How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

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crazyvix
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How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby crazyvix » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:34 am

I'm sorry that was a really lame question but that has been haunting me all the time.

My mother tongue is not English, so RC has always been a big problem for me, I've been practicing with the real LSAT RC sections for about half a month, but scores fluctuate crazily.. from -2 timed to -6 untimed.. I guess the major problem is not about vocabulary since I could roughly understand every word in it, but the length and structure are too hard for me to grasp within such a short time, any suggestions on this?

As for the LG part, it has not really been a big problem for me, almost -0 to -1 within 40 min and -1 to -2 within 35 min. I guess my major task here is to improve the speed.

Here comes the LR part, which is like the nightmare for me. I started cold at -8 for each LR section untimed, and then I went through Manhattan LR, with drills for each question type (Assumption, Flaws, etc) from PT1 to PT10. Now my average score for LR is -4 each section timed. I have made some progress but I'm sure there will be a lot of room for progress. So any suggestions on this?

PS. I started cold at 165 untimed half a month ago, and I am aiming for 173+. I will take the Feb 2014 test.

bp shinners
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:01 pm

crazyvix wrote:PS. I started cold at 165 untimed half a month ago, and I am aiming for 173+. I will take the Feb 2014 test.


If you've been studying for 2 weeks and are seeing small improvements, then what you're doing is working. Keep it up - as you get more familiar with the constructs of the test, your timing will improve. But timing is the last thing to improve - accuracy first!

For RC - break it down into LR-sized chunks. That's about what each paragraph is; or at least each section of the paragraph. Read it, summarize it in a few words, take a breath, and move on. It's a lot more manageable when you view it as a series of individual parts of an argument instead of a 65-line monstrosity.

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star fox
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby star fox » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:38 pm

You have a ways to go until your test and based on your practice score are in good shape. Just keep practicing RC by cranking out passages and you'll get faster. Don't worry too much about speed right now. Focus on accuracy and the speed will come with more practice. As you get closer to test day you can start spending more time focusing on timing.

For LR keep track of the type of questions you miss the most and what type of wrong answer choice you fall for. You should see patterns develop and then you can spend more time drilling on those weaknesses until they become a strength.

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bobtheblob916
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby bobtheblob916 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:46 pm

RC - Practice, practice, practice. Focus on trying different approaches to the passages, and see which ones work the best for you. Read articles from magazines in any subjects that give you particular trouble. But focus most of your time on actually doing passages, and like the poster above me said, focus on accuracy over speed.

LR - Start blazing through LR sections, doing only the last 10 questions in each section. These are, 98% of the time, the hardest ones, with the exception of questions 8-10, which are typically also hard, and which you could also do if you feel like it.

This is the strategy I adopted in my last two weeks of studying. After you've done a ton of LR, the first 15 questions just become a warmup. By focusing only on difficult questions, you're putting your skills to the test.

With easy questions, it's not always necessary to follow the methods outlined in the various books, because they're relatively simple, and there are many workarounds which may be more comfortable for you. But with the hard ones, those tried and true strategies are your best bet, and so focus on these forces you to refine them.

You also get used to tricky LR Qs and so you'll stop being intimidated by them. This last bit is more important than you might think, since LR is the section in which it's arguably the easiest to get bogged down by one particular question. Also, anyone who's actually taken the exam will tell you that intimidation is a big factor on test day - the pressure is higher when you're sitting the real LSAT as opposed to any PTs, so it's much easier to psyche yourself out.

I don't mean to scare you or anything, in fact, that might not even apply to you, and in any case, it's one of those things that's completely pointless to worry about. But just be prepared. This study method helped me get my LR scores from -2/-3 to -1/0, and it's a great way of reusing old tests as well.

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crazyvix
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby crazyvix » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:43 am

bp shinners wrote:For RC - break it down into LR-sized chunks. That's about what each paragraph is; or at least each section of the paragraph. Read it, summarize it in a few words, take a breath, and move on. It's a lot more manageable when you view it as a series of individual parts of an argument instead of a 65-line monstrosity.


Thank you very much! This break-it-down-into-LR-sized-chunks method sounds really good! After a couple of more PTs, I found that my major problem in RC section was still English language itself. It'll be so much easier if it were written in my mother tongue, but yeah, thanks again for your advice and hope that'll work for me !

