For anyone struggling with RC

fosterp
Posts: 319
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:09 am

For anyone struggling with RC

Postby fosterp » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:13 pm

Just figured I would add to this forum an idea that has helped me overcome a big gap in my RC sections. Until this test, I would regularly score between -4 and -8 on RC, sometimes getting lucky but not usually, and almost always running out of time. I swore that I had ADD or some kind of disability because I just suck in general at reading. My problem was I would read but not really "get" what I was reading, I felt like I was just saying each word on a page and I would have to constantly re-read sentences to figure out their meaning.

I did some reading up on general studying tips and read an interesting article that talks about how the two sides of your brain function together when you are reading any kind of material. I don't remember specifics but the main point was that one side controls your eyes and the actual reading of the material, however the other side of your brain is what analyzes and interprets what information is coming from the side that does the reading. This is the side that actually does the "comprehending" of the material.

In order to be able to read most effectively, both sides need to be working together. The problem with me and I know a lot of other people is that getting that "other" side to work does not always readily happen, even though we can easily make ourselves stare at words on a page and read them in our head. The two sides easily work together when you encounter an interesting or familiar topic since former experiences on the subject draw the "comprehending" side of the brain readily, and interesting subjects draw the focus of that side as well because you "want" to know about it. This is also why outside distractions make it very hard comprehend what you are reading because half of your brain wants to focus on the source of the distraction rather than what you are reading.

The solution? One of the most effective techniques I gathered from this was attempting to "visualize" some part of what is being read. What I mean by that is actually picturing in my head the point that was being made by the words on the page. Since this mental activity requires both sides of the brain, you "force" them to work together. For example...in PT40 when it was discussing dark matter and the universe and gravity I pictured the kind of pretty pictures of the universe you have seen before...when it talked about neutrinos oscillating...i pictures little things bouncing around, or lawyers asking leading questions - I pictured a lawyer in a courtroom interrogating a witness, or spanish and latin american poets sitting around arguing about the literary qualities of their art, just stupid things like that. I have the image in my head, and each sentence modifies the picture.

Now I have only tried this once, but it was first time I got a -1 on RC before (of course the question was missed on a passage when my roomates walked in and starting making noise) and I definitely noticed that things made a lot more "sense" and questions seemed easier, so perhaps its an outlier. But for anyone whos having problems with RC or even studying in school in general, this seems like an effective response.

JurisDoctorate
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:22 am

Re: For anyone struggling with RC

Postby JurisDoctorate » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:46 am

This sounds like a FANTASTIC idea.

It is just another way to keep you engaged, while reading. Actively reading (actually hearing each word in my head while reading) brought me from -10 to -4; I can see this technique, in concert with my new diagramming strategy, taking me to -2.

Thanks for the suggestion.




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