"RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

lsat_hopeful
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"RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby lsat_hopeful » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:09 pm

Source: http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/ls ... egies.html

Do you agree or disagree? I'm curious if you think that RC can be tackled systematically like LG (and according to the article, LR).

I'm doing horrendously on RC and I know I have potential to do well. I don't know what to focus on/look for when I'm reading the passages. Any advice/input is appreciated.

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retaking23
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Re: "RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby retaking23 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:31 pm

Yes, RC is predictable just like LR and LG. Read for argument reasoning structure. By this, I mean read for how the main point of the passage is reached (ie, how the author uses background, supporting premises, etc. and oppositions' rebuttals to reach his conclusion). When you approach RC in this way, the subject matter becomes very irrelevant and, in a way, you can treat the entire passage as a really long LR stimulus with the exception that you should expect that you will be asked to summarize parts of it in the questions (ie, you won't have to find flaws and inferences as much but you will see a lot of "according to the passage..."). I'm still getting the hang of this so I suggest you ask Mike Kim on The Trainer thread if you have more questions since his book advocates this approach.

lsat_hopeful
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Re: "RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby lsat_hopeful » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:42 pm

retaking23 wrote:Yes, RC is predictable just like LR and LG. Read for argument reasoning structure. By this, I mean read for how the main point of the passage is reached (ie, how the author uses background, supporting premises, etc. and oppositions' rebuttals to reach his conclusion). When you approach RC in this way, the subject matter becomes very irrelevant and, in a way, you can treat the entire passage as a really long LR stimulus with the exception that you should expect that you will be asked to summarize parts of it in the questions (ie, you won't have to find flaws and inferences as much but you will see a lot of "according to the passage..."). I'm still getting the hang of this so I suggest you ask Mike Kim on The Trainer thread if you have more questions since his book advocates this approach.


I have the book actually and was just looking to see what sections covered RC. I'm going to read some of the passages from the book, but I feel limited on time and don't know if I can read all the RC sections in the book. Either way, thanks for your input. I'm going to wait and see what other responses I get, but if I still need more input, I'll definitely ask Mike as well. (Mike if you're reading this, please feel free to chime in.)

I will try the approach you mentioned. Thanks.

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bobtheblob916
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Re: "RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby bobtheblob916 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:45 pm

Agree. It's just more abstract and therefore harder to teach. With LR and LG you can say: When this situation occurs, do this. Those situations are easily recognizable with a bit of practice. With RC, I feel there are more variables at play, so it takes more time and practice to become comfortable with all the possible situations. But yes, it's definitely possible.

bp shinners
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Re: "RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby bp shinners » Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:47 pm

As a demo, I used to have my class bring in a random RC passage from a test we didn't include in our lessons (this was before I wrote/edited our RC explanations for the homework, so I wasn't familiar with all of them). If they gave me the passage, I could predict at least 5 of the questions. If they didn't give me the passage, I could generally get at least 4 (but usually 5+) of the questions correct.

In short, there are absolutely patterns to the passage, questions, and correct answers. When that's the case, you can apply a general/predictable strategy, just like in LG and LR.

lsat_hopeful
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Re: "RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby lsat_hopeful » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:51 pm

bp shinners wrote:If they didn't give me the passage, I could generally get at least 4 (but usually 5+) of the questions correct.


That's incredible. Can you expand on this - how do you go about answering questions (correctly!) without having read the passage?

In short, there are absolutely patterns to the passage, questions, and correct answers. When that's the case, you can apply a general/predictable strategy, just like in LG and LR.


This is great to know as well, but is there any way you could expand on this as well?

bp shinners
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Re: "RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby bp shinners » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:03 pm

lsat_hopeful wrote:
bp shinners wrote:If they didn't give me the passage, I could generally get at least 4 (but usually 5+) of the questions correct.


That's incredible. Can you expand on this - how do you go about answering questions (correctly!) without having read the passage?


You can scan the questions (don't do this on your test before reading) to get a general idea of how many viewpoints there are, and if the author is present.

These are written by academics - they're not going to take exceptionally strong viewpoints, and they're not going to completely throw out another explanation. If you throw out the most extreme answer choices, as far as the viewpoint goes, that takes any attitude question down to 3 answers instead of 5.

Then, you can throw out at least 1 more because the language is too strong - "always" or "first example" are out; "sometimes" and "an example" are in. Now you're between 1 and 2.

Then, it gets harder - there are other qualities to look for, but it's hard for me to create a list or put it into words.

If you can get an idea of the MP by ruling out the extreme answers, and then using an author's attitude question or two to further narrow it down, you can pretty much recreate the passage without having to read it. Throw in a few questions about other viewpoints to see how they relate, stick to the weak answers, and you'll be surprised how many questions you can answer correctly without reading the passage.

