Dealing with the Hard Sciences in RC

akg144
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Dealing with the Hard Sciences in RC

Postby akg144 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:09 pm

Practice Test #2 Section 1 Passage 3 has just about the most difficult RC passage I've ever seen. it's about regulatory, acclimatory, and development processes but it hones in on one specific example in water-bug species and uses tons of jargon like macropterous, micropterous, dimorphism, overwintering broods, morphological changes and half way through the passage my head was spinning and by the end of the passage I didn't have the foggiest idea what I had just read. When I hit the answer choices I just went with the ones with the weakest modality (i.e. avoided answers like MOST and ALL and NEVER and THE ONLY etc) and managed to only get 3 wrong but on PT1 I got crushed even worse on the molecular biology passage 5/7 wrong and i'm just wondering how people deal with these extremely difficult passages? I did fine in the hard science in high school got all As but have never had an affinity towards chemistry, biology, physics etc. in college and never took any except those which were required and maybe one or two evolutionary psychology and biology courses for fun. So for those of you who do very well in RC but are not particularly gifted in the hard sciences how do you process and deconstruct these nebulous passages? How do you try to attack the questions? Any advise would be appreciated.

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Motivator9
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Re: Dealing with the Hard Sciences in RC

Postby Motivator9 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:34 am

The only thing I can say is that you should focus more on structure and what the main points are, rather than getting slowed down by specific terminology . This may be true of all passages, but especially true for Science and Tech ones. It's easy to get lost in the text.

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Clearly
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Re: Dealing with the Hard Sciences in RC

Postby Clearly » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:37 am

Thats funny, I'm the exact opposite. If it were up to me, they'd all be science passages! The important parts (authors tone, main point, critics view etc) are usually pretty clear cut in science passages. The only one that's ever really messed me up is Riddles Basins of Attraction, which was a genuine lsat wtf moment for me the first time through.

scandk
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Re: Dealing with the Hard Sciences in RC

Postby scandk » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:36 am

Do you guys do anything differently when approaching hard sciences? I've finished MLSAT RC, and I'm going -2/3 on RC. But the -2/3 all come from the hard sciences section; I haven't gotten a humanities/social science/law passage question wrong post-Manhattan. I'm planning on drilling hard science passages extensively with the hopes of eventually being able to -0/1 RC. Will repetition & practice with Hard Sciences solve this problem, or, as I mentioned earlier, is there a different approach to hard science passages?

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Clearly
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Re: Dealing with the Hard Sciences in RC

Postby Clearly » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:41 am

scandk wrote:Do you guys do anything differently when approaching hard sciences? I've finished MLSAT RC, and I'm going -2/3 on RC. But the -2/3 all come from the hard sciences section; I haven't gotten a humanities/social science/law passage question wrong post-Manhattan. I'm planning on drilling hard science passages extensively with the hopes of eventually being able to -0/1 RC. Will repetition & practice with Hard Sciences solve this problem, or, as I mentioned earlier, is there a different approach to hard science passages?

Repetition helps everything on the lsat! Keep drilling them. They have their own small differences but the methods are the same. You'll get it together with hard work. Figure out which questions get you.. do you have a hard time detecting the authors tone through all the jargon, do miss the main point trying to understand the scientific terms instead?

DivineJustice
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Re: Dealing with the Hard Sciences in RC

Postby DivineJustice » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:43 am

Hard sciences has been my Achilles Heel as well. It's usually the ones that contain chemistry that knock me up.

bp shinners
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Re: Dealing with the Hard Sciences in RC

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:07 pm

The terminology for these rarely matters; when it does, they'll point you back to it. So start learning to ignore that.

Instead, focus on these things:
1) The old believe vs. the new belief
-In the science passages, there's almost always a "new belief" - something about the physical world that some scientist proved. If you can compare the old view to the new view, you should be pretty solid on the big-picture stuff.
2) How'd we get to the new belief?
-You don't need to know the details, just the general experiment that was run. They'll usually throw large words at you, but if you can sum it up as, "She poked a platypus with a stick", you'll be golden here.
3) Causal relationships
-In a lot of the more convoluted science passages, they posit a LOT of causality. If you can focus in on the sentences with causal language and figure out the cause and effect, that will usually answer a lot of questions for you.

And, as always, when in doubt go with the weaker answer. As you saw, it often works.




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