How Clouds101 Approaches RC

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clouds101
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How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby clouds101 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:08 pm

I got a PM about my unconventional RC method & I thought my response might be helpful to others.

This is what I do:
1. read a paragraph and notate as usual
2. quickly skim the questions and answer the ones I can. If I can't answer any based on the first paragraph, I shrug it off and return to the passage.
3. I notate the 2nd paragraph. Since I already the skimmed the questions, I know whether any questions are specifically about the 2nd paragraph so I pay extra attention to those areas.
4. go to questions and answer the ones I can
5. repeat steps 3 & 4 as needed for the passage

At first, it may feel like you're jumping back and forth from the Q's and passage a lot, but I realized after trying so many different RC strategies that it's perfectly normal to do that. For example, let's say you read the whole passage straight through and then you attack the Q's. You're *still* going to be bouncing back and forth to find evidence. My point was to reduce the amount of back and forth motion by answering the questions when I first come across the material.

This isn't a magic bullet for all RC problems, but I found it hugely helpful to try out different RC strategies to find the one that suit me best.
Last edited by clouds101 on Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

HellOnHeels
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby HellOnHeels » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:18 pm

Interesting. I have a RC section I am getting ready to work on, I might give this a try. I usually only miss a few RC questions, but I would still love to see some improvement.

THE_U
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby THE_U » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:29 pm

I have actually heard this before. But I was told to try this method only if I was running short on time. I'm going to give it a try when I study RC tomorrow...RC is killing me.

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hereyago
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby hereyago » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:38 pm

can you tell us how many you usually miss on an RC section?

and maybe your usual PT scores / LSAT scores?

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clouds101
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby clouds101 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:53 pm

hereyago wrote:can you tell us how many you usually miss on an RC section?

and maybe your usual PT scores / LSAT scores?


These aren't in chronological order, but overall you can see I was struggling with getting over 170. The 173 was two days ago. Now I'm trying to make 170+ the norm, not the exception :) My very worst was missing 7 on a RC section. Usually, I'm missing 1-3. I'm trying to improve as well, so if anyone wants to offer up suggestions, I'm all ears.

PT 22 = 165
PT 23 = 173
PT 26 = 167
PT 27 = 163
PT 31 = 169
PT 32 = 168
PT 42 = 168
PT 43 = 168
Superprep A = 169
Superprep B = 169
Superprep C = 170

senorhosh
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby senorhosh » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:49 am

hm sounds like a pretty good idea.
This way, local questions can be taken care of first, and then all the global ones later.

Only one way to find out. Going to try this on my PT tmw morning.
Thanks! Will tell if it helps at all (RC is my weakest section)

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bardreams
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby bardreams » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:20 am

I'm going to try this on a section today and see how it goes. I've tried literally everything with no consistent success on RC.

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cany
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby cany » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:47 pm

I am going to try this method on couple of RCs and then if it works try on the real PT.My concern is-for questions based on central idea not reading the passage all together might affect reaching TCR.just saying...

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lrslayer
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby lrslayer » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:52 pm

cany wrote:I am going to try this method on couple of RCs and then if it works try on the real PT.My concern is-for questions based on central idea not reading the passage all together might affect reaching TCR.just saying...

I have tried this out on a couple of passages and it is GREAT! You can quickly scan the questions after the first paragraph and realize that the one's that ask about "the last paragraph" or "line 57" or "paragraph 2/3/4" etc are not gonna be answered at that point. The good news is that you now have an idea what you are looking for in the next few paragraphs. Its weird but if I read all the questions before the passage, I can't remember them; but for some reason, if I read the questions after reading the first paragraph, I CAN remember them. Weird brain memory stuff I suppose. Thanks for the advice Clouds! I have been using this method on a couple passages untimed, just to get the feel for it, but I will try timed today. Untimed, I am still getting through the question swiftly and going -0. I hope it works out the same timed!

senorhosh
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby senorhosh » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:26 am

I tried this out today on a full PT.
I found it actually helps by breaking the passage down into manageable sections. Also, skimming the questions helped me look for specific answers while reading (but I guess you can still skim the questions without this approach).

it seemed like it took slightly more time than usual, only because I wasn't used to method. I suggest you practice this method a couple times to get the flow before using it on the actual test.

Anyone having trouble with RC should at least give this a try

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TrojanHopeful
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby TrojanHopeful » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:59 am

Do you use the same method for comparative passages?

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JamMasterJ
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:03 pm

I'm interested in seeing i this works, clouds. Do you tend to have timing issues, and has this approach helped or hurt that?

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kennethellenparcell
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby kennethellenparcell » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:33 pm

This is a very interesting method. To those who have tried it - do you find that questions about passage structure are harder to answer at all since your absorption of the passage may be more fragmented?

