Economist, New Yorker, etc.

ScrewMick180
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:00 pm

Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby ScrewMick180 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:34 am

I'm taking the LSAT in December 2014 and want to start reading articles daily that resemble LSAT passages. Anyone recommendations as to what I should read? The general consensus on TLS is the Economist, New Yorker, etc. Anything else?

User avatar
Pneumonia
Posts: 1642
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:43 am

Don't read that stuff unless you enjoy it. Just find something you like and read that. 10 months out isn't to early to start your actual LSAT prep either, although it is on the long side of things. Periodicals are fine, but for your own sake find a few that you like.

User avatar
Nonconsecutive
Posts: 2240
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:58 pm

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby Nonconsecutive » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:51 am

I can't offer much in the way of advice for source material outside of those oft cited ones, but I'd second the suggestion to read what you enjoy. If it happens to be those things, then great, but if you're forcing yourself to read them and have no interest I'm not sure how effective it will be. I personally didn't change my reading load for the LSAT, but I do read frequently anyways (for pleasure), which might have helped.

User avatar
Nova
Posts: 9116
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby Nova » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:56 am

if youre going to go to that extent, just be sure to also do every lsat passage ever.
Last edited by Nova on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Pneumonia
Posts: 1642
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:57 am

Nova wrote:if youre going to go to that extent, just be sure to also do every lsat passage ever.


True

User avatar
mornincounselor
Posts: 1220
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:37 am

Post removed.

Postby mornincounselor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:19 am

Post removed.
Last edited by mornincounselor on Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ScrewMick180
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby ScrewMick180 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:35 am

mornincounselor wrote:It's great that you are starting this early. I felt a bit silly starting to prepare last month for the September 2014 test but I know it's what I needed to do to have a chance of reaching the score I'm capable of.

My only critique is that if your A-Plan is the December exam that gives you no good backup. I mean if you get sick or injured or the test takes you for a loop your stuck sitting out a cycle.


Yep, totally understand this. Don't mind applying to the next cycle though. Just curious, how many hours are you putting in a daily? And are you studying every day? Want to make sure I avoid burnout. Thanks.

User avatar
mornincounselor
Posts: 1220
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:37 am

Post removed.

Postby mornincounselor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:54 am

Post removed.
Last edited by mornincounselor on Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
tanzie
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:49 pm

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby tanzie » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:37 am

Way to start planning early! :) A friend of mine just took the LSAT recently and I have been giving her all sorts of advice on this throughout her prep process, so this is going to be a long reply because I sympathize and always want ambitious test preppers to succeed!

The TL;DR version: Economist and New Yorker are fine, but I recommend supplementing with dry, scientific scholarly journals (The Annals of [some medical field], for example) and periodicals, like Scientific American, because most people struggle with the science passages above all else. Work on concentration endurance by reading long articles. If you anticipate that reading comp will be your worst section, make sure you do every practice test out there, focusing on comparative reading problems. The Power Score RC Bible may help you too.

The long version:

First, make sure you have time to drill every practice test out there, as above posters have indicated. Second, get the PS RC bible (along with every other bible--they're amazing!). Third, Economist and New Yorker are decent choices but, since you're going this route, you should add Scientific American, other science periodicals, and, if you have access to scholarly journals through something like JSTOR (or even Google Scholar). Read the technical/medical/hard science articles and then try to summarize them to test your own comprehension. This practice will also help you down the line when you're in law school and learning to brief cases as a green 1L.

The problem with RC today is that you must remember to train for the comparative passage reading too, and you can't really do that unless you drill actual practice tests--there's no substitute for that unless you want to go through the end notes of a scholarly journal article, compare two cited works and analyze their approaches/theses/argument structures. That would be crazy and unreasonable overkill though, unless you're still in college/grad school and you actually need to do this for a term paper or your own senior thesis or something. If that's the case, then you can efficiently accomplish your research and prep goals simultaneously.

The only real benefit to reading dry material is to get a feel for the language and to work on your ability to focus on, and comprehend, esoteric scientific/literary concepts immediately and without re-reading, under all sorts of unfavorable conditions. Most people have the hardest time comprehending the science-related passages, because even wacky political arguments or obnoxious literary reviews are at least tangentially approachable. Science may stump/scare people because of limited exposure to the fundamental concepts in the passage, despite the fact that every passage is written in a way that should be easily comprehended by the average reader of a NYT article.

