to the passage. You're assigning a "shortcut key" to the different parts of the passage.

It's kind of hard to explain, so let me know and I can try and explain better.


I will try this when I start studying again. I used to never mark anything on RC, but this sounds like a good idea.

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dudester
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby dudester » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:59 am

lsatntr wrote:I have been reading all the posts on how to improve in the RC and I have been trying to implement those strategies without much success. Reading for structure, reading for viewpoints, reading slowly, skimming, taking notes, marking and underlining, whatever else.

Today's result was about as polarizing as it will get. -0 on games. -2 on logical reasoning. -12 on reading comprehension. WHAT THE F--- IS GOING ON? Is there any hope for me? Has anyone been able to go from an inconsistent -8 to -15 on the RC section to a consistent -2 to -4 in 2 months? Should I postpone for October?

Main issue is timing. I can either slow down and get very good accuracy on 2 or maybe 3 passages or I can finish the passages in time and get very bad accuracy.

/rant


No, no and yes.

khanvalescent
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby khanvalescent » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:36 am

dudester wrote:
No, no and yes.


If there's no hope for improvement, why should he postpone?

OP: Keep reading and don't let anxiety distract you.

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F458JE
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby F458JE » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:07 am

Sandro777 wrote:Sorry I have no sympathy for you. Skills like LR and RC are skills you should have.


I agree. How do you expect to be a lawyer if you can't comprehend a 5 paragraph article? What are you going to do when you have to read multiple 50 page reports? The OP might want to rethink their career choice! :shock:

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rolark
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby rolark » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:24 am

I struggled a great deal with RC when I took the test. It is, unfortunately, the least studyable part of the test. With a lot of practice I ended up doing pretty well (170+), so know it's not impossible!

I suggest ignoring any advice to read material other than actual LSAT RC sections. I simply didn't find anything else useful. Also, know there is a significant difference to the feel of older passages compared to the new. This difference extends far beyond the format of the comparative reading passage; there are subtle differences that really threw me off.

I was an English major, so I thought RC should have been one of my better sections. What I realized, though, was that this was a different type of reading completely. It's not about content or picking apart ideas as much as it's about knowing the structure of the passage and viewpoints. (Don't be discouraged if you're not getting this at first; it doesn't necessarily mean you'd be a bad lawyer, it could just mean you've learned a more humanistic approach to reading.) I ended up drawing lines when I saw a change in perspective, allowing me to break the passages into small enough pieces that I could find small details quickly because I knew the area they appeared.

I found a sparknotes article on the RC section. I didn't accept everything it said, but I think it gave me a good grounding for understanding where I should begin to approach the passages: http://www.sparknotes.com/testprep/books/newsat/chapter12.rhtml.

Ultimately, RC comes down to developing your own strategy. Experiment until you find something that "clicks," then work to develop it. Good luck!

andreea7
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby andreea7 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:41 am

As a non-native speaker who did well on the LSAT (176), I can tell you that reading a lot will help you not only on the LSAT but also when you get into law school. In undergrad I made it a point of improving both my reading speed and reading comprehension. As such I didn't even really practice for the RC section of the LSAT. Think of reading comprehension as something that ought to become part of your life. Otherwise, law school will probably be hell. I am saying probably only because I haven't yet started law school. But I suspect those who already started law school will say it is guaranteed to be hell if your reading comprehension skills are not good. So my advice is to read read read -- novels, magazines, newspapers.

lsatntr
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby lsatntr » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:59 am

F458JE wrote:
Sandro777 wrote:Sorry I have no sympathy for you. Skills like LR and RC are skills you should have.


I agree. How do you expect to be a lawyer if you can't comprehend a 5 paragraph article? What are you going to do when you have to read multiple 50 page reports? The OP might want to rethink their career choice! :shock:


Umm...Isn't there a market for discount dyslexic lawyers? For people who can't afford Harvard's finest?

But srsly, I want to thank everyone who commented with tips and encouragement. I'll try them out as I go through more preptests and post back if I have positive results. In the meantime, I guess I better start reading something other than textbooks on Biochem and Econ. :?

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Ragged
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby Ragged » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:54 pm

Sandro777 wrote:Sorry I have no sympathy for you. Skills like LR and RC are skills you should have. LG on the other hand should be killed.


Yea, I'm sure he lacks the analytical skills necessary for achieving a 157 LSAT. :lol:

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UFMatt
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby UFMatt » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:59 pm

RC is an odd section. I either aced it or would miss several (-6 or so). I think it just depends on whether you're in tune with whoever wrote the questions/passage.

UFmark
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby UFmark » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:33 pm

UFMatt wrote:RC is an odd section. I either aced it or would miss several (-6 or so). I think it just depends on whether you're in tune with whoever wrote the questions/passage.


This is exactly how I feel. I will either miss a few or will read a passage and then blow through the questions getting them all right,

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Mr. Smith
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Re: F-CKING READING COMPREHENSION SECTION SHOULD BE KILLED

Postby Mr. Smith » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:38 pm

One thing that Mr. Matlock shared with me was that you sit down and have an RC marathon.

You do 10 RC sections in a row. Doing this will hopefully acclimate you to what exactly the test-takers are looking for. You start noticing things that you might be asked even while reading it the first time. It really helps you identify patterns and such to better tackle the section.

I've heard good things about the method.




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