International student needs help on Reading Comp.

DanielJ
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:43 am

International student needs help on Reading Comp.

Postby DanielJ » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:44 am

Hi guys, I found this forum really helpful and post for advice.
I am an International student and English is not my mother tongue.
Studied LSAT from January. I feel LG and LR okay (I mean I think I can improve with more practice).
The real problem is Reading Comp. It takes me about 10-12 minutes to complete a passage with 2-3 wrong answers.
For difficult passages, such as humanities, I need to read 2 or 3 times to understand the passage.
I am working on full time. I think more practice definitely would bring some improvements but would appreciate any help.

Thanks!

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

Re: International student needs help on Reading Comp.

Postby Theopliske8711 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:21 pm

Unfortunately, the RC is a section even native speakers tend to struggle with, so I doubt many people are going to be of much help to someone who is not a native English speaker. That said, if comprehension is your issue, you may want to relax on the LSAT a bit and try and perfect your English. Not just for the RC but for the LR as well, and even some LG sections can have vague language that requires nuance to understand. You may want to start to do some heavy reading to improve comprehension since it looks like you very far away from being able to take the LSAT at a comfortable level.

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eliztudorr
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:50 pm

Re: International student needs help on Reading Comp.

Postby eliztudorr » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:02 pm

DanielJ wrote:Hi guys, I found this forum really helpful and post for advice.
I am an International student and English is not my mother tongue.
Studied LSAT from January. I feel LG and LR okay (I mean I think I can improve with more practice).
The real problem is Reading Comp. It takes me about 10-12 minutes to complete a passage with 2-3 wrong answers.
For difficult passages, such as humanities, I need to read 2 or 3 times to understand the passage.
I am working on full time. I think more practice definitely would bring some improvements but would appreciate any help.

Thanks!


im sorta an international student myself. so i can relate to your pain. id say don't worry too much. you WILL improve. thats the mentality you need. the improvement might look slow but just keep practicing. read. if it takes you 10-12 min, start there. it will speed up. after seeing so many similar type of passages your brain will get used to it. focus first on getting the full idea and being able to answer the questions correctly.

also, one big thing about english writing is the structure of the passage. keep the overall structure in mind. i find that helping sometimes. like as long as i kinda get the structure (example, second paragraph is trying to disprove first) i can get a sense of the entire point of the passage: what is the author trying to express.

also, don't be afraid to circle words or ideas and write your own thoughts in your language on the margin. like im chinese, sometimes a full english sentence and be sum up into 2 words in chinese. i write it down to remind myself the importance of the phrase.

one thing i read is that after reading every paragraph, write a less than 5 word summary. i've been doing that and i find that helpful.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 9:18 pm

Re: International student needs help on Reading Comp.

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:01 pm

I've written some reading comprehension guides on Reddit:

http://www.reddit.com/r/LSAT/comments/1 ... on_guides/

The reactions tend to be either 'wow, these completely changed how I approach RC!!' or 'WTF is this bullshit?', so you may or may not find them useful.

natashka85
Posts: 255
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:29 pm

Re: International student needs help on Reading Comp.

Postby natashka85 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:51 pm

graeme wrote:I've written some reading comprehension guides on Reddit:

http://www.reddit.com/r/LSAT/comments/1 ... on_guides/

The reactions tend to be either 'wow, these completely changed how I approach RC!!' or 'WTF is this bullshit?', so you may or may not find them useful.




Such a bolshit,u need to read slow in order to understand the passage very very very well,take manhattan books and follow study guides on this forum.

20140807
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: International student needs help on Reading Comp.

Postby 20140807 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:41 pm

USER HAS BEEN BANNED FOR SPAMMING

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Skill Game
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:39 am

Re: International student needs help on Reading Comp.

Postby Skill Game » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:51 pm

natashka85 wrote:
graeme wrote:I've written some reading comprehension guides on Reddit:

http://www.reddit.com/r/LSAT/comments/1 ... on_guides/

The reactions tend to be either 'wow, these completely changed how I approach RC!!' or 'WTF is this bullshit?', so you may or may not find them useful.




Such a bolshit,u need to read slow in order to understand the passage very very very well,take manhattan books and follow study guides on this forum.


Bolshit?

Mik Ekim
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:06 pm

Re: International student needs help on Reading Comp.

Postby Mik Ekim » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:50 pm

I've personally tutored many international students, and I agree that LSAT Reading Comp is particularly challenging for foreign students to master - it typically requires a lot of hard work and head-banging, but at the same time, of course it's also very satisfying to break through and get better -- here are a couple of thoughts and tips --

1) The fundamental issue for foreign students is the "forest vs the tree" one --

For the most part, LSAT RC is designed to test your ability to read for structure - to see the big picture and the organization of the passage. That is, your job is to see the forest.

However, if you are a foreign student and translating as you go, you are naturally stuck in the trees -- you naturally have to focus on small details, because you have to try to understand them.

This is the big issue -- the test is about seeing the big picture well, but you are stuck having to pay attention to details in order to see at all -- this puts you in a very disadvantage position, and makes you much more vulnerable to wasting time thinking about things that are not important for answering questions correctly.

2) The way to try to combat that is to over-emphasize the steps that allow you to see the big picture.

In general, try to read through paragraphs fairly quickly (don't get stuck and reread super-hard sentences over and over again). At the end of the paragraph, get in the habit of taking some significant time to think about what the paragraph said, and to summarize it to yourself. Remember, when you think about the big picture of an LSAT passage, it's not the subject matter that's important, it's the main opinions and the passage structure. When you finish the entire passage, get in the habit of skimming through it one more time, not reading again any specific sentences, but rather, confirming you have a correct big picture understanding of the overall structure --

A rough sample of what I might be thinking in my head during this stage is --
P 1 -- one opinion - tomatoes are healthy, support
P2 -- evidence that goes against that opinion
P3 -- reason for evidence / alternative opinion - tomatoes somewhat unhealthy for some people
P4 -- takeaway -- healthy/unhealthy depends on person as well as actual food

Expect to know no answers to specific q's at the end of your read, but expect that you should be able to answer any general q (purpose of passage, author opinion) etc - very easily --

If you can really work to habituate this type of focus as you read RC passages, you are going to start to find that they are all actually quite similar to one another -- though the subjects change, again and again the test writers use the same passage structures -- that's when you know you're seriously improving.

Hope that helps a bit and good luck with your studies -

Mike Kim
author of the Manhattan RC guides

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 9:18 pm

Re: International student needs help on Reading Comp.

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:49 am

Skill Game wrote:
natashka85 wrote:
graeme wrote:I've written some reading comprehension guides on Reddit:

http://www.reddit.com/r/LSAT/comments/1 ... on_guides/

The reactions tend to be either 'wow, these completely changed how I approach RC!!' or 'WTF is this bullshit?', so you may or may not find them useful.




Such a bolshit,u need to read slow in order to understand the passage very very very well,take manhattan books and follow study guides on this forum.


Bolshit?


Ok, that's new. So, I guess reactions are either 'wow, awesome', 'wtf, bullshit' or 'U guides is such a bolshit'




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