RC Materials?

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RC Materials?

Postby CU44BMD » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:11 am

Reading Comp is by far my most fluctuating section. I wrote the Oct. 12' LSAT and I'am retaking in December. Problem is I've exhausted basically every RC section out there. I was wondering what other supplemental material I could incorporate to re-using RC sections. My bro took the MCAT and got all of his prep books to use. Was wondering maybe some MCAT VR won't hurt??

Btw Used and Re-reading Manhattan LSAT's reading comp at the time too.

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Re: RC Materials?

Postby cahwc12 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:40 am

This probably isn't what you want to hear, but if you're having difficulty with RC, then you likely haven't exhausted every RC section. You may have taken each section before, but if you aren't getting -0's straight out of memory to the point where you can't use a problem-solving method to arrive at the answer, then they are still of great utility.

I had a similar issue in June and had seen/done most of the RC sections. I printed up RC 9-66 (I didn't print 1-8 but I don't have a good reason why--I think they are also fine to use for this purpose), and tried to do an RC section almost every morning as soon as I felt cognizant enough for it.

Then, whenever I would PT, I tried to take an experimental RC as well. If RC is your weak spot, it's likely you're dreading double RC on test day. I was extremely lucky to get double LG in June, but realized that if I had seen double RC I probably would have cried a little. So I prepped for October expecting double RC. Low and behold, my test last weekend was RC-LR-RCx-LG-LR--and I was totally ready for it.

Some days I would just drill only RC, some days I'd do a warmup RC section, then PT with an experimental RC.

What's important is to take sections, and critically analyze and review your mistakes. Look at exactly what types of questions you are missing. Manhattan offers a three-tier classification system which I honestly think is the best perspective to take for RC questions--detail, inference and synthesis. When you miss a question, identify the exact lines where that answer's support was given. It is 100% always there, whether you want to dispute it or not. It may be as simple as a single word, but it will always be there.

Another tactic you can try is to underline things that are wrong with the AC. I started circling mistakes in LG answer choices to speed up my double-checking in that section, and decided to try it out for RC. The short answer is it worked awesomely for me. Often wrong answers in RC are only off by a single word, or half the answer is correct and the other half is way off-base. When you see things that are off in the answer, don't just cross it out, underline that word or couple words in the AC.

In an ideal world, you'll eliminate an answer and never read it again--in practice, you will sometimes (often?) eliminate the correct AC only to be unhappy with the remaining choices. But you should realize that certain answers are much more clearly wrong than others. If you can't underline a portion of the AC that is wrong or explain exactly why it isn't relevant to the question or some other reason why it's precisely wrong, then you should NOT be eliminating it. (Let me be clear, the wrong answers are always 100% wrong, but sometimes it's easier to tell which are wrong. In these cases, marking the more obviously incorrect ones can help a lot if you decide to reconsider an answer choice.)

Lastly, and most importantly, become an active reader. I know you've probably been told this a lot if you come to TLS, but you have to do it. Being told to do so isn't necessarily helpful, so here are a few tips I can offer, copied from a previous post:

cahwc12 wrote:Here are some things that helped me tremendously with my RC:

1) I stopped annotating almost entirely. Most passages I don't mark at all. Occasionally I'll underline a word indicating author's tone (if it's subtle in the passage) or "some critics" if it's also a more minor part of a passage. Annotation is generally considered a crutch--use it if you need it, but once you become good enough at RC, you should be able to do this mentally. Ask any consistently high-scoring RCer the best annotation strategy and he will tell you: "don't." While you shouldn't expect to remember every detail of the passage, you SHOULD expect to be able to remember where those details are so you can refer back to them. Marking can help with the second but interferes with the first. Further, not marking allows me to focus more on the passage and do #2-5.