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bardreams
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby bardreams » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:56 pm

kennethellenparcell wrote:This is a very interesting method. To those who have tried it - do you find that questions about passage structure are harder to answer at all since your absorption of the passage may be more fragmented?


I tried it on a RC section yesterday. I feel like you have to really be strict about the questions you answer halfway through a section. It is tough to infer something about a paragraph when it is not in reference to the main point of the passage yet. That being said, it is much easier to remember specifics about a paragraph right after reading, then after reading the whole passage.

Overall, I think that this method helped me until I hit one ridiculously hard and obnoxious passage about maize/corn that was a biology passage.

I'm going to keep going with the method today and do a few more passages. Timing was a little bit of an issue but I think that was just because it was new.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:18 pm

Trying this out tonight with some older passages.

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lakers3peat
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby lakers3peat » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:31 pm

too bad reading comp has gotten way harder since pt 50+

senorhosh
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby senorhosh » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:22 am

TrojanHopeful wrote:Do you use the same method for comparative passages?


I couldn't use this on comparative passages.
I suggest something like this:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=132579

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TrojanHopeful
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby TrojanHopeful » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:38 am

senorhosh wrote:
TrojanHopeful wrote:Do you use the same method for comparative passages?


I couldn't use this on comparative passages.
I suggest something like this:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 6&t=132579


Thanks!

So I think that these two strategies could actually be very useful. I have tried both and noticed that local questions are definitely easier to answer (quickly). Correct answer choices seem to jump out. It appears that one just needs to be comfortable knowing which questions to immediately answer after each paragraph and which ones to wait on. I am going to keep at it and try to pick up my speed. The accuracy has definitely increased with this technique. Thanks for sharing these techniques.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:41 am

Trying this on new passages soon, but using it last night on things I did a month or two ago, I noticed that it seemed easier to stay engaged, which has always been my downfall.

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TrojanHopeful
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby TrojanHopeful » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:53 am

JamMasterJ wrote:Trying this on new passages soon, but using it last night on things I did a month or two ago, I noticed that it seemed easier to stay engaged, which has always been my downfall.


I agree.

nygrl
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby nygrl » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:52 pm

I've only tried this method on a few passages but so far it has helped me tremendously.

Thank you Clouds!

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TrojanHopeful
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby TrojanHopeful » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:16 pm

Out of curiosity, how many of you that tried this method are actually using it?

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clouds101
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby clouds101 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:05 pm

I just did PT 63 using this method for all four passages because I wanted to see if it held up to comparative passages. For comparative passages, I didn't religiously stop after each paragraph since they're short but I did make sure to keep an eye on questions while going through them. I opted not to go back and forth between Passage A and B because that was too confusing. So I did Passage A first then Passage B. Anyone else trying it differently?

I missed 3 but all of them were due to the lava/magma passage since I didn't really understand what was going on--not surprising, since science-based passages tend to be my weakest ones. I didn't miss any on the much-hated Chopin passage (I kind of liked it, actually) or the comparative passage so it may be worth trying.

The real question is how do I better understand science passages? The jargon freaking kills me.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:12 pm

clouds101 wrote:I just did PT 63 using this method for all four passages because I wanted to see if it held up to comparative passages. For comparative passages, I didn't religiously stop after each paragraph since they're short but I did make sure to keep an eye on questions while going through them. I opted not to go back and forth between Passage A and B because that was too confusing. So I did Passage A first then Passage B. Anyone else trying it differently?

I missed 3 but all of them were due to the lava/magma passage since I didn't really understand what was going on--not surprising, since science-based passages tend to be my weakest ones. I didn't miss any on the much-hated Chopin passage (I kind of liked it, actually) or the comparative passage so it may be worth trying.

The real question is how do I better understand science passages? The jargon freaking kills me.

learn to understand the structure to the point that the content is just filler

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clouds101
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Re: How Clouds101 Approaches RC

Postby clouds101 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:16 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
clouds101 wrote:I just did PT 63 using this method for all four passages because I wanted to see if it held up to comparative passages. For comparative passages, I didn't religiously stop after each paragraph since they're short but I did make sure to keep an eye on questions while going through them. I opted not to go back and forth between Passage A and B because that was too confusing. So I did Passage A first then Passage B. Anyone else trying it differently?

I missed 3 but all of them were due to the lava/magma passage since I didn't really understand what was going on--not surprising, since science-based passages tend to be my weakest ones. I didn't miss any on the much-hated Chopin passage (I kind of liked it, actually) or the comparative passage so it may be worth trying.

The real question is how do I better understand science passages? The jargon freaking kills me.

learn to understand the structure to the point that the content is just filler


thanks JMJ!




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