Please share Your Methods for RC

Deuce85
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Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby Deuce85 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:32 pm

Hello everyone. I cannot seem to bring up my RC scores. I usually read the passage and make little notations. But it does not seem to help. Maybe I am stuck with the scores I have since nothing is helping me improve, But i was trying to see what works for everyone else? All replies will be greatly appreciated.

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dietcoke0
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby dietcoke0 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:41 pm


d0nk
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby d0nk » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:45 pm

To Learn Reading Comprehension Approaches
1. Drink four cups of water mixed with 1 oz of cricket intestinal extract
2. Close your eyes and wish it so
3. Do 19.5 jumping jacks (it is ESSENTIAL that you only do half of a jumping jack on the 20th one)
4. Blink exactly 7 times
5. Click: search.php and type "reading comprehension methods"

This is a time tested approach - be sure to share your results with the skeptics!

Deuce85
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby Deuce85 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:17 am

can i get the extract at target?

GardnerofEden
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby GardnerofEden » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:42 pm

Manhattan RC and the Economist. This method got me from -8 on PTs to -3 on the real thing. Do it :)

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pupshaw
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby pupshaw » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:40 pm

.
Last edited by pupshaw on Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

CHIJAMES11
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby CHIJAMES11 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:07 pm

Read to understand even if this means doing less passages (for now). It's amazing how little you need to go back to the passage or make use of the notations when you actually understand what is presented in the passage. All those strategies you learned for RC become exponentially more effective when you understand the material. For example, when you put a mark next to an area that signifies evidence you shouldn't just know that this is where the evidence is but the role the evidence plays, etc. A question isn't going to simply ask you what the evidence is (then it would easy to go right back and find it) - although I notice they do this for CANNOT be true questions or each of the following was mentioned in the passage EXCEPT. Instead the questions usually ask about the evidence in relation to something else in the passage.
The LSAT is a tough test and to quote Dave Hall a "very sophisticated instrument" to test us. In which case, the questions are usually going to integrate more than one aspect of the passage. Moral of the story - read the RC passage to actually comprehend what is going on without worrying about making the right notations and the rest will just follow. As you begin to do more RC passages with comprehension in mind you will begin to see the patterns and formats that LSAT ends up taking (which gives more weight to your notations). Also, try doing this for 3/4 passages instead of rushing to do all 4. Work on 3/4 and then when you become more proficient do 4/4.
Initially going into the LSAT I thought RC would be my easiest section (just on the name alone hah) because I always did so well in other reading based tests and other standardized tests of the sort but I was quite mistaken. In turn, I began to rush through RC thinking if I had more time I would be able to answer the questions better or if I notated better I would have more time for the questions. This is obviously backwards thinking to what I prescribe now but its interesting to see the things we will do when we do not have a better answer to a dilemma. The answer I am providing to 'the problem everyone has with RC' was overly simplistic and too rudimentary for me when I first heard it and I said well shit that's what I do for every passage! I think you and whoever else reads this might think the same thing but take what I say seriously, it can't do you any harm. I would also like to mention that when I began reading like this I noticed a significant difference in how often I went back to the passage. After watching one of LSATPINGU videos (now removed) he said he was always shocked as to how often people went back to the passage and he exclaimed what the heck were you just doing for the past 3-5 minutes? If you actually understood what occurred in the passage you would be able to dismiss 2-3 of the answer choices almost immediately just from tone, scope, etc.

My buddy is nagging me to have a cig so I have to finish this here but I hope it helps!

edit: Don't just read a sentence and think you know what it means- Know exactly what it is trying to say / it's relationship to the other sentences and the passage / and how it reacts to the authors view. I think there's roughly 60 lines in a passage so it's really not that hard. Then consider each paragraph. And then the passage as a whole. I think of it like the hierarchy of biological classifications taxonomic order where species represents sentences, genus/paragraphs, and family/passage. Get to know the species (sentences) then understand their significance within the genus (paragraph) and then how each play an integral role in the formation of the family (passage).

