LSAT reading comprehension

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nyu2018

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LSAT reading comprehension

Postby nyu2018 » Mon May 22, 2017 7:13 pm

Hey,

So the reading comprehension section has passages about art, science, law, philosophy, etc.

I have been doing really well on the non-art passages (getting 80%-90% right) and very poorly on the art passages (getting 40%-60% right).

It seems to me that general comprehension skills are not what is at issue when tackling art passages since I seem to be doing fine on the non-art passages.

What kind of material could I read to become more familiar with art?

I'm likely going to be taking a course on Aesthetics in the philosophy department this summer, is that going to help? Should I be auditing a course in the art history dept or something like that instead? I'm a philosophy major which is why I chose to go with Aesthetics in the philosophy department.

Thanks in advance!

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maybeman

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Re: LSAT reading comprehension

Postby maybeman » Mon May 22, 2017 7:42 pm

The only difference in art passages compared to others is that they're about art. You know what all the words and sentences mean. I'm guessing the problem is that you're not as interested or the unfamiliarity of the subject puts you off. Taking a class in or related to art is not going to fundamentally change how you do on these passages. Try doing more of them and thinking about the passages structurally. Pause between each paragraph and consider its purpose in the passage.

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freekick

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Re: LSAT reading comprehension

Postby freekick » Tue May 23, 2017 1:39 am

nyu2018 wrote:Hey,

So the reading comprehension section has passages about art, science, law, philosophy, etc.

I have been doing really well on the non-art passages (getting 80%-90% right) and very poorly on the art passages (getting 40%-60% right).

It seems to me that general comprehension skills are not what is at issue when tackling art passages since I seem to be doing fine on the non-art passages.

What kind of material could I read to become more familiar with art?

I'm likely going to be taking a course on Aesthetics in the philosophy department this summer, is that going to help? Should I be auditing a course in the art history dept or something like that instead? I'm a philosophy major which is why I chose to go with Aesthetics in the philosophy department.

Thanks in advance!


You just need to know that the skills being tested across passages are pretty much the same (barring unicorn/curveball Qs). Don't read passages with an on the subject matter. Read them with a view to understand its logical structure i.e to break down each para into argument(s) + evidence/support for them+ background information. After reading the passage, take a mental note the role of each para and have it mapped argument-wise in your mind.

Every passage, regardless of its subject, lends itself to the above analysis and doing so is enough for your to answer ~24 of 27 Qs. Getting the curveballs right depends on your speed and a bit of luck. HTH.

nyu2018

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Re: LSAT reading comprehension

Postby nyu2018 » Wed May 24, 2017 2:53 pm

maybeman wrote:The only difference in art passages compared to others is that they're about art. You know what all the words and sentences mean. I'm guessing the problem is that you're not as interested or the unfamiliarity of the subject puts you off. Taking a class in or related to art is not going to fundamentally change how you do on these passages. Try doing more of them and thinking about the passages structurally. Pause between each paragraph and consider its purpose in the passage.


If it's the unfamiliarity that's putting me off then it seems to me taking a class on art will help me improve since it will become more familiar. If the problem is that I'm not as interested, then taking a class on art may end up making me interested in some areas of art.

nyu2018

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Re: LSAT reading comprehension

Postby nyu2018 » Wed May 24, 2017 2:57 pm

freekick wrote:
nyu2018 wrote:Hey,

So the reading comprehension section has passages about art, science, law, philosophy, etc.

I have been doing really well on the non-art passages (getting 80%-90% right) and very poorly on the art passages (getting 40%-60% right).

It seems to me that general comprehension skills are not what is at issue when tackling art passages since I seem to be doing fine on the non-art passages.

What kind of material could I read to become more familiar with art?

I'm likely going to be taking a course on Aesthetics in the philosophy department this summer, is that going to help? Should I be auditing a course in the art history dept or something like that instead? I'm a philosophy major which is why I chose to go with Aesthetics in the philosophy department.

Thanks in advance!


You just need to know that the skills being tested across passages are pretty much the same (barring unicorn/curveball Qs). Don't read passages with an on the subject matter. Read them with a view to understand its logical structure i.e to break down each para into argument(s) + evidence/support for them+ background information. After reading the passage, take a mental note the role of each para and have it mapped argument-wise in your mind.

Every passage, regardless of its subject, lends itself to the above analysis and doing so is enough for your to answer ~24 of 27 Qs. Getting the curveballs right depends on your speed and a bit of luck. HTH.


If that is correct, then I should not be doing much worse on the art passages; unless you mean to say that art passages in general tend to have a different structure in which case reading stuff on art will better acquaint me with that kind of structure.

I would really like it if someone recommended some art readings.

Thanks!

Mikey

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Re: LSAT reading comprehension

Postby Mikey » Wed May 24, 2017 3:35 pm

I took an art history class before and was bored out of my mind. But the LSAT's RC section (even the art ones) are all about structure.

If the topic interests you, then that's great. If the topic doesn't interest you, go through it and just focus on structure of the passage (which you have to do either way, whether you're interested or not).

I don't think taking a class in art will do any good. Remember, you have to go about what they're telling you in the passage, everything you need to know is in that passage. Outside knowledge from a class may actually result in biases with some questions. Also, if you're finding art passages to be crappy, you may not even like an art class.

Structure structure structure!

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maybeman

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Re: LSAT reading comprehension

Postby maybeman » Wed May 24, 2017 3:58 pm

nyu2018 wrote:
maybeman wrote:The only difference in art passages compared to others is that they're about art. You know what all the words and sentences mean. I'm guessing the problem is that you're not as interested or the unfamiliarity of the subject puts you off. Taking a class in or related to art is not going to fundamentally change how you do on these passages. Try doing more of them and thinking about the passages structurally. Pause between each paragraph and consider its purpose in the passage.


If it's the unfamiliarity that's putting me off then it seems to me taking a class on art will help me improve since it will become more familiar. If the problem is that I'm not as interested, then taking a class on art may end up making me interested in some areas of art.


:lol: I like your reasoning. Unfortunately, what I meant is not that being interested or familiar is sufficient to succeed on these passages. Rather, you are being distracted by a lack of interest or a lack of familiarity, and you're not focusing on how you're reading the passages. You have to read for structure. And if you're succeeding on passages about other subjects, I guarantee that you have the ability to succeed on ones about art.

ETA - a class will not help you read RC passages for structure. Along with seriously focusing on the material you're reading, that is all you have to do to nail these passages

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NotAGolfer

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Re: LSAT reading comprehension

Postby NotAGolfer » Wed May 24, 2017 4:46 pm

I had trouble with science related passages (I think it was the scientific terminology that made me tune out/intimidated me), so I read Scientific American articles in my free time. Not sure if this is what helped me or all the other studying I did though. You could try to find academic articles on art to read in your spare time - might help a little?



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