RC - highlighter?

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05062014
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RC - highlighter?

Postby 05062014 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:58 pm

I have gotten to the point where I know where the MP generally is, unless a particular MP is one that encompasses the whole passage. I also know where POV's shift, etc. I usually try to jot something about these key portions of the passage down in the margins which I believe helps me remember things. The problem is: if I forget what I write down, I cant read any of it and underlining distorts the passage by either blocking from view: 1) a few key functional (grammatical) symbols, or 2) whole sentences.

To save time, I am gonna start using a highlighter and start coloring instead of writing anything. Do people do this already? If so, has this helped you?

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Jeffort
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Re: RC - highlighter?

Postby Jeffort » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:31 pm

Although allowed during the test, using a highlighter is not typically advantageous for most people on test day. Two main problems about using one on test day:

#1: You have to juggle back and forth between a pencil and the highlighter. Major pain while under test day pressure when your performance really counts. If the highlighter cap falls on the floor while juggling, one possible reaction: OMG!, panic, time lost, stress level increasing, life flashes before your eyes, game over.

#2: The test booklet is super thin, low grade, recycled news print paper that most highlighters, even some of the low ink ones, bleed through to the other side of the page. A new highlighter that is gushing ink can literally soak the paper enough in a spot to easily and accidentally rip out a chunk of the paper with one swipe because it is soggy.

Refine your pencil notations technique on the RC passages, perhaps moderate them a bit if you are making soo many marks that you can't remember what they are/mean and/or they are not helpful when you look at them when answering the questions. Find the middle ground of volume of notation that works best for you through trial and error with practice.

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05062014
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Re: RC - highlighter?

Postby 05062014 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:49 pm

You bring up some good points. I am finding that I cut time by using a highlighter and accuracy remains constant. I ordered some bible notating highlighters and may experiment with them. Also highlighters that you can push a button to open and close seems to solve the first problem.

If I do go with using a highlighter, there is definitely the issue of switching to back and forth between pencil and highlighter. I will say though, my hand eye coordination with holding multiple writing utensils is better than my handwriting using only one.

Do you know what type of paper is used on the real LSAT?

Sidenote: My mind was blown today when I picked up a highlighter gathering dust in the closet and highlighted a main point, an opponent and proponents position and finished reading the passage in under 2 minutes. Quick reference back to the passage became easier also, as things I did not highlight were uncorrupted of pencil residue and what was highlighted popped off the paper. There is some promise to this I think.

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Jeffort
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Re: RC - highlighter?

Postby Jeffort » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:40 pm

I don't know the technical specification/description of the grade of recycled newsprint paper the test is printed on, but it is pretty thin flimsy stuff. It's thin enough that you can see through it somewhat and see where text is printed on the backside of a page without flipping it over.

If you have the dexterity to and can juggle a pencil and highlighter without a problem and it works for you under timed conditions, no reason to change your routine as long as you use a good low ink highlighter and have practiced enough under timed conditions doing it that way.

Since you have plenty of time until test day, if you haven't already, you might want to do some research about test centers to hopefully insure that you get put into a room with big desks/lots of desktop space to have the test book fanned open and your pencils, highlighter and eraser all positioned well for quick access. If you get put in a room with the small flip up desk tops all bets are off since it makes the juggling act much more difficult and takes time away from working on solving the questions. In short, the small flip up desks = LSAT test day nightmare whether using a highlighter or not.

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05062014
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Re: RC - highlighter?

Postby 05062014 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:55 pm

What I am finding is that highlighting is forcing me to pick and choose what to color, which is really the key to winning the game that is RC on the lsat. There is more pressure not to over-highlight, whereas the monotony of underlining has left me unable to appropriately temper my approach, even after hours of drilling passages.

Another good point about the testing center. I plan to visit when the university opens again in the fall so I can hopefully look inside the room this time around. A custodian was able to show me a computer lab but not my testing room my first visit. According to him, the mysterious testing room was arranged exactly like the computer lab, long rows of desks with rolling chairs. This sadly makes me excited about all the space I may have to take this thing.

I really hope these bible highlighters work though. I think these highlighters are specifically made for coffee-filter like paper, but we'll see.

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relevantfactor
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Re: RC - highlighter?

Postby relevantfactor » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:53 am

I find that using a highlighter is not the best course of action for RC. Mostly because, when using a highlighter, you tend to focus on the highlighted words, and most of the time, it will be the words not highlighted that will be what I'm looking for...
Just my thoughts on that. Good luck.

bp shinners
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Re: RC - highlighter?

Postby bp shinners » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:37 am

relevantfactor wrote:I find that using a highlighter is not the best course of action for RC. Mostly because, when using a highlighter, you tend to focus on the highlighted words, and most of the time, it will be the words not highlighted that will be what I'm looking for...


While I agree that a highlighter is usually a bad idea, if the bolded is true, then you're just not highlighting the right stuff. That's more of a problem than the highlighter - figure out the features you're highlighting that never show up in question, and stop highlighting them. Figure out the features that show up in questions that you're not highlighting, and start highlighting them.

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relevantfactor
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Re: RC - highlighter?

Postby relevantfactor » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:59 am

You are probably right, Matt. I tend to underline stuff such as a beginning of a theory, or a comparison, dates..etc. Maybe I should actually mark all of what proceeds it.

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RCinDNA
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Re: RC - highlighter?

Postby RCinDNA » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:05 pm

I used to think this was a good idea, but after more PTs and experience, I think making marks and highlighting takes up a lot of valuable time and concentration that should be spent analyzing the written material. I would find that for certain passages, almost every sentence and word was underlined/marked, which didn't end up helping at all. If you think it helps you, I would at least stick with notations with the pencil, since at least you wouldn't have to switch writing tools.




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