Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

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rkitten
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby rkitten » Wed May 06, 2009 6:38 pm

Fiction wrote:
rkitten wrote:Hey Fiction,

If you looked back through my passages, you would see VERY little marking up. Maybe a word here and there in paragraphs or a little star or an arrow connecting a piece of evidence to the main point. This is purely for me to have a fast way to refer back to the passages and know exactly where something is; also the things I mark I pay special attention to and remember by the time I get to the questions, which usually ask me about it.

Relying on memory alone is a sure fire way to miss 4 or more questions, because the test makers punish you for using your memory instead of refering back to the line of text which directly supports it; they give you tempting wrong answer choices that play off a mistakenly thinking, "oh, I remember reading that."


Thanks. I guess my real concern is that I don't want to get too much in my own head and really thinking a lot about what to look out for for fear it will slow me down too much. If my scores were atrocious I would be looking for anything to help it, but since my scores are decent so far, I don't want to mess up a good thing.


The funny thing is, I really don't think of what to look for anymore. I just know what it is when I see it. And 9/10 times a question will ask me about it. But I get what you mean about ruining a good thing; if you are in a happy place then stay there!

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UCantHandleTheTruth
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby UCantHandleTheTruth » Wed May 06, 2009 7:14 pm

JJim1919 wrote:Exactly. Unless the questions says "implied" they want what is explicitly stated. They will usually tempt you with something VERY similar, but not exactly the same.


What about "author would most likely agree" questions. They don't have the word "implied," but often times the answer choice is not explicitly stated. In fact, the answer choices are typically hypothetical applications of explicit and implicit statements made. Anyways, those questions especially blow ...

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rkitten
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby rkitten » Wed May 06, 2009 7:28 pm

UCantHandleTheTruth wrote:
JJim1919 wrote:Exactly. Unless the questions says "implied" they want what is explicitly stated. They will usually tempt you with something VERY similar, but not exactly the same.


What about "author would most likely agree" questions. They don't have the word "implied," but often times the answer choice is not explicitly stated. In fact, the answer choices are typically hypothetical applications of explicit and implicit statements made. Anyways, those questions especially blow ...


Believe it or not, even for "most likely agree" questions you can cite a specific line or two that provides strong evidence for the correct assertion; takes a while to find these if you didn't catch the author's subtle opinions on your read through of the passage.

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chewdak
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby chewdak » Wed May 06, 2009 8:09 pm

Fiction wrote:Historically Reading Comp has been my best section--I rarely miss more than 4, typically 1 or 2. I accomplish this by not marking the passage at all and simply reading carefully and quickly, remembering as much as I can, and having a general idea of the structure of the passage so I can refer back to it when specific questions are asked. Usually if I miss a question either I misread it and answered incorrectly or I just had trouble with some of the answer choices (I would narrow it down to two choices that made a lot of sense to me and just pick the wrong one).

Of course, if I could I would gladly spend the time to make this a done deal, but I am nervous about breaking my system so close to the actual LSAT and ending up missing more than if I had just gone my natural route. What do you think?

I've been doing something similar. No marking, just careful (and slow) reading and answering most questions from memory, without looking back.
I've gotten -0 a number of times, but last 2 PTs, 48 and 55, I missed 3 and 4.
Definitely not having as easy a time with the newer tests, same goes for the LR.
Been missing quite a few tone questions.
First I chose tone that was more categorical than credited, but when i toned down my responses from what I thought it ought to be it was not enough. So I will be looking for the tone words and underlining them as the OP recommends.
I am intrigued to learn a more methodical, active system
which will be useful to digest law school readings.

rocketman
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby rocketman » Wed May 06, 2009 8:35 pm

to the OP:

you mentioned doing #39? have you taken any of the PT's after 50? the reason i ask is that i had a very similar system, very little marking, just read paying attention for certain things and was consistently -0 to -2. fast forward to the newer tests after 50, and i'm anywhere from -5 to -8 as the passages have become much more difficult.

so while i do think this would definitely be a huge breakthrough for someone who was struggling with RC overall, im not sure it would help someone who was only struggling with the newer tests.

