Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

LeeLee19
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Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby LeeLee19 » Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:39 pm

What is the best way to prepare for Reading Comp? I know that you can use the Locial Reasoning Bible for Arg's and the Logic Games Bible for Games.... but what about Reading Comp. This is my biggest problem area, I'm perfect on the games section--usu. with 2-4 min to spare, and the Arg's arent too bad either, buuuuuuuut--Reading Comp is just horrible for me. What can I do to improve? :cry:
Any suggestions?

TylerC
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Postby TylerC » Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:14 pm

I'm also struggling with Reading comp the most, but I am getting better by reading the question stems first. I don't read the possible answer; I just read the questions before I read the passage. It helps me stay focused while I'm reading. I think many people do that though, but I didn't think of it until I had already taken a few practice tests. You might already be doing that yourself, but it's helping me.

LeeLee19
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Postby LeeLee19 » Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:23 pm

yes, i have been doing that as well, it does help me stayed focused...but nevertheless i suck at r.c.
thanx for replying though!

Warren
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How long til you write the LSATs

Postby Warren » Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:32 pm

If you have time you may be able to learn how to speed read. Most of my mistakes came on the RC section. Since then I have learned how to speed read and I am certain I could ace the section now. I taught myself with this book http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/074347 ... oding=UTF8

It will take you a few months of practice to learn how to do it well but I saw instant improvement by using a few of the techniques. I can't imagine reading at a regular pace anymore and think everyone (especially future law students) would benefit from learning how to speed read. Just my $0.02

LeeLee19
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Postby LeeLee19 » Fri Feb 03, 2006 1:16 am

Thanx so much, I was considering this, but I wasn't sure if speed reading would help. But, don't you find that you miss a lot of things when you speed read?

juliegirl
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Postby juliegirl » Fri Feb 03, 2006 2:25 pm

Honestly, I'd look up prep books specifically made for the ACT. I found the reading section on the LSAT very similar to the one on the ACT. I took a class on this in high school and it taught you how to use underlining and paraphrasing to get through the reading quickly and still get the best points out of the passages.

LeeLee19
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Postby LeeLee19 » Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:10 am

thanx juliegirl,
i will definitely look into that.

rajkp
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Postby rajkp » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:55 pm

Speed reading focuses on the absorption of information. It is fairly poor for comprehension.

justadude55
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby justadude55 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:23 pm

Bringing this forum back from the dead.

I am a 167 RETAKE in OCTOBER. I was getting 170-172 on my practice tests the month of the 167.

I've been doing sporadic sections whenever I have free time since when I took the LSAT last December, and decided to take a full length test today. I got a 178 with getting 4 things wrong. I got -1 in the two LR and -3 in RC [and this was with being lucky enough to get the 4th passage all right in 5 minutes.]

Disclaimer: All 3 q's I got wrong in RC were in the science passage, and I spent a disproportionate 11 1/2 minutes on this passage.

I'm not going to be studying intensely, just one full test and a few sections a week, but do need some aid on how to improve my RC. I'm not a great reader, but I am able to get -0 in LR, which means I could hypothetically do the same in RC. Lastly, I am not so hot under pressure and on October's test, odds are the curve won't make -4 a 178.

justadude55
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby justadude55 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:26 pm

justadude55 wrote:Bringing this forum back from the dead.

I am a 167 RETAKE in OCTOBER. I was getting 170-172 on my practice tests the month of the 167. Based on my performance on a prep test today, I decided to retake the exam.

I've been doing sporadic sections whenever I have free time since when I took the LSAT last December, and decided to take a full length test today. I got a 178 with getting 4 things wrong. I got -1 in the two LR and -3 in RC [and this was with being lucky enough to get the 4th passage all right in 5 minutes.]

Disclaimer: All 3 q's I got wrong in RC were in the science passage, and I spent a disproportionate 11 1/2 minutes on this passage.

