Dgrohl

RC is Killing Me

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I'm writing the June LSAT which is in almost 3 weeks now, and I've slowly been improving from mid-150s to low to mid-160s. I just wrote PT 61 yesterday though and absolutely was destroyed in RC. I was -13, my worst RC yet. I ended up with a 157 which is nowhere near what I need to be at for test day (obviously). Even though I've been improving in LR and mostly get 0 to -2 on LG, RC is really killing my scores. I'm still not improving and I feel so hopeless with such little time left. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can improve/hopeful messages to share?

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For reading comp I actually ended up ignoring everything I'd been taught. I didn't make any notes and just read the passages. When a question referred to the passage, I read 5 lines above and below the line in question for context. Overall, I just picked the answer that felt most natural and ended up with -4. Which specific question types are bothering you?

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There's no real secret to doing well on RC, but here's some things that helped me. Focus less on the details and more on the shape and development of the argument. When X did Y isn't important--you might be asked a question about it, but it'll take you two seconds to find. The more time consuming questions are the ones that require you to understand how things progress in a paragraph or how different paragraphs fit together and support the central argument. I know some places tell you to mark up your passage with like colour coded highlights and underlining and stuff--if it works for you then great but I think it wastes a lot of time and energy with little benefit. 

Also, ask yourself why you're doing poorly: is it because you don't have enough time? Or is it because you just didn't get what the question was asking or what the passage was saying? That matters. If it's a timing thing, maybe you're reading through the passage too quickly to understand what's happening. Or maybe you're reading too slowly and methodically--you don't need to be able to recite every sentence by memory to answer the questions. For reference, I usually took a minute on reading and the rest on thinking about the questions/rereading/etc. I'm not sure I struck the balance exactly right and everyone's different. If you're not getting it, then you should probably read more on your own time. News articles, academic papers or books, etc. Try some of seriously dense stuff if you want (but not like, Judith Butler/Kaja Silverman dense unless want to torture yourself)--it's hard to parse and if you can get that, then the passages will be a piece of cake.

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As someone who also had trouble with RC, I'd like to offer my bit of advice; focus more on the other sections especially LR and try to master those. RC is harder to improve on (definitely improv-able but takes more time)..it's also the section that varies the most so don't worry too much about your recent PT. 

So basically, 

 

1) focus on the other sections especially LR (these are your friends and you love them)

2) drill the RC section only and see if you improve. You might start seeing the more important things in each passage or see patterns etc.

 

All the best :) 

 

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On 5/19/2017 at 1:39 PM, solas said:

There's no real secret to doing well on RC, but here's some things that helped me. Focus less on the details and more on the shape and development of the argument. When X did Y isn't important--you might be asked a question about it, but it'll take you two seconds to find. The more time consuming questions are the ones that require you to understand how things progress in a paragraph or how different paragraphs fit together and support the central argument. I know some places tell you to mark up your passage with like colour coded highlights and underlining and stuff--if it works for you then great but I think it wastes a lot of time and energy with little benefit. 

Also, ask yourself why you're doing poorly: is it because you don't have enough time? Or is it because you just didn't get what the question was asking or what the passage was saying? That matters. If it's a timing thing, maybe you're reading through the passage too quickly to understand what's happening. Or maybe you're reading too slowly and methodically--you don't need to be able to recite every sentence by memory to answer the questions. For reference, I usually took a minute on reading and the rest on thinking about the questions/rereading/etc. I'm not sure I struck the balance exactly right and everyone's different. If you're not getting it, then you should probably read more on your own time. News articles, academic papers or books, etc. Try some of seriously dense stuff if you want (but not like, Judith Butler/Kaja Silverman dense unless want to torture yourself)--it's hard to parse and if you can get that, then the passages will be a piece of cake.

This actually really helped me, as well as harveyspecter993's advice...I found I would be really running out of time for the last two passages which made me miss a lot of really easy points. I just did two more PTs since I made this post. Before I found I was doing a LOT of underlining, and I think this occupied too much time (spent about 3-4 mins reading but then didn't have time to properly think about the questions, especially when there were 7-8 questions for the passage). I tried just reading very quickly only  and essentially avoiding underlining/making notes unless absolutely necessary and I did significantly better than I did when I made this post! Thanks so much for the advice!! Still not getting my ideal scores, but definitely an improvement I've already seen. 

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