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glucose101
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby glucose101 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:57 pm

CHIJAMES11 wrote:Read to understand even if this means doing less passages (for now). It's amazing how little you need to go back to the passage or make use of the notations when you actually understand what is presented in the passage. All those strategies you learned for RC become exponentially more effective when you understand the material. For example, when you put a mark next to an area that signifies evidence you shouldn't just know that this is where the evidence is but the role the evidence plays, etc. A question isn't going to simply ask you what the evidence is (then it would easy to go right back and find it) - although I notice they do this for CANNOT be true questions or each of the following was mentioned in the passage EXCEPT. Instead the questions usually ask about the evidence in relation to something else in the passage.
The LSAT is a tough test and to quote Dave Hall a "very sophisticated instrument" to test us. In which case, the questions are usually going to integrate more than one aspect of the passage. Moral of the story - read the RC passage to actually comprehend what is going on without worrying about making the right notations and the rest will just follow. As you begin to do more RC passages with comprehension in mind you will begin to see the patterns and formats that LSAT ends up taking (which gives more weight to your notations). Also, try doing this for 3/4 passages instead of rushing to do all 4. Work on 3/4 and then when you become more proficient do 4/4.
Initially going into the LSAT I thought RC would be my easiest section (just on the name alone hah) because I always did so well in other reading based tests and other standardized tests of the sort but I was quite mistaken. In turn, I began to rush through RC thinking if I had more time I would be able to answer the questions better or if I notated better I would have more time for the questions. This is obviously backwards thinking to what I prescribe now but its interesting to see the things we will do when we do not have a better answer to a dilemma. The answer I am providing to 'the problem everyone has with RC' was overly simplistic and too rudimentary for me when I first heard it and I said well shit that's what I do for every passage! I think you and whoever else reads this might think the same thing but take what I say seriously, it can't do you any harm. I would also like to mention that when I began reading like this I noticed a significant difference in how often I went back to the passage. After watching one of LSATPINGU videos (now removed) he said he was always shocked as to how often people went back to the passage and he exclaimed what the heck were you just doing for the past 3-5 minutes? If you actually understood what occurred in the passage you would be able to dismiss 2-3 of the answer choices almost immediately just from tone, scope, etc.

My buddy is nagging me to have a cig so I have to finish this here but I hope it helps!

edit: Don't just read a sentence and think you know what it means- Know exactly what it is trying to say / it's relationship to the other sentences and the passage / and how it reacts to the authors view. I think there's roughly 60 lines in a passage so it's really not that hard. Then consider each paragraph. And then the passage as a whole. I think of it like the hierarchy of biological classifications taxonomic order where species represents sentences, genus/paragraphs, and family/passage. Get to know the species (sentences) then understand their significance within the genus (paragraph) and then how each play an integral role in the formation of the family (passage).


+11111

fsuitw
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby fsuitw » Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:35 pm

I've had good luck with first focusing on the questions that specifically reference a part of the passage. That way when I read those lines I am able to get a better idea of what the main point is while still getting a question out of the way and getting a better grasp on that always helps with any inferences. It was hard for me to get a good notation system going, it always ended up slowing me down and most of the time would actually distract me from the content. I still like to mark up a little, a few underlines here and there and maybe a note about author attitude. Otherwise I'd read through too quickly and miss a lot of content. Know your on reading speed, how well you retain information and how you can apply that knowledge. You most likely won't be able to gain new reading skills in such a short amount of time but you can at least be smarter about how you use the ones you have. While I'm not in a position to really give anyone advice, I did manage to cut my misses in half on RC just by reevaluating my approach.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:40 pm

Manhattan RC is helpful for an overall understanding on how to approach passages. Marking methods are more about feel. I know a lot of people that read straight through without marking, but that would never have worked for me. I read each paragraph and mark things like viewpoints, comparisons and examples. At the end of each paragraph, I wrote a VERY short summary (like 1-4 words). I felt like this helped me understand passage structure and main point questions better, and gave me a point of reference for local questions.