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crazyvix
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby crazyvix » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:52 am

bobtheblob916 wrote:RC - Practice, practice, practice. Focus on trying different approaches to the passages, and see which ones work the best for you. Read articles from magazines in any subjects that give you particular trouble. But focus most of your time on actually doing passages, and like the poster above me said, focus on accuracy over speed.


The science subject is giving me most trouble, I guess reading some dense scientific materials would help. but yeah of course, practicing with real LSAT passages matters most!

[/quote]
LR - Start blazing through LR sections, doing only the last 10 questions in each section. These are, 98% of the time, the hardest ones, with the exception of questions 8-10, which are typically also hard, and which you could also do if you feel like it.

This is the strategy I adopted in my last two weeks of studying. After you've done a ton of LR, the first 15 questions just become a warmup. By focusing only on difficult questions, you're putting your skills to the test.

With easy questions, it's not always necessary to follow the methods outlined in the various books, because they're relatively simple, and there are many workarounds which may be more comfortable for you. But with the hard ones, those tried and true strategies are your best bet, and so focus on these forces you to refine them. [/quote]

Fresh new advice! I guess I'm going to try it after I go through Manhattan LR, I'm doing one specific type of LR questions per day, and I'm seeing progress, I score -2 on average now.. It's not perfect but progress is what we want to see :D anyway, hope your advice would be helpful!

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paglababa
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby paglababa » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:10 am

Get the cambridge packets for LR. They will help your speed AND accuracy.

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crazyvix
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby crazyvix » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:13 am

paglababa wrote:Get the cambridge packets for LR. They will help your speed AND accuracy.


Sure I will after I'm done with a couple of more PTs.. I need to work through Manhattan first :)

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paglababa
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby paglababa » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:17 am

crazyvix wrote:
paglababa wrote:Get the cambridge packets for LR. They will help your speed AND accuracy.


Sure I will after I'm done with a couple of more PTs.. I need to work through Manhattan first :)


The way I did it, and which I recommend, is to read a chapter in manhattan and THEN immediatly do the corresponding cambridge packet. So if you read the chapter on parallel reasoning for instance, you should then reinforce that knowledge by doing the packet.

The packets are NUMEROUS and have lots of questions. Its a great way to break it up so you dont feel overwhelmed later.

I didn't even start full timed PTs until I was done with Manhattan and the Cambridge packets. Was consistently going -1/-2 in LR after I was done.

You're taking it in Feb 2014 so you have more than enough time. I studied from July-September for the 10/5 test.

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crazyvix
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby crazyvix » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:21 am

paglababa wrote:
crazyvix wrote:
paglababa wrote:Get the cambridge packets for LR. They will help your speed AND accuracy.


Sure I will after I'm done with a couple of more PTs.. I need to work through Manhattan first :)


The way I did it, and which I recommend, is to read a chapter in manhattan and THEN immediatly do the corresponding cambridge packet. So if you read the chapter on parallel reasoning for instance, you should then reinforce that knowledge by doing the packet.

The packets are NUMEROUS and have lots of questions. Its a great way to break it up so you dont feel overwhelmed later.

I didn't even start full timed PTs until I was done with Manhattan and the Cambridge packets. Was consistently going -1/-2 in LR after I was done.

You're taking it in Feb 2014 so you have more than enough time. I studied from July-September for the 10/5 test.


I'm using the same technique here, after finishing a chapter in Manhattan, instead of doing the cambridge packet, I immediately start to do the corresponding questions from PTs. I downloaded this sheet in which someone categorized every question of every PT as Assumption/Flaw etc, that helped a lot. So I'm thinking after doing this job for around 10 PTs, I'll start the Cambridge packet! My LR is seeing progress, the main trouble here is still RC, which is the most difficult part to improve on...

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paglababa
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby paglababa » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:42 am

crazyvix wrote:
paglababa wrote:
crazyvix wrote:
paglababa wrote:Get the cambridge packets for LR. They will help your speed AND accuracy.


Sure I will after I'm done with a couple of more PTs.. I need to work through Manhattan first :)


The way I did it, and which I recommend, is to read a chapter in manhattan and THEN immediatly do the corresponding cambridge packet. So if you read the chapter on parallel reasoning for instance, you should then reinforce that knowledge by doing the packet.

The packets are NUMEROUS and have lots of questions. Its a great way to break it up so you dont feel overwhelmed later.

I didn't even start full timed PTs until I was done with Manhattan and the Cambridge packets. Was consistently going -1/-2 in LR after I was done.

You're taking it in Feb 2014 so you have more than enough time. I studied from July-September for the 10/5 test.


