Feeling a little discouraged...

User avatar
LionelHutzJD
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:37 am

Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby LionelHutzJD » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:48 pm

I'm up to science reading comp passages in my test masters class and often the text is just so overly complicated that it flies right over my head. This is discouraging because i'm generally a proficient reader. I can literally sit and read an entire science passage and miss just about everything it's telling me. For test day I want to be absolutely certain when I get to my reading comp section that there wont be ANY reading that will be too much for me to interpret. Is there hope for me?

User avatar
VUSisterRayVU
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby VUSisterRayVU » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:18 pm

Remember, you don't need to process or at all understand the info. Just know what terms are used, what they refer to, where they're located, and how the impact the author's purpose etc.

User avatar
LionelHutzJD
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:37 am

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby LionelHutzJD » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:19 pm

Yes but if I can't grasp what the passage is trying to tell me, it makes the questions a hell of a lot more difficult.

noggo10
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:23 am

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby noggo10 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:28 pm

Perhaps scan the questions quickly first so you know what terms to look for? This helped me greatly!

shepson
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:11 am

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby shepson » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:37 pm

I generally don't think this is a good idea, but you can do the non-science reading passages first and do the science question last. But I agree with SisterRay that focusing in on the key terms is the way to go. Don't let the complicated/long terminology intimidate you. Don't waste alot of time on the passage before you get to the questions. Read through at a reasonable pace so you allow yourself enough time to refer back to the passage when you're moving through the questions.

User avatar
LionelHutzJD
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:37 am

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby LionelHutzJD » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:38 pm

noggo10 wrote:Perhaps scan the questions quickly first so you know what terms to look for? This helped me greatly!



This isnt a bad idea, although my testmasters instructor would have my head...

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

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:45 pm

LionelHutzJD wrote:
noggo10 wrote:Perhaps scan the questions quickly first so you know what terms to look for? This helped me greatly!



This isnt a bad idea, although my testmasters instructor would have my head...


This is absolutely a terrible idea, and I wouldn't recommend it at all. It's just going to trip you up, and it really won't help you much.

First off, science passages can really mess with people's heads. However, that's because they're trying to understand the science. For the most part, the intricacies of the science will play a role in 1 question. You're not going to be able to answer it without referring back to the passage. So there's no reason to worry about it until you read the question, refer back to that section, and find the answer by re-reading.

So when I come across one of those science-y sections, I literally just write the word 'science' in the margin. This way, when that technical question comes up, I can quickly find the part of the passage that had science I didn't understand*.

Now, what you do have to understand is how each of these science-y sections, which are almost always (if not actually always) a part of an experiment, play into the argument of the passage. Not the science itself, but their role.

As I've said before, all RC passages, with very few exceptions, break down into this pattern:
1) We used to believe something/there used to be a trend
2) Something changed
3) We now believe something else/there's a new trend

For science passages, the specific way this plays out is:
1) We used to have a theory/hypothesis about the universe/world
2) Some event happened, usually an experiment (and if it was an event, experiments follow)
3) We now have a knew theory/hypothesis/explanation

When you come across an experiment, and you don't understand the science, that's fine. All you really have to understand is why the experiment helped us get from 1 (the old theory/hypo/explanation) to 2 (the new theory/hypo/explanation). If you can sum that up in one sentence (which requires no understanding of the science, and just an understanding of the results), then you've got that experiment down pat.

So from now on, when you hit a science passage, don't bother learning the science. Just understand the conclusion of the experiment. You'll have to go back to answer any science question anyway, but if you know how the experiments got us from an old theory to a new one, then you're golden.



*Yes, I was a biochem major, so I usually follow it. This is generic advice.

User avatar
LionelHutzJD
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:37 am

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby LionelHutzJD » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:50 pm

bp shinners wrote:
LionelHutzJD wrote:
noggo10 wrote:Perhaps scan the questions quickly first so you know what terms to look for? This helped me greatly!



This isnt a bad idea, although my testmasters instructor would have my head...


This is absolutely a terrible idea, and I wouldn't recommend it at all. It's just going to trip you up, and it really won't help you much.

First off, science passages can really mess with people's heads. However, that's because they're trying to understand the science. For the most part, the intricacies of the science will play a role in 1 question. You're not going to be able to answer it without referring back to the passage. So there's no reason to worry about it until you read the question, refer back to that section, and find the answer by re-reading.

So when I come across one of those science-y sections, I literally just write the word 'science' in the margin. This way, when that technical question comes up, I can quickly find the part of the passage that had science I didn't understand*.

Now, what you do have to understand is how each of these science-y sections, which are almost always (if not actually always) a part of an experiment, play into the argument of the passage. Not the science itself, but their role.

As I've said before, all RC passages, with very few exceptions, break down into this pattern:
1) We used to believe something/there used to be a trend
2) Something changed
3) We now believe something else/there's a new trend

For science passages, the specific way this plays out is:
1) We used to have a theory/hypothesis about the universe/world
2) Some event happened, usually an experiment (and if it was an event, experiments follow)
3) We now have a knew theory/hypothesis/explanation

When you come across an experiment, and you don't understand the science, that's fine. All you really have to understand is why the experiment helped us get from 1 (the old theory/hypo/explanation) to 2 (the new theory/hypo/explanation). If you can sum that up in one sentence (which requires no understanding of the science, and just an understanding of the results), then you've got that experiment down pat.

So from now on, when you hit a science passage, don't bother learning the science. Just understand the conclusion of the experiment. You'll have to go back to answer any science question anyway, but if you know how the experiments got us from an old theory to a new one, then you're golden.



*Yes, I was a biochem major, so I usually follow it. This is generic advice.




Wow, superb advice. Many, many thanks.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby JazzOne » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:55 pm

Since you have quite a while before the exam, you might consider picking up Scientific American and reading a few issues cover to cover. As a former laboratory biologist, I find the articles to be relevant and authoritative. SciAm's illustrations do a wonderful job of simplifying the concepts and making them digestable to the lay person. It is my opinion that the primary obstacle to gaining proficiency in any discipline is mastery of the vocabulary. Reading some actual science articles can help you get a grasp on the topics and language of contemporary science discourse. Plus, it just makes you a more rounded person to be knowelgeable in science. SciAm online is decent too if you don't want to spend money on the magazine, but for LSAT prep, I prefer to have the paper version. You can stick it in your bag and read on the subway or the bank or where ever you waste your time. Each issue contains articles on biology, chemistry, and physics, so the breadth is appropriate for your purposes, as is the level of abstraction.

JohnV
Posts: 279
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:29 am

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby JohnV » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:44 am

I've come to like the science passages because they tend to be the less interpretive and the most factually based. As in, doing well revolves around understanding how all the parts fit together rather than deriving a meaning or principle.

shntn
Posts: 5319
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby shntn » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:47 am

LionelHutzJD wrote:Yes but if I can't grasp what the passage is trying to tell me, it makes the questions a hell of a lot more difficult.

RC passages are godawful pieces of shit that are designed to be dry and uninteresting. Aside from the overall main idea of the passages, there's not much that you have to "get" about them in order to answer the questions, usually.

User avatar
PeanutsNJam
Posts: 3699
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:57 pm

Re: Feeling a little discouraged...

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:28 pm

I love the science passages and I almost always ace them no problem. It's the art/literature history passages that I get -everything on. "When historians study Whatshisname's first writings in -insert esoteric and uninteresting writing style-, they failed to grasp- *snoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooore*

I also think non-science passages have more subjective and iffy answer choices.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests