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your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:50 am
by paulshortys10
How do approach the rc section? Tell me everything...ur mentality during, ur use of pencil or highlighter, what u circle/underline/highlight, what do u write on the side....any tips in certain questions?

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:03 am
by Eugenie Danglars
I find writing notes/underlining more distracting than helpful. The only things I write are like this: If the passage says, "There are two factors that blah blah....The first is [several sentences]...The second is [several sentences]." In this case, I write a one next to the discussion of the first thing and a two next to the second. I do this because the questions that gave me trouble were the structure ones.

The best thing you can do is increase your overall academic reading skills. I started reading some dense history books and economics articles. I improved over time without really working on LSAT RC specifically, so I think that this outside reading had something to do with it.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:32 am
by mst
I spent 4 months not using a highlighter. By a week prior to the test, I was stuck at -5. Then I used it. Immediate impact. I guess it's because I a bit ADD when reading and stuff, but it helped immensely with progressing through passages in a timely manner and not getting stuck on certain things. A bit of a hassle switching between that and a pencil to bubble/circle, but that's 10 seconds well worth losing. Got -1 on Test day for RC.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:05 pm
by benito
RC is the hardest section to get better at I think, my very first cold diagnostic I missed only one and now after months and months of practice I still miss up to four. My best performance was that first one where i simply read the passage and answered the questions. Rather than spending time trying to organize the information, I would invest it in reading the passage carefully the FIRST TIME, while you're doing it all slow you might feel like times a wastin but in reality getting a full comprehension on the first reading will save you the time you'd otherwise spend looking back through the passage for some of the questions. Good luck~

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:29 pm
by SilverE2
I don't make any marks, or try to memorize any facts in the passage, I just read through making a mental note of where everything is. When a question asks about something specific, I go back to the passage and read that part more carefully before answering the question. I answer the main point question last.

It may not work for everyone, but it works well for me.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:32 pm
by Boulanger07
I used an orange highlighter (I feel as though the color matters). I didn't pick up this habit until maybe a week before the exam. Highlighting helped immensely. I would typically highlight single words and not more than three words. I would highlight the following:
Names
Transition words(but, however)
Numbered facts signifiers (first, second third)
Proponents/Advocates/Opponents
Tone words
Definitions(highlight the word and put brackets around the definition)

This really just helps with returning to find info in the passage and really helps cut down time. The thing is to not really think about what you're highlighting and just move through the passage b/c thinking about what you're highlighting bogs you down. Just focus on the reading.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:35 pm
by JazzOne
SilverE2 wrote:I don't make any marks, or try to memorize any facts in the passage, I just read through making a mental note of where everything is. When a question asks about something specific, I go back to the passage and read that part more carefully before answering the question. I answer the main point question last.

It may not work for everyone, but it works well for me.

I like to do the main point question first. I think it is similar to the "list" question of a logic game. It helps get oriented to the test writers' conception of the passage.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:37 pm
by floppymex
-

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:03 pm
by SilverE2
JazzOne wrote:
SilverE2 wrote:I don't make any marks, or try to memorize any facts in the passage, I just read through making a mental note of where everything is. When a question asks about something specific, I go back to the passage and read that part more carefully before answering the question. I answer the main point question last.

It may not work for everyone, but it works well for me.

I like to do the main point question first. I think it is similar to the "list" question of a logic game. It helps get oriented to the test writers' conception of the passage.


And this just goes to show that reading comp is the one section where it's important to find something that works for you personally. For some people, highlighting and writing notes next to the passage helps, for others it doesn't (myself included). For some reading slowly and trying to absorb the whole passage is the way to go, for others (like me), reading the passage a bit more quickly and skimming over the details, then returning later when necessary, is what works. You need to experiment to find what works for you.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:55 pm
by MrAdams
Amazingly, I did not realise you could use highlighters in RC until I read this thread. I just checked my ticket and low and behold, highlighters are allowed. Hopefully this puts me past -5. Thanks folks.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:01 pm
by James Bond
comprehending what you read helps

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:27 pm
by vodkashot
My own approach to RC--which is to read relatively quickly to get a feel of the passage and return later if necessary--is, in my opinion, entirely honed from my undergrad years of procrastinating and being forced to quickly read thousands of pages of readings literally a few days before my exams (I'm a liberal arts major and my classes all have substanial amounts of readings...which I always read at the last minute), which increased my ability to both read very quickly and retain the information I've read without much notation or thinking. I've never gotten more than -3 on a RC section ever so I'm definitely not going to change anything.

