Meaningful gains possible in RC?

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CheyenneGarrett17

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Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby CheyenneGarrett17 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:59 am

More than a little upset about my diagnostic. Mostly what I was expecting, the exception being RC. Reading Comp has always been an area I have done well in, my strongest section back when I took the ACT. But I had double-digits incorrect for my diagnostic. Going back to review where I went wrong, I even had a hard time understanding why I got some questions incorrect - the logic behind what makes one answer better than the other just doesn't make sense to me in some questions. Based on what I have read here, it seems like this is the most difficult section to improve on, and some comments make it sounds like it's practically set. Any real hopes in making serious leaps in this section, or should I focus more on the others?

Since I was surprised with how poorly I did in that section and it seems like any solution would be more long-term, I figured I would begin studying with RC - any useful tips for that? I have the RC Bible, will be getting the LSAT Trainer after reading reviews on here, and will focus on reading a lot of dense material in coming weeks and months, but any other advice would be great.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby Alexandros » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:14 am

Absolutely. I made as many gains in RC as I did in LR. There are patterns in questions and content just like in the other sections, and with practice you get better at spotting them and understanding the logic. Imo, repetition is key - Be prepared to spend as much time repeating and understanding passages as you do with games. Meaningful gains can definitely, definitely be made.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby Kaziende » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:55 am

My worst section, went from -12 to -2. Drilled every passage ever released, many multiple times. There are no tricks, just repetition. If you do enough sections, you will find your rhythm, and you'll start getting questions right. The best LSAT (and life) advice anyone can give you is this: just do the work. It will get easier.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby SunDevil14 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:56 pm

Kaziende wrote:My worst section, went from -12 to -2. Drilled every passage ever released, many multiple times. There are no tricks, just repetition. If you do enough sections, you will find your rhythm, and you'll start getting questions right. The best LSAT (and life) advice anyone can give you is this: just do the work. It will get easier.


RC is typically the hardest/slowest section to improve on. As stated above, there is no real substitution for hard-work and repetition. Find a method that you prefer and stick with it. I recommend photocopying the RC section you are working on. When you go back to review, underline all portions of the text you are using to support your answers. Also, underline key phrases in the questions, as well as make notes about the passages overall format. Eventually you will begin to see patterns.

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CheyenneGarrett17

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby CheyenneGarrett17 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:14 pm

Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it, made me feel like there may be some hope. Between my UG advisor telling me the LSAT 'isn't something you need to study for, it's more of an IQ type test' and me figuring reading comp is an area one is strong in or not at this point in life, I had myself a bit concerned that I had put in years of work for a fairly decent GPA with no hopes of getting a score high enough for a decent school. But time and effort, I can definitely do that. Sounds like it's a good thing I'm starting with RC. Thanks again, guys.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby somebodyelse » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:23 pm

CheyenneGarrett17 wrote:Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it, made me feel like there may be some hope. Between my UG advisor telling me the LSAT 'isn't something you need to study for, it's more of an IQ type test' and me figuring reading comp is an area one is strong in or not at this point in life, I had myself a bit concerned that I had put in years of work for a fairly decent GPA with no hopes of getting a score high enough for a decent school. But time and effort, I can definitely do that. Sounds like it's a good thing I'm starting with RC. Thanks again, guys.


Wow, that was some bad advice you received. It's pretty clear that anyone can dramatically improve their score on the LSAT, given they put in the work.

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CheyenneGarrett17

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby CheyenneGarrett17 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:23 pm

somebodyelse wrote:
CheyenneGarrett17 wrote:Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it, made me feel like there may be some hope. Between my UG advisor telling me the LSAT 'isn't something you need to study for, it's more of an IQ type test' and me figuring reading comp is an area one is strong in or not at this point in life, I had myself a bit concerned that I had put in years of work for a fairly decent GPA with no hopes of getting a score high enough for a decent school. But time and effort, I can definitely do that. Sounds like it's a good thing I'm starting with RC. Thanks again, guys.


Wow, that was some bad advice you received. It's pretty clear that anyone can dramatically improve their score on the LSAT, given they put in the work.


