A Method to Consider: Choosing your Passage Order (RC advice)

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A Method to Consider: Choosing your Passage Order (RC advice)

Postby InsightLSAT » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:29 pm

A lot of people have a hard time improving on Reading Comprehension. It can be hard to even know what sorts of factors lead to variance in performance. But sometimes, a small change to your methods can make a difference.
Here's a a quick explanation of one method I used when dealing with RC. Try it out. Every test taker is different, but it might work for you too.


Choosing Your Passage Order

There's no rule on the LSAT that says you have to go through passages in order. Before you dive right into things, consider flipping through the section and taking a quick glance (<10s total) at all of the passages. They will always be of the same four types: 1 law, 1 science, and 2 humanities/history. Identify each passage's type and start with the type you're most comfortable with. If you were always preferred science throughout school, go with that first. If you are more of an English/history person, start with humanities. Law is usually best to save for later, since, well... you haven't gone to law school yet.

The purpose of doing this is to save time on passages you'll be able to get through more easily in virtue of your affinity with the content. This builds confidence and gives you more time to deal with passages that will be trickier for you. It also guards in many cases against your nerves taking over after you use a bunch of time on, say, a confusing first passage.


Thoughts on this method? Pros/cons? Have you tried it yourself?

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Re: A Method to Consider: Choosing your Passage Order (RC advice)

Postby cDongDong » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:47 pm

Just be sure to keep track of where you're bubbling. Personally keeping a happy to go lucky mood and believing that you are having fun is something that should work for everyone.


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Re: A Method to Consider: Choosing your Passage Order (RC advice)

Postby saf18hornet » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:26 pm


Dave hall recommends skipping any RC passage that is not a 4 star (he uses a 4 star scale, 1 being hardest to 4 being easiest) and coming back. Here is how a passage earns stars, you get a star for any of these qualities.
1: the passage has more 2 paragraphs
2: the passage has more than 3 paragraphs
3: you read the first sentence and you understand it right away
4: the first sentence that you understood has a concrete subject matter (like photosynthesis vs. the relative acceptance of women in law at the academia level)

Ideally, you'll have 3 different 4 star passages that you can knock out, and you'll save for last the really dense 2 paragraph passage with 8 questions on the contributions of bumblebees to the characterization of human cognition during times of stress.

The main purpose is to have that 12 minute passage last, so when the 5 minute warning is called, your sitting there with 6 hard questions left on a passage you have already read, instead of just starting to read the 1st paragraph of an easy 4th passage with only 5 questions.


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Re: A Method to Consider: Choosing your Passage Order (RC advice)

Postby Alexandros » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:20 pm

I wouldn't do this because skipping through pages, skimming passages to determine difficulty, and determining where you should be bubbling take time and are distracting. If you're going to do this, I'd do hardest passage first - Time, pressure, and mental fatigue are usually greater on the last passage (for me at least), and I'd much rather be faced with an easy passage when I'm under pressure and a difficult passage when I know I have a full 35 minutes.

Everyone is different though. If that works for you, then go for it.

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