I'm not going to be studying intensely, just one full test and a few sections a week, but do need some aid on how to improve my RC. I'm not a great reader, but I am able to get -0 in LR, which means I could hypothetically do the same in RC. Lastly, I am not so hot under pressure and on October's test, odds are the curve won't make -4 a 178.

arewhyaen
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby arewhyaen » Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:43 pm

Read slowly and annotate in your mind. Annotating on the page, I find, is counter-productive as you find that annotation and begin to wonder why you made that in the midst of reading. When you annotate in your mind, you're comprehending it in your mind and aiding yourself in memorizing the purpose of certain things in the passage. At the end of a passage, think about main point, structure and authors attitude.

Practice Practice Practice REAL passages

and lastly,

Don't get intimidated by topics you don't know. As long as you know why certain things go in certain places, you'll be fine!!

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2014
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby 2014 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:04 am

I've actually found the RC Bible to be extremely helpful. A lot of what they teach is common sense, but if you are the type of person who appreciates the structure and order of having a book guide, I would recommend it. I have no idea why it got a bad rap from TLS. It definitely is my worst section though too. Gone from -8 or so average on it to -4, and all of the -4 are legitimately stupid mistakes such as missing the "What is the main point" question.

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manbearwig
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby manbearwig » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:08 am

justadude55 wrote:Bringing this forum back from the dead.

I am a 167 RETAKE in OCTOBER. I was getting 170-172 on my practice tests the month of the 167.

I've been doing sporadic sections whenever I have free time since when I took the LSAT last December, and decided to take a full length test today. I got a 178 with getting 4 things wrong. I got -1 in the two LR and -3 in RC [and this was with being lucky enough to get the 4th passage all right in 5 minutes.]

Disclaimer: All 3 q's I got wrong in RC were in the science passage, and I spent a disproportionate 11 1/2 minutes on this passage.

I'm not going to be studying intensely, just one full test and a few sections a week, but do need some aid on how to improve my RC. I'm not a great reader, but I am able to get -0 in LR, which means I could hypothetically do the same in RC. Lastly, I am not so hot under pressure and on October's test, odds are the curve won't make -4 a 178.


1. Please don't bump 4 1/2 year-old threads.
2. Please don't then "bump" the thread by quoting yourself 3 minutes after your first post.
3. Please post questions in the relevant forum section.

Thank you.

justadude55
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby justadude55 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:06 am

2014 wrote:I've actually found the RC Bible to be extremely helpful. A lot of what they teach is common sense, but if you are the type of person who appreciates the structure and order of having a book guide, I would recommend it. I have no idea why it got a bad rap from TLS. It definitely is my worst section though too. Gone from -8 or so average on it to -4, and all of the -4 are legitimately stupid mistakes such as missing the "What is the main point" question.


yeah, i read this book. it is very helpful, but not perfect. i feel like getting your score to -0 in a section largely comes through utilizing approaches you yourself make up in self study. i came up with my own approaches for assumption type q's -- assumptions, s/w, flaws and principles in LR to get down to -0 in a section, and take a game by game approach to just setting up what is smartest for a given LG game and get -0's in these sections. I just don't have the same level of mastery so other people's pointers are much appreciated.

flgator10
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby flgator10 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:46 pm

i came up with my own approaches for assumption type q's -- assumptions, s/w, flaws and principles in LR to get down to -0 in a section


If you don't mind me asking, what is your approach for assumptions and flaws? I struggle with those sometimes and would be interested to learn a different approach other than Kaplan's.

justadude55
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby justadude55 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:39 am

flgator10 wrote:
i came up with my own approaches for assumption type q's -- assumptions, s/w, flaws and principles in LR to get down to -0 in a section


If you don't mind me asking, what is your approach for assumptions and flaws? I struggle with those sometimes and would be interested to learn a different approach other than Kaplan's.


equivocation of words with accepting the wording in the evidence as 100% valid.

eg:

residents should not consider the loss of the countryside a tragedy, because the job market has improved tremendously.

not being a tragedy is equivocated with the job market improving. the assumption would be if job market up ---> no tragedy.

anything additional fact making this equivocation less likely would weaken it. any fact doing the opposite would strengthen it. it is a can't fail technique if you're madddd observant. i can literally normally tear apart the assumption in <30 seconds, even on a question 15-22.

another thing i do is always scan for the conclusion, and read it first so i keep it in mind as i read the passage. it seems harder than it is, but if you don't see a conclusion word in the last sentence or an opinion in the first sentence, it'll normally be the contrast word in the middle. after you get that, you're already on the hunt for the word you know they're gonna be equivocating the evidence with.

