At a loss regarding RC

darkatillam2
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:40 pm

At a loss regarding RC

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:53 pm

Been studying now for over 6 months. I've made a ton of improvement on LR. I used to average -5/-10 on EACH LR section. Now I can comfortably go -1/-4 with a few -0s on there if I'm lucky. My LG has always been strong. I usually get -0, maybe -1 or -2 if it's a bad day.

RC has almost shown no improvement. The increased difficulty of the newer tests just makes it worse. Today I went -12 on the RC section of PT 50. I actually went backwards on a few retakes. I retook PT 37 and 38 (original take was in late March) and missed more on both RC sections; -7 and -9 respectively.

As you can see it's driving me crazy. Being able to knock out perfect LR sections has made me beyond happy considering my results before. However, it seems bitter sweet that now I'm going backward in my RC. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to think that 1 section is keeping me from a 170-176 score goal (even though I should hardly be complaining based on what my diagnostic was last year. I will not reveal what my score was as to not distract from the conversation at hand).


If anyone has any input in regards to reviewing tips, drilling exercises, hints on specific types of RC questions, please let me know. I would say I have a lot of difficulty with inference questions on RC. But that's obviously not my only weakness, as someone who misses 12 questions in section has more than one thing he/she needs to work on.

Thanks in advance

notaznguy
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Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby notaznguy » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:31 pm

What exactly is your problem? Are you simply just not understanding what you're reading, or are the questions throwing you off?

You should be able to get all the "main idea" questions correct at the very least.

Try doing timed drills for passages. Do 1 passage and use a stopwatch and limit yourself to 8 minutes and 45 seconds. You should take a good chunk of that time reading the passage slowly so that you comprehend it. Don't speed read through it. Read throughly, but do it a bit quicker than you would be reading casually.

Certain passages have more structure than others. For instance, science passages tend to focus a lot of causal relationships. Also, whenever you read a passage, just remember that almost always, the author favors nature and the oppressed. If it's a science topic about global warming and mankind, you should know that 99% of the time, the author is going to favor nature and blame mankind. For topics in history or literature about minorities, know that 99% of the time the author will favor the minority.

Also, look for distinctions and highlight or underline them. These words include: but, however, on the other hand, in spite of, etc. Then pay attention to the details following the distinction.

Whenever you see lists or examples, mark them so you know you can refer to them later on when a question pops up about it. If a question says, "The author mentions the following symptoms as a sign of the cancer EXCEPT:" then you can look back at the paragraph where the author might have said something like "The most common symptoms include: coughing, sneezing, nose bleeds, loss of weight, etc."

Hope this helps.

darkatillam2
Posts: 207
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:14 pm

It does help, thank you.

To answer your question more specifically, I would say it's the questions that throw me off. When I read, I feel like I have a decent understanding of the material. 90% of the time I get the main point questions correct.

After reviewing, I'm finding that I can narrow down MOST of the answer choices down to two. It's eliminating the "tempting" answer choice which makes my life difficult. I use the word tempting because as I look over study guides that list the explanation of correct and incorrect answer choices, the one I choose seems to always be the one that starts by say: "tempting, because A B C, but not supported due to X and Y".

Overall, I followed a lot of advice you had mentioned when I was making my way through the older PTs and the results were surprising. I know the RC bible touched upon a lot of that and it helped increase my scores on RC up to about the late 30s-early 40s PTs. As soon as I took the 50s, I got smashed. I feel like the difficulty in these newer PTs was really crushing me. I can't seem to make the easier connections I did in terms of Author's point of view, listing of references to specific points, etc in the newer PTs. I also am finding more inference and abstraction types of questions I cannot seem to make sense of in a time efficient manner.

