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06162014123
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Postby 06162014123 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:41 pm

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Kurst
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby Kurst » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:44 pm

See the links in this post for RC tips and strategies: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=127185#p3370904

06162014123
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Postby 06162014123 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:47 pm

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BillsFan9907
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby BillsFan9907 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:57 am

Haven't checked that out yet - will do now.

My best advice is reading the questions before hand and commit to memory any questions and their possibilities that ask for specific information.

Examples:

- What do both authors specifically mention (X,Y,Z,W, A)

- The author mentions that so-and-so holds which one of the following views (....)

As far as the greater context of the piece (what would the author be more inclined to agree with...) that's more basic reading comprehension.

I can also suggest that trying out Omega-3 fish oil along with a supplement called Phosphatedylserine, which some studies have shown to improve short term memory and could aid in passage recall.

tittsburghfeelers
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:31 am

RedShift wrote:Aw man, there's so much to read :cry:

Thanks


Lol.... maybe this is your problem with the rc section?

sullidop
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby sullidop » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:45 am

There's no easy way to improve your RC score. You just have to read more, generally. Start reading the NYT and WSJ as well as some legal newspapers (lawyers' weekly, etc) and do more RC sections (so you can identify what portions they'll likely question you on). Your score will gradually rise. Initially I was getting -10/12 and improved to -2/3.

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UnamSanctam
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby UnamSanctam » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:46 am

tittsburghfeelers wrote:
RedShift wrote:Aw man, there's so much to read :cry:

Thanks


Lol.... maybe this is your problem with the rc section?


TITCR. Laughed when I saw it.

06162014123
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Postby 06162014123 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:39 pm

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bp shinners
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby bp shinners » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:40 pm

sullidop wrote:There's no easy way to improve your RC score. You just have to read more, generally. Start reading the NYT and WSJ as well as some legal newspapers (lawyers' weekly, etc) and do more RC sections (so you can identify what portions they'll likely question you on). Your score will gradually rise. Initially I was getting -10/12 and improved to -2/3.


This is great advice. I personally don't recommend reading the questions before the passage, but there are elements to passages that will almost universally be the subject of questions. Like specific examples, studies done, hypotheses presented,etc... Figuring out what parts of a passage will be asked about is the most effective strategy to raise your RC score if it is lagging, and also something that most people have trouble explaining how to do. Those who score well on RC go through this process naturally; those who don't have to figure it out while prepping for the test.

RedShift wrote:That was meant to be humorous, but I will admit I don't care much for reading. That sounds silly coming from someone aiming for law school, but I always do the reading required of me for school (no matter how reluctantly.)


Not just law school, but as an attorney (especially the first few years), you will be reading many, many thousands of pages of documents every week. I don't want to discourage you, just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.

Good luck!

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zozin
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby zozin » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:58 pm

You're probably just not used to reading dense material like RC essays. On my first diagnostic, RC was my worst section, -11. I was appalled.
After doing 30-45 individual essays I rarely get anything wrong, at most 1, and I tend to do them under 8 minutes.

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pinkstark
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby pinkstark » Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:21 am

zozin wrote:You're probably just not used to reading dense material like RC essays. On my first diagnostic, RC was my worst section, -11. I was appalled.
After doing 30-45 individual essays I rarely get anything wrong, at most 1, and I tend to do them under 8 minutes.


30-40.
okay my goal, got.

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PDaddy
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby PDaddy » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:17 am

RedShift wrote:Apparently I can't read. I took a diagnostic test a few months back and my RC section was saddening. Most advice I come upon here is on increasing LR and LG, but I assume this is because most other people don't have [as much] trouble with RC. Is there any way to fix this? Is it as simple as just reading more?

This will be the main hurdle to getting the score I want.


Read dense material often: Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, etc.

I also suggest that you really engage material as you read it...from the outset. Argue with it as you read it. Wrestle with it. Take a position and anticipate the twists and turns the passage may take. Even if you're wrong, your brain is trained to remember it because of the surprise. Think about it, you almost always remember being wrong about something.

