Reading Comprehension Systems: Where should I go?

nedstark1
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:07 pm

Reading Comprehension Systems: Where should I go?

Postby nedstark1 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:38 pm

Hi all,

I wrote the LSAT back in November and finished with a 166, and I have written just about every practice test averaging about a 170 in the tail-end of my studying. Unfortunately, I only recently recognized the extent to which my performance in RC has been holding me back. I average about a -5 on RC in my latest PT's, and I went -6 in the November test.

I tried using the Powerscore system for RC, but I felt like its emphasis on markings and diagrams greatly detracted from my ability to comprehend what I was reading, and I rarely conferred back to these markings when I was doing the questions -- partly because it looked like a big incoherent mess.

Maybe I wasn't doing this system right, but I read a post on here a while back from someone who had similar difficulties and they recommended abandoning such markings all together, and simply adopt an approach based on thoroughly reading through the passages for optimal comprehension.

I must admit that I feel that I made my greatest strides using this approach, as I went from about a -7 to a -5. At the same time, I can't help but feel like I am missing something, and wonder if I could improve by adopting a new system.

Does anyone have any recommendations for someone like me? Would something like Manhattan's RC system be worth looking into?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Theopliske8711
Posts: 2213
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:21 am

Re: Reading Comprehension Systems: Where should I go?

Postby Theopliske8711 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:41 pm

I started marking a lot less recently (virtually zero in some passages) and instead kept my focus on the general structure of the passage. It has helped me go from -7 to around -4 in more recent preptests. Keeping focus also on potential questions has also helped me. Also, and I think this is what people tend to ignore, maybe instead of focusing so strongly on the passage you should consider revisiting the question types? I'm guess you miss more inference questions?

nedstark1
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:07 pm

Re: Reading Comprehension Systems: Where should I go?

Postby nedstark1 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:43 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:I started marking a lot less recently (virtually zero in some passages) and instead kept my focus on the general structure of the passage. It has helped me go from -7 to around -4 in more recent preptests. Keeping focus also on potential questions has also helped me. Also, and I think this is what people tend to ignore, maybe instead of focusing so strongly on the passage you should consider revisiting the question types? I'm guess you miss more inference questions?


Thank you for the feed back... I definitely struggle with inference questions. When you say revisiting the question types, do you mean through the type of categorization found in powerscore's system?

Theopliske8711
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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:21 am

Re: Reading Comprehension Systems: Where should I go?

Postby Theopliske8711 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:56 pm

I mean, start looking at what you are missing in the questions themselves. Why does a particular answer seem to get your attention moreso than another? Are you sort of guessing because you can't remember? Or were you attracted to it for a particular reason? If they are inference questions, or "what would the author agree most with" then you might want to keep that in mind when reading the passage.

Theopliske8711
Posts: 2213
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:21 am

Re: Reading Comprehension Systems: Where should I go?

Postby Theopliske8711 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:59 pm

Btw, I would recommend the Manhattan RC. I think it was far better than the Powerscore book.

nedstark1
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:07 pm

Re: Reading Comprehension Systems: Where should I go?

Postby nedstark1 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:01 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:Btw, I would recommend the Manhattan RC. I think it was far better than the Powerscore book.


Thanks for your help... I'll definitely give both of your suggestions a shot.

nedstark1
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:07 pm

Re: Reading Comprehension Systems: Where should I go?

Postby nedstark1 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:19 pm

PS. I should mention that I was scheduled to write the LSAT this past Saturday, but now suddenly have a little bit of extra time to study given that LSAC decided to cancel at my test center due to the blizzard.... Thus any new systems would be like a crash course adoption for me.

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

Re: Reading Comprehension Systems: Where should I go?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:54 pm

nedstark1 wrote:Thus any new systems would be like a crash course adoption for me.


Don't radically change your approach this close to the exam. However, there are some things you can do to quickly increase your score:

1) Relate every question to a LR question type. Use the same strategies from there. RC questions have recently been moving closer to the LR model, with similar question types and answer choices that are correct/incorrect for the same reasons (equivocation, one wrong word, logical force too strong). If you're looking to discount an answer for the same reasons as an LR question, you'll probably do better on that section. Also, remember that weaker answer choices are almost always going to be correct over stronger ones.

2) Before answering the question, determine from whose viewpoint it's being asked. This seems dumb, but just taking that second to reiterate the viewpoint can help you get the right answer. Sometimes that's enough to answer a Specific Reference question without having to find the specific piece of info in the passage. Watch out for answers that seem like they're saying the exact opposite of the viewpoint, however - the trickier questions will throw the one exception to the viewpoint (as espoused in the passage) to catch you off guard.

nedstark1
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:07 pm

Re: Reading Comprehension Systems: Where should I go?

Postby nedstark1 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:32 pm

bp shinners wrote:
nedstark1 wrote:Thus any new systems would be like a crash course adoption for me.


Don't radically change your approach this close to the exam. However, there are some things you can do to quickly increase your score:

1) Relate every question to a LR question type. Use the same strategies from there. RC questions have recently been moving closer to the LR model, with similar question types and answer choices that are correct/incorrect for the same reasons (equivocation, one wrong word, logical force too strong). If you're looking to discount an answer for the same reasons as an LR question, you'll probably do better on that section. Also, remember that weaker answer choices are almost always going to be correct over stronger ones.

2) Before answering the question, determine from whose viewpoint it's being asked. This seems dumb, but just taking that second to reiterate the viewpoint can help you get the right answer. Sometimes that's enough to answer a Specific Reference question without having to find the specific piece of info in the passage. Watch out for answers that seem like they're saying the exact opposite of the viewpoint, however - the trickier questions will throw the one exception to the viewpoint (as espoused in the passage) to catch you off guard.


Thanks a lot for this advice... Will definitely work on this.




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