But I agree with the poster above who said that it's important to find your personal approach to doing RC--in my opinion, RC really depends on the reading patterns you've accumulated through the years.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:36 pm
by mst
vodkashot wrote:My own approach to RC--which is to read relatively quickly to get a feel of the passage and return later if necessary--is, in my opinion, entirely honed from my undergrad years of procrastinating and being forced to quickly read thousands of pages of readings literally a few days before my exams (I'm a liberal arts major and my classes all have substanial amounts of readings...which I always read at the last minute), which increased my ability to both read very quickly and retain the information I've read without much notation or thinking. I've never gotten more than -3 on a RC section ever so I'm definitely not going to change anything.

But I agree with the poster above who said that it's important to find your personal approach to doing RC--in my opinion, RC really depends on the reading patterns you've accumulated through the years.


Or maybe there's self-selection going on due to the fact you are a liberal arts major and you just happen to be good at RC and the fact you haven't changed your method is preventing you from consistently scoring -0. Just food for thought.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:53 pm
by yzero1
I actually had to change my RC methods after I got to PT50 and beyond. Previous to that, I read each RC passage quickly, briefly skimming through "detail" (which includes things like definitions, examples, dates) while focusing on the main points of each paragraph. I circled words that were followed by a definition, as well as key indicator words like "for example", "thus", "however", etc. Also, I jotted down 3-4 words on the side of each paragraph summarizing its main point. Using this strategy, I was able to average -1 to -2 per section while finishing with 8-10 minutes to spare.

However, after I reached the 50s, my RC performance took a nosedive.. there were several tests where I missed 5 questions on RC alone. I was initially alarmed by my sudden drop in RC scores, but I realized that I was consistently missing one or two details from the passage that would have led me to the credited response, so I adjusted my old strategy by spending more time reading the passage and actually focusing on both details as well as main points. My spare time per section decreased accordingly from 8-10 minutes to 3-5 minutes, but I managed to dramatically improve my RC scores (I never did worse than -1 from that point forward and ended up with a -0 on test day).

Not sure if this will help you the same way it helped me (especially if you're having trouble finishing sections on time) - but it's something to consider once you get to the 50s.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:48 am
by paulshortys10
should RC be treated as an LG game where you take your time on the passage, that way you have an easier time on the quesitons?

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:16 am
by mst
For me, yes and no. I can usually tell right away if a passage is going to be clear and straightforward, if its going to be matter-of-fact, if it's something I'm going to have a bit of trouble comprehending, etc.

Like if a passage opens with "For years, scientists have believed cows are made of organic matter. Recent evidence, however, has brought to light the possibility that cows might be made of marshmellows, and raised questions as to what effect this could have on various world populations." Obviously this is a straightforward archetype one. I know there's going to to be the new evidence -> likely effects -> some kind of retort -> vague conclusion either confirming it, denying it, or staying in the middle. I can speed through it.

If a passage opens with "manalita rodriguez lives on the mexican-us border and is renowned for her anchient story telling abilities of past indian ghosts and clay pot creation," I shoot myself in the face because I know this is going to get real "diverse" and "artsy" and "literary" all of which leave the reader in a position where he has to answer tough questions about intent, implications, etc. that are not straightforward and can't be answered by simply looking at a sentence out of context. Thus I take my time and try to follow along from the authors perspective, nice and slow.

The trick is to know that LSAC has created the test so that there is generally an easy mix between the passages. You can't spend exactly 8.5 minutes per passage, but know how to time yourself for certain ones... If I see a straightforward one with 4 or 5 questions, of course I'm going to speed through it. If I see an obviously "artsy" one with 8 questions, you better bet I'll spend that extra minute or two reading, getting the real scope of the passage down.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:08 pm
by SilverE2
mst wrote:For me, yes and no. I can usually tell right away if a passage is going to be clear and straightforward, if its going to be matter-of-fact, if it's something I'm going to have a bit of trouble comprehending, etc.