If a passage starts out talking about the relative histories of the Democratic and Republican parties, for example, it may go one of several directions. it may discuss prominent figures in each party, why certain racial groups gravitate to one or the other, reform within each, why one is more conducive to American capitalism, or other issues. If you anticipate the wrong direction, you still manage to lock the transitions between paragraphs in your mind because you were wrong, and that results in greater retention.

If you engage with the material, you will have greater retention and find yourself returning to it less and less to get answers, and correct answers will seem more obvious to you. This will make up for your slow reading speed. At the end, think about what the author could have talked about. If you were going to continue the passage, what might be a continuation sentence? What was his position? What words indicated it. Take your time reading. Depending on your goal, you have 8-10 minutes per passage.

Know that the main point is often stated in the first paragraph, but could be paraphrased throughout the passage, or explicitly stated at the end. Once in awhile, it is buried in the middle. Look hard for it. That should guide your understanding of the passage and your answers. Each question is designed to support or at least be consistent with the main point of the passage.

Here's the thing: Speed and accuracy need to be balanced, meaning you don't want to sacrifice one for the other. However, you can take up to four or even five minutes to read a passage and still finish it perfectly. Relax! Relax! Relax! Do a ton of RC problems and you will find them getting easier. I would say spend more time on passages with 7-8 questions that you do on passages with fewer. Why? Those passages are worth more points. I would also recommend doing them first.

If you aren't that fast of a reader, concentrate on doing three passages perfectly (10 minutes each) and then devise a way to skim the fourth, giving bona fide answers to two questions and guessing on the last three or four. This is a good way to at least get 20-22 questions correct (maybe one or two more) without having to fully read all four passages. People don't realize that they can control the scores they get.

Pick the passages with the most questions early. Get your points! Many times, those are the easiest passages to get through after the reader has finished them anyways. Don't let the topics fool you. Seemingly fun topics like "corn" or "aerobic activity and its effects on the body" can be traps and keep you hung up for a long time, and topics like "the meiosis of the dragonfly" can be easy. Thus, you need to learn to recognize patterns in passages and pick judiciously. It is almost never a good idea to attack them in order. The test is designed to sort people into groups, so why would the LSAC order passages, games and questions in an way that is advantageous to test-takers? Not happening.

People who suck at RC suck because they can't find ways to get interested in the material. Arguing with it in your head and anticipating the twists and turns, whether you turn out to be right or not, is a great way to do that.

Good luck!

tittsburghfeelers
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:07 am

^^^
Good post-I'm going to use this advice too.

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glucose101
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby glucose101 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:39 am

PDaddy +1

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PDaddy
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby PDaddy » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:37 pm

glucose101 wrote:PDaddy +1


More advice

Just remember, some passages have an authorial position and others are voice-neutral, in which case, the anticipation of the twists and turns is the most important aspect of the exercise.

If you argue with a passage that has an authorial position, you are better-equipped to answer questions dealing with weakening/strengthening. You are also more likely to notice "tone words" which indicate an author's attitude towards a position taken by xyz historian or biologist (eg.) in the passage.

Practice this exercise:

1) Read the first paragraph and stop!

2) Rephrase the paragraph in your head. Do you understand the definition given for the key term(s) in the paragraph? If not go back and read them.

3) Was the MP stated? What was it? Maybe it isn't there yet. This is ok, but you have to be actively looking for it.

4) Has the author yet taken a position towards the object/subject of the passage?

5) What tone word(s) (ex: "misguided intentions", "obviously perfunctory", or "prejudiced view") indicate that?

6) Do you agree with the author's position? Why or why not? Maybe you can't decide, but that's ok. It's the thought process that counts. Unless an opposing view is offered in the passages that agrees with your opinion, this is irrelevant when approaching the questions but useful to help you remember the text. Just keep in mind your personal thoughts. Do not mistake this for incorporating "special knowledge". That is something you want to avoid. All you are trying to do is invoke ways to crystalize weaknesses or strengths in the arguments.

7) Do you have an idea of what will come next? Try to anticipate that (what are at least two directions it could go?). If you're right, you will probably be able to speed up a bit. If you're wrong, you are definitely going to remember the first two paragraphs because of it. Either way, you win. Crystalizing the first paragraph, anticipating what will be said next and locating key words (tone, transitions, etc) are the most important skills.