I still ended up with a -3 on the real test, but that was a big improvement on the -7 or -8 I had before.

bartleby
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby bartleby » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:51 pm

I hate to be negative and everyone learns differently but I just could not improve on RC. I did every RC section at least twice, read - past and present tense - a lot, did Manhattan, talked to some Manhattan tutors through email, and still couldn't improve.

I think I on practice tests I was always around -7 to -8 on average, and up to -12 to -14 with a few -2s and -0s.

On the real thing I was -8 to -14 for my first few takes. On my last take I was -4 and I think it was all luck.

One thing I did (the only thing I did to prep for the last one) was I combed through the passage w/ two readings (comparative/comprehension?) because there seemed to be more obvious patterns. I did them like 2-3 additional times.

People have improved in RC but for me, it wasn't as Voyager made it out to be. I'd focus on getting -0 on the other 3 sections, the comparative passage patterns at this point - assuming you are taking for December.

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LexLeon
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby LexLeon » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:27 am

CHIJAMES11 has excellent points. As you read more and more passages, and answer more and more sets of questions, the passages structures and question types to follow will become evident to you. Indeed, reading for comprehension is key--in fact this is obvious just by virtue of the name of the section. You're looking for certain things when reading these passages: the main point, author's position and purpose, the other points of view--if any--expressed in the passage, evidence cited/methods used, and so forth. In time, I think that you will develop a style of reading in which you naturally remember the most important aspects of the passage; at certain times, I'm able to answer all of the questions correctly without even referring back to it: the correct answers become obvious, especially on the easier passages.

On the other hand, each incorrect answer is demonstrably wrong. If you're caught on a question in which you don't see the correct answer after having scanned all of the choices, then you can at least eliminate 2-3 of the incorrect ones. If you don't know enough about the passage to do this, then I'm afraid that your reading style needs some work. I think that there is enough time to check which of these 2 remaining answer choices is demonstrably incorrect by referring back to the passage. Generally, if you're reading correctly, you should remember where certain things are mentioned or certain steps are taken in the passage; and thus you should be able to easily find the chunk of passage that contains the information you're looking for; then in turn demonstrate the correctness or incorrectness of an answer choice.

In general, people who have been voracious readers throughout their lives will thrive on this section--as those who have done many logic puzzles thrive in analytical reasoning. It seems, then, that the more reading you do in general, the easier time you will have with this section. Your mind needs to be trained to pick up on the particularities of dense passages; and if your mind does not frequently encounter such material, it will have a tough time. READ, reasonably challenging material, for pleasure, in the time that you're not studying for the LSAT.

Easier said than done, of course. But:
1. Make sure your cover the basics: enough water and sleep; only healthy foods with essential fats and other brain boosting compounds [antioxidants like anthocyanins (from blueberries) etc.]. (On this note, if one chooses to eat unhealthy foods that only cause harm to his body, then how can he expect to succeed?) Also, the fewer drugs (alcohol, etc.) the better.
2. Care about doing well; think about doing well; pray about doing well. (Again, on this note, even if you consider yourself to be a non-believer why would you not do something that can only help, something that in fact--as scientific inquiry has shown--does help, regardless of whether there is a greater metaphysical reality to it or not?)
3. Do at least a little bit--even just 5 minutes--of what you'd like to succeed on every day.

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msblaw89
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby msblaw89 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:27 am

Everyone will have a personal preference... but I don't believe that reading external sources will help you substantially. I would simply read the passages from previous LSATs because those passages will be MOST representative of what you will actually see on test day. I would like to 2nd and 3rd what everyone said previously- READ TO UNDERSTAND. Sometimes people speed read because they are pressured for time, but then you don't really get a good grip on the passage and spend even more time going back forth between the questions and passage. When I decided to slow down, I only had to read the passage once and generally did not even have to reference the passage again. Once I started slowing down, my RC score went up as well. Just give it a try.

