Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

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jordan15
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Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

Postby jordan15 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:29 am

I did a timed RC, LG, and LR section with no studying to gauge what I was starting with. I scored -0 on LR, -1 on LG (careless mistake) and -16 on RC. All of the advice on here is that LG is typically the hardest initially and the easiest to improve and RC is the hardest to improve- am I totally screwed?

Did anyone else successfully improve their RC from terrible to perfect? Did you do it by conventional LSAT study methods or did you branch out to other types of test prep or speed reading sites?

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vicpin5190
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Re: Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

Postby vicpin5190 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:48 am

honestly, slow down on reading comp, even if it means doing one less section at this point. Something that I realized with my RC is that I was rushing through the passage and doing a poor job annotating so that when i went to answer the questions and reference back, I had no clue where to truly look and I would often times just "go with my gut". Started first doing the section timed but with a watch to see how long it took me to correctly answer every question, and thats how i identified that what is going on is that i was rushing through.

Don't time yourself strictly on some passages, instead see how long it takes you to answer them completley correct. Lets say you are allocating 8:45 to a passage, but if you spend 13 minutes on it you can get it down with -0 to -1. I've so far gone from missing -10 to -12 timed to now like -6, -7 timed, and more recently i've seen myself getting like -3/-4. I think with RC the most important thing is get the form down first, and then speed will be the natural extension.

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tigersaresexy
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Re: Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

Postby tigersaresexy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:32 am

In my experience, it's easy to get RC down from a -16 to the -6. The hard part is those last few points. Hell, I'm still struggling with those last 6 points, and my test is in 2 weeks. You're lucky because you seem to be strong with LR and LG right off the bat and won't need to focus on much except maybe fine tuning your strategies.

When do you plan to take the test? What score are you aiming for? Which test did you get the sections you did from?

I suggest reading a couple of the better known RC strategy guides (voyagers etc) and seeing if they work for you. If you haven't studied at all, do a couple of untimed passages to figure out what your issues are and then attack them one by one.

Personally I think the whole speed reading thing is a bunch of baloney, but it seems to help some people, you won't know if it's going to help you unless you know exactly what your problem areas are.

notalobbyist
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Re: Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

Postby notalobbyist » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:10 pm

I started out with my average as -2.5, and I'm getting to -1 average. For me, its hard to ace RC but I still think you can get back a lot of the points you're leaving on the table.

While RC is measuring your reading speed and comprehension level, there are a few tricks you can do to increase your odds. Given the score you're getting, you would pick up points by literally narrowing it down to 2 answers and guessing as long as you don't eliminate the right answer choice. If you can learn to exclude more answer choices you will pick up a few points unless you're getting it down to the 2 closest and falling for the trick almost every time.

Ask yourself "did the passage mention this?" Many wrong answer choices simply bring in something that wasn't discussed. The trickier ones do this by combining 2 things in the passage that don't go together, so it sounds right even though its not. If you can get rid of those too you'll be in good shape, even if you're not naturally a strong/fast reader.

Hope this helps, and good luck.

Kimikho
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Re: Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

Postby Kimikho » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:15 pm

At this moment based off my PTs, yes. I didn't start out at a -16, but I did have to work at it. I don't want to jinx myself, but I am considering writing a guide after we get our scores.

For now though, your RC scores will improve TREMENDOUSLY just by doing RC. The only thing that is guaranteed to improve RC is by doing RC. Everything else (speed reading, the Economist, etc) just won't hurt you.

Note that you don't need to do RC always timed. One thing that has really helped me is reading the passages slowly out loud.

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jordan15
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Re: Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

Postby jordan15 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:06 am

I'm planning on taking the December LSAT if I can get my PT above 170 by then. I'm not applying this cycle so I'm not on a deadline but this is the most convenient time for me to take the LSAT so I'm hoping to perfect RC by then.

I guess I'll just start going thru RCs untimed really slowly and hope that after a few I can get all the questions right. After that it'll just be speed.

If I can't get them all right untimed though, I'm probably going to need some serious tutoring.

bp shinners
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Re: Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:37 pm

jordan15 wrote:I'm planning on taking the December LSAT if I can get my PT above 170 by then. I'm not applying this cycle so I'm not on a deadline but this is the most convenient time for me to take the LSAT so I'm hoping to perfect RC by then.

I guess I'll just start going thru RCs untimed really slowly and hope that after a few I can get all the questions right. After that it'll just be speed.

If I can't get them all right untimed though, I'm probably going to need some serious tutoring.


Very common to see improvement on RC, though it is the one section where it's hard to get reliably under -3/-2, just because of the nature of the section.

As far as your test goes, what it suggests to me is that you're very logical and detail-oriented (hence the LR/LG scores), which creates problems in RC. While the logical part won't, the detail-oriented will. The LSAT is not testing the details of RC passages - they make up a relatively small minority of the questions. Instead, it's testing you on the arguments and structure of the passages.

So when you're prepping, try this for a few passages: Don't make any notes that don't describe a viewpoint. Just focus on that. If you can train yourself away from focusing too much on the small details, you should see huge gains in your RC score. Then, after you get those big picture questions down (Author's Attitude, Viewpoint questions, Primary Purpose, Role of Paragraph/Sentence, Main Point), start figuring out which specifics show up in the remaining 7 or 8 questions per passage. Start looking for similar details, and only note those.

bilbaosan
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Re: Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

Postby bilbaosan » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:00 am

Indeed. This will screw you especially hard if you have an engineering background and used to read a lot of computer/scientific/research texts. Those typically require you to keep a lot of small details in your head, while things like author's attitude, main point or relationship between passages are simply non-existent in our field.

Did the PT you used have the comparative reading passage where you have to read Passage A and Passage B instead of a big one?

magickware
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Re: Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

Postby magickware » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:18 am

Something that I realized lately about RC, and one that I should have realized sooner and might have if I wasn't so fixated on the wrong wrong things, is that the passage is actually something written by someone. I wish I had actually read the back page where you see where the articles come from previously.

That is, it has a narrative flow, and things are there for a reason. Whenever you write a paper, I'm sure you're not randomly throwing in details. Everything has a purpose. The same is true for these passages.

And, as such, it is imperative that you understand the passage as having this kind of narrative flow. Some passages, like those that do info dumps, may not have an obvious flow, but it should be there. Details are meant to support an idea, and that idea itself is either the main point of the entire passage, or itself supports the main point of the entire passage. Blah blah blah.

Too bad at this point I'm just sick and of RC passages and don't have the heart to drill them like I should so that I can ensure a -0...

bp shinners
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Re: Has anybody dramatically improved RC?

Postby bp shinners » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:04 pm

magickware wrote:Something that I realized lately about RC, and one that I should have realized sooner and might have if I wasn't so fixated on the wrong wrong things, is that the passage is actually something written by someone. I wish I had actually read the back page where you see where the articles come from previously.

That is, it has a narrative flow, and things are there for a reason. Whenever you write a paper, I'm sure you're not randomly throwing in details. Everything has a purpose. The same is true for these passages.

And, as such, it is imperative that you understand the passage as having this kind of narrative flow. Some passages, like those that do info dumps, may not have an obvious flow, but it should be there. Details are meant to support an idea, and that idea itself is either the main point of the entire passage, or itself supports the main point of the entire passage. Blah blah blah.


Not just that, but also:
1) They're written by academics, which means they will only rarely take strong views or outright call someone else wrong. Usually, they'll say their theory is better supported, or their theory still has some unanswered questions.
2) They're written by academics, which means they're, on average, liberal, so that colors some of the discussion.




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