Flat out NOT UNDERSTANDING in RC?

itsanemily
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:14 am

Flat out NOT UNDERSTANDING in RC?

Postby itsanemily » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:08 pm

I've read a lot of the Reading Comp posts in this forum, but haven't really seen this issue addressed.

I don't really have a problem remembering what I read, or remembering where details are located in passages that I understand. However, does anyone ever get a sentence and/or passage that they just flat out cannot even discern the main point of?

***WARNING: EXAMPLES FROM SPECIFIC PREPTESTS TO FOLLOW***

(from PT 35): For example, I completely missed in the Ronald Dworkin and Legal Positivism passage that Dworkin advocated a a middle ground between legal positivism and natural law. I was able to get many answers right by locating specific words from the passage, but my lack of understanding made the process more tedious than I think it needed to be. I think the reason for my missing this main point was that the key sentence that gives this away - the first sentence - was 1) the first one, leading me to gloss over it quickly, and 2) very convoluted and long.

(from PT 68): Another example was Passage A of Preptest 68. In hindsight, this shouldn't have been that bad, but I had trouble visualizing the overinclusion/underinclusion vs. enforcement/non-enforcement relationship. As a result, I was not able to see the relationship with the second passage, which mentions one specific example of discretionary enforcement.

The above situations are hardly rare, which is why I wanted to appeal to the impressive LSAT abilities that I've seen in this forum to see if someone can provide a solution. :) What has helped me improve comprehension and accuracy is marking up the passage more to break up convoluted sentences. However, this costs me in time, and still hasn't completely solved my problem. Also, I have seen some high-scorers say they don't mark up the passage at all in RC, which I cannot imagine doing right now as marking up is all I can do to make certain passages remotely comprehensible. I have also tried reading difficult articles from outside sources, and practiced the 7sage memory method. I am aiming for a 170+ score, and RC is what primarily holds me back. So skipping one passage, not answering certain questions, etc. are not really options for me.

Therefore, how do high RC scorers approach difficult to understand sentences and passages in RC without sacrificing time? How do you answer the questions quickly without marking while you read? Would appreciate any tips/guidance!

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JasonH
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Re: Flat out NOT UNDERSTANDING in RC?

Postby JasonH » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:41 pm

Dear LSAC,

I DON'T CARE ABOUT FRACTAL MATHMATICS.

That section was the worst.

I'm an RC failure. I also have some passages that I completely miss like you are describing, so I doubt I have any advice to give. The thing that helped me with RC the most was forcing myself to answer every single question. There would be some passages that I would go really slow on because I hate leaving an answer unless I know I had found the right answer. But forcing myself to answer every single problem caused me to speed up and skip some of the harder ones and make sure that I had a chance to answer all the easy ones. My accuracy dropped close to 10% on each of the questions that I did get to, but I also got to more questions so it made up for it.

Daily_Double
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:45 pm

Re: Flat out NOT UNDERSTANDING in RC?

Postby Daily_Double » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:07 pm

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Last edited by Daily_Double on Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

itsanemily
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:14 am

Re: Flat out NOT UNDERSTANDING in RC?

Postby itsanemily » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:51 pm

JasonH wrote:Dear LSAC,

I DON'T CARE ABOUT FRACTAL MATHMATICS.


Agreed!! Riddled Basins of Attraction = UGGGHHHHHH

Daily_Double wrote: What I used to do was ask myself at the end of the passage "Why should people read this?" What I was trying to figure out was what information would one possess after reading the passage that they would not possess before reading the passage.


I really like the way you phrase this, and I think I forget to do this too often. As a follow up question, is there anything you do while reading the passage to make sure you have figured this out by the time you're done reading? How do you get to the middle ground of knowing enough about the passage to answer questions efficiently, and not focusing too much on detail (which sucks up time). Especially with the theoretical or overly technical passages, I usually think I've absorbed enough of the MP, but still struggle with the MP question, which makes me think that I am not getting enough of what's most important.

I think one of the best examples of this is passages like the Riddled Basins one (PT 50) When I reached the MP question, all I knew about the passage was that it discussed Sommerer, Ott, and a new model that they introduce. I thought everything else would be just detail. Buuutttt given the MP question that the LSAT gave for this passage, I soon found that my understanding of the passage was not detailed enough. I know passages like this one are probably designed to be especially difficult, but any tips on what to do / how to not panic when you find yourself in such a situation? :D

Thanks!

EDIT: also, thanks for the analysis on the Dworkin passage. I think I figured out what I should have done differently for this particular passage.

Daily_Double
Posts: 1035
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:45 pm

Re: Flat out NOT UNDERSTANDING in RC?

Postby Daily_Double » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:22 pm

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Last edited by Daily_Double on Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

itsanemily
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:14 am

Re: Flat out NOT UNDERSTANDING in RC?

Postby itsanemily » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:23 am

Thanks so much for the detailed responses! I don't have any other questions right now, but I'm definitely going to try out what you mentioned.




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