Yeah, unfortunately, I think after she looked at my GPA and I told her my diagnostic, she figured I'd likely be accepted into the law school where I attended UG and kinda wrote me off after that. Thankfully I have a couple great mentors in the law school who are pushing me to do better. But it was upsetting to hear an academic advisor say that. If it weren't for TLS and the other connections I've made, I probably would have accepted that answer since I'm kinda flying by the seat of my pants with all this. She actually told me reading TLS may do more harm than good because this is a place for "like, Ivy students" lol. I still haven't decided how offended I should be about her automatically writing off the possibility of me even aiming for those schools given that my mentors are UVa and Penn grads who are pushing me to go to their alma maters lol. Ah well, thankfully I know better, thanks to you guys.

But if I continue to run to y'all for seemingly common sense answers, now ya know why lol. Between being a first gen and advice like that, it makes me question everything lol.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby somebodyelse » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:05 am

CheyenneGarrett17 wrote:Yeah, unfortunately, I think after she looked at my GPA and I told her my diagnostic, she figured I'd likely be accepted into the law school where I attended UG and kinda wrote me off after that. Thankfully I have a couple great mentors in the law school who are pushing me to do better. But it was upsetting to hear an academic advisor say that. If it weren't for TLS and the other connections I've made, I probably would have accepted that answer since I'm kinda flying by the seat of my pants with all this. She actually told me reading TLS may do more harm than good because this is a place for "like, Ivy students" lol. I still haven't decided how offended I should be about her automatically writing off the possibility of me even aiming for those schools given that my mentors are UVa and Penn grads who are pushing me to go to their alma maters lol. Ah well, thankfully I know better, thanks to you guys.

But if I continue to run to y'all for seemingly common sense answers, now ya know why lol. Between being a first gen and advice like that, it makes me question everything lol.


I've found that advisers are generally a waste of school resources and you can find way better information by doing some research yourself. It's a shame really.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby galeatus » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:31 am

CheyenneGarrett17 wrote:But it was upsetting to hear an academic advisor say that. If it weren't for TLS and the other connections I've made, I probably would have accepted that answer since I'm kinda flying by the seat of my pants with all this. She actually told me reading TLS may do more harm than good because this is a place for "like, Ivy students" lol.


:lol: :lol: :lol:
But yeah just to echo everyone else in this thread, don't take your diagnostic score too seriously. It should be taken as an indication of what you should be working on (which you've already identified as RC) and should not under any circumstances be taken as an indication of what you might score in the end. There are people who went from 140 to 175+, and also people who went scored a 165 on their diagnostic who ended up with exactly the same score. It's all about continuously finding areas where improvements are needed and working on them.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby Mikey » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:23 am

Lol, there are a great number of "pre-law" advisors who have no clue wtf they're talking about. You can most likely get better information from someone on here than them. It's funny because in the admissions sub-forum, lots of people have told stories about what their advisor said to them about law school, and close to everyone who looks at those threads agrees that "pre-law" advisors are close to morons when it comes to admissions. Which ironically, isn't that what they're purpose is? lol.

You've gotten some good responses so far, but yeah, you can definitely improve in RC and the LSAT as a whole. Once you figure out your next move with RC (whether that be a book or just straight up practicing), drilling and drilling and drilling RC is the best thing you can do. Good luck!

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby appind » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:25 pm

galeatus wrote:
CheyenneGarrett17 wrote:But it was upsetting to hear an academic advisor say that. If it weren't for TLS and the other connections I've made, I probably would have accepted that answer since I'm kinda flying by the seat of my pants with all this. She actually told me reading TLS may do more harm than good because this is a place for "like, Ivy students" lol.


:lol: :lol: :lol:
But yeah just to echo everyone else in this thread, don't take your diagnostic score too seriously. It should be taken as an indication of what you should be working on (which you've already identified as RC) and should not under any circumstances be taken as an indication of what you might score in the end. There are people who went from 140 to 175+, and also people who went scored a 165 on their diagnostic who ended up with exactly the same score. It's all about continuously finding areas where improvements are needed and working on them.


RC is a slightly harder section to improve on than others, but strong gains are definitely possibly. you shouldn't also worry too much about low diag. i went from about 130 diag to low 170s on the real test even though it took me a long time to get there.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby Mikey » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:53 pm

appind wrote:
RC is a slightly harder section to improve on than others, but strong gains are definitely possibly. you shouldn't also worry too much about low diag. i went from about 130 diag to low 170s on the real test even though it took me a long time to get there.

my diagnostic was a little higher, which means jack shit, but I hope to be you one day :mrgreen:

how long exactly did you study for the LSAT? I'll be going on 1 year in January and hope June is my last take..

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PrezRand

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby PrezRand » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:07 pm

Check out Voyager's guide. It's really good.