flgator10
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby flgator10 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:38 am

justadude55 wrote:
flgator10 wrote:
i came up with my own approaches for assumption type q's -- assumptions, s/w, flaws and principles in LR to get down to -0 in a section


If you don't mind me asking, what is your approach for assumptions and flaws? I struggle with those sometimes and would be interested to learn a different approach other than Kaplan's.


equivocation of words with accepting the wording in the evidence as 100% valid.

eg:

residents should not consider the loss of the countryside a tragedy, because the job market has improved tremendously.

not being a tragedy is equivocated with the job market improving. the assumption would be if job market up ---> no tragedy.

anything additional fact making this equivocation less likely would weaken it. any fact doing the opposite would strengthen it. it is a can't fail technique if you're madddd observant. i can literally normally tear apart the assumption in <30 seconds, even on a question 15-22.

another thing i do is always scan for the conclusion, and read it first so i keep it in mind as i read the passage. it seems harder than it is, but if you don't see a conclusion word in the last sentence or an opinion in the first sentence, it'll normally be the contrast word in the middle. after you get that, you're already on the hunt for the word you know they're gonna be equivocating the evidence with.


Thanks. That helps a lot. I will definitely start using that technique.

justadude55
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby justadude55 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:01 pm

anything for reading comp?

DreamShake
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby DreamShake » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:38 am

Ha, very nice justadude; I use the same technique on LR! So much of the LSAT is just sifting through extraneous bullshit they include.


As far as reading comp...
Generally:
1) Might be a little late for this...but read stuff that is dense. Read some Kant, Heidegger, Nietzsche, whatever. Guaranteed that RC passages will seem like the sports section in your local paper after that.
2) Definitely mentally annotate like another poster said.

Specifically:
1) Do not try to actually read the science passages. Skim. Understanding the logical relationships (e.g., "Virus X works by affecting organ Y with mechanism Z, so solution A, which strengthens organ Y, should help prevent effect 1 of virus X even though it doesn't kill virus X") is far more important than actually understanding the passages. When I read science passages, I basically draw a big mental picture of the relationships.
2) Not sure you have any trouble with inference ?'s, but I used to. Always refer back to the passage for them. I used to miss inferences ?'s on a regular basis, because I always took them to actually ask for...inferences. Most, though, are actually just asking you to identify an answer choice that recapitulates some part of the passage, and you can often find that part fairly easily just by skimming back through.

justadude55
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby justadude55 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:35 pm

i am going to try the first note.

inferences are my best question type in LR, and i don't think you have to refer back to the passage. you just need to remember the general scope of what's going in, if somebody is for/against something and play the choices very conservatively.

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YCrevolution
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby YCrevolution » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:13 am

..

privatemf
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby privatemf » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:08 pm

2014 wrote:I've actually found the RC Bible to be extremely helpful. A lot of what they teach is common sense, but if you are the type of person who appreciates the structure and order of having a book guide, I would recommend it. I have no idea why it got a bad rap from TLS. It definitely is my worst section though too. Gone from -8 or so average on it to -4, and all of the -4 are legitimately stupid mistakes such as missing the "What is the main point" question.


Finally someone that has used the RC Bible. The LG has been great so if you say this one is good, I am going for it. Thanks.

SanDiegoJake
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby SanDiegoJake » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:54 pm

What most people do incorrectly on the reading section is that they treat it like you get points for actually "reading" and/or "comprehending" and they spend way too much time trying to "comprehend" the passage. Ultimately, it doesn't matter whether you comprehend something if there isn't a question about it. Read the passage very quickly the first time (2 minutes tops, no re-reading). Then, spend your time doing the thing that does earn you points, answering the questions. Find exactly where the passage supports the correct answer. Every correct answer is supported by something specific in the passage.

Also, on that first reading, don't just read for WHAT the passage is saying. That's high school level. The majority of LSAT questions don't ask about WHAT is being said, but rather HOW it is being said (Ex: Which of the following desribes the organization of the 1st paragraph?) and WHY it is being said (Ex: The author uses the example of the duck-billed platypus in order to?) So focus on the WHY and the HOW. You can always go back to the passage for the WHAT questions.

