Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

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joeysun
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Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby joeysun » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:57 pm

Here's the deal:

I'm taking the October LSAT, so I've got around 2 weeks to go. I've been taking a TestMasters class since July, which has helped tremendously. My very first diagnostic ever was a 143, to put it into perspective.

Today I took a diagnostic and got a 164. My goal is 170. I did great on the logic games section (-2), decent on the logical reasoning (-10 over both), but pretty bad on the reading comprehension (-8).

My only problem on RC, however, was speed. I spent an inordinate amount of time on the first two passages and only missed one question through both of those. However, due to the time constraints, I had to rush through the final passage, getting 5 right and 3 wrong, and I had to randomly bubble the third passage, getting only 1 question right and 4 wrong.

In your opinions, what is the best way to improve speed on the RC section without forsaking accuracy? On the first two passages, I read for complete understanding, taking margin notes that summarized what was going on. It minimized how much I had to refer back to the passage itself. I'm wondering whether this process alone is just too time consuming?

BTW, the two missed questions in LG were dumb mistakes I shouldn't have made. Likewise, in the LR sections, I probably could have gotten 3 more points out of it. So, my reasoning is that if I'm able to improve the RC speed, my goal could be within reach.

Thank you very much for your help.

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vasiok
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby vasiok » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:09 pm

Read more.

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joeysun
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby joeysun » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:36 pm

vasiok wrote:Read more.


Thanks for the snarky response. Care to provide anything helpful?

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fightin illini 25
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby fightin illini 25 » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:44 pm

Vasiok is right in saying you need to read more to improve your speed. It really is the best way to prepare yourself for the rigors of the RC section of the LSAT.

Here are some websites you should check out and read as if you are reading for RC.

The Economist
Scientific American
Wall Street Journal

Try to read the opinion pieces, since those best capture the format of the LSAT RC section.

Also stop reading for detail on the RC passages, don't get bogged down in detail. Most of the questions asked are broad and encompassing of the whole text and if they are not they usually direct you where to look and you can give it another glance over.

Good luck!

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ilove
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby ilove » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:44 pm

vasiok wrote:Read more.



this isn't very insighftul. it should be................................................read fast.

goldengaff
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby goldengaff » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:44 pm

I too started TM in July, and RC is still my worst section. I actually gave up on the RC section in that last diag since I was so drained by section 5 (was yours also Dec 2007?). I got stuck and was more worried about the test and the girl next to me smacking on her gum than reading. What I am doing about my problem is reading more... newspapers, The Economist, or anything I can pick apart. I'm registered for Oct, but may be postponing to give myself more time to learn how to read.
I'll give you the same advice that I'm giving myself: Read more dense material and pick it apart, and read more about reading. The new RC Bible might do you good.
And congratulations on the 164... not bad at all.

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JazzOne
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby JazzOne » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:46 pm

I actually agree with the reply above. Perhaps it sounded snide, but it is the only way to improve your reading speed. Read as much non-fiction as you can find. Technical articles (like magazines or periodicals) tend to be well written, well researched, and tough to digest. They are great practice for improving reading speed. I read three or four hours per day for entertainment.

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Lyov Myshkin
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby Lyov Myshkin » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:48 pm

JazzOne wrote:I actually agree with the reply above. Perhaps it sounded snide, but it is the only way to improve your reading speed. Read as much non-fiction as you can find. Technical articles (like magazines or periodicals) tend to be well written, well researched, and tough to digest. They are great practice for improving reading speed. I read three or four hours per day for entertainment.


you and i have two different ideas of 'entertainment'.

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joeysun
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby joeysun » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:00 pm

Thanks a lot for the replies, everybody. I appreciate the explanations and the suggestions of how to try to improve my RC. I guess I'll be buying a few issues of The Economist and SA at Borders today.

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isaaca
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby isaaca » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:20 pm

hkfortytwo wrote:
JazzOne wrote:I actually agree with the reply above. Perhaps it sounded snide, but it is the only way to improve your reading speed. Read as much non-fiction as you can find. Technical articles (like magazines or periodicals) tend to be well written, well researched, and tough to digest. They are great practice for improving reading speed. I read three or four hours per day for entertainment.


you and i have two different ideas of 'entertainment'.


Haha

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blhblahblah
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby blhblahblah » Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:08 am

joeysun wrote:
vasiok wrote:Read more.


Thanks for the snarky response. Care to provide anything helpful?


Actually, vasio's piece of advice was quite pithy; I found yours quite arrogant, tbh.

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Stanley Otto Swift
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby Stanley Otto Swift » Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:38 am

blhblahblah wrote:
joeysun wrote:
vasiok wrote:Read more.


Thanks for the snarky response. Care to provide anything helpful?


Actually, vasio's piece of advice was quite pithy; I found yours quite arrogant, tbh.


Credited. OP, what did you think you were going to get? Minutely detailed advice as to how you can read and comprehend written material faster? There is no panacea or system that will unlock the secret of RC to you. It sounds like you have been working hard, so keep it up. Pick up some absurdly difficult material and read it, with full concentration, for several (if not dozens of) hours. To name just a few, I would recommend the magazines "Science" and "Nature" for science passages, and Jack Rakove's _Original Meanings_ or actual law review articles for law passages. In addition, Kaplan's LSAT 180 and Princeton Review's LSAT Workout have some absurdly dense passages as well, but nothing worse than you could find at a University library. Practice, practice, practice. Establish RC mark-ups that work for you and ruthlessly apply them. Work your ass off until the test and you will improve.

hithere
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby hithere » Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:55 pm

RC bible says to spend 3 min reading the passage and the remaining 5 minutes 45 seconds answering questions for that particular passage. Try to adjust your pacing to fit that model.