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kennethellenparcell
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby kennethellenparcell » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:01 pm

Boy, RC is a tough section to crack. I'm not sure where you are at because I think it takes a different sort of prep to move from -10 to -5, and -5 to -0.

If you're trying to move from -10 to -5, I think you're probably not understanding what RC is testing. I would focus on trying to figure out what the big picture is quickly and efficiently. When you understand the big picture, it's a lot easier to attack the rest of the questions because at least you understand the passages. Keep track of the different perspectives. Most often, the thesis of the passage will be a combination of the various perspectives it talks about. Also, read dense material so your brain can get used to that sort of stuff, if you don't already. There is no quick fix or magic formula for cracking RC. You might also want to try the post-it method that Dave Hall of Velocity LSAT posted in these forums. While I think that's a great method for people who are having a lot of trouble with RC (in that it helps you anticipate answers and understand what the test writers are testing) - I don't think it's the best method for people who are already decently good at RC.

If you're trying to move from -5 to -0, you probably have a decent grasp of RC. You probably are able to read and understand dense works fairly well. This was where I was at. Here, I think a number of things helped me. (1) I started doing RC passages first thing in the morning. That way, I got my brain used to reading really dense things early in the morning. (2) I took the advice of another poster on here and did ten RC passages in a row a couple of times. After that, things just became more clear - mostly because I learned how to mark the passage well so I could find things easily. (3) I did every single RC passage in existence in preparation. (4) I realized that RC is mostly a series of what Testmasters calls 1V questions, meaning that they test you on small nuances in the language and get you that way. So, for questions that you have trouble picking the right choice, don't be afraid to go back to the passage and compare the language of the answers. (5) Try to train yourself to do the first passage very quickly - the LSAT is part psych out mind game - so ensuring that you have a lot of time later on can be key.

sportgirl234
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby sportgirl234 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:04 pm

I started at -10 for RC and now am down to -4 to -1. The difference is taking the time to substantiate every answer in the actual reading. The answers are there. Also take notes on the causes/effects, distinctions and circle key words that distinguish the author's attitude. Try hard to focus and not let your mind wander off and absorb every sentence. The passages are short in comparison to full article so each sentence plays a specific role in the passage. Skipping one or two lines can really do you in.

goodluck!!

Michelle

xChiTowNx
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Re: Please share Your Methods for RC

Postby xChiTowNx » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:56 pm

kennethellenparcell wrote:Boy, RC is a tough section to crack. I'm not sure where you are at because I think it takes a different sort of prep to move from -10 to -5, and -5 to -0.

If you're trying to move from -5 to -0, you probably have a decent grasp of RC. You probably are able to read and understand dense works fairly well. This was where I was at. Here, I think a number of things helped me. (1) I started doing RC passages first thing in the morning. That way, I got my brain used to reading really dense things early in the morning. (2) I took the advice of another poster on here and did ten RC passages in a row a couple of times. After that, things just became more clear - mostly because I learned how to mark the passage well so I could find things easily. (3) I did every single RC passage in existence in preparation. (4) I realized that RC is mostly a series of what Testmasters calls 1V questions, meaning that they test you on small nuances in the language and get you that way. So, for questions that you have trouble picking the right choice, don't be afraid to go back to the passage and compare the language of the answers. (5) Try to train yourself to do the first passage very quickly - the LSAT is part psych out mind game - so ensuring that you have a lot of time later on can be key.


Thanks Kenneth this was super helpful.

I will second the 10 in a row RC a couple of times. Start out with the passage type you like the most so you can ease into it, and slowly work towards passages you have the hardest with.

Also, confidence with RC is key - entering it with the "The ANSWERS are given to me, I just got to find them" helped me a lot better than when I had the "Oh God, this is a dense passage and it's already ten minutes in" mindset.




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