Lastly, if possible, answer the question in your own words before looking at the answer choices. Choose the answer that comes closest to yours no matter what. Try it and you'll be surprised at both your accuracy and the time you'll save by not wavering between answer choices.

Best of luck!

rubydandun
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby rubydandun » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:57 pm

posted this in a similar thread in case you didn't see it:

my advice if timing is your issue...

realize that it doesn't matter how good your comprehension is, IF you fail to get to the questions.

Try this: put your pencil down and take NO NOTES at all. i used to take a decent amount of notes and as soon as i stopped - my score went from consistently -8 to consistently -3 or -4 because I had more time to tackle the questions. Especially on the more modern tests, the questions are like LR problems - you have to put a lot of thought into them.

Also check out ATLAS reading comp. It's the best RC strategy book ive seen.

How I improved/other tidbits:

1.) take ATLAS, VOYAGERs RC strategy and read them until you're blue in the face. Take detailed notes.
2.) Turn these notes into a condensed notecard that you put next to you every time you're about to do a RC passage. Do a RC passage untimed, making sure that you're applying all the techniques.
3.) see what works for you and what doesn't.
4.) Repeat over and over and over, slowly beginning to time until you REALLY start understanding how RC passages are structured. Just like LR, there are about 8-10 templates/passage types. After a while, when you're reading, you'll read a sentence and think "A-ha! this will definitely be asked about"!

^another interesting point..there are always 1-2 points in time when you're reading a RC passage where you just think WTF is going on. It'll be either very complex, convoluted, or written in a deliberately confusing/unclear way. Most people will be like uhhh whatever and just keep going. NO -STOP and make sure you understand it - this is confusing by design and trust me, there will either be a question directly from this portion, or it'll play a pivotal role in the passage as a whole and you not understanding will ruin you.

Also -

I could explain why, but just trust me on this - SEEK OUT wrong answers, don't look for right answers. Bc reading comp passages are long, there's a lot of room for them to use synonyms to confuse you and make the right answer look totally wrong.

Also -

don't bust your learning nut by compulsively checking the answers as soon as you finish passage. NO. stop, and review each question that gave you problems, re-read the passage and try and realize what mental lapses you tend to fall into. This is especially pertinent in LR, but this is the #1 way to improve - to really identify trends through tons of repitition and coming up with a strategy for yourself.

And to people who say RC can't be improved - it definitely can, it's just a huge pain in the ass because every single person is differnet and there are few "general fixes".

What I do

1.) I blaze through the passage as fast as I possibly can, reading for detail and structure. When a paragraph ends I ask myself what role the paragraph played and how many points of view i read, what their evidence was etc. Then i try and guess where the next paragraph is going. I convince myself this stuff is incredibly fascinating.

2.) I ONLY write notes if it's something I'm 100% sure wil be asked baout or referred to.

3.) When i finish the passage, i skim it again really quickly (15 seconds) and cement the structure, main players, evidence used, etc

4.) I actively and aggressively seek out wrong answers

5.) if a question is giving me grief - I skip it. No time to screw around with RC. I'll eliminate what I can and come back later.

hope this helps

Rosem80
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Re: Reading Comprension troubles on LSAT

Postby Rosem80 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:32 am

1.) take ATLAS, VOYAGERs RC strategy and read them until you're blue in the face. Take detailed notes.
2.) Turn these notes into a condensed notecard that you put next to you every time you're about to do a RC passage. Do a RC passage untimed, making sure that you're applying all the techniques.
3.) see what works for you and what doesn't.
4.) Repeat over and over and over, slowly beginning to time until you REALLY start understanding how RC passages are structured. Just like LR, there are about 8-10 templates/passage types. After a while, when you're reading, you'll read a sentence and think "A-ha! this will definitely be asked about"!


don't bust your learning nut by compulsively checking the answers as soon as you finish passage. NO. stop, and review each question that gave you problems, re-read the passage and try and realize what mental lapses you tend to fall into. This is especially pertinent in LR, but this is the #1 way to improve - to really identify trends through tons of repitition and coming up with a strategy for yourself.


Really good tips, thanks!




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