My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

BlackJack
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:24 pm

My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby BlackJack » Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:49 pm

UPS dropped it off yesterday and I just finished reading it.

Cliff Notes summary: There's nothing earth shattering here, but it's worth reading if you've got the time and money.


This book is about 360 pages with at least half of it being reprints of RC passages from past LSATs and then a solution set following it, written in a similar style to their Deconstructing the LSAT books. The good news is that the solutions are pretty good. The bad news is that 1) they pull passages and passage snippets from all over the place (mostly from recent preptests) so those passages will be tainted if you go to do the preptests afterwards, and 2) the solutions are written from an after-the-fact sort of perspective so if you're someone who has trouble finishing in 8:45, the answers will always seem obvious afterwards but not so helpful when you're under the gun for time and have passage concepts all jumbled up in your head.

Chapter 1 is an introduction to the LSAT and is pretty much the same as the start of the LR and LG bibles.

Chapter 2 covers the basics of reading comprehension. Basically they tell you to read the passage first, read actively and perform a mental analysis. You should be reading the passage with an eye to keeping track of the viewpoints in the passage, the structure, the tone, main arguments and the main point. The book gives you some pointers about how to do this. Some of these are common sense and others, like how to recognize arguments, are just stuff that's repeated from the LR bible.

I can't really disagree that keeping track of viewpoints, their beliefs and the strengths of these beliefs is the key to mastering RC. I think where people (me included) have trouble is that when you have only 2.5-3 minutes to read and mark a passage, with a particularly difficult passage, it is difficult to keep all of these things tracked and you end up forgetting some and then you have to go back and re-read, which takes time and ultimately, it's all about memory and time management. So, while it's nice that they mention these things, doing it in real time is the hard part.

Chapter 3 is about passage elements and formations like what kinds of things the test writers can use to make the passage difficult. The book mentions things like challenging topic, challenging writing style, multiple viewpoints, difficult questions/answers, order of presentation. They talk about some elements that appear in the passage like definitions, dates and numbers, examples, lists, etc and how you should note them. The chapter ends with some pitfalls to avoid: similarities and distinctions, related ideas that are separated in the passage, unrelated ideas that are close together, inserting a viewpoint within another, tricky chronology.

Chapter 4 is about how to diagram. They advocate using underlining, circling, boxing, bracketing and notations. Ultimately, everyone ends up with their own style of marking so while the book suggests a method, I imagine most people end up using it as a jumping off point to come up with something they are comfortable with.

Chapter 5 is about the question types. They basically categorize the questions by locality (is it global, local, concept related) and type (must be true, strengthen. weaken, etc.).

Not really much new here I thought. I've never thought this was where people have trouble so enumerating the question types is nice, but not really that helpful.

Chapter 6 are two example passages and solution sets from recent LSATs.

Chapter 7 is about comparative reading. In short, the book says that comparative reading is like the regular passages except that similarities and differences will play a much more major role in the questions so you might want to track similarities/differences as you read. Be forewarned that the book reproduces all of the currently available real LSAT comparative reading passages so after going through the book, you will have done them all.

Chapter 8 talks about some common passage types and then gives an example/solution set for each. The types they go into are things like author neutral passages, author advocacy passages, passages with a timeline, passages with cause/effect, diversity passages, law, science.

Chapter 9 is called Section Strategy and Management and is very similar to the analagous chapter in the LRB and LGB.

Chapter 10 is the June 08 RC section followed by a solution set.


Will it help you on RC? Well, I still think that to master RC, you just need to understand the passage. You need to "get" it. I know it's easier said than done but if you don't understand what you're reading, nothing will help you answer the questions. So, if you're someone who has trouble with the riddled basins passage or the maize passage, will this book help you? Well, I don't think so really.

The book repeats things to avoid like: wrong answers are those that are out of scope, or are a shell game answer or exaggerated. A correct answer must agree with the text, etc. Well, I think everyone knows this. The problem is that when you are reading the answers, one incorrect choice seems correct and so you have to debate the choice and this sucks up time. In my opinion, until/unless you can decrease the time debating wrong answers, your RC score will suffer.