You need to resolve all of this in your head before you can move on. PRACTICE DOING THE ABOVE ON EVERY READING COMPREHENSION PASSAGE BEFORE YOU BEGIN PRACTICING ENTIRE PASSAGES.

The first paragraph is often the key, but it is not the only key.

As you move on to the next paragraph, notice transition words such as "to the contrary", "alternatively", "on the other hand", or words that indicate an alternate position.

The author may also seek to strengthen what he has already stated, so the next paragraph may give examples from history, a scientific study, etc. You may see words like "for example", "one example in particular", "notably within this tradition", or "xyz person is one such artist/author/historian/biologist/critic, etc." Then the paragraph goes on to explain why the example is a good one. Anticipate a criticism somewhere along the way. He may need to provide background to further amplify what was said in the first paragraph.

Do this for each paragraph.

Go slow on the first paragraph, speed up a little in the middle and slow down for the last paragraph.

You must not only take account of what the author says/does, but what he doesn't say or do. What's missing? Is there a flaw in his reasoning or an assumption that must be made? If you catch it, you are in position to answer any strengthen or weaken questions that may be thrown your way.

At the end, ask yourself five questions: (1) What is the MP?, (2) What is the author's purpose?, (3) What is the author's tone (i.e. how does he "feel" about the subject of his passage, eg. "unqualified approval") ?, (4) What weaknesses (if any) did you spot in the arguments?, and (5), If you could extend the passage, what information would come next?

Develop a consistent system of marking the passage, but try to mark as little as possible.

Ex: MP gets a * or a "MP"
Definitions get a "Def."
Long stretches of important text get [brackets]
Tone words indicate author's attitude, mark them with "Tone" next to the line on which they occur.
Circle key terms and transition words
Put numbers next to all examples or "reasons" the author gives, etc.
DO NOT UNDERLINE!!


Also, diversity passages are their own beast. If an African-American, Native American, Gay, female, or Mexican person is the subject of a pssage and you get a question asking about the "author's attitude" towards that subject, it will almost always be the most positive attitude on the list. You can bank on it! The writers are a liberal sort, and they are not in the business of trashing black (etc) filmmakers, historians or political figures, particularly those who have accomplished much in their lives despite myriad obstacles. That's a free point!

If you get the Powerscore reading Comprehnsion Bible, you will get this information. It's worth every penny.
Last edited by PDaddy on Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:43 am, edited 3 times in total.

tittsburghfeelers
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:11 pm

Good advice yet again. Thanks.

I have to ask though, are you a powerscore rep? I'm not attempting to discredit you in anyway, but I have read on various posts that the RC bible is not worth it. Regardless though, I'm sure I will purchase it. Even if it only helps me answer one additional question correctly I will find that it's worth every penny.

Anyway, thanks again for the post. I'm dialed in on the LG; rarely miss a single question on it. My LR is a little more inconsistent as I miss between 2 and 8 on every section. My RC has been pretty consistant at around -5 or so, but I'm sure that if I spend more time improving my RC, it will improve. I have barely devoted any time to it, as I am currently trying to get my LR consitantly into -2 or -3. I will definitely use your advice to go through the reading passages with the most questions first. I never thought that the testmakers ordered the reading passages in a certain way, yet your post makes it apparant that they probably do.

Thanks again for the advice and even though I'm not the OP I will definitely put your advice to good use.

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PDaddy
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby PDaddy » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:31 am

tittsburghfeelers wrote:Good advice yet again. Thanks.

I have to ask though, are you a powerscore rep? I'm not attempting to discredit you in anyway, but I have read on various posts that the RC bible is not worth it. Regardless though, I'm sure I will purchase it. Even if it only helps me answer one additional question correctly I will find that it's worth every penny.

Anyway, thanks again for the post. I'm dialed in on the LG; rarely miss a single question on it. My LR is a little more inconsistent as I miss between 2 and 8 on every section. My RC has been pretty consistant at around -5 or so, but I'm sure that if I spend more time improving my RC, it will improve. I have barely devoted any time to it, as I am currently trying to get my LR consitantly into -2 or -3. I will definitely use your advice to go through the reading passages with the most questions first. I never thought that the testmakers ordered the reading passages in a certain way, yet your post makes it apparant that they probably do.