The other issue with RC, of course, is that your level of focus will dwindle as you proceed with the exam, so one benefit of reading very long articles is to work on your concentration endurance and make sure that you know what's going on 20 pages into an article. This is also total overkill, but if all you are doing at the beginning of your prep work is prepping by reading periodicals and scholarly stuff, then this is probably the best (though inefficient) way to simulate fatigued reading conditions which will be present on test day.

Sometimes the passage will be straightforward despite its astrophysics/molecular biology topic, but it will be hard to chew through anyway if it's the 3rd passage in the 4th section of the exam. In that sense, you're kind of playing the RC lottery. Personally, I was generally okay with RC score-wise, and I was not intimidated by the science topics, but I hated it more than any other section due to sheer boredom (I really enjoyed the LR and LG because they were fun, while RC felt like an SAT reboot). On my first LSAT attempt a few years ago, I "lost" the RC lottery and got stuck with RC in the second half of the test, at which point I was fighting through a blinding migraine and could not concentrate at all...Although I ended up canceling my score, re-taking, doing well, and happily enrolling at the school of my choice, I'm still shuddering over some horrific passage about the magnetic forces beneath sea beds from several years ago just because I knew that, under better conditions, I would have done fine the first time.

So, to be prepared for the worst case scenario of being tired, possibly blind in one eye, not being able to focus, and having to navigate simple arguments comprised of polysyllabic words on foreign subject matter, you might want to delve into the Annals of Molecular Biology early on, and then proceed with the standard TLS-prescribed routine of drills, PTs, bibles, and the like. Best of luck to you in your prep!

ScrewMick180
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby ScrewMick180 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:10 pm

tanzie wrote:Way to start planning early! :) A friend of mine just took the LSAT recently and I have been giving her all sorts of advice on this throughout her prep process, so this is going to be a long reply because I sympathize and always want ambitious test preppers to succeed!

The TL;DR version: Economist and New Yorker are fine, but I recommend supplementing with dry, scientific scholarly journals (The Annals of [some medical field], for example) and periodicals, like Scientific American, because most people struggle with the science passages above all else. Work on concentration endurance by reading long articles. If you anticipate that reading comp will be your worst section, make sure you do every practice test out there, focusing on comparative reading problems. The Power Score RC Bible may help you too.

The long version:

First, make sure you have time to drill every practice test out there, as above posters have indicated. Second, get the PS RC bible (along with every other bible--they're amazing!). Third, Economist and New Yorker are decent choices but, since you're going this route, you should add Scientific American, other science periodicals, and, if you have access to scholarly journals through something like JSTOR (or even Google Scholar). Read the technical/medical/hard science articles and then try to summarize them to test your own comprehension. This practice will also help you down the line when you're in law school and learning to brief cases as a green 1L.

The problem with RC today is that you must remember to train for the comparative passage reading too, and you can't really do that unless you drill actual practice tests--there's no substitute for that unless you want to go through the end notes of a scholarly journal article, compare two cited works and analyze their approaches/theses/argument structures. That would be crazy and unreasonable overkill though, unless you're still in college/grad school and you actually need to do this for a term paper or your own senior thesis or something. If that's the case, then you can efficiently accomplish your research and prep goals simultaneously.

The only real benefit to reading dry material is to get a feel for the language and to work on your ability to focus on, and comprehend, esoteric scientific/literary concepts immediately and without re-reading, under all sorts of unfavorable conditions. Most people have the hardest time comprehending the science-related passages, because even wacky political arguments or obnoxious literary reviews are at least tangentially approachable. Science may stump/scare people because of limited exposure to the fundamental concepts in the passage, despite the fact that every passage is written in a way that should be easily comprehended by the average reader of a NYT article.

The other issue with RC, of course, is that your level of focus will dwindle as you proceed with the exam, so one benefit of reading very long articles is to work on your concentration endurance and make sure that you know what's going on 20 pages into an article. This is also total overkill, but if all you are doing at the beginning of your prep work is prepping by reading periodicals and scholarly stuff, then this is probably the best (though inefficient) way to simulate fatigued reading conditions which will be present on test day.