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joeysun
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby joeysun » Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:35 pm

Stanley Otto Swift wrote:
blhblahblah wrote:
joeysun wrote:
vasiok wrote:Read more.


Thanks for the snarky response. Care to provide anything helpful?


Actually, vasio's piece of advice was quite pithy; I found yours quite arrogant, tbh.


Credited. OP, what did you think you were going to get? Minutely detailed advice as to how you can read and comprehend written material faster? There is no panacea or system that will unlock the secret of RC to you. It sounds like you have been working hard, so keep it up. Pick up some absurdly difficult material and read it, with full concentration, for several (if not dozens of) hours. To name just a few, I would recommend the magazines "Science" and "Nature" for science passages, and Jack Rakove's _Original Meanings_ or actual law review articles for law passages. In addition, Kaplan's LSAT 180 and Princeton Review's LSAT Workout have some absurdly dense passages as well, but nothing worse than you could find at a University library. Practice, practice, practice. Establish RC mark-ups that work for you and ruthlessly apply them. Work your ass off until the test and you will improve.


Well, when I posted my original message, I guess you could say I WAS looking for detailed advice for how to improve my RC passages. Typically on TLS, some posters will contribute information that is really quite thorough and helpful. In response to many of my questions, I've gotten fantastic advice and feedback from a lot of people. Others will provide suggestions that are less than stellar and have a negative tone to them. That's how I interpreted vasiok's first comment, and if I was wrong, my bad.

At its surface, he's right. Reading more seems to be the consensus for improving. But, reading WHAT more? Simply replying "Read more," while technically correct, is really not all that helpful to me. In fact, it's quite counterproductive, hence my response.

However, everyone who responded with a response that had some detail and reasoning to it, yourself included, was more than helpful, and I'm very appreciative of that. For example, fightin illini broke down a few great resources to tackle, goldengaff recommended the RC bible along with a few other tips, JazzOne suggested technical articles, and you suggested even more. Those are the responses that I was looking for and that are ultimately helpful, not someone quick to respond with "TCR."

So again, thank you everyone who made great suggestions! They have been very helpful, and hopefully my score will reflect an improvement because of them!

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Stanley Otto Swift
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby Stanley Otto Swift » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:11 pm

Check out Voyager's RC thread, if you haven't already.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7240&hilit=voyager+Reading+Comp

Some people swear by it. At the very least it will give you a starting point for basic mark-ups. This RC thread has some good info as well:

--LinkRemoved--

Try a few different things and see what works for you. I'm a minimalist when it comes to marking and am generally able to "get" a passage on one reading. Many high-LSAT scorers attribute their success to extensive underlining and mark-ups. There seems to be no clear consensus.

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Portal
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby Portal » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:16 pm

I doubt reading fast will help significantly. Basically, (a) practice a lot so you get used to the question types and whatnot, (b) practice retaining what you read (using whatever method helps you do this.)

BlackJack
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby BlackJack » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:30 pm

Speed and accuracy come with passage understanding. When you fully comprehend the passage, you will need to refer back to it only minimally (a huge timesaver), debating wrong answers will occur infrequently (a HUGE timesaver) and you will be able to prephrase some of the answers (another huge timesaver).

If you start answering the questions without comprehending the passage, you will be doomed. You will either get 2-3 wrong or you will go over 9 minutes and screw yourself on the other passages.

Just reading the words faster will not increase your comprehension. Reading the economist for a few weeks probably won't help either.

Also, just do a search on "reading comprehension" using the "search forum" box right below the TLS banner. This topic has come up before many many times.

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The Kid
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby The Kid » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:12 pm

Some people have said that reading The Economist to prepare for RC is a waste of time (it would be a breeze compared to the real thing). Now I was just thinking if good literature couldn't provide a better and at the same time more pleasant way to prepare. For instance, It occurred to me that a lot of descriptive paragraphs found on William Faulkner seem to set themselves on equal footing with the details-loaded RC scientific passages. What do you think?

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rman1201
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby rman1201 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:25 pm

You actually write out a summary of whats int the passage? Seems like a huge waste of time. Try just reading it for understanding and retaining what you read. If you struggle with that then as suggested read more. It doesn't even have to be articles that mirror RC passages, just read scholarly work (Your school should have subscriptions to online databases of academic journals) regularly and primarily focus on retaining the main points of what you read after you read it, as well as the overall tone/conclusion/etc.

I've gone through RC bible and the approaches just seem too methodical and therefore time consuming. The best approach is to find something that works for you.

loptimist
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Re: Best way to improve RC speed without losing accuracy?

Postby loptimist » Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:28 pm

BlackJack wrote:Speed and accuracy come with passage understanding. When you fully comprehend the passage, you will need to refer back to it only minimally (a huge timesaver), debating wrong answers will occur infrequently (a HUGE timesaver) and you will be able to prephrase some of the answers (another huge timesaver).

If you start answering the questions without comprehending the passage, you will be doomed. You will either get 2-3 wrong or you will go over 9 minutes and screw yourself on the other passages.

Just reading the words faster will not increase your comprehension. Reading the economist for a few weeks probably won't help either.

Also, just do a search on "reading comprehension" using the "search forum" box right below the TLS banner. This topic has come up before many many times.


very good, can't agree more.




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