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NosferatuDracon
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby NosferatuDracon » Wed May 06, 2009 9:04 pm

Bookmarking this thread to come back to and read when I start studying in the next week or two. RC is by far my absolute worst section, so I'll need plenty of help with this come time. Thanks for the post, and good luck when you take the real test.

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CEEJ22
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby CEEJ22 » Wed May 06, 2009 9:11 pm

Right on! Thanks for the great post. RC is my weakest link by a long shot.

JJim1919
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby JJim1919 » Wed May 06, 2009 10:17 pm

rkitten wrote:
UCantHandleTheTruth wrote:
JJim1919 wrote:Exactly. Unless the questions says "implied" they want what is explicitly stated. They will usually tempt you with something VERY similar, but not exactly the same.


What about "author would most likely agree" questions. They don't have the word "implied," but often times the answer choice is not explicitly stated. In fact, the answer choices are typically hypothetical applications of explicit and implicit statements made. Anyways, those questions especially blow ...


Believe it or not, even for "most likely agree" questions you can cite a specific line or two that provides strong evidence for the correct assertion; takes a while to find these if you didn't catch the author's subtle opinions on your read through of the passage.


TITCR, I actually got an author would most likely agree wrong the other day because I made a small asumption in choosing the answer. The correct answer was the one that was explicitly referred to. Granted it was only in one line, and the LSAT does a good job of hiding these things, but its there if you look hard enough.

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UCantHandleTheTruth
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby UCantHandleTheTruth » Thu May 07, 2009 2:38 am

Great thread. Thanks, rkitten. I just did 12 RC passages in a row ... phew ... Two of them I did really well and improved (but the caveat is that I had just taken those exams PT48 and PT55 within the past two weeks). One of them I missed four questions (PT14), but the interesting thing is that I had only missed 1 when I had originally taken it several months ago. Leads me to believe there is an element of randomness to your LSAT score. Sometimes you are on, sometimes you are way off.

Damn these high stress timed exams. I miss college: I once had a math prof who gave the class an unlimited time, collaborative final exam. We all got a "180" on that one.

Anyways, sorry for the diversion. Good night!

86revolt
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby 86revolt » Thu May 07, 2009 1:20 pm

UCantHandleTheTruth wrote:Great thread. Thanks, rkitten. I just did 12 RC passages in a row ... phew ... Two of them I did really well and improved (but the caveat is that I had just taken those exams PT48 and PT55 within the past two weeks). One of them I missed four questions (PT14), but the interesting thing is that I had only missed 1 when I had originally taken it several months ago. Leads me to believe there is an element of randomness to your LSAT score. Sometimes you are on, sometimes you are way off.

Damn these high stress timed exams. I miss college: I once had a math prof who gave the class an unlimited time, collaborative final exam. We all got a "180" on that one.

Anyways, sorry for the diversion. Good night!



How do you even miss anything on the tests you've already taken -- let alone ones you took 2 weeks ago?! I'm having the hardest time studying for a re-take because I did most questions out there on my first time around and I can't take them again because I remember half of the answers before I'm done reading the question. I took the test in June 08 and unfortunately that means only 2 new tests published before I taken the Sept 09 test.

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rkitten
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby rkitten » Thu May 07, 2009 2:42 pm

rocketman wrote:to the OP:

you mentioned doing #39? have you taken any of the PT's after 50? the reason i ask is that i had a very similar system, very little marking, just read paying attention for certain things and was consistently -0 to -2. fast forward to the newer tests after 50, and i'm anywhere from -5 to -8 as the passages have become much more difficult.

so while i do think this would definitely be a huge breakthrough for someone who was struggling with RC overall, im not sure it would help someone who was only struggling with the newer tests.