In short, there are absolutely patterns to the passage, questions, and correct answers. When that's the case, you can apply a general/predictable strategy, just like in LG and LR.


This is great to know as well, but is there any way you could expand on this as well?


The passages are almost all about change - "X was the old trend, then Y happened, and now Z is the new trend."
Science - "We used to believe X, but then Y did experiment W, and now we believe Z."
Art - "The old style was X, but then Y incorporated W element from the old with new element T, and the new style is Z."
History - "Humans used to do X, but then Y happened, and now we do Z."
Social psychology - "X was a weird feature of human activity, but then we did study Y, and now we explain it with Z."

If you can define X, Y, and Z (and the other letters, if they show up), you can understand the whole passage, even if you miss the specifics.

For questions, they're becoming LR questions. Figure out what LR question it relates to (MBT and Most Strongly Supported being the most common), and use the same strategies.

For the answers, I'd almost always prefer a weaker answer.

lsat_hopeful
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Re: "RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby lsat_hopeful » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:19 pm

bp shinners wrote:
lsat_hopeful wrote:
bp shinners wrote:If they didn't give me the passage, I could generally get at least 4 (but usually 5+) of the questions correct.


That's incredible. Can you expand on this - how do you go about answering questions (correctly!) without having read the passage?


You can scan the questions (don't do this on your test before reading) to get a general idea of how many viewpoints there are, and if the author is present.

These are written by academics - they're not going to take exceptionally strong viewpoints, and they're not going to completely throw out another explanation.

If you throw out the most extreme answer choices, as far as the viewpoint goes, that takes any attitude question down to 3 answers instead of 5.

Then, you can throw out at least 1 more because the language is too strong - "always" or "first example" are out; "sometimes" and "an example" are in. Now you're between 1 and 2.

Then, it gets harder - there are other qualities to look for, but it's hard for me to create a list or put it into words.

If you can get an idea of the MP by ruling out the extreme answers, and then using an author's attitude question or two to further narrow it down, you can pretty much recreate the passage without having to read it. Throw in a few questions about other viewpoints to see how they relate, stick to the weak answers, and you'll be surprised how many questions you can answer correctly without reading the passage.

In short, there are absolutely patterns to the passage, questions, and correct answers. When that's the case, you can apply a general/predictable strategy, just like in LG and LR.


This is great to know as well, but is there any way you could expand on this as well?


The passages are almost all about change - "X was the old trend, then Y happened, and now Z is the new trend."
Science - "We used to believe X, but then Y did experiment W, and now we believe Z."
Art - "The old style was X, but then Y incorporated W element from the old with new element T, and the new style is Z."
History - "Humans used to do X, but then Y happened, and now we do Z."
Social psychology - "X was a weird feature of human activity, but then we did study Y, and now we explain it with Z."

If you can define X, Y, and Z (and the other letters, if they show up), you can understand the whole passage, even if you miss the specifics.

For questions, they're becoming LR questions. Figure out what LR question it relates to (MBT and Most Strongly Supported being the most common), and use the same strategies.

For the answers, I'd almost always prefer a weaker answer.


Thanks for the thorough answer. I will have to take a look at an RC passage with this in front of me to fully soak in what you're saying, but this does make a lot of sense.

Thanks.

jared6180
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Re: "RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby jared6180 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:37 pm

lsat_hopeful wrote:
Thanks for the thorough answer. I will have to take a look at an RC passage with this in front of me to fully soak in what you're saying, but this does make a lot of sense.

Thanks.


THIS! I don't remember ever hearing it explained this way.

lsat_hopeful
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Re: "RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby lsat_hopeful » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:49 pm

jared6180 wrote:
lsat_hopeful wrote:
Thanks for the thorough answer. I will have to take a look at an RC passage with this in front of me to fully soak in what you're saying, but this does make a lot of sense.

Thanks.


THIS! I don't remember ever hearing it explained this way.


That's probably (at least partially) due to the fact that bpshinners has more experience/cumulative knowledge on the LSAT than we will ever have in our lifetime - so, he's able to see the test in a very different light than us. (just a thought, I may be completely wrong)

bp shinners
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Re: "RC is predictable just like LR and LG"

Postby bp shinners » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:23 pm

lsat_hopeful wrote:
jared6180 wrote:
lsat_hopeful wrote:
Thanks for the thorough answer. I will have to take a look at an RC passage with this in front of me to fully soak in what you're saying, but this does make a lot of sense.

Thanks.


THIS! I don't remember ever hearing it explained this way.


That's probably (at least partially) due to the fact that bpshinners has more experience/cumulative knowledge on the LSAT than we will ever have in our lifetime - so, he's able to see the test in a very different light than us. (just a thought, I may be completely wrong)


I'M certainly not going to argue with it ;)




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