RC is truly KILLING me

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RC is truly KILLING me

Postby AAF » Fri May 22, 2015 11:13 pm

Don't even have a real question at this point. I've tried multiple strategies and all seem to end with the same score of around -7 to -9.

Here's the thing, my issue is strictly TIMING. I don't finish the section. There's a huge drop off for me on the last passage (whatever it may be) and I get around -4 on that alone, consistently. Then maybe -1 on the other passages each.

Last three PTs I've taken, I've scored a 167, 172, 171. Obviously still going to take more, but I'm basically saying that RC is keeping my score from really getting into the upper echelon of scores and it's extremely frustrating.

I'd be ecstatic with a -3 or -4 on this section overall, I just don't know what else to do. For those who were struggling in RC in this way or for slow readers, how did you change this?


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Re: RC is truly KILLING me

Postby Smantz » Fri May 22, 2015 11:40 pm

Read some of Graeme Blake's RC strategy. Google him. He has a reddit too. He talks about increasing reading speed and some other practices. His advice helped me considerably.

RC is very learnable, but I would go for principles versus specific strategies considering you only have 35 minutes.

Also, read the RC portion of LSAC's Superprep. Focus on what RC is really supposes to test you one.

BR the shit out of RC too.

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Re: RC is truly KILLING me

Postby flash21 » Sat May 23, 2015 12:38 am

you are me.. I made a post like this last week. literally just vented, not even a question. RC is killing me too, man.


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Re: RC is truly KILLING me

Postby vodkagoesbadwhenopen » Mon May 25, 2015 4:03 pm


We're 2 weeks out and my RC scores have plummeted (consistently at -3) to now (-5 to -10). I've looked through LSAT Trainer, Manhattan RC, Blueprint and I'm at a loss for what to do besides curl myself into a ball and cry myself to sleep at the thought of the beautiful LSAT score I could have had had the test been pre 2010s.

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Re: RC is truly KILLING me

Postby LawsRUs » Mon May 25, 2015 8:08 pm

Read for structure OP.


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Re: RC is truly KILLING me

Postby redfred22 » Mon May 25, 2015 8:56 pm

Hey TLS! Love your show! Long time listener, first time caller!

Not really, more like my second post??

Anyway, I frequent the LSAT Subreddit and I'm a regular, creepy lurker on this site. Hoping to get more posts under my belt on the way to my October retake.

Anyway, here is what I have posted several times in the LSAT and lawschooladmissions subreddits:

link to the thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/LSAT/comments/36gqm3/help_on_scoring_rc/cre0wrf

actual content from my post:

How well do you do in RC if it's untimed? For me, I would miss around 10 when doing PTs. Then, I stopped doing timed and tried to see what happened if I went slow and untimed. Still missed several. So, I started to reevaluate what I was doing. I read several things on here, TLS, other websites, The LSAT Trainer, etc., and came up with a general strategy that has allowed me to miss nearly 0 every passage (granted, untimed, but I feel confident it will transfer to timed practice - it's not like I'm taking an extremely long time when I do this).
So here are the general things, and if you want me to expand, I will a little later when I'm not supposed to be doing other things, haha!
1) Read the right way - I was a strong reader, but I knew that the reading required of RC was a little different, and that I could improve upon my reading skills in general. You have to find the right way to read an RC passage. You CAN'T read for every little detail. If you do, you're wasting precious time in trying to understand everything that's going on, and you're wasting time that is better suited for other things in the passage. What you should do is this: 1) when you read a paragraph, paraphrase it to yourself after you read it. This takes a decent amount of practice of being able to sum up a paragraph in a few words, but it will come quickly. 2) after you summarize, quickly predict where the passage will go - if you have an opening paragraph discussing some theory on ocean-floor spreading, you better be predicting that that theory will be argued for, argued against, both, etc. 3) Next paragraph, again, summarize and predict. 4) at the end of the passage, quickly skim back through the passage and summarize each paragraph again, and what the whole passage is getting at - you want to do this while reading and after reading the passage because it reinforces what's going on.. it reinforces the structure of the passage, what the author is arguing, how they are arguing it, etc. It may seem counter-intuitive -- "Why am I spending so much time on this? I NEED TO GET TO THE QUESTIONS!!!" Wrong. The time you spend upfront on the passage makes the questions SOOOOO much quicker.
Which brings me to the next part - going into the questions. A few things helped me immensely in answering questions. First, the work up front on the passage. By summarizing and predicting several times, you should know generally where specific information is in the passage. If you read and I ask you where the example of the author's argument is, you should be able to find it within just a few seconds. This helps on the questions because of this next point. Second, when you read a question, be careful to make sure you understand what you're asked to do. BEFORE you look at the answers, find the answer in the passage. The work upfront will help you to find it quickly. If a question asks how an author feels about Theory X, then make sure that you're going back to the passage and saying to yourself, "Okay, so in the first paragraph author supports X, second paragraph gives reasons why she supports X, and third paragraph lays out some reasons why X may not work, but ultimately is best." Then you go to the answers, expecting something like, "The author would most strongly agree that despite it's shortcomings, X is one of the better theories of blahblahblah." or something like that. To me, the hardest part of RC was reading a question and then going into the answers hoping something would pop out. That's what they want you to do. It seems time consuming to go back to the passage, but think about it: if you go directly into the answers, you don't know exactly what you're looking for, at least don't have an idea of what a correct answer will look like. This leaves you waffling between answers, getting annoyed that you can't speed up and answer it, and, oh shit, I'm only on question 6! If you took the time upfront to understand the passage and looked up the answers quickly because of that, then you can go in and eliminate obviously wrong answers while finding something that looks like what you predicted, saving you SO much time on the questions. This brings me to the last point: ELIMINATE like its your job!!! Answers on RC are hard if you don't know what you're looking for. If you know what you're looking for, answers pop out as wrong most of the time. Why? Well, now you have a great understanding of what's going on in the passage. When an answer talks about something not essential (irrelevant) to the passage, or goes too broad or narrow in what it's trying to say, then you can easily eliminate it.
All of these things feed off of each other. Take the time up front to understand the passage. Read it, summarize while reading, skim afterward, summarize again. Then go into the questions. Look for the answer BEFORE looking at the answer choices rather than going straight into the answers, waffling, then going to look for the answer, getting flustered, and messing up. When answering, use your knowledge of the passage and what you're looking for to confidently eliminate obviously wrong choices. Every once in a while there will be some trick answers where you'll think you can easily eliminate it, but as you get used to this type of strategy, you'll know which questions are trying to trick you, and those trick answers will pop out as sounding like they might make sense, in which you can eliminate the clearly wrong ones quickly and analyze the two you have left to figure it out.
If you want anything elaborated on, just ask away.

Maybe this will help you, maybe not. But it has been good for me, and the main points about summarizing to yourself and making sure to find answers before looking at answer choices makes the RC a bit easier. Hope this helps!

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