I will however, drill as much as I can and try and find a more successful way to review. Thanks for the comment

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glucose101
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Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby glucose101 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:25 pm

Have you tried Manhattan LSAT? It might benefit you.

darkatillam2
Posts: 207
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:53 pm

no I haven't, but I don't think I have enough time to buy it and finish it before the Oct. 1st test. I've been trolling a lot of the Manhattan LSAT posts and have picked up a lot of good tips, but as of right now, I don't own an official copy of the book.

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glucose101
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Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby glucose101 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:59 pm

I suggest you get ASAP to see if it'll help. I mean, if you retest, you'll probably buy it anyhow. Might as well try to get the most of your resources beforehand.

darkatillam2
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Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:03 pm

Any chance that you could cliff note some important things you got from it that helped you? :)

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glucose101
Posts: 423
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Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby glucose101 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:08 pm

I'm nowhere near perfect on the RC, but reading the way a 170+ scorer would, as the book delineates, is really reading about the process, not like do X. The book gives you one way to approach things. It emphasizes the author's stand on an argument. I wish there was a magic bullet; there isn't unfortunately. I say get it so you don't have regrets later, and you can say you did everything you could.

And that's what I've realized about reading notes of a lot of techniques without buying books--you really miss the majority of what they're trying to convey. And I don't think you want to do yourself that disservice, especially with all your hard work. Again, if I had something more explicit, I'd tell (as I'm sure someone in the board would've already anyhow), but it's about the process.

pfreedom
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Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby pfreedom » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:53 pm

"After reviewing, I'm finding that I can narrow down MOST of the answer choices down to two. It's eliminating the "tempting" answer choice which makes my life difficult."
"As soon as I took the 50s, I got smashed. I feel like the difficulty in these newer PTs was really crushing me."

I have both these issues, more so with PT 50 onwards. I need some help.

Being very sensitive to answer choices helped me until PT 50ish, but I'm kind of at a loss for the ones since then. Going at -7 or -8 ish.

What is going on here? Anybody see any trends that changed since PT 50 (other than the obvious addition of comparative passages since PT 51/52)? Any strategies that helped with the newer passages?

nyremy
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Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:29 pm

Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby nyremy » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:15 am

Hey we're pretty much score twins. I too score around what you are scoring in all the sections respectively. Also, my main problem is without a doubt the increased difficulty of the RC sections. Prior to moving to the more recent sections, I was happily getting -2 to -4 on the RC sections (PT's 20ish to 38). The first RC section I took that was recent (PT 52) was horrible for me. I got -8 which is the worst I've ever done. What I've found that has helped me considerably is to read the section twice. At first this seemed to be too time consuming, but I've come to realize it really isn't. The first read through I read pretty quickly, and try to just get the gist of the argument and the author's main points. The second read through I read intensely, but quickly--because I've already read the section once, I can read much quicker while still understanding the material. In addition, I look for details I may have missed or not fully comprehended the first time around. I try to finish my second read through before the 4 minute mark. (I'm a slow reader, so you can probably do it faster than I can). I've found that this method, at least for me, greatly increases my confidence in my answers and allows me to attack the questions more effectively.

Good Luck!

bp shinners
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Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:04 pm

The recent tests have seen a decided shift in the philosophy behind the RC questions. They used to be an independent entity from LR; now, they're much closer to LR. Start approaching the questions in the same mindset as LR. I know a lot of people think that the RC answer choices are 'softer' than the LR ones and don't need the same level of logical rigidity. That's no longer true. Some question types (it is like the author would agree with which one of the following) allow you to make small inferential jumps; most, however, are expecting you to pick the answer that would be right on a comparable LR question. Treat them that way and see if that helps at all.

darkatillam2
Posts: 207
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: At a loss regarding RC

Postby darkatillam2 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:36 pm

That does help a lot. I have noticed that trend too. A lot of times a few choice words are altered enough to change the scope, making it wrong. I'm struggling with that because in LR I can always quickly reference the stim and recheck my answer. In RC, I don't have enough time to locate the section to reread and check if the answer is making a leap outside the scope of the passage. Argh. But thanks for that. I will keep that in mind everytime I read answer choices.




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