General Reading Comprehension Tips (Not the Section)

Praxity
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:39 pm

General Reading Comprehension Tips (Not the Section)

Postby Praxity » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:47 pm

Hey Everyone,

I've been studying for about a month, focusing solely on logic games. I just transitioned to LR, assumption questions specifically. I not a particularly strong reader and I find myself struggling to understand the stimulus, especially under the ~2min time restriction. I am decent at identifying structure, but sometimes it feels like I read a sentence and forget what I just read (or am reading). Another way to put it is that I feel like I am reading without conscious thought. I apologize if this is confusing, just stressing out because I didn't anticipate having this type of issue. If anyone has any tips to improve my ability to understand the stimulus/what I am reading, I'd really appreciate it. Has anyone encountered this type of difficulty? Do you tend to read word by word on the LR section or the more standard grouping-of-words approach? LR study tips in general would be extremely appreciated.

thank you

Socratease
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: General Reading Comprehension Tips (Not the Section)

Postby Socratease » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:53 pm

I was (and still am) having this issue a lot too. I think it's fairly common--part of what makes this test so damn hard is the obfuscating nature of the LR stimuli.

When you catch yourself zoning, or being like wtf did i just read>>>?, just go back and read it again. Breathe. You have enough time. You may be inclined to panic, but take a breath and reread the stimulus. You have enough time.

After you reread it a second time, identify the conclusion and the premises (if it is an argument). If it's not an argument, still look for structure. What are they trying to say? Can you put it into your own words?

I often read sentences/entire stimuli 2-3 times and still always finish LR in time, sometimes with 5+ minutes left. On my last 4 PTs, I've missed a total of 2 questions combined on LR. In my experience, it's completely normal and completely fine to zone out and/or not understand the stimulus the first time around. The mistake is jumping into the answer choices when you don't understand the stimulus just because you're worried about time.

Praxity
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:39 pm

Re: General Reading Comprehension Tips (Not the Section)

Postby Praxity » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:46 pm

Socratease wrote:I was (and still am) having this issue a lot too. I think it's fairly common--part of what makes this test so damn hard is the obfuscating nature of the LR stimuli.

When you catch yourself zoning, or being like wtf did i just read>>>?, just go back and read it again. Breathe. You have enough time. You may be inclined to panic, but take a breath and reread the stimulus. You have enough time.

After you reread it a second time, identify the conclusion and the premises (if it is an argument). If it's not an argument, still look for structure. What are they trying to say? Can you put it into your own words?

I often read sentences/entire stimuli 2-3 times and still always finish LR in time, sometimes with 5+ minutes left. On my last 4 PTs, I've missed a total of 2 questions combined on LR. In my experience, it's completely normal and completely fine to zone out and/or not understand the stimulus the first time around. The mistake is jumping into the answer choices when you don't understand the stimulus just because you're worried about time.


Thanks for the advice! I sometimes find that this reading issue persists, even if I am not timing myself on a given question.

Congrats on the progress you're making, -2 total is really impressive. I will definitely try rereading the stimulus. Please let me know if any other tips come to mind.

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laker
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Re: General Reading Comprehension Tips (Not the Section)

Postby laker » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:36 am

I noticed early on that I had this problem as well, usually what I do a moderately paced read-through of the stimulus at the start, reading mostly for structure. Then I'll look at the question stem, and for some easier LR problems this is all that needs to get done and I can pick my answer. If I can't immediately prephase a good answer - or if I don't feel strongly about an answer choice, I'll go back and reread the stimulus more carefully, keeping the question stem and the logical structure I previously read for in mind.

I would guess that I do two read-throughs on about 2/3 of my LR questions. I became a lot quicker with this method once I got into the rhythm of reading like this. I think the key is getting into a habit of reading in a way that is both effective and comfortable for you.

For what it's worth with this method I usually finish the LR sections with a bit of extra time to go back to questions I got hung up on. So it is definitely possible to do extra read-throughs and not struggle with time, but you have to make a conscious effort to engage and absorb the material you are reading so that you don't waste time.

