Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

evolution
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Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby evolution » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:06 pm

For those folks who are trying to improve their RC scores, I'm curious what you do when you read articles from sites such as these.

For example, do you read them like you would an RC passage, where at the end of each paragraph, you try and summarize the main point. Or is it more of a "leisurely" read where the focus is to increase your reading speed over time, and help hone in your attention on mundane passages.

On that note, my second question is when picking articles to read, since there is a wealth of different topics such as politics, business, culture, etc - is there a strategy to pick out the articles? What I mean by this is if I suffer from losing concentration on passages that are extremely uninteresting, would it be beneficial for me to choose articles that seem unfamiliar/uninteresting to me?
And maybe focusing on sci/technology articles since that's one category of RC that is tested on?
Or is the general consensus just to read any articles.

Thanks in advance!

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bbkk
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby bbkk » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:21 pm

evolution wrote:For example, do you read them like you would an RC passage, where at the end of each paragraph, you try and summarize the main point.



This is what I'm going to do. Honestly I don't think reading "leisurely" would do much help... This is my personal opinion. I'd more than glad to hear what other people think about this.

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby Clyde Frog » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:44 pm

The Cleveland Cavaliers came back from 3-1 down against the Golden State Warriors.
Last edited by Clyde Frog on Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

meegee
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby meegee » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:50 pm

Umm, I am no expert, but it seems that a lot of people are saying that the best way to increase your RC score within a relatively short period of time is to... do a shitload of RC passages/questions. The same way you drill for LG and LR, just drill for RC.

I'm not saying reading stuff like the Economists won't help, but I really feel like that only applies to people who have like, maybe 1 year, 9 months, to study. Reading as a skill can't be improved dramatically over a short period of time. Unless you're reading all day every day, but then you also gotta prep for other sections so... Moral of story, if you bomb the RC section, blame it on your parents for not forcing you to read the Economists since you were a child.

There's enough RC questions/passages out there for someone studying on a 3-5 month schedule I believe. If you do exhaust them, then def go to the Economists etc.

That being said, I think you're right about reading them like you're reading an RC passage, summarizing it, taking down main points, etc.

Personally, I have the Economists app downloaded on my phone that gives me 3 free articles for every issue. I just read that when I have time, like when I'm on the car, taking a shit, smoking a cig, etc. But... I'm not reading it like an RC passage, and perhaps I should x.x

The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:59 pm

I know I've made this suggestion before but I thought I'd make it one final time --

First, as clyde frog said, you should use LSAT RC for RC practice -- reading the economist etc is extra credit, but not real LSAT prep -- but I imagine you know that --

Second, if you are looking for any additional extra-credit reading during your prep, I suggest also picking up A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson --

Some advantages to reading that book -
- it is a science book written for non-science people -- just like how the science passages on the lsat are for non-science people
- the book discusses EVERY significant scientific issue of the past 400 years or so -- chances are that it's very likely whatever your LSAT science passage is about, it was discussed somewhere in the book
- it is dense and many parts are structured very similarly to LSAT passages (with ideas pitted against each other, support for one side or another, unexpected author opinions, etc)

Finally, the book is inspiring, and it's a great read (though one person did pm me saying they didn't like the book so much, so maybe my tastes are off) --

HTH -- Mike

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:23 pm

If you believe reading articles will help you inprove, another good (and free!) source is Real Clear, esp Science and Markets. Most online news is dumbed down but I found that many articles linked on RCS and RCM were about the same level of complexity as LSAT RC. Like anything else, read with purpose and make sure you understand the deets.

Theopliske8711
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby Theopliske8711 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:15 pm

The best, I would say, is the New York Review of Books. The reviews match the style of the reading comp best (they are also much longer, obviously, which can be a plus). On top of that, they have some really interesting stuff there. Really recommend it!

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Pneumonia
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:44 pm

i'll second the Bill Bryson book. Brian Green also writes interesting and accessible pop-science books that are worth more (how much more is debatable) than pure entertainment.

Theopliske8711
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby Theopliske8711 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:23 pm

I read parts of Bryson's book. It just seems like a lot of name dropping following by some anecdotes from the individual's life. Very easy read as well. I don't see how it will help develop the kind of reading skills you need for the RC. If you have a few months available to help develop better reading skills, I think you would spend your time better by reading more dense readings, like research articles or academic reviews (especially the latter). Remember, it doesn't really matter what the subject matter is, so there is no reason a science article should frighten you that much more; nor should you feel the need to brush up on all the science themes, since they will very likely pick something from an article that deals with one small issue (whereas Bryson kind of sweeps through history).

sam62188
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby sam62188 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:50 pm

Just curious are there any success stories for people who have a really hard time with RC. I see a lot of posts with people scoring 150-160's in their diagnostics then aiming for 170-180, but that tells me that their RC was fairly strong to begin with.

Are there any posters on here who started in the 130-140's and got to 170-180's?

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laotze
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby laotze » Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:10 pm

evolution wrote:For those folks who are trying to improve their RC scores, I'm curious what you do when you read articles from sites such as these.

For example, do you read them like you would an RC passage, where at the end of each paragraph, you try and summarize the main point. Or is it more of a "leisurely" read where the focus is to increase your reading speed over time, and help hone in your attention on mundane passages.


I would highly recommend getting into some philosophy texts and taking heavy notes. I nabbed my perfect score on RC after a few weeks of Russell and Wittgenstein refreshment (with copious note-taking), though unfortunately as always it was the LG that murdered me.

If you don't have much experience in the field, I'd recommend a highly readable prose philo text like Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Easy to get into, but require some tight attention and margin notation.
I know that's not quite what you asked, but it's the best RC prep I know of.

/UnsolicitedPhilosophyPlug

Theopliske8711
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby Theopliske8711 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:20 pm

I generally don't take notes, just try and improve my focus and reading speed.

evolution
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby evolution » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:37 pm

Good tips, thanks for the suggestions.

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Br3v
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby Br3v » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:40 pm

The main benefit you will get out of reading things like this is the way your mind works. Best piece of advice on the matter I got from TLS when someone said reading a lot if these type sources help get your mind out of "TV mode" and into "reading mode"

Theopliske8711
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Re: Reading Economist, Scientific American, etc

Postby Theopliske8711 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:29 pm

Wrong topic.




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