Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

notaznguy
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Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby notaznguy » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:25 pm

So I'm doing some passage drills, and usually when I'm fortunate to get a topic about something interesting like, "The Cold War," or "To Kill A Mockingbird," I tend to do well on those passages and get -0 or -1.

However, sometimes I get these REALLY HORRIBLY BORING DENSE passages where one paragraph will, instead of saying:

- Bobby Jones went to the store and was happy.

It would say

- Though not necessarily a coincidence, a homosapien by the colloquial expression of what is known as a name of William Theodore Junior Jones The Third passively stumbled upon a warehouse that is known within the local context of providing services of basic necessities and, but not necessarily, extravagant luxuries, and was found to be in a psychological state that suggested a sense of illuminating discovery.

And when I read something along the lines of that, I'm just like F************!!!! @%R@#!@%@#@^T!!^(!*^!

On these passages, I'll get -2 or even -3. They are usually science passages or really dense art topics. I'm beginning to think there's no way I can really get -0 to -4 on RC unless I am super lucky to get awesome, interesting, straight forward passages on RC. Right now, at least on drills, I'm averaging -8. So frustrating :(

Attorney at Play
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby Attorney at Play » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:42 pm

roflcopter. so true

senorhosh
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby senorhosh » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:03 am

Hmm..
I partially agree.

However, I feel like when passages are unusually difficult, the questions are easier (maybe on purpose?)

I do notice that really dense, hard to read passages have easier, more straightforward questions that don't rely on detail. I usually do better on these because they only require you to understand the gist or the main idea, without having to look back much.

I have a harder time on "easier" passages because the questions seem trickier. There might be ONE sentence or word that makes a contender incorrect, and if I don't remember it or I don't pick up on it when I skim over again, I'll get it wrong. Questions seems more detail oriented and seems to take more time.

I'm not sure if anyone else agrees but that's what I've been noticing for me, anyway).

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KremeCheez
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby KremeCheez » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:08 am

Most of what I read in college was pretty boring. I suppose I'm used to it...

bball1997
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby bball1997 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:14 am

The biggest difference for me were the passages that I was already familiar with the topic and didn't have to spend time figuring out what the different terminology was referring to (especially in science passages). I always noticed that I would do substantially better on sections where I was fairly familiar with the science passage or very familiar with another because I could breeze through it and devote a sufficient time on the others instead of rushing.

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Errzii
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby Errzii » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:37 am

RC isn't really any more luck than say LG or LR. As with LR and LG, I believe in order to score consistently you just have to force yourself to be familiar and comfortable with all "types" of passages regardless of the subject matter. Consider this, you wouldn't just say LG is a "matter of luck" because you're only good at linear games and you blame a score to "bad luck" when a grouping game comes up. Same with LR, you'll find yourself in a lot of trouble if say you getting a good score depends on getting more of particular type of questions over others, e.g., flaw, parallel, main point, etc. Just know your weakness and work on them. Perfecting RC is an attainable goal but thinking that it's all a matter of luck will not get you there.

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JoeFish
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby JoeFish » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:52 am

No, or more precisely, as Errzii says, no more than any other part of the test
You do know that, in every set, there's more or less one Easy, two Medium, and one Difficult passage, right? So, maybe, if the hard passage just happens to be one that, for whatever reason, you'll do well at, that might give you one or two points relative to the majority. But honestly one of the skills you need for the test (and, god knows, for LS) is the ability to read and comprehend boring and wordy passages very well. Work even harder on difficult passages.

TLDR:
notaznguy wrote:However, sometimes I get these REALLY HORRIBLY BORING DENSE passages...

You and every single other person taking that test. Practice hard.

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tyro
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby tyro » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:06 am

RC is notorious for frequently having the scenario where there are multiple acceptable answers but only one that is the "best" which can be frustrating. In my opinion, unlike LR, this scenario is a lot more difficult because of the amount of text involved.

Your specific question though is one that I'm a little bit uncomfortable with. Previous knowledge on subject matter in RC is undeniably helpful, and I tend to feel that objecting with the counterargument that the correct answer to any question can be found in the passage is actually only slightly relevant to the matter. At the same time though, the advantage isn't really that large, so the "luck" factor is pretty insignificant.

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tmon
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby tmon » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:30 am

It's counter productive to think of it as luck. Every question has a correct answer and four indisputably incorrect answers. That's how you should approach it. When you get something wrong, you messed up. The question may have tricked you or whatever, but it's on you and you should approach fixing your mistakes by understanding this and working to do better rather than shifting the blame to "luck."

bp shinners
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby bp shinners » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:56 pm

tyro wrote:RC is notorious for frequently having the scenario where there are multiple acceptable answers but only one that is the "best" which can be frustrating.


No, there are always 4 wrong answers and 1 right answer. You should approach the answer choices with the same mindset as LR and LG - 4 answers are wrong for a very specific reason, and 1 is right. The questions are as tightly written for RC as they are for the other sections - them being 'softer' just isn't true.

To the OP - for those passages, it's usually the case that you don't need to understand all of the science/technicalities behind the passage, but rather just the viewpoints being presented, what they espouse, and what is used to back them up. I just taught my class the Tangible Object Theory passage, which most consider to be highly technical. However, if you understand what ToT is, why the author talks about retained rights, and notice his shift at the end to arguing against ToT, you can answer all of the questions. They, for the most part, relate to what the different sides of the argument believe instead of the intricacies of copyright law. That's generally the case, especially for science passages - knowing what the people believe is more important than knowing the actual science behind it. Start trying to abstract the argument structure from the subject matter. I think you'll find that most passages that seem difficult end up focusing their questions on more structural elements. You'll still get a specific reference question about the science or the study, but you should be able to quickly check that in the passage if you've tagged it correctly.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:55 pm

I did better with passages on subject material I found more interesting just because it made it that more easier to pay attention. I loved science passages, but lost focus on discussion of art and literature. But as others have said, there really is only 1 right answer.

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KingMenes
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby KingMenes » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:44 pm

Luck equals preparation meeting opportunity.
If you follow the adive on TLS, especially PITHYPIKE's study methods, you'll succeed on the LSAT;so practice, practice, and practice some more. Consequently, you make your own luck.

Good luck?...preparation. :)

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suspicious android
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Re: Do you think RC can sometimes just be a matter of luck?

Postby suspicious android » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:40 pm

Yeah, don't worry, once you're in law school you'll only have to deal with really interesting, well-written material.




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