Any advice for improving on RC?

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PotenC
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Any advice for improving on RC?

Postby PotenC » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:28 pm

After doing about 25 Preptests, I've noticed a clear trend emerging. I'm consistently getting perfect scores on the one logic game and two logic reasoning sections per test, but I'm doing relatively abysmally on the reading comprehension section (-5 per section). Is there anything you guys do to brush up on RC in particular? I've read through the Manhattan LSAT books but to be honest the book for RC was less helpful than the other two. I seem to have particular trouble with the "science" readings as well, probably due to me being a social sciences major.

Thanks in advance!

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

Re: Any advice for improving on RC?

Postby Mik Ekim » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:02 pm

hey -- this is mike -- author of the less helpful guide -- let me ask u a question -- what do u think about as you read?

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PotenC
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Re: Any advice for improving on RC?

Postby PotenC » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:14 pm

Hey Mike,

I guess when I'm reading for pleasure I tend to focus on the details of whatever I'm reading. I've kind of tried to train myself to not do this so much on the LSAT, and read more for structure. I've definitely noticed an improvement after this switch, but passages related to obscure topics still tend to throw me off (case in point, science-related passages). I've noticed that I constantly have to go back and check/double-check explicit references in the passage, which leaves me with less time than I'm comfortable with. I also tend to miss inference questions.

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

Re: Any advice for improving on RC?

Postby Mik Ekim » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:19 pm

So, obviously I don't know much about you, but these are the key points that I noticed most --

1) you can consistently go - 0 in LR -- that means you definitely have the reading chops to go - 0 in RC.
2) you write "I've kind of tried to train myself..." -- that means you haven't really done it! you are just working off of natural abilities, and you have not significantly fine-tuned your reading style to match the test.

I would encourage you to make another effort to focus in on the structure of the passages ( :) could you guess I would say that?). Just as you read for conclusion/support in LR, read for the main points (typically two) in rc, and make sure you have a very clear sense of why everything else exists relative to those main points.

When I used to teach classes, I used to say to students that I felt I could get 80% of all RC q's correct with just a quick two or three line summary of the reasoning structure of the passage. I've got to admit, I've never really tried it, but the point behind it is that a strong structural understanding should have an influence even on specific questions -- I'm sure you've noticed that questions about specific details generally relate to the role of that detail (and wrong answers typically reveal themselves because of inaccuracies about the overall passage), and inference questions are often very closely tied to the things you were supposed to pick up about the key points and the author's (and others') opinions.

But, of course, a general structure understanding is not enough to get the specific types of questions you mentioned correct. I think, in order to have 100% accurately on questions about explicit details, and inferences, you have to go back to the text again at the point of the question. The key is that a) a good understanding of the passage should make it so that you either know exactly where to look for info before you go into the answers, or, if it's a different type of question, you can get rid of most answer choices before you have to go to the text to verify.

I always personally think about solving questions with a multi-prong approach--I may mess up one step, but if I put enough steps in, it's unlikely I'll actually miss a question. For, say, a specific rc q, my "prongs" are a) being able to use general understanding from initial read to know which answers are obviously wrong and which ones more attractive, b) going back to specific text to check details at point of question, c) making sure wrong choices are wrong, d) making sure right answer is right --

I think you agree that having multiple steps built in is great for accuracy--of course, the key is to be able to go fast enough to do this--I'd encourage you to really focus on thinking about it that way--that is, don't be bothered that you have to go into the text--expect to have to do so--but work to make your understanding of structure stronger so that you can do this faster and with more accuracy.

I could be TOTALLY OFF THE MARK in terms of what is causing you RC trouble, but again, if you are going -0 in LR, there is no reason you should be struggling so much with RC! HTH and good luck.

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PotenC
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Re: Any advice for improving on RC?

Postby PotenC » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:11 pm

Hey Mike,

Thank you for taking the time to type all of this out. You're right; I definitely haven't been putting as much effort as I could be in actively changing up my reading style for the LSAT. I think I'll go ahead and go over your book again this week.

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Gamine
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Re: Any advice for improving on RC?

Postby Gamine » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:18 am

Thanks Mik - (and I actually find your guide very helpful!)

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

Re: Any advice for improving on RC?

Postby Mik Ekim » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:01 pm

sure thing - good luck




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