Thanks again for the advice and even though I'm not the OP I will definitely put your advice to good use.


No...I'm not a Powerscore rep. lol. I used to suck at RC, and the Bible helped me tremendously. I learned to find each passage interesting by engaging the material...personalizing it. Where there are straight narratives, I use that anticipation method in the transitions between paragraphs and make sure that I identify the ket terms, tone words, etc. The bible can help you get those 4-5 points by helping you process the information just a little better. Your RC scores indicate that you already instinctively know how to do much of what the bible will teach you.

If you are scoring about 15 points on RC, the Bible will help a lot! On any LSAT LR or RC section, 20+ points is considered doing "well", and 18/19+ points is doing well in LG. People on TLS have very high standards, so many TLSers are shooting for 170+ (top 1-3%).

Think about it, if you get to a point of missing 10-15 total points on the LSAT you're really doing very well by most standards.

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NikaneOkie
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby NikaneOkie » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:54 am

Read through the RC Bible. Do EVERYTHING they tell you to do.
Start going through all of the real RC passages (even the ones you've already done), and, once you're consistently getting everything you have time to finish correct, slowly wean yourself off of all of the note-taking strategies until you're barely making any marks at all. You will find that you can almost predict what's important and what they're going to ask, and you will read the passage and not have to return to re-read anything.
The most important thing at this point is to consistently force yourself to read the passage slowly, even when you're feeling pressed for time, because if you read too quickly, you'll actually end up spending more time reading, because you will be forced to re-read things.
I was getting quite a few wrong when I started, then got stuck at consistently 2 wrong, and then, after doing most of the PTs, consistently never got a single question wrong on RC, and I didn't have to mark up the passages any longer.

Good luck.

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PDaddy
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby PDaddy » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:56 am

NikaneOkie wrote:Read through the RC Bible. Do EVERYTHING they tell you to do.
Start going through all of the real RC passages (even the ones you've already done), and, once you're consistently getting everything you have time to finish correct, slowly wean yourself off of all of the note-taking strategies until you're barely making any marks at all. You will find that you can almost predict what's important and what they're going to ask, and you will read the passage and not have to return to re-read anything.
The most important thing at this point is to consistently force yourself to read the passage slowly, even when you're feeling pressed for time, because if you read too quickly, you'll actually end up spending more time reading, because you will be forced to re-read things.
I was getting quite a few wrong when I started, then got stuck at consistently 2 wrong, and then, after doing most of the PTs, consistently never got a single question wrong on RC, and I didn't have to mark up the passages any longer.

Good luck.


Yup! The VIEWSTAMP method:

View (or "views", i.e. opinions expressed in the passage, and by whom);

Structure (how is the passage organized?);

Tone (what specific words reveal whether the author supports or rejects the opinions expressed in the passage);

Argument (what arguments are being made by the author and/or subjects of the passage?);

Main Point (it will be stated in one or two sentences anywhere in the passage or paraphrased somewhere along the way).

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bleh
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby bleh » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:36 am

saved

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby FeelTheHeat » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:37 am

PDaddy wrote:People on TLS have very high standards, so many TLSers are shooting for 170+ (top 1-3%).


This is so true. I used to be DAMN proud of my 166 until I got here lol.

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PDaddy
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby PDaddy » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:05 pm

FeelTheHeat wrote:
PDaddy wrote:People on TLS have very high standards, so many TLSers are shooting for 170+ (top 1-3%).


This is so true. I used to be DAMN proud of my 166 until I got here lol.


A "166" puts you in, what, the top 6-8% in the world? Canadians, Asians, Latinos, Africans, Persians, and Europeans take the test too.

BE PROUD!

traffic.lawyer
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby traffic.lawyer » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:27 am

good post i m going to use your advice............ thanks for your post......

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WannaGo
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Re: RC is my worst section

Postby WannaGo » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:04 pm

Where has this post been my whole life?

Thank you SO much. RC and LR have been awful to me. With only 5 1/2 weeks left, this is huge help.




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