How to prep for Reading Comp?

colstats
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How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby colstats » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:28 pm

I plan to take LSAT in Dec, I have 6 months. My weakness is reading comp. I have horrible focus problems, I get anxiety and depression.
My stumble in RC because:
1. words I don't understand.
2. don't get what the question what from me.

I know there are techniques such as, don't memorize the passage and underline main point. For now, I just want to read a passage w/o getting lost, know what it is talking about.

What do you think if I used Barron's GRE reading comp as a warm-up? I just want get a feel and reduce some anxiety, then move on to PowerScore.

What does everyone think? Thanks to the experts in advance!
Last edited by colstats on Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cc.celina
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby cc.celina » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:34 pm

Any particular reason you're starting with GRE? Unless you have a really good one, I probably would start straight up with LSAT materials, because, and here's the truth, there has LITERALLY not been a new RC question since like 1995.

Don't do anything timed for a long time. Read a book about it - I hear good things about Manhattan RC - and do some passages veeeryyy slowlyyyy. Once you have more familiarity with questions, you'll start automatically noticing things they're likely to ask in the questions (eg, any time a sentence starts with "some critics argue..." thats basically a giant sign that says READ ME)

You have a waay long time, so thats great! As for the words you don't understand, um, read the economist? I don't know, no easy way to fix that other than reading high-quality stuff more.

colstats
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby colstats » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:53 pm

Thanks for your answer.

cc.celina wrote:Any particular reason you're starting with GRE?

1. GRE RC and LSAT RC looked similar, I felt if I studied harder for GRE back then, it would have helped now. Does that sound silly?
2. I'd be running out of practice test.
3. Manhattan RC and PowerScore could be a bit hard. I got 480 on GRE RC.

I probably would start straight up with LSAT materials...there has LITERALLY not been a new RC question since like 1995.

Aren't the question all similar? (eg, what's passage's main point?) Indeed, I can see your point to jump in.

Don't do anything timed for a long time.

Does that help reduce anxiety?

I hear good things about Manhattan RC

Would you suggest Barron's? as a warm-up only, for someone scored less than 500 on GRE verbal!
Last edited by colstats on Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

abc12345675
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby abc12345675 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:55 pm

Horrible focus? Get some doctor to write you an ADD and get an untimed exam

colstats
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby colstats » Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:59 pm

Great, I plan to do ALL the old tests before taking the one in Oct and Dec. If I do so, will I run out of tests? I understand practice is the key, and I am doing exactly that. For those who has done it, did you run out? If you did, should I start off with something else before finishing up the old tests.

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TheRainMan
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby TheRainMan » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:13 pm

colstats wrote:I plan to take LSAT in Dec, I have 6 months. My weakness is reading comp. I have horrible focus problems, I get anxiety and depression.
My stumble in RC because:
1. words I don't understand.
2. don't get what the question what from me.

I know there are techniques such as, don't memorize the passage and underline main point. For now, I just want to read a passage w/o getting lost, know what it is talking about.

What do you think if I used Barron's GRE reading comp as a warm-up? I just want get a feel and reduce some anxiety, then move on to PowerScore.

What does everyone think? Thanks to the experts in advance!


I think you should also look into just reading more often. Get the Economist, etc. and practice summarizing the articles, author's main points...

03152016
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby 03152016 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:15 pm

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

colstats
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby colstats » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:31 pm

cc.celina wrote:Any particular reason you're starting with GRE? Unless you have a really good one, I probably would start straight up with LSAT materials, because, and here's the truth, there has LITERALLY not been a new RC question since like 1995.


I am slow on reading. During the LSAT sample, I would finish reading the passage, then ask myself "what did I just read?!?!" The topics seem dull to me. For instance, civil rights in the 1950s, or stem cell research. I am a math guy, how am I suppose find interest in these topics? Let alone, I am not even a fast reader.

I suggested GRE and SAT because the comparative reading questions are similar. I never knew how to do them 4 years ago, I feel that it's the same questions trying to frustrate me. Maybe I need fix things from the bottom up? Any suggestions?

Thanks a lot!

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cc.celina
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby cc.celina » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:40 pm

Uh, my suggestion is still to do LSAT reading comp. There are TONS of materials to use for LSAT. Why would you start with GRE if you're not taking the GRE?

You don't need to be interested in the topic, you just need more RC skills. If there is a specific topic that you have trouble absorbing, go to the Cambridge LSAT website and pick up one of their "Reading Comp by Subject" practice booklets.

If you want a strategy guide, the Manhattan RC book is generally considered one of the best for this section.

Above all, use ONLY official LSAT materials. The testmakers want you to notice and absorb specific information, and doing reading comp questions from other tests will not help you. If you want, read articles from the Economist or Scientific American. But LSAT materials will be by far the best way for you to improve on the LSAT.