Sometimes the passage will be straightforward despite its astrophysics/molecular biology topic, but it will be hard to chew through anyway if it's the 3rd passage in the 4th section of the exam. In that sense, you're kind of playing the RC lottery. Personally, I was generally okay with RC score-wise, and I was not intimidated by the science topics, but I hated it more than any other section due to sheer boredom (I really enjoyed the LR and LG because they were fun, while RC felt like an SAT reboot). On my first LSAT attempt a few years ago, I "lost" the RC lottery and got stuck with RC in the second half of the test, at which point I was fighting through a blinding migraine and could not concentrate at all...Although I ended up canceling my score, re-taking, doing well, and happily enrolling at the school of my choice, I'm still shuddering over some horrific passage about the magnetic forces beneath sea beds from several years ago just because I knew that, under better conditions, I would have done fine the first time.

So, to be prepared for the worst case scenario of being tired, possibly blind in one eye, not being able to focus, and having to navigate simple arguments comprised of polysyllabic words on foreign subject matter, you might want to delve into the Annals of Molecular Biology early on, and then proceed with the standard TLS-prescribed routine of drills, PTs, bibles, and the like. Best of luck to you in your prep!


Gr8 post, thanks!!

User avatar
HanShotFirst
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:05 am

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby HanShotFirst » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:00 pm

Pneumonia wrote:Don't read that stuff unless you enjoy it. Just find something you like and read that. 10 months out isn't to early to start your actual LSAT prep either, although it is on the long side of things. Periodicals are fine, but for your own sake find a few that you like.


Bad advice. The whole point is to read things that don't interest you in order to learn how to analyze mundane passages. I spent the last month of my prep reading the daily emails from Scientific American and it definitely helped. Reading for pleasure isn't going to get you ready for RC.

User avatar
Pneumonia
Posts: 1642
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:17 pm

HanShotFirst wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:Don't read that stuff unless you enjoy it. Just find something you like and read that. 10 months out isn't to early to start your actual LSAT prep either, although it is on the long side of things. Periodicals are fine, but for your own sake find a few that you like.


Bad advice. The whole point is to read things that don't interest you in order to learn how to analyze mundane passages. I spent the last month of my prep reading the daily emails from Scientific American and it definitely helped. Reading for pleasure isn't going to get you ready for RC.


Yeah I mean I guess I was assuming that OP wouldn't be reading Twilight or whatever. You chose SA for a reason and I was just suggesting OP employ similar reasoning. As long as what you're reading is substantive it will be helpful; there's no point in reading something you hate (unless you simply hate academic writing).

The actual passages on the test provide plenty of opportunity for analyzing mundane passages. 99% of people who are bad at RC don't need to improve their analytic skills, they need to improve their reading skills. For the latter reading for pleasure is just fine.

User avatar
Nonconsecutive
Posts: 2240
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:58 pm

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby Nonconsecutive » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:41 pm

HanShotFirst wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:Don't read that stuff unless you enjoy it. Just find something you like and read that. 10 months out isn't to early to start your actual LSAT prep either, although it is on the long side of things. Periodicals are fine, but for your own sake find a few that you like.


Bad advice. The whole point is to read things that don't interest you in order to learn how to analyze mundane passages. I spent the last month of my prep reading the daily emails from Scientific American and it definitely helped. Reading for pleasure isn't going to get you ready for RC.


Gonna have to disagree, I never read anything that had no interest to me (other than actual RC passages) and I scored 175+

However, I'd definitely agree that there is no one size fits all approach for RC, but I'd rather read material I was interested in, personally. Of course, reading for pleasure doesn't necessarily mean reading a dime novel, a lot of what I was reading for enjoyment was research on topics I am interested in.

Of course, as mentioned above, you'll definitely want to practice on the actual RC passages, even if they don't especially interest you, outside of that though, do what feels best for your style.

User avatar
Clyde Frog
Posts: 7011
Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 2:27 am

Re: Economist, New Yorker, etc.

Postby Clyde Frog » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:28 am

Economist is decent, just don't assume that you have to read it from cover to cover. Scientific American is also an interesting read and is beneficial to those struggling on science-related passages.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CMac86 and 10 guests