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Blueprint Mithun

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby Blueprint Mithun » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:35 pm

CheyenneGarrett17 wrote:
somebodyelse wrote:
CheyenneGarrett17 wrote:Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it, made me feel like there may be some hope. Between my UG advisor telling me the LSAT 'isn't something you need to study for, it's more of an IQ type test' and me figuring reading comp is an area one is strong in or not at this point in life, I had myself a bit concerned that I had put in years of work for a fairly decent GPA with no hopes of getting a score high enough for a decent school. But time and effort, I can definitely do that. Sounds like it's a good thing I'm starting with RC. Thanks again, guys.


Wow, that was some bad advice you received. It's pretty clear that anyone can dramatically improve their score on the LSAT, given they put in the work.


Yeah, unfortunately, I think after she looked at my GPA and I told her my diagnostic, she figured I'd likely be accepted into the law school where I attended UG and kinda wrote me off after that. Thankfully I have a couple great mentors in the law school who are pushing me to do better. But it was upsetting to hear an academic advisor say that. If it weren't for TLS and the other connections I've made, I probably would have accepted that answer since I'm kinda flying by the seat of my pants with all this. She actually told me reading TLS may do more harm than good because this is a place for "like, Ivy students" lol. I still haven't decided how offended I should be about her automatically writing off the possibility of me even aiming for those schools given that my mentors are UVa and Penn grads who are pushing me to go to their alma maters lol. Ah well, thankfully I know better, thanks to you guys.

But if I continue to run to y'all for seemingly common sense answers, now ya know why lol. Between being a first gen and advice like that, it makes me question everything lol.



That's really unfortunate that your advisor has that mindset. Glad you did your research and learned the truth. Worrying about your diagnostic is silly - if you're committed to learning the LSAT, then you can certainly work your way up to a good score. It's by nature a learnable test, and definitely not an "IQ-type test" (which is itself a definition I have issues with - you can study for any type of test if you have an idea of what's going to be on it...but that's neither here nor there).

You should study all three of the sections, and that includes RC. Starting with it isn't a bad idea. With Reading Comp, the key is to develop how to read for structure - to learn to look for the important aspects of each passage, which you're mostly likely to be asked about. It takes practice to internalize an effective reading strategy, but once you understand how to do it and put in the hours, it becomes second nature.

My own pre-law advisor was thankfully a pretty smart guy, or at least he gave me one great piece of advice that I followed when studying for the exam. "Treat the LSAT like a part-time job." You should plan on studying for the LSAT for a period of months, but during that time, you should commit to it the way you would commit to a real job. As in, you need to show up and do the work, operate on your pre-defined schedule rather than just studying when you feel like it, and put in extra work when you're lagging behind. If you can make this commitment, you'll improve a lot faster, and the whole process will ultimately be less stressful and less time-consuming.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby loslakers » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:03 pm

ill pretty much echo what everyone else said on this thread.

i was in the same boat as you. looked at my diagnostic test and figured if there was any part i was gonna do well on it was gonna be RC because i always found RC easy on other tests. i think i ended up missing 13 or 14 and was pretty devastated. But after some studying i realized that all parts of the LSAT are learnable. you really do just have to put in the work. I definitely found RC the hardest to improve on (LG came pretty easy once I learned how to set everything up and you can improve LR really quickly once you've learned how to attack the certain types of questions).

What worked for me was to break up the types of RC questions (thanks blueprint) into groups (author's attitude, main point, etc.) and try to work through them out as I would those same types of questions in LR. If i missed a question i would go back and look through the passage and try to identify exactly where i missed something in the passage (the answer is always there in the passage). Do this enough times are you'll eventually get the hang of it! by the end i was only missing 4-6 on the RC. wayyyy better than missing 13 or 14.

everyone on here gave great advice and different approaches on how to handle RC. Pick whichever one works the best for you, stick with it and you'll see a lot of improvement, it may take awhile but you will improve.

also your prelaw advisor is beyond stupid. best of luck on your studies! let us know when you score that coveted 170!

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby AJordan » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:35 am

The mindset that really helped me improve in RC was the realization that just about every single question, no matter how convoluted, was essentially a must be true question. Some questions that seemed so ambiguous once upon a time are much clearer if you just go back into the passage and look. I know a lot of folks swear off going back but I have found it tremendously helpful. My diag was -14 a month ago and my last 10 PTs have all been --5 or better. I'm still missing a few per that I probably shouldn't miss. That's coming with time. Don't be impatient and learn when to apply the must be true question theory to RC and you'll be set.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby albanach » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:35 pm

I post the same advice a lot. Accuracy needs to come before speed. There are plenty of old practice tests to work from.