VasaVasori
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Postby VasaVasori » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:42 pm

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Last edited by VasaVasori on Sat May 02, 2015 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

colstats
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby colstats » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:54 pm

Thanks for your quick response. I am not a native English speaker, English is my second language.
cc.celina wrote:Uh, my suggestion is still to do LSAT reading comp. There are TONS of materials to use for LSAT. Why would you start with GRE if you're not taking the GRE?

I mentioned SAT and GRE only because of their similarity in reading comp. I would only use those pages.
cc.celina wrote:If there is a specific topic that you have trouble absorbing, go to the Cambridge LSAT website and pick up one of their "Reading Comp by Subject" practice booklets.

Is this the one "LSAT Reading Comprehension by Type, Volume 1"?
cc.celina wrote:If you want a strategy guide, the Manhattan RC book is generally considered one of the best for this section.

I saw it on the sticky, and bought it. I look through, I think it is pretty advanced, or...I need a more basic book to start. English is not my native language.
cc.celina wrote:If you want, read articles from the Economist or Scientific American. But LSAT materials will be by far the best way for you to improve on the LSAT.

I subscribed to the Economist last month after you mentioned it.

colstats
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby colstats » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:16 pm

VasaVasori wrote:I would think long and hard before deciding to go to law school if you can't get through a ~500 word passage on something that doesn't interest you. From what people say on here, you're going to be going through 50+ pages of nonsense passages regularly in law school and after law school.

Thanks for your insight. I am not a native English speaker. I immigrated here 13 years ago as a high schooler. I think I the middle and high school stuff I missed out was never caught up. I don't think the reading passage are any harder than my math problems in grad school, but I could be wrong.
VasaVasori wrote:Are you planning to apply this upcoming cycle? If not, then I'd recommend putting it off until June, and in the meantime picking up, as other posters have mentioned, a subscription to the economist or something.

I am planning to. I am really trying to improve reading, but never figure what's the good approach. Maybe I should get a tutor, explain the sentences I don't understand. Most the time, I can understand the words, but can't make out what it says in the paragraph.

For example, "Fortunately, there are signs that the bias against writes who cross generic boundaries is diminishing" I would be confused about what is cross generic boundaries, and what do they mean the signs are diminishing?

Maybe could you explain that? I am just curious what exactly am I getting confused? Overthinking?

bp shinners
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby bp shinners » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:16 pm

colstats wrote:Maybe I should get a tutor, explain the sentences I don't understand.


I strongly advise you to hold off on prepping for RC (and LR) and taking an intense course on English. As a non-native speaker who went into math, you never really learned the intricacies of English grammar (which is exceedingly complex), and you're vocabulary is limited. Both of those are necessary to fix before you can attempt to raise your score on the LSAT.

I've had many students who are non-native speakers of English. The ones who improve the most on the LSAT are ones who studied for it immediately after or concurrently with a very intense, English language program. The others continue to struggle because they're trying to learn shortcuts to understanding - they don't exist.

On top of helping with RC/LR, it'll also be invaluable in law school and in practice afterwards.

If that's not an option, keep a notebook where you write down words you don't understand and their definitions. The LSAT uses the same words over and over again, so learning them will help you get through the passages. Also, as others have said, start reading more. Focus on areas in which you don't really have an interest, and find out why they're interesting. You're a math guy, so you can explain why math is interesting. You have to figure out the same thing for other topics - if you can't get yourself invested in the material, you'll never maintain focus long enough to get through 4 passages.

Personally, I love RC. Since they're real passages, you get to learn just enough about a variety of topics. I don't want to read a book on drilling mud, but having read 6 paragraphs on it made me sound like a genius during the BP oil spill. Look at each passage as an investment in randomly impressing someone in the future.

TERS
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby TERS » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:45 pm

bp shinners wrote:I strongly advise you to hold off on prepping for RC (and LR) and taking an intense course on English. As a non-native speaker who went into math, you never really learned the intricacies of English grammar (which is exceedingly complex), and you're vocabulary is limited.


Had to. Good advice though.

bp shinners
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:29 am

TERS wrote:
bp shinners wrote:I strongly advise you to hold off on prepping for RC (and LR) and taking an intense course on English. As a non-native speaker who went into math, you never really learned the intricacies of English grammar (which is exceedingly complex), and you're vocabulary is limited.


Had to. Good advice though.


Ugh, and I've spent at least 50 hours over the last 2 weeks editing various materials... I'm chalking that one up to being burnt out ;-)

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ilovelawtays
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby ilovelawtays » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:23 pm

There is some great advice in here. The only other thing I would suggest is to stop doing RC prep for a while and become a better reader instead. Find a couple books you like and read those for pleasure. Start reading the news or Slate.com. As you become more comfortable, your understanding will improve and you'll have the confidence to take on harder material. Becoming a better reader will make you a better writer, and that will make you a better lawyer.