So overall, I think it's an ok book but there's nothing new or mind blowing here. It's all been mentioned before in other books and in people's posts here. But it's nice to have it all in one place and I think it's a best RC book out there. Powerscore is good at trying to deconstruct the LSAT and peel away the crap and show you what's left.

User avatar
ObviouslyMasochistic
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 12:40 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby ObviouslyMasochistic » Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:57 pm

Thanks so much for the review, BlackJack. Now I have an extra 50 bucks to blow on drinks after I take the test.

protokurios
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:49 am

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby protokurios » Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:40 pm

Thanks, this is very helpful.

User avatar
jaydub
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:45 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby jaydub » Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:47 pm

Good to know. I already bought the other two bibles.

riccardo426
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:05 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby riccardo426 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:27 pm

I'm interested in chapter three. That seems really useful.

haicool
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:17 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby haicool » Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:01 pm

You finished 350 pages in 1 day? That's amazing!

tcnash
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:08 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby tcnash » Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:05 pm

Thanks for the post.

atomy
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:16 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby atomy » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:25 pm

please lemme know, does reading comp. bible worth same as the CR bible coz i have CR bible and it is very helpful. do u suggest me to put money in Reading comp. bible??
please help here..
thanks..

User avatar
FreeGuy
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:42 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby FreeGuy » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:49 pm

They're completely different, and I suspect that most people on here don't have the CR Bible (since this is an LSAT forum, not a GMAT forum).

The CR Bible is the Critical Reasoning Bible, which is for the GMAT Critical Reasoning section (which is kind of similar to Logical Reasoning, but no substitute for the Logical Reasoning Bible.

The Reading Comprehension Bible is specifically written for the LSAT Reading Comp section.
Last edited by FreeGuy on Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jd-mba
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby jd-mba » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:52 pm

I felt both LR and LG were somewhat useful. They helped me recognize what I was already doing on an inconsistent basis in my head, thus encouraging/reminding me to use the same techniques/reasoning. I'd suggest getting it if you're not sure what you should be doing other than "take practice tests" in order to improve your score.

atomy
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:16 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby atomy » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:04 am

But, LSAT and GMAT reading comprehension is almost same, right.. and there is a book for GMAT reading comp. by powerscore. So, i was wondering if someone can suggest me based on the LSAT reading comp. bible whether to buy this book or not as i have CR bible and that is an excellent book. I mean, as per the first post here i can see that only a few chapters including chapter 3 are useful and most of the book has been covered in CR bible.. So, based on this, please suggest me whether to invest a few $$ on this book or it is fine not to go unnecessarily for it if i am comfortable with the CR book..
Any suggestion would be appreciated.. thanks for your support.. :)

Bgd736j2
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:32 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby Bgd736j2 » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:16 am

Just buy it. LSAT RC is a bit more difficult than GMAT RC. However if you are going to do that you should get the 1000 RC document online. it has over 400 RC passages. It is a combination of LSAT/GMAT/GRE passages. so purchase that RC bible and find that document online to practice on, and you should be fine. ARE YOU SATISFIED :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

User avatar
philip.platt
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:43 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby philip.platt » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:16 pm

tcnash wrote:Thanks for the post.


+1

User avatar
pearl_earrings
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:25 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby pearl_earrings » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:54 pm

.
Last edited by pearl_earrings on Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

benefactor
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:53 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby benefactor » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:15 pm

BlackJack wrote:UPS dropped it off yesterday and I just finished reading it.

Cliff Notes summary: There's nothing earth shattering here, but it's worth reading if you've got the time and money.


This book is about 360 pages with at least half of it being reprints of RC passages from past LSATs and then a solution set following it, written in a similar style to their Deconstructing the LSAT books. The good news is that the solutions are pretty good. The bad news is that 1) they pull passages and passage snippets from all over the place (mostly from recent preptests) so those passages will be tainted if you go to do the preptests afterwards, and 2) the solutions are written from an after-the-fact sort of perspective so if you're someone who has trouble finishing in 8:45, the answers will always seem obvious afterwards but not so helpful when you're under the gun for time and have passage concepts all jumbled up in your head.

Chapter 1 is an introduction to the LSAT and is pretty much the same as the start of the LR and LG bibles.

