Guide to Reading Comprehension

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Wed May 30, 2012 9:26 pm

I've written an RC guide on Reddit. Hope you guys find it useful.

I'm posting a link because it's written in Markdown. It renders a lot better on Reddit. I can post it here as a wall of text if that would be better.

http://www.reddit.com/r/LSAT/comments/ud0rw/guide_to_lsat_reading_comprehension/

The guide assumes you already have some exposure to RC. It's aimed at people who aren't sure how to improve. If you want a good general overview of RC, I've found the LSAT Superprep does a surprisingly good job covering that. It's only eight pages and has some really good advice.

By the way, I'm the mod of /r/LSAT, the subreddit I posted the guide to. Thought I'd say hi; I read TLS a fair bit, there's some really good info here.

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Helicio
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby Helicio » Wed May 30, 2012 11:24 pm

Perfect. My main goal over the next week since I am -0 on LR and LG often is to improve on RC. I'll be using these tomorrow when I practice (especially the "skim" suggestion).

Thanks man!

03152016
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby 03152016 » Wed May 30, 2012 11:29 pm

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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North
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby North » Thu May 31, 2012 12:07 am

This is relevant to my interests. Tag.

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jbates14
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby jbates14 » Thu May 31, 2012 12:35 am

interesting introduction on speed reading

suzige
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby suzige » Thu May 31, 2012 12:36 am

thanks a bunch :D

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu May 31, 2012 12:53 am

Glad you guys like it.

I didn't have space to elaborate on this in the guide, but reading speed is crucial in 1L. Going through first year *permanently* boosted my reading abilities. RC is so much easier than it was before.

That's why I emphasize reading speed so much in the guide. May as well improve now, before the 1L crunch hits.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu May 31, 2012 1:14 am

Max: Thanks, hope to see you around. What's your handle on Reddit?

Helicio (and the others): Let me know how it goes; I'd love to hear how it works for you.

03152016
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby 03152016 » Thu May 31, 2012 1:18 am

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Thu May 31, 2012 3:18 am

I would never speed read the dense LSAT passages. It'll make the whole passage blend together and you won't be able to pinpoint the exact phrases you need. I've been having much better results (as I've read most here have) by slowing down, spending 3 or so minutes per passage. This way you don't really need to even look back to answer the majority of the questions.. I'm not expert, but when I tried to speed read, I would go -6 to -12 and run out of time because I had to look back so much. Now I'm around -2 to -4 and still improving just by reading thoroughly and rarely looking back.

The tips about using your peripheral vision and such to super speed read I think are a very bad idea

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PDaddy
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby PDaddy » Thu May 31, 2012 3:51 am

@ SaintsTheMetal

I don't think the two concepts are mutually exclusive. I think all test-takers should practice reading slowly and looking for the relevant info in passages, but increasingly try to give themselves less time to finish reading each passage. They should first use a scholarly reading approach that includes marking down notes in the margins. After awhile, you begin to make mental notes of the same info and do not need to write it down.

Speed up during certain points, but the first and last paragraphs of all passages should be read slowly, as well as any beginnings of middle paragraphs that introduce examples, elaborations, counter-examples, competing views, etc.

In essence, you are correct, but so is OP. It's a question of finding the right "balance" between speed and accuracy, and figuring out what passage info to leave on the table for later during answering the questions. There are many ways to skin the RC cat, one of which even includes going straight to the questions without actually "reading" the passage. I know of one person who does this with a high degree of success and have heard of others.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu May 31, 2012 8:11 am

SaintsTheMetal:

I completely agree that you shouldn't go through a passage too quickly, and without understanding it. From the original article:

"You won’t lose any understanding of the material if you do this right. Try it on a passage." (indented reading, which uses peripheral vision)

"Don't move on until you understand the passage and it's structure. You'll save a bit of time by rushing, but you'll waste much more time when you hit the questions and get confused." (In Part Two, Passage Structure)


The stuff I'm talking about is meant to boost your baseline, natural reading speed, with full comprehension. I jumped from around 400 WPM to 600 WPM using those methods. I understand texts exactly as well as I did before - my normal reading speed is just 50% faster now.

But no one should try to read 600 WPM (or 400 WPM, or 300 WPM) if they can't understand the passage while doing it! Everyone should read at a rate that allows comprehension. My point is, that baseline rate can be boosted permanently.

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jbates14
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby jbates14 » Thu May 31, 2012 12:23 pm

Did you actually paste real RC passages in the spreeder when you were practicing?

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu May 31, 2012 2:27 pm

I had already stopped subvocalizing when I discovered Spreeder, so I didn't need to use it to train myself out of it. I did paste in a few passages though. I tried the one on Irish pollens last night.

Interesting experience. I did it on 800 wpm, with three words at a time. I was actually still subvolcalizing a bit. It took about 30 seconds.

I was able to recall quite a bit, even at the very rushed pace. It's definitely not the optimal way to do an RC passage though. The paragraph divisions are *so* important, that to view the entire thing as one block of text makes you lose the structure.

Spreeder is a useful tool to help you improve your overall reading, but mostly by doing drills. If you overtrain reading speed, your brain catches up as much as it's able. But it's not practical tool for reading passages.

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dowu
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby dowu » Thu May 31, 2012 2:32 pm

:shock: :shock:
Last edited by dowu on Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Helicio
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby Helicio » Thu May 31, 2012 9:48 pm

Today I started skimming and had some good results. I got -0 on 4 RC passages in a row (random ones from a PowerScore homework drill, not from a test).

I'm taking a practice test tomorrow, so I will let you guys know how it goes. Typically I get:

LR: -2 or -3 total
LG: -0 to -1
RC: -1 to -4

So clearly RC is the section I need to improve on before test day. I'll see how tomorrow goes and get back to you guys about how the RC strat works. I've been making other adjustments to RC so I'll talk about that too :).

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Micdiddy
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby Micdiddy » Thu May 31, 2012 11:43 pm

Dude, I really like the skimming idea after reading a passage, I am definitely going to try this. Thanks for the link!

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:29 am

Good stuff Helicio. I hope the improvement sticks.

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Helicio
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Re: Guide to Reading Comprehension

Postby Helicio » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:30 am

graeme wrote:Good stuff Helicio. I hope the improvement sticks.


Same here man. We'll find out tomorrow!




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