And, FWIW, there are a ton of native speakers with poor comprehension skills. Just put in the time and develop your confidence. Being a non-Native speaker in no way precludes you from success.

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Systematic1
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby Systematic1 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:46 pm

TERS wrote:
bp shinners wrote:I strongly advise you to hold off on prepping for RC (and LR) and taking an intense course on English. As a non-native speaker who went into math, you never really learned the intricacies of English grammar (which is exceedingly complex), and you're vocabulary is limited.


Had to. Good advice though.

:lol: :lol:

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:58 pm

I don't see how getting untimed exams for disabilities will help you, unless law schools must admit a certain % of disabled students to satisfy diversity? I mean, I'm 6'1'', will never be a NBA star, you don't see people like me asking for benefits while trying out for the NBA. "Can you lower the hoop by 1 foot and bring the 3 point line a few feet closer? I'm shorter than normal, you see."

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ilovelawtays
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby ilovelawtays » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:06 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:I don't see how getting untimed exams for disabilities will help you, unless law schools must admit a certain % of disabled students to satisfy diversity? I mean, I'm 6'1'', will never be a NBA star, you don't see people like me asking for benefits while trying out for the NBA. "Can you lower
the hoop by 1 foot and bring the 3 point line a few feet closer? I'm shorter than normal, you see."


The argument is flawed because it treats as similar two cases which are different in a critical aspect.

colstats
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby colstats » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:34 pm

bp shinners wrote:I strongly advise you to hold off on prepping for RC (and LR) and taking an intense course on English. As a non-native speaker who went into math, you never really learned the intricacies of English grammar (which is exceedingly complex), and you're vocabulary is limited. Both of those are necessary to fix before you can attempt to raise your score on the LSAT.

I did complete the English requirements as an undergrad.

I know the meaning of each word, but I don't know what it is saying. This is my problem.

PT June 2007, Sec 4, Q1
"Fortunately, there are signs that the bias against writes who cross generic boundaries is diminishing; several recent writers are known and respected for their work in both genres."

Can someone explain to me what is it saying? How do you find this interesting?

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cc.celina
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby cc.celina » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:40 pm

colstats wrote:PT June 2007, Sec 4, Q1
"Fortunately, there are signs that the bias against writes who cross generic boundaries is diminishing; several recent writers are known and respected for their work in both genres."

Can someone explain to me what is it saying? How do you find this interesting?

It is hard to understand this sentence out of context, but here's my best shot: There used to be a bias against writers who crossed the boundaries between genres. (In simpler terms, people used to dislike writers who wrote in 2 different genres.) Recently, several writers have crossed these boundaries (meaning they have written in 2 different genres) and they have been respected for it, which is a sign that the bias is diminishing.

Those suggesting an English class may have a point. Knowing the definitions of each word does not mean you have a perfect grasp of the language. Learning a second language is incredibly hard and further study can only help you.

You should not need to find it interesting to understand it. LSAT question writers are expressly told to write on topics that will not inspire strong emotions; AKA things that you're probably going to find boring sometimes (pesticides, anti-lock brakes, the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, lichen, etc).

hblake
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby hblake » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:43 am

cc.celina wrote:
colstats wrote:PT June 2007, Sec 4, Q1
"Fortunately, there are signs that the bias against writes who cross generic boundaries is diminishing; several recent writers are known and respected for their work in both genres."

Can someone explain to me what is it saying? How do you find this interesting?

It is hard to understand this sentence out of context, but here's my best shot:


The word "generic" as used in the question isn't the most common usage. It usually has the meaning of "without category," where in that question it means "categorically," as in genre-category. I don't know what your native language is, but if it is Latin-based you could probably have figured this one out by looking at the similar roots, since if you understand what the word "genre" means, you could figure out what the writers are talking about when they said "generic boundaries."

colstats
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Re: How to prep for Reading Comp?

Postby colstats » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:40 pm

hblake wrote:The word "generic" as used in the question isn't the most common usage. It usually has the meaning of "without category," where in that question it means "categorically," as in genre-category. I don't know what your native language is, but if it is Latin-based you could probably have figured this one out by looking at the similar roots, since if you understand what the word "genre" means, you could figure out what the writers are talking about when they said "generic boundaries."


Thanks hblake. I would not have guessed word "generic" has a second meaning. I mean, any word in that passage could've had a second meaning, how can I know? Should I jump or guess? Is there a strategy to this? Do you guys all understand this word?

If they pull another word like "generic" out of the hat, I'd be thrown off again.

I understand I need to read more, and I am. But I think words like this is just impossible to catch 'em all.




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