Help with RC please

User avatar
Fianna13
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:05 am

Help with RC please

Postby Fianna13 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:02 pm

here's my dilemma: usually even after selecting the answer that I thought was right I still actively underline the part of other answers to eliminate them, but this eats up a lot of time. But when I don't do it, I sometimes get careless and miss a question. So do you guys think I should try to adapt to the latter or should I keep my former technique and hope that I can increase my speed? I'm just afraid that one hard passage will kill my score due to my slow speed.

gobosox
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:28 pm

Re: Help with RC please

Postby gobosox » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:30 pm

in RC even if I find the right answer instantly, I read every one.

User avatar
Jeffort
Posts: 1897
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: Help with RC please

Postby Jeffort » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:26 pm

Fianna13 wrote:here's my dilemma: usually even after selecting the answer that I thought was right I still actively underline the part of other answers to eliminate them, but this eats up a lot of time. But when I don't do it, I sometimes get careless and miss a question. So do you guys think I should try to adapt to the latter or should I keep my former technique and hope that I can increase my speed? I'm just afraid that one hard passage will kill my score due to my slow speed.


Keep doing it the way you described, it is a more reliable and accurate way to answer RC questions and insure that you avoid the tempting trap answers. Many trap answers are incorrect mainly because the sentence has a word or phrase that is just a little bit too strong in terms of the logical force as compared to the forcefulness/strength of the related supporting material in the passage. There are other common reasons trap ACs are attractive, but not that many, plus the difference between the credited answer choice and the trap answer can be very subtle. The subtle differences between trap and CACs are much easier to see for POE purposes in order to land on the credited response only when you have read and considered all five answers and narrowed it down to two choices.

In those instances, if you do not read, consider and nitpick all the answer choices, you will inevitably select some point costing trap answers.

Speed will come with more practice. Keep doing it in the same methodical ways that are working under time pressure and your pace and timing will improve and fall into place by test day.

User avatar
Fianna13
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:05 am

Re: Help with RC please

Postby Fianna13 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:42 pm

Thanks Jeffort! One more question, seems that newer RC are becoming more and more like most supported instead of must be true questions, what's your approach to them? Since many of them are not definitely provable by texts anymore, thre always seem to be some wiggle room, would you say POE is the best technique?

User avatar
Jeffort
Posts: 1897
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: Help with RC please

Postby Jeffort » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:21 am

Fianna13 wrote:Thanks Jeffort! One more question, seems that newer RC are becoming more and more like most supported instead of must be true questions, what's your approach to them? Since many of them are not definitely provable by texts anymore, thre always seem to be some wiggle room, would you say POE is the best technique?


For the higher difficulty questions, POE is your best friend given how similar two answer choices can appear to be before you really scrutinize every word and phrase in them.

It's common for the really attractive ACs to have the first line of the sentence (a lot of RC answer choices take up three lines on the page for one sentence) perfectly match up with the passage, thus attracting your attention with a baited hook in the hopes that you will get hooked, make up your mind and not pay as much attention to critically analyzing the rest of sentence (or other choices) before selecting and moving on. The portion of trap answers that goes wrong/is not adequately supported is frequently in the second or third line on the page of the answer choice.

This way of structuring answer choices works to pray on people that ease up on level of concentration/scrutiny to save time when an answer sounds really good at the start. The thinking goes something like "Hah, first part sounds good, I like it, times a pressing, let's go with this answer and move on!"

Good observation that most RC questions are most strongly supported, not must be true questions that leave no wiggle room/require an airtight case. It's always been that way, just a slight increase in the proportion of most strongly supported vs. must be true questions over the last roughly 10 years of tests.

Given that RC is not dealing with black and white empirical logic, except for the easy questions where the CR is super obvious, POE is a very valuable and effective method to arrive on the credited answer choice on the harder(est) questions EVEN IF you do not clearly see or understand why the CR is credited! On many high difficulty rated questions, it is easier to identify why answers are incorrect than it is to fully understand and identify why the correct answer is credited other than 'it sucks less that the other four'.

When you go through the answer choices, flag the one two or three that are not clear cut throw away answers, then, unless there is an obvious 'duh easy' choice, scrutinize the remaining contenders applying POE to toss out the ones that have flaws in terms of them not 100% matching up properly with the question stem and supporting information in the passage in some way. 95% of what an answer choice says can be correct and fully supported with just one or two words (5%) that go astray from the passge. 5% wrong is still 100% wrong in LSAT land. It can be 75%/25%, 50%/50%, etc., with the part that makes the choice wrong typically in the middle or later half of the answer choice.

User avatar
Fianna13
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:05 am

Re: Help with RC please

Postby Fianna13 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:11 pm

Wow. Thank you for such a detailed explanation. I'll definitely keep that in mind next time when I do an RC passage




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cianchetta0 and 4 guests