I'm using the same technique here, after finishing a chapter in Manhattan, instead of doing the cambridge packet, I immediately start to do the corresponding questions from PTs. I downloaded this sheet in which someone categorized every question of every PT as Assumption/Flaw etc, that helped a lot. So I'm thinking after doing this job for around 10 PTs, I'll start the Cambridge packet! My LR is seeing progress, the main trouble here is still RC, which is the most difficult part to improve on...



Don't stress the RC, i think you naturally get better by doing sections. There are some good guides here on this site.

What I found helps is to simplify the entire thing. Read for structure and not for details. I would read it, think about the organization, and underline any party involved, ie (critics say, this scientist blah, historian).

Also the RC in the modern tests are way different. Once you realize the pattern it becomes easier. Read the passages in 2.5 mins usually, and then spend bulk time on questions. If you know where everything is due to reading for structure, its easy to then find details.

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crazyvix
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby crazyvix » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:47 am

paglababa wrote:Also the RC in the modern tests are way different. Once you realize the pattern it becomes easier. Read the passages in 2.5 mins usually, and then spend bulk time on questions. If you know where everything is due to reading for structure, its easy to then find details.


Since the modern tests are different from older ones in RC section, is it still necessary to work through the old ones, or, instead, I should just start doing tests after 2001, and review them intensively?

bp shinners
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:20 am

crazyvix wrote:
paglababa wrote:Also the RC in the modern tests are way different. Once you realize the pattern it becomes easier. Read the passages in 2.5 mins usually, and then spend bulk time on questions. If you know where everything is due to reading for structure, its easy to then find details.


Since the modern tests are different from older ones in RC section, is it still necessary to work through the old ones, or, instead, I should just start doing tests after 2001, and review them intensively?


The questions are slightly different, but the passages are similar and what they ask about is the same - they just don't ask about it in the same way. The modern test is shifting RC much closer to LR that it was before. So getting practice with the old sections is still good practice; just we aware that you're going to have to shift your approach to the questions on the more recent ones. However, the shift is usually easy to make if you know how to do it - just get in an LR mindset when hitting up the questions.

Colgate87
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby Colgate87 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:20 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm new here...I've been prepping for quite a while, and have taken this test twice already. My first score cancelled and my second was a low 143. I have managed to finally get my scores into the 150s with my highest being a 157. I am prepping for the December 2013 test and I have faith that I can push my score to a 165, but I've seemed to hit a road block. I do pretty well on logic games (-0 to -3) so I'm not too concerened with that. However, my RC and LR is all over the place. I'm in the 16-19 correct for LR and 12-17 for RC, but I know this is too low for the scores I am looking to reach by the end of Novemeber. I think my biggest struggles are assumption and flaw. I'm going through LRB again, but after reading this post I'm thinking of buying the Manhattan and Cambridge, but I'm not sure what the Cambridge set is. I'm trying not to become frustrated, but I need some spark of hope. Can anyone please give me realistic advice. Hopefully this paragraph makes sense. Thanks

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paglababa
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby paglababa » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:38 pm

Colgate87 wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm new here...I've been prepping for quite a while, and have taken this test twice already. My first score cancelled and my second was a low 143. I have managed to finally get my scores into the 150s with my highest being a 157. I am prepping for the December 2013 test and I have faith that I can push my score to a 165, but I've seemed to hit a road block. I do pretty well on logic games (-0 to -3) so I'm not too concerened with that. However, my RC and LR is all over the place. I'm in the 16-19 correct for LR and 12-17 for RC, but I know this is too low for the scores I am looking to reach by the end of Novemeber. I think my biggest struggles are assumption and flaw. I'm going through LRB again, but after reading this post I'm thinking of buying the Manhattan and Cambridge, but I'm not sure what the Cambridge set is. I'm trying not to become frustrated, but I need some spark of hope. Can anyone please give me realistic advice. Hopefully this paragraph makes sense. Thanks


The cambridge set pretty much takes all LR questions from PT 1-38 and groups them by type for you. I tis convenient since they have sorted it and put it into different PDF packets...i.e. strengthen, weaken, parallel flaw ect. If you do those, you will develop a rhythm and start realizing patterns. Very recommended. If you are only getting 16-19 right then you need to work on the basics. Do it untimed and just be able to say why every single incorrect answer is wrong.

Colgate87
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Re: How to improve RC speed and LR accuracy in a short time?

Postby Colgate87 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:22 pm

Thank you! I really do appreciate this.




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