Like if a passage opens with "For years, scientists have believed cows are made of organic matter. Recent evidence, however, has brought to light the possibility that cows might be made of marshmellows, and raised questions as to what effect this could have on various world populations." Obviously this is a straightforward archetype one. I know there's going to to be the new evidence -> likely effects -> some kind of retort -> vague conclusion either confirming it, denying it, or staying in the middle. I can speed through it.

If a passage opens with "manalita rodriguez lives on the mexican-us border and is renowned for her anchient story telling abilities of past indian ghosts and clay pot creation," I shoot myself in the face because I know this is going to get real "diverse" and "artsy" and "literary" all of which leave the reader in a position where he has to answer tough questions about intent, implications, etc. that are not straightforward and can't be answered by simply looking at a sentence out of context. Thus I take my time and try to follow along from the authors perspective, nice and slow.

The trick is to know that LSAC has created the test so that there is generally an easy mix between the passages. You can't spend exactly 8.5 minutes per passage, but know how to time yourself for certain ones... If I see a straightforward one with 4 or 5 questions, of course I'm going to speed through it. If I see an obviously "artsy" one with 8 questions, you better bet I'll spend that extra minute or two reading, getting the real scope of the passage down.


Goddamnit I hate those artsy passages...

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:23 pm
by JazzOne
SilverE2 wrote:
mst wrote:For me, yes and no. I can usually tell right away if a passage is going to be clear and straightforward, if its going to be matter-of-fact, if it's something I'm going to have a bit of trouble comprehending, etc.

Like if a passage opens with "For years, scientists have believed cows are made of organic matter. Recent evidence, however, has brought to light the possibility that cows might be made of marshmellows, and raised questions as to what effect this could have on various world populations." Obviously this is a straightforward archetype one. I know there's going to to be the new evidence -> likely effects -> some kind of retort -> vague conclusion either confirming it, denying it, or staying in the middle. I can speed through it.

If a passage opens with "manalita rodriguez lives on the mexican-us border and is renowned for her anchient story telling abilities of past indian ghosts and clay pot creation," I shoot myself in the face because I know this is going to get real "diverse" and "artsy" and "literary" all of which leave the reader in a position where he has to answer tough questions about intent, implications, etc. that are not straightforward and can't be answered by simply looking at a sentence out of context. Thus I take my time and try to follow along from the authors perspective, nice and slow.

The trick is to know that LSAC has created the test so that there is generally an easy mix between the passages. You can't spend exactly 8.5 minutes per passage, but know how to time yourself for certain ones... If I see a straightforward one with 4 or 5 questions, of course I'm going to speed through it. If I see an obviously "artsy" one with 8 questions, you better bet I'll spend that extra minute or two reading, getting the real scope of the passage down.


Goddamnit I hate those artsy passages...

+1

Give me science any day. Ethnic minority literature? Not so much.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:06 pm
by paulshortys10
i just bombed an RC passage.... -13 fuck.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:52 pm
by MrAdams
paulshortys10 wrote:i just bombed an RC passage.... -13 fuck.


Are you sure you aren't over thinking this section and psyching yourself out?

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:09 pm
by kkklick
paulshortys10 wrote:i just bombed an RC passage.... -13 fuck.

You are definately psyching yourself out no doubt about it. Judging from your other posts, RC makes you cringe. I suggest doing a few passages untimed, and with no pressure, pretend your doing it for fun. I found that when I was so focused on the passage and the questions I was constantly second guessing my initial answer choices, and ended up changing them to the wrong one. RC AC's are worded as such to make you question your answer because the hard ones don't seem "right". Try this method and see if you do better, if you do then you know your problem is psychological.

Re: your specific approach to rc?

Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:16 pm
by JazzOne
paulshortys10 wrote:i just bombed an RC passage.... -13 fuck.

Are you wearing an Affliction shirt while you take PTs? If not, that might be your problem right there.