Struggling with RC section...advice?

February1088
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:52 pm

Struggling with RC section...advice?

Postby February1088 » Fri May 06, 2011 11:20 pm

I miss on average of at least 2 for each passage. That's around minus 8 questions for the entire section and it's holding me back a lot.

Truthfully, I've been improving at my reading speed, but the questions sometimes seem really difficult. For example, I have a lot of trouble with main point questions. I know they are supposed to be easier but I always seem to miss them. When they ask you 'what is the main point of the passage', I try to think that they are asking me for the summary of the passage. But sometimes, the answers are so narrow in scope that it doesn't even cover the entire passage, just a portion of it.

For example, if you look at February 1994 (PT 10) about the Venetian art passage, and the first question asks you about the main point. In the passage, I feel like the focus is not only Venetian art, but also Tuscan paintings because the two are contrasted often but the answer for the main point question is B where it has no mention of Tuscan paintings at all..

I have just 30 days before the LSAT, do you guys think it's possible I can raise my RC section score from -8 to around -1 or -2?

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EarlCat
Posts: 610
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:04 pm

Re: Struggling with RC section...advice?

Postby EarlCat » Sat May 07, 2011 3:13 am

February1088 wrote:For example, if you look at February 1994 (PT 10) about the Venetian art passage, and the first question asks you about the main point. In the passage, I feel like the focus is not only Venetian art, but also Tuscan paintings because the two are contrasted often but the answer for the main point question is B where it has no mention of Tuscan paintings at all..

The first clue should have been from the first sentence, which introduces a book about Venetian paintings, (not a book about the comparison of Tuscan and Venetian paintings).

Second, the passage signals a lot of emphasis onto the Venetian paintings and the reasons they are the way they are. One of the most important things in reading comp is signaling. The authors use little transition words and clues to what they're emphasizing. A simple example is the use of "but." If I say, "Joe is a really smart guy, but he talks way too much," the emphasis is placed on his talkativeness. It's irrelevant that Joe is smart; I came to complain about his gift of gab. If instead I say, "Joe talks way too much, but he's a really smart guy," the point is about his intelligence.

The author in the Venetian art passage used some of this type of signaling, albeit more subtly. For instance, the author wrote
While the Tuscan paintings present large scale figures, clear narratives, and simple settings, the Venetians filled their pictures with...

"While X, Y" does the same job as "X but Y" The author could have said,
The Tuscan paintings present large scale figures, clear narratives, and simple settings, but the Venetians filled their pictures with...

Do you see how the emphasis is on the Venetian paintings, and not on the Tuscans?

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OhOkay
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:14 am

Re: Struggling with RC section...advice?

Postby OhOkay » Sat May 07, 2011 8:33 am

As someone who also has a very hard time with Main Point q's (I don't know, they just don't click for me...), this was SO incredibly helpful. Thank you, EarlCat! Do you have any suggestions for instances where the choice comes down to ACs, each of which seems to cover one half of the passage exactly? Ex. Superprep A, passage 2, q. 9?




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