Use the oldest tests to work really slowly through each question, figuring out which answer is correct. Don't time yourself. As you learn the question styles you will become quicker naturally. Once you're doing well, then start bumping up the speed.

Like so many others, RC was my weakest area, but it like every other area is learnable.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby t14orbust22 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:26 pm

Yes. I went from 9-10 wrong in RC to 3-4 wrong. Still would like to keep it to -2 ideally, but it is amazing what constant drilling can accomplish. I found oftentime my mind would "doze off" when I wasn't aware and I'd miss subtle but important details - that has improved tremendously. Also, I can pretty accurately anticipate questions before I even read them.

t14orbust22

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby t14orbust22 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:28 pm

Also I would warn against "using up" newer RC passages. I starting preptesting in order from the earliest to most recent tests. RC has certainly become harder over the years - not necessarily the content of the passages, but the questions asked about them.

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Re: Meaningful gains possible in RC?

Postby Voyager » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:44 pm

Blueprint Mithun wrote:
CheyenneGarrett17 wrote:
somebodyelse wrote:
CheyenneGarrett17 wrote:Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it, made me feel like there may be some hope. Between my UG advisor telling me the LSAT 'isn't something you need to study for, it's more of an IQ type test' and me figuring reading comp is an area one is strong in or not at this point in life, I had myself a bit concerned that I had put in years of work for a fairly decent GPA with no hopes of getting a score high enough for a decent school. But time and effort, I can definitely do that. Sounds like it's a good thing I'm starting with RC. Thanks again, guys.


Wow, that was some bad advice you received. It's pretty clear that anyone can dramatically improve their score on the LSAT, given they put in the work.


Yeah, unfortunately, I think after she looked at my GPA and I told her my diagnostic, she figured I'd likely be accepted into the law school where I attended UG and kinda wrote me off after that. Thankfully I have a couple great mentors in the law school who are pushing me to do better. But it was upsetting to hear an academic advisor say that. If it weren't for TLS and the other connections I've made, I probably would have accepted that answer since I'm kinda flying by the seat of my pants with all this. She actually told me reading TLS may do more harm than good because this is a place for "like, Ivy students" lol. I still haven't decided how offended I should be about her automatically writing off the possibility of me even aiming for those schools given that my mentors are UVa and Penn grads who are pushing me to go to their alma maters lol. Ah well, thankfully I know better, thanks to you guys.

But if I continue to run to y'all for seemingly common sense answers, now ya know why lol. Between being a first gen and advice like that, it makes me question everything lol.



That's really unfortunate that your advisor has that mindset. Glad you did your research and learned the truth. Worrying about your diagnostic is silly - if you're committed to learning the LSAT, then you can certainly work your way up to a good score. It's by nature a learnable test, and definitely not an "IQ-type test" (which is itself a definition I have issues with - you can study for any type of test if you have an idea of what's going to be on it...but that's neither here nor there).

You should study all three of the sections, and that includes RC. Starting with it isn't a bad idea. With Reading Comp, the key is to develop how to read for structure - to learn to look for the important aspects of each passage, which you're mostly likely to be asked about. It takes practice to internalize an effective reading strategy, but once you understand how to do it and put in the hours, it becomes second nature.

My own pre-law advisor was thankfully a pretty smart guy, or at least he gave me one great piece of advice that I followed when studying for the exam. "Treat the LSAT like a part-time job." You should plan on studying for the LSAT for a period of months, but during that time, you should commit to it the way you would commit to a real job. As in, you need to show up and do the work, operate on your pre-defined schedule rather than just studying when you feel like it, and put in extra work when you're lagging behind. If you can make this commitment, you'll improve a lot faster, and the whole process will ultimately be less stressful and less time-consuming.


This Mithun dude is an LSAT guru as far as I can tell. Great advice.

Prepping RC is all about learning a framework you use to help you look for, identify and retain the key pieces of information you will need for the questions. There are different approaches. I preferred taking notes on passage itself. This framework is repeatable. RC then ends up being like games: getting 100% is quite doable.

Through practice I learned what the LSAT generally was going to ask me about the passage. Then made notes. Here's how I did that:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7240&p=136011#p136011



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