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LesPaul1995
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Re: General Reading Comprehension Tips (Not the Section)

Postby LesPaul1995 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:13 pm

Many a time, the only way to comprehend an assumption q is to parse out the conclusion from the support. Many types in the assumption family have convoluted stimuli to make you struggle for the very reason you are now, so try to separate the conclusion and support to figure out what the author is assuming. Besides that, while some do not find it helpful, I find it helpful to supplement dense material while studying for the LSAT. Reading something like Chomsky's books (many of which you can find free online) contain complicated, albeit comprehensible material that afterwards makes LR (and most of all RC) easier to parse through.

Praxity
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:39 pm

Re: General Reading Comprehension Tips (Not the Section)

Postby Praxity » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:00 pm

laker wrote:I noticed early on that I had this problem as well, usually what I do a moderately paced read-through of the stimulus at the start, reading mostly for structure. Then I'll look at the question stem, and for some easier LR problems this is all that needs to get done and I can pick my answer. If I can't immediately prephase a good answer - or if I don't feel strongly about an answer choice, I'll go back and reread the stimulus more carefully, keeping the question stem and the logical structure I previously read for in mind.

I would guess that I do two read-throughs on about 2/3 of my LR questions. I became a lot quicker with this method once I got into the rhythm of reading like this. I think the key is getting into a habit of reading in a way that is both effective and comfortable for you.

For what it's worth with this method I usually finish the LR sections with a bit of extra time to go back to questions I got hung up on. So it is definitely possible to do extra read-throughs and not struggle with time, but you have to make a conscious effort to engage and absorb the material you are reading so that you don't waste time.


Laker, thanks for this response. I really like the idea of reading for structure, and then reading to reinforce. I am going to try this method as well. Sometimes, between the stimulus and the individual questions, I take way too long with my reading.

Praxity
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:39 pm

Re: General Reading Comprehension Tips (Not the Section)

Postby Praxity » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:02 pm

LesPaul1995 wrote:Many a time, the only way to comprehend an assumption q is to parse out the conclusion from the support. Many types in the assumption family have convoluted stimuli to make you struggle for the very reason you are now, so try to separate the conclusion and support to figure out what the author is assuming. Besides that, while some do not find it helpful, I find it helpful to supplement dense material while studying for the LSAT. Reading something like Chomsky's books (many of which you can find free online) contain complicated, albeit comprehensible material that afterwards makes LR (and most of all RC) easier to parse through.


LesPaul1995, thank you for the reading suggestion. I really feel like I would benefit from doing supplemental reading. Though, I think I should try to determine my reading level and build up from there vs. jumping into complicated material. I will look in Chomsky's books though.

Do you have a suggestion for how to best learn/drill LR?

I was thinking about breaking up by type. Focus on 1 type per week and drill 5-10 questions per night during that week.

Thoughts?

Thanks again for your feedback

Socratease
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: General Reading Comprehension Tips (Not the Section)

Postby Socratease » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:58 pm

Definitely drill questions by type.

Powerscore sells books that have LR questions from old tests sorted by type. I used volume 2 of this series and recommend it, especially if you don't already have PTs 21-40 (the PTs from which the question are taken). I like the idea of focusing on one question type per week, but I would challenge you to do 15-25 questions per session rather than 5-10.

Praxity
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:39 pm

Re: General Reading Comprehension Tips (Not the Section)

Postby Praxity » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:40 pm

Socratease wrote:Definitely drill questions by type.

Powerscore sells books that have LR questions from old tests sorted by type. I used volume 2 of this series and recommend it, especially if you don't already have PTs 21-40 (the PTs from which the question are taken). I like the idea of focusing on one question type per week, but I would challenge you to do 15-25 questions per session rather than 5-10.



That book sounds very useful. Where did you purchase the it? I looked on amazon, but it was 1000 dollars used lol. Also, I definitely appreciate the push to 15-25. :D




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