Clyde Frog wrote:KDLMaj wrote:I'm not sure where you got "skip whole paragraphs" from anything I've ever posted.
It's the first point in your RC guide that you posted. Reading the first sentence and skimming the rest. Talking about just flying over some paragraphs because they're junk.
I assume this guide is so that readers can read the passage in like two minutes. The problem is that you usually can't absorb the main points and important details in two minutes (at least I can't). I take sometimes up to 4:45 to read a passage and note the main points of each paragraph, author's purpose, structure, have a good visual map of the passage ect., and have no problem finishing on time with pretty much 100% accuracy. The lsat isn't a speed reading test. Skimming and other shortcuts will only hurt your score. The goal on for most on TLS is to get into the 170 range and gimmicky methods aren't going to get it done.
First- you really have to read the whole approach. Reading the first point and extrapolating is like deciding we won't be sketching the game because the first step says to read the background
When you get to law school, they're going to run through a test case or two with you and then sit you down with MOUNTAINS of cases full of insane facts about each. Your job will be to find the fact pattern- to get through it all and figure out which pieces are actually relevant and which ones don't influence the case outcome. You'll also be asked to follow the different arguments of both sides of the case as well as the reasoning of the Judge's final verdict.
"Reading Comprehension" is the most poorly named test section out there. It's not a reading comprehension test- it's a hybrid Issue Spotting/LR test. You are actually being tested on your ability to predict which parts of a passage matter and which ones are junk. Most test takers don't realize this and read everything in the passage as though it stands an equal chance of mattering- which leads them to read each piece very carefully. That, in turn, eats up their time- which often results in them cutting corners *while answering the questions* to compensate. And yet, our scores come from the questions, NOT the passage.
In terms of figuring out what we should be reading carefully, why not just let the questions be our guide? You know that you're going to be asked a few questions on the Big Picture. Those questions will focus on the Main Idea, the Purpose of the passage, and the overall structure of the argument sometimes in obviously worded questions and sometimes a little more subtle. That's a given. Which means- when we read a passage we should be reading primarily for the Big Picture. So read the intro carefully, then read the first sentence of every paragraph afterwards. Take a second to look to see if the Main Idea was stated in one of those sentences (or at least, which paragraph it's likely to be in). Use the stuff you find in those sentences to give you a heads up on what this passage is *really* about and how it's going to progress. (Think in terms of what each paragraph seems to be doing) That should equip you to answer the Big Picture questions quickly. [If you want to see this in more visual terms- check out https://cloud.box.com/s/3soiom502uj8176r9ssq)
Then, go back up and skim through the paragraphs with two goals in mind: 1) FIND THE MAIN IDEA 2) Look for question-worthy points.
Did you know that the average LSAT passage tests between 3-5 sentences of that passage? Go back over your most recent RC sections, go mark where in the passage the right answers to each of the questions came from. Not only will you find that most of the stuff in that passage was garbage, but you'll realize that they're testing the same things every time. Someone expresses an opinion? Question. Two people argue? Question. Author cites a detail set off by "For Example" for the express purpose of supporting their main idea? Question. And how much time did you spend carefully reading things that were so obviously not going to be tested?
Take PT 61 Sec 1 Passage 2:
It's a four paragraph passage. Here is the question breakdown:
Q7: Main Idea (Big Picture- Paragraph 4)
Q8: Lessing's view (Paragraph 3)
Q9: Critic's View- literally starts with the phrase "In the first paragraph" (Paragraph 1)
Q10 Same exact critic as above, same exact spot (Paragraph 1)
Q11: Lessing's View (Paragraph 3)
Q12: Author's Main Idea (Paragraph 4)
Q13: Lessing's View (Paragraph 3)
Interesting setup, right? The only two questions from Paragraph 1 come from the same sentence. Three questions from paragraph three about the same exact person's argument. And then two questions in paragraph 4 centered around the main idea sentence (Author's response to Lessing). Now, I could read every single sentence carefully up front. OR I could set myself up to quickly answer Q7 (which ends up answering 12) by focusing on the big picture in my initial read and along the way only slow down to catch the gist of things that are clearly about to be tested. Then, when I get to the questions, I can go back and read those opinions more carefully in the way the question demands. And I didn't have to get myself bogged down in all of the inane garbage throughout the passage that were never going to turn into a point. And I won't be tempted to try to answer the questions on memory because I'm so stressed for time.
And, even though I can predict what I'll be tested on, I can't predict HOW they'll test it. Reading something that isn't the Big Picture really carefully up front is silly. You don't know if they're going to ask you to just rephrase what was stated in the passage, spot a parallel situation, determine the function of that sentence, or ask you about someone's opinion on that sentence. But the question will tell you, and you can go back and read that part of the passage carefully- and correctly- when you get to it.
What I'm ultimately saying here is this: Figure out the Big Picture of a passage FIRST, then you'll find it a hell of a lot easier to figure out what matters and what doesn't as you read through the rest of the passage. Your initial read should be the same reading you'd do for Main Point and Method of Argument questions.
Try it out. Humor me. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.