Reading Comprehension - Huge Score & Timing Drop with Annotations

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Zhiv1917

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Reading Comprehension - Huge Score & Timing Drop with Annotations

Postby Zhiv1917 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:25 am

Hi all, first thread I've made. Longtime lurker.

I am sitting in December and I've been studying since August. Right now, I am refining my timing on all sections, hammering out some difficulties in logical reasoning, and doing very well with my studying. Except when it comes to reading comprehension.

Working through the Powerscore books for LR and LG was a huge help, as were the 7sage LG videos. But when it comes to RC, if I try to annotate per the advice of Powerscore and 7sage, my timing on RC is destroyed, and my accuracy in answering questions goes down.

I can state with confidence that without annotating anything on RC I am faster and more accurate. But I still don't usually finish sections in time.

Should I just stop with the annotations and work on getting my timing down to something like 2 mins per passage with 5-6 mins for the questions? I am a little discouraged by my poor performance on RC, as I expected it would be my strongest section. I scored an 800 on the SAT verbal and in my free time I read very dense books, many of them above the level of difficulty of the LSAT passages. It's frustrating, as you might imagine.

Any advice would be much appreciated. GL everyone!

haley12

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Re: Reading Comprehension - Huge Score & Timing Drop with Annotations

Postby haley12 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:32 am

I'm no expert, but I would say do what works for you! Don't force yourself to do it "their way" just because that works for some people. I think you should go with whichever way you feel more confident in.

Mikey

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Re: Reading Comprehension - Huge Score & Timing Drop with Annotations

Postby Mikey » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:08 pm

if no annotations works for you, stick with it. don't change something just because it works for others, because it might not sit right with you. i used to annotate, it was terrible for me, i switched to just reading passages and it worked better for me, although i'm still no expert.

do what feels right for you

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Deardevil

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Re: Reading Comprehension - Huge Score & Timing Drop with Annotations

Postby Deardevil » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:28 pm

You may be used to dense material, and that's good, but if The LSAT Trainer taught me anything,
it's that you need to adopt the LSAT way of reading, scrapping your normal method for the exam.

Do you read a newspaper the same way you read your favorite novel? Not really.
In the former, you're only interested in certain parts, like the games section, whereas you'll read every text in the latter.

For an RC passage, you shouldn't read it like a newspaper, but you're definitely not reading it like you would with a Shakespeare poem.
Instead of holding every single detail in your head (you ARE being timed, after all), you focus on the main point and organization of the reading.
This takes anywhere from a minute to four (I'd recommend two to three). Just like in analytical reasoning, this is the setup, your diagram;
by committing that extra mile in the front row and retaining the important "rules" of the "scenario," you're ready to attack the questions.
And, like in LG, there will be questions that require you to look back at your "diagram," such as ones that point to specific lines or paragraphs.
The first question, LIKE IN LG, is almost a freebie because you've been hunting down the conclusion;
in addition, it may even aid in your progress with the rest of the questions.

TLDR; do not approach RC passages the same way as regular books or articles,
"skim" for structure (know where significant pieces lie), head to the questions,
and refer back as needed (if you know where everything is, it's cake walk).

Voyager

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Re: Reading Comprehension - Huge Score & Timing Drop with Annotations

Postby Voyager » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:09 pm

Requires practice.

Unlikely that with practice taking notes will result in worse score than not taking with notes.

You need to treat it like logic games: memorize a framework that you use over and over again.

You also need to know WHY you are taking notes on WHAT.

I notice that you are failing to finish the entire RC section as it stands with your current method. That means your current method does not work.

You will need to change something...

Zhiv1917

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Re: Reading Comprehension - Huge Score & Timing Drop with Annotations

Postby Zhiv1917 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:07 pm

I appreciate the replies everyone. They were very helpful. As I do have some time before the test, I am going to practice with a method of light notation. Perhaps I just need more practice using a consistent method, knowing what to annotate, and what to keep in mind while reading. In the unlikely event that I see no improvement, I will still have some time to adopt a new method.

Cheers!

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SunDevil14

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Re: Reading Comprehension - Huge Score & Timing Drop with Annotations

Postby SunDevil14 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:14 pm

Do not feel compelled to annotate. The same thing happened to me. I read Powerscore RC and Manhattan Prep RC, then began to annotate as outlined in the books. The result is that I did worse and took longer. Now I do not annotate and have been routinely getting -2's in last week or so.

I made a similar post about getting a 170+ while not annotating on RC, you may find it helpful.

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Rupert Pupkin

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Re: Reading Comprehension - Huge Score & Timing Drop with Annotations

Postby Rupert Pupkin » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:49 pm

Voyager wrote:Requires practice.

Unlikely that with practice taking notes will result in worse score than not taking with notes.

You need to treat it like logic games: memorize a framework that you use over and over again.

You also need to know WHY you are taking notes on WHAT.

I notice that you are failing to finish the entire RC section as it stands with your current method. That means your current method does not work.

You will need to change something...


Yeah I can attest to this. If you are annotating aimlessly and just underlining everything then I can see why it wouldn't help you. But if you do it with purpose in a format that works for you then it can be extremely helpful.

Just my perspective because it works for me. Hell, it may not work for you and you are 100% correct, but I would maybe look into modifying your annotation strategy (I read and was influenced by Voyager's recommendations :) ) just before dropping it. Approach and Strategy is everything no matter which method you decide is best for you. You definitely have a good amount of time to figure that out.

tskela

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Re: Reading Comprehension - Huge Score & Timing Drop with Annotations

Postby tskela » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:40 pm

OP, you don't have to annotate extensively or follow any sort of annotation system. However, it takes little to no effort to mark a few key things in the passage, and this shouldn't slow you down at all.

1. The names of different people/parties who hold certain views on the topic at hand. Just box/circle the name and underline a sentence that summarizes the opinion. If you've got four different viewpoints mentioned and they're all intertwined without paragraph separation, it saves time knowing exactly where to find these viewpoints and identify who holds them.

2. Superlatives/conditional language. If a scientist is "BEST known for her work with...", if an art movement was the "FIRST to use the aesthetic technique of...", you're going to get a question about the scientist's other, lesser-known works and other artistic movements which were not the first to utilize said aesthetic technique. Superlatives allow you to draw inferences for MSS questions, and your efficiency at doing this will depend upon how quickly you can locate the relevant text within the passage.

3. Strong tonal language. If an author says: "this theory is certainly misguided and cannot accurately account for...", that's about as opinionated as an LSAT passage is going to get and you should take note. This allows you to confidently choose "fundamental disagreement" over "mild skepticism" on a question about the author's tone rather than spending time going back and forth between the two answer choices because your memory isn't providing you with a clear resolution.

I annotate very, very minimally. I've always been a strong reader and can generally do well on the questions just by reading the passage carefully and making a mental map of its structure. I can grasp the framework pretty decently without annotations. But you're sometimes going to get questions where the difference between answer choices hinges upon small, critical details buried deep in line 42 that you just won't remember 100% of the time, no matter how good your structural understanding of the passage is. It helps to circle/box/underline these things, and I don't see how this would make your timing suffer.



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