Fool-Proofing Reading Comprehension

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Facelessgod
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Fool-Proofing Reading Comprehension

Postby Facelessgod » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:33 pm

Hey, so after getting a 166 on the June LSAT largely due to going -10 in reading comprehension, it's been pretty obvious to me that reading comprehension is my main weakness. I'm planning on retaking in either February or June (applying Fall 2018) and really want to zero in on reading comprehension and perfect that section. My idea is to fool-proof all of the reading comprehension passages. I have the Powerscore 1-20 RC passage by type book that I'm starting with, as well as the sets of 10 PTs going from 19-71 plus 72-81 individually. I was thinking about drilling the passages in the 1-20 book, then timed sections for 20-40. I've also done 15-20ish PTs in the 40+ range so I'll probably do timed sections for those as well.

I'll do the passage/section as if it were a real test, and then afterwards on a second copy of the same passage/section I'll do a thorough untimed blind review. I'm documenting my time and questions correct that I get in a spreadsheet and flagging ones I didn't do well on. People talk about fool-proofing logic games all the time so I was wondering if anyone has tried this before and what you guys all think about this approach.

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icechicken
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Re: Fool-Proofing Reading Comprehension

Postby icechicken » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:49 pm

You're not retaking till at least February? I would start with fundamentals.

Get a subscription to The Economist, The New Yorker or similar and read it, cover-to-cover, every Saturday morning for the next six months. Whenever you have free time during the week, go to Arts and Letters Daily and read articles there. Your speed and comprehension will naturally improve over time. No need to start working on practice passages/questions until closer to the test, maybe 10 weeks out.

The fool-proof method works for LG because there are only so many forms an LSAT logic game can take and it's possible to familiarize oneself with all of them. The same simply can't be done for RC. Reading is like running: it sucks at first, but once you're consistently hitting your second wind it'll feel easier and then even enjoyable. You know how some people say they enjoy RC because it introduces them to interesting new topics? Become one of those people. You want to be one of those people because when they take a diagnostic LSAT they get something like a -4 on RC and then fine-tune their way to -1 or perfect through drilling.

OldSpeedoGuy
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Re: Fool-Proofing Reading Comprehension

Postby OldSpeedoGuy » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:00 pm

Don't get bogged down in trying to understand what the author is saying. Know where the author makes specific claims/arguments, but don't worry too much about understanding them up front. I used to waste a lot of time trying to understand the concept in the passage, but then wouldn't get any questions about it.
The big thing for me was tracking the viewpoints and where people agree/disagree.

I used the 7Sage approach (Memory Method) of pausing after each paragraph to note the conclusion of that paragraph, then after the passage I would skim it and note the overall conclusion.

Make sure you:
pre-phrase answers
focus on eliminating the wrong answers (this saved me a lot of time)

Trap wrong answers are typically too strong. Once I narrowed it down, going with the weaker answer (especially in inference questions) almost always paid off. I kept my momentum through the section, and it was usually right.

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Deardevil
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Re: Fool-Proofing Reading Comprehension

Postby Deardevil » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:11 am

icechicken wrote:Reading is like running: it sucks at first, but once you're consistently hitting your second wind it'll feel easier and then even enjoyable. You know how some people say they enjoy RC because it introduces them to interesting new topics? Become one of those people. You want to be one of those people because when they take a diagnostic LSAT they get something like a -4 on RC and then fine-tune their way to -1 or perfect through drilling.


This.

No matter how much of a hassle it is, just keep on reading.
There will come a point where it just clicks, and the section magically turns from hard to easy.

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virginia_direwoolf
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Re: Fool-Proofing Reading Comprehension

Postby virginia_direwoolf » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:46 am

As someone who was going -8/-10 on diagnostics and PTs and worked my way to -1 on the actual test (June 2016), this is what I would recommend:

When you're reading the passage, try to get to a point where you read the whole thing in 1:15-1:30 with 50-60% comprehension. If the first question about the passage is a "Main point" question, leave it for last. When the questions direct you to a specific line (as most do), read the three lines above and below that selection to answer it. Treat RC like you are defending a contract to a client when you answer questions, as though someone is going to challenge you to explain your reasoning for every answer. Don't just go by gut, make sure you have a line number to point to to back up your response (that mindset really helped me -- I even wrote line numbers next to the answers I chose at first so that I was "justifying" my answers. Then do the "main point" questions last, at that point you will have read basically the entire passage over again.

Just some ideas to think about. You don't need to read The Economist cover to cover to game this test.

butterfingerpancakes
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Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:24 pm

Re: Fool-Proofing Reading Comprehension

Postby butterfingerpancakes » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:11 am

virginia_direwoolf wrote:As someone who was going -8/-10 on diagnostics and PTs and worked my way to -1 on the actual test (June 2016), this is what I would recommend:

When you're reading the passage, try to get to a point where you read the whole thing in 1:15-1:30 with 50-60% comprehension. If the first question about the passage is a "Main point" question, leave it for last. When the questions direct you to a specific line (as most do), read the three lines above and below that selection to answer it. Treat RC like you are defending a contract to a client when you answer questions, as though someone is going to challenge you to explain your reasoning for every answer. Don't just go by gut, make sure you have a line number to point to to back up your response (that mindset really helped me -- I even wrote line numbers next to the answers I chose at first so that I was "justifying" my answers. Then do the "main point" questions last, at that point you will have read basically the entire passage over again.

Just some ideas to think about. You don't need to read The Economist cover to cover to game this test.


Do you mind explaining what you mean by 5-60% comprehension? Isn't it harder to comprehend what's going on if you read that fast?
Also, if you solve the main point Q last, do you also solve the primary purpose and organization Qs last?

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virginia_direwoolf
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Re: Fool-Proofing Reading Comprehension

Postby virginia_direwoolf » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:44 am

butterfingerpancakes wrote:
virginia_direwoolf wrote:As someone who was going -8/-10 on diagnostics and PTs and worked my way to -1 on the actual test (June 2016), this is what I would recommend:

When you're reading the passage, try to get to a point where you read the whole thing in 1:15-1:30 with 50-60% comprehension. If the first question about the passage is a "Main point" question, leave it for last. When the questions direct you to a specific line (as most do), read the three lines above and below that selection to answer it. Treat RC like you are defending a contract to a client when you answer questions, as though someone is going to challenge you to explain your reasoning for every answer. Don't just go by gut, make sure you have a line number to point to to back up your response (that mindset really helped me -- I even wrote line numbers next to the answers I chose at first so that I was "justifying" my answers. Then do the "main point" questions last, at that point you will have read basically the entire passage over again.

Just some ideas to think about. You don't need to read The Economist cover to cover to game this test.


Do you mind explaining what you mean by 5-60% comprehension? Isn't it harder to comprehend what's going on if you read that fast?
Also, if you solve the main point Q last, do you also solve the primary purpose and organization Qs last?


Essentially you read and remember/process about half of the passage to get a feel for the subject and what is going on. And that's all in the practice, timing yourself reading the passages and trying to remember as much as you can in a shorter amount of time. The whole point is that if there's a weirdly worded sentence or confusing concept, you just let it go and keep reading for the first go round.

Yes, I solved the main point/primary purpose/organization Qs last, along with any overarching/big picture Qs.

Just some ideas that worked for me.




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