Differences between old RC vs new RC? (excluding CR section)

Rehmsmeyer
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 6:08 pm

Differences between old RC vs new RC? (excluding CR section)

Postby Rehmsmeyer » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:04 pm

Other than the addition of the Comparative Reading section, are there any differences between the old RC passages and the new RC passages? I am speaking primarily in terms of difficulty and question distribution. I have both old books and he newest LSAC preptest book. RC is by far my worst section, and any question that says, "According to the passage, the author would most likely agree with which of the following?" is a guaranteed miss from me. I would also appreciate any help with how to answer these questions, because to me they do require a nearly complete understanding of the entire passage

Thanks,
CMR

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Differences between old RC vs new RC? (excluding CR section)

Postby bp shinners » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:21 pm

Rehmsmeyer wrote:Other than the addition of the Comparative Reading section, are there any differences between the old RC passages and the new RC passages? I am speaking primarily in terms of difficulty and question distribution. I have both old books and he newest LSAC preptest book. RC is by far my worst section, and any question that says, "According to the passage, the author would most likely agree with which of the following?" is a guaranteed miss from me. I would also appreciate any help with how to answer these questions, because to me they do require a nearly complete understanding of the entire passage

Thanks,
CMR


For the most part, the passages have been getting easier to understand, but the questions have been getting more precise with their language, and thus a little harder. Also, the passages that are helped by having a technical knowledge of that subject (i.e. the heavy science passages) are disappearing, to a certain extent, so that no one has a leg up because they took a certain class in undergrad.

As far as those questions go, they're called Author's Attitude questions, and if you're having issues with those, you're in trouble for pretty much the entire passage. What the author is trying to say is the main point of the passage, and it usually makes up at least 3 questions.

First off, if you're getting the Main Point questions correct, then you should use that info to help you with the Author's Attitude questions. The Main Point coincides with the Author's Attitude, so you're looking for an answer that someone who would agree with the main point would also agree.

If you're having issues with the MP questions too, it's important to 'attribute' every opinion in the passage with a party. Sometimes, it will say that scientists believe __________. Other times, philosophers argue that __________. Then, it'll say something like, "This explanation is the most plausible." That's not attributed to anyone, so it's time for you to attribute it to the Author. Whenever you see an opinion stated that isn't attributed by the Author to another person/group, it reflects the opinion of the Author. Usually, there are a few of these in the passage. They will either be the main point/author's conclusion, or they will be the author opining on someone else's belief. In either case, it's of utmost importance to note it.

Finally, a word of warning:
There tend to be two types of these questions.

The first is a straight-forward 'find an answer that aligns' with the Main Point question. These are easier, as you're just looking for something that supports/lines up with the Main Point. If you track the statements of Author's attitude throughout the passage, you should get this question.

The second type is a bit trickier - the correct answer will sound contrary to the Main Point of the passage. You can predict when this is going to happen, however, because one of two things will be true.
1) The Author will qualify his opinion by saying something like, "While both ideas have merit, I agree with _________" or "While this might be true, a better explanation is that _________". If you see that, note it - it will show up in the questions. In this case, a correct answer might be that the opposing viewpoint has merit, or makes some good points, or has solid proof.
2) The Author will, at some point, say something that makes you go, "Huh?" Whenever a surprising piece of information is presented, you better believe it's going to show up in a question (and usually the question will turn on it). Make a note of it, every single time. For instance, in the passage about Philosophical Anarchism, the author at one point argues that it's consistent with the principles of anarchy to form a government (in order to abdicate personal responsibility for a public problem that you don't want to deal with yourself). That's surprising - anarchy shouldn't go along with government, in most people's minds. Since it's surprising, I make a note of it. Then, when I get to the questions, it helps me answer the trickiest question (because it goes against the generalities of the Author's MP).

Hope this helps!

masticore99
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:12 pm

Re: Differences between old RC vs new RC? (excluding CR section)

Postby masticore99 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:59 pm

This is anecdotal, but for me, I was consistently -0 or -1 in the old RC's with 5 min to spare, and I didn't put in much effort to study those sections at first.

In the new RC's, I started going -7 or more. I put in a lot of effort to study RC's now but I'm still around -2 to -3.

Be careful with the new RC sections. The questions are trickier in wording.

Rehmsmeyer
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 6:08 pm

Re: Differences between old RC vs new RC? (excluding CR section)

Postby Rehmsmeyer » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:45 am

Thanks, both of you. bp shiners, your advice really helps. I will take note of the "surprising" information and "while this might be true, I personally believe" information in the readings. I really appreciate the extent of your response to my questions. I used to have problems with Main Points, but after a lot of practice, I rarely miss them now. It is just things that typically deal with the "author's attitude" that I have trouble with. When I take my timed tests, I typically am left with two that seem possible, so I circle one and underline the other so that I can go back and see if my "2nd choice", if you will, was right, and it typically is. However, I have difficulties at times seeing why one is really that much more correct than the other without going back and rereading the entire passage. I will use your advice and I am sure it will help.

CMR




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