Chapter 2 covers the basics of reading comprehension. Basically they tell you to read the passage first, read actively and perform a mental analysis. You should be reading the passage with an eye to keeping track of the viewpoints in the passage, the structure, the tone, main arguments and the main point. The book gives you some pointers about how to do this. Some of these are common sense and others, like how to recognize arguments, are just stuff that's repeated from the LR bible.

I can't really disagree that keeping track of viewpoints, their beliefs and the strengths of these beliefs is the key to mastering RC. I think where people (me included) have trouble is that when you have only 2.5-3 minutes to read and mark a passage, with a particularly difficult passage, it is difficult to keep all of these things tracked and you end up forgetting some and then you have to go back and re-read, which takes time and ultimately, it's all about memory and time management. So, while it's nice that they mention these things, doing it in real time is the hard part.

Chapter 3 is about passage elements and formations like what kinds of things the test writers can use to make the passage difficult. The book mentions things like challenging topic, challenging writing style, multiple viewpoints, difficult questions/answers, order of presentation. They talk about some elements that appear in the passage like definitions, dates and numbers, examples, lists, etc and how you should note them. The chapter ends with some pitfalls to avoid: similarities and distinctions, related ideas that are separated in the passage, unrelated ideas that are close together, inserting a viewpoint within another, tricky chronology.

Chapter 4 is about how to diagram. They advocate using underlining, circling, boxing, bracketing and notations. Ultimately, everyone ends up with their own style of marking so while the book suggests a method, I imagine most people end up using it as a jumping off point to come up with something they are comfortable with.

Chapter 5 is about the question types. They basically categorize the questions by locality (is it global, local, concept related) and type (must be true, strengthen. weaken, etc.).

Not really much new here I thought. I've never thought this was where people have trouble so enumerating the question types is nice, but not really that helpful.

Chapter 6 are two example passages and solution sets from recent LSATs.

Chapter 7 is about comparative reading. In short, the book says that comparative reading is like the regular passages except that similarities and differences will play a much more major role in the questions so you might want to track similarities/differences as you read. Be forewarned that the book reproduces all of the currently available real LSAT comparative reading passages so after going through the book, you will have done them all.

Chapter 8 talks about some common passage types and then gives an example/solution set for each. The types they go into are things like author neutral passages, author advocacy passages, passages with a timeline, passages with cause/effect, diversity passages, law, science.

Chapter 9 is called Section Strategy and Management and is very similar to the analagous chapter in the LRB and LGB.

Chapter 10 is the June 08 RC section followed by a solution set.


Will it help you on RC? Well, I still think that to master RC, you just need to understand the passage. You need to "get" it. I know it's easier said than done but if you don't understand what you're reading, nothing will help you answer the questions. So, if you're someone who has trouble with the riddled basins passage or the maize passage, will this book help you? Well, I don't think so really.

The book repeats things to avoid like: wrong answers are those that are out of scope, or are a shell game answer or exaggerated. A correct answer must agree with the text, etc. Well, I think everyone knows this. The problem is that when you are reading the answers, one incorrect choice seems correct and so you have to debate the choice and this sucks up time. In my opinion, until/unless you can decrease the time debating wrong answers, your RC score will suffer.

So overall, I think it's an ok book but there's nothing new or mind blowing here. It's all been mentioned before in other books and in people's posts here. But it's nice to have it all in one place and I think it's a best RC book out there. Powerscore is good at trying to deconstruct the LSAT and peel away the crap and show you what's left.


Thanks for the post. Would you say it was worth the money and would help you in any appreciable way?

benefactor
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:53 pm

Re: My Review of the Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible

Postby benefactor » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:19 pm

My problem is generally the fact that I overlook stupid stuff. It's not necessarily based on the understanding of the passage because the more general questions are usually no problem for me. But when they go back and ask for specific details I miss too many questions. Hopefully the book will help me out with that...I tend to overlook one important word here or there which is easy to do when you have to read so much in so little time, again, hopefully the book will help me diagram things in such a way to make that less common. I'm also in a rut right now....when I came back to studying I was only missing around 4 per section while only half assing the questions and now I'm missing all kinds of stupid shit while making a more honest effort at getting things right.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Instrumental and 15 guests