2) I read very structurally. That is not to say I don't focus on details/passage information because I read for content primarily. But as I read, I try to organize the information in my head. I try to isolate the main point early on (if it's there), or at least the initial point he's trying to make to seque into a final, main, point. Then I try to organize each paragraph as I read it into how it would fit in with the original paragraph. My focus is on content and details, but as I digest that information, I try to paint it into the larger picture of the scope of the passage. Doing this has allowed me to consistently zoom through MP questions whereas I used to even try to save them for last because I would read a passage without a consistent appreciation for MP.

3) I never zoom through the beginning paragraph of a passage. I know probably no one intentionally tries to do this, but after a while I realized that many of my mistakes in RC were from failing to find the location of a detail question or some otherwise easy question that was explicitly stated in the opening paragraph, often the first few lines. Now, when I start a passage, I read as or even more slowly than I normally read until I get into the passage where I can speed to my normal pace. Before, it would be my reading faster than normal and slowing down once I got into it. This has also helped a lot with MP and structural digestion.

4) Focus on understanding the passage. It's true that the passage won't be taken away from you, and you can always refer back to it, but really try and understand what the heck is going on in the passage. Why is the author writing this? What's his opinion on it? What does he think of critics, or of the new evidence for the theory, or of the traditional methods?

5) Try to be a predictive reader. When the passage starts out with the traditional methods of X, do you think the author is going to support this traditional method, or introduce a problem with it, or introduce a new method? Certainly one of the latter two. Now, say he introduces a new method. Do you think he'll only talk about how great it is, or qualify it by introducing some shortcomings, or what? Try to predict where the passage will go. This takes a lot of practice and doing a lot of RC passages, but it will come with practice and will help make passages easier to digest.

6) This is probably the most important and was the biggest help to me--EVERY correct answer to an inference question has textual support behind it. EVERY incorrect answer to an inference question is some kind of distortion or is otherwise irrelevant to the discussion. And all of these incorrect answer choices ultimately are unsupported. Carefully review these kinds of questions that you miss, and you'll find that in 100% of cases, there is no support behind the incorrect answer that you chose. Often it is because of some subtle one- or two-word distortion, but it will always be there. Treat both detail and inference questions as must be true / most strongly supported questions. While the ACs in an inference question don't HAVE to be 100% irrefutably true, they will always be well supported in the text, and often when support seems week it's because the support comes from multiple areas of the passage, not the one to which you are specifically referring back.

7) Practice, practice, practice!! Don't choose non-fiction books or the Economist over what otherwise would be your LSAT RC study time. There are 284 available RC passages to study from, and every single one of them is more useful to you for your mastery of RC than any article on the Economist or New York Times or anywhere else. Outside material is useful to read insofar as it does not interfere with your normal studying. While the newest RC passages will provide the best practice, every RC passage, even the oldest ones, are good practice for you to hone your methodology and attack.

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Hope this helps and good luck!

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Re: RC Materials?

Postby CU44BMD » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:12 pm

Thanks for the Reply Cahwc12, I actually remember reading your post about RC tips a couple of weeks before the Oct. Lsat. I actually wrote down on my final review sheet not to "zoom" through the first paragraph. One thing that you mentioned that I agree 100% and helps quite a lot w/ POE is treating each AC with the ruthless rigor thats similar to the LR section. I think the biggest problem I have @ the moment is finding that pure equilibrium between speed and accuracy. I can get to all the passages but I'am around -6/-7 or focus on 3 passagaes missing about 1 per passage and leaving me with 5 mins for the last passage???

Studying for 4+ months and analyzing each and every wrong AC and also the Right ones that I wasn't sure of, I think the most pressing issue is...I don't have a methodical approach which incorporates speed, accuracy, and most importantly Confidence in POE.

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Re: RC Materials?

Postby crate2012 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:26 pm


Best RC advices I ever read here. Agree completely.

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Re: RC Materials?

Postby loomstate » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:49 am


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Re: RC Materials?

Postby M.M. » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:03 am

Tag ... ?

How do I quickly access threads like these once I tag them ?

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Re: RC Materials?

Postby CU44BMD » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:20 pm

I just book marked it

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