I tried my method on the Dec 05 and June 06 PT's and got -2s on both. Haven't gotten any more recent than that so far; my PTs are few and far between because SAT/SUN is the only time I can take one.

rocketman
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby rocketman » Thu May 07, 2009 7:47 pm

rkitten wrote:
rocketman wrote:to the OP:

you mentioned doing #39? have you taken any of the PT's after 50? the reason i ask is that i had a very similar system, very little marking, just read paying attention for certain things and was consistently -0 to -2. fast forward to the newer tests after 50, and i'm anywhere from -5 to -8 as the passages have become much more difficult.

so while i do think this would definitely be a huge breakthrough for someone who was struggling with RC overall, im not sure it would help someone who was only struggling with the newer tests.


I tried my method on the Dec 05 and June 06 PT's and got -2s on both. Haven't gotten any more recent than that so far; my PTs are few and far between because SAT/SUN is the only time I can take one.

interesting, thanks. so did you notice the increase in difficulty at all?

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rkitten
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby rkitten » Thu May 07, 2009 8:15 pm

rocketman wrote:
rkitten wrote:
rocketman wrote:to the OP:

you mentioned doing #39? have you taken any of the PT's after 50? the reason i ask is that i had a very similar system, very little marking, just read paying attention for certain things and was consistently -0 to -2. fast forward to the newer tests after 50, and i'm anywhere from -5 to -8 as the passages have become much more difficult.

so while i do think this would definitely be a huge breakthrough for someone who was struggling with RC overall, im not sure it would help someone who was only struggling with the newer tests.


I tried my method on the Dec 05 and June 06 PT's and got -2s on both. Haven't gotten any more recent than that so far; my PTs are few and far between because SAT/SUN is the only time I can take one.

interesting, thanks. so did you notice the increase in difficulty at all?


It's so subjective. My very first diagnostic was the June 2007 lsat, and before I had ever even studied for the RC sections I thought it was a giant piece of cake (missed -4), whereas routinely on 90's exams I would miss -6 or -7. I honestly think the post 2005 RC's have thus far been EASIER than certain passages I've seen throughout the 90's and even in the 00's; for example the Dec 2002 and October 1996/1997 RC's seemed a lot tougher to me than the June 2006.

If you're worried about something being too hard for you, expose yourself to it as much as you can until it becomes routine.

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IHaveDietMoxie
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby IHaveDietMoxie » Fri May 08, 2009 3:31 am

rkitten wrote:If you're worried about something being too hard for you, expose yourself to it as much as you can until it becomes routine.


I tried that with little kids and it didn't work out too well...

Seriously though, despite being obvious, this is the best advice. Just spend lots of quality time with RC, develop a system that works for you, and try to hone in on how to think through the various types of passages.

In my experience, underlining and marking is really good at first, especially if you are uncomfortable with RC, but ultimately economy in note taking is the best route...I generally note very little these days, and usually it involves the essential part of each paragraph.

The most important thing is to remember the main idea/structure and to let that guide you to the details when necessary(but not to let them get in the way or slow you down at the outset). Its like scanning a vast terrain with a pair of binoculars: if you know where the most prominent features are and exactly how to adjust the binoculars for any given area then everything clicks into focus at your command.

rocketman
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby rocketman » Sat May 09, 2009 11:28 pm

bump.

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monkeywrench
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby monkeywrench » Sat May 09, 2009 11:43 pm

i am trying this tomorrow,

to the people (including rkitten) who are doing this well in RC (close to -0s)

do you enjoy reading/have you done alot of reading as kids?

2011hopeful
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby 2011hopeful » Tue May 12, 2009 12:51 pm

I personally read a lot as a kid. I'd say that reading a lot as a kid definitely helps, but it's not a requirement to do well on RC. It's a moot point now, so just do whatever you can.

MrKim
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby MrKim » Thu May 14, 2009 12:15 pm

Thanks guys. I will try your method. The method that testmasters teaches is not working for me. My reading comp skills are definitely sub par, however, I am hopeful that with a new approach and a lot of practice I'll get the hang of it.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sun May 17, 2009 1:16 pm

This is a great thread! It would be nice if this could somehow get melded into the Pithypike sticky. There's just not a whole lot out there on RC. Has ANYONE gone through the new Powerscore RC Bible?

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vasiok
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby vasiok » Sun May 17, 2009 5:37 pm

Good post. I do notice that when I fall back to mad underlining my RC scores go down.

