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