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monkeywrench
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby monkeywrench » Sun May 17, 2009 5:44 pm

Ive been doing this for about 2 preptests (after the initial blitz of 10 RC sections) and Im getting 1 wrong (overall structure questions) in each RC section as opposed to 6-7 previously. Ive also been reading alot more, so i dont know which attributed more to the improvement.

Much less outlining, only to indicate examples (EX) and words that show a shift in topic/opinion

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SilverE2
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby SilverE2 » Mon May 18, 2009 1:09 am

monkeywrench wrote:Ive been doing this for about 2 preptests (after the initial blitz of 10 RC sections) and Im getting 1 wrong (overall structure questions) in each RC section as opposed to 6-7 previously. Ive also been reading alot more, so i dont know which attributed more to the improvement.

Much less outlining, only to indicate examples (EX) and words that show a shift in topic/opinion


So, just to make sure...the only thing you mark are examples and the shift words and nothing else? Because I tried this yesterday and failed miserably, but I think I marked up the passage too much...

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a male human
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby a male human » Fri May 22, 2009 12:06 pm

I actually find the older tests (PT7-15) much harder and frustrating. -6-12 as opposed to -3-6 on newer tests (40-45)...

I seem to have trouble in two areas:
1. Actually finding the info the question is asking for
2. Paraphrasing it correctly when I do find the info

I tried reading the Qs beforehand to anticipate where to mark the text, and it seemed to work for a while. Then I started missing the MP questions because I only looked out for the details. Now it's the opposite. I get the MP questions right in general (after studying how this type of Q works), but the detail Qs are a problem now. Even if I find the reference, I can't answer the Q correctly. Sometimes you have to combine statements referring to the phrase that appear in different places! And when I narrow it down to 50/50, I usually choose the wrong one because it's so similar (but not the BEST answer, I guess) :( Am I just bad at understanding what I read?

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danidancer
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby danidancer » Fri May 22, 2009 12:36 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:Has ANYONE gone through the new Powerscore RC Bible?


Yes, I have. I really liked it. It's a SLOG to get through. Really boring, typos, a lot of it just seemed like common sense. Took me about 2 weeks. But I think ultimately it was time well spent as I've seen tangible improvement.

Before the Bible, I could only get through 3 passages accurately (no more than -2), or if I got through all 4 my accuracy blew (-5+). After taking a few untimed tests, I figured out that my sweet spot for accuracy and completing all the passages was between 40 and 45 minutes. My first PT after the RC Bible was -0, 35 minutes. And it wasn't a fluke, this trend has continued.

Basically, RC has traditionally been a strength for me. I've done really well on the RC on previous standardized tests, etc. So actually understanding the passages was never really an issue for me. The Bible helped me to hone my attention to the things I should be paying attention to while reading. This helped me to read the passages faster, to know where to look in the passages when I attack the questions, and also to be able to answer certain questions from memory.

HTH.

starrynight62
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Re: Huge breakthrough on RC; will update this list with tips

Postby starrynight62 » Fri May 22, 2009 1:31 pm

Fiction wrote:Historically Reading Comp has been my best section--I rarely miss more than 4, typically 1 or 2. I accomplish this by not marking the passage at all and simply reading carefully and quickly, remembering as much as I can, and having a general idea of the structure of the passage so I can refer back to it when specific questions are asked. Usually if I miss a question either I misread it and answered incorrectly or I just had trouble with some of the answer choices (I would narrow it down to two choices that made a lot of sense to me and just pick the wrong one).

Of course, if I could I would gladly spend the time to make this a done deal, but I am nervous about breaking my system so close to the actual LSAT and ending up missing more than if I had just gone my natural route. What do you think?


I'm in exactly the same boat. Usually -1-2, never more than 3 I don't think. Like you, I'd like to do what I can to make that a -0, but I'm scared of messing with a good thing. I'm afraid if I read any "methods," I'll start second-guessing and throw myself off. In fact, this thread is my first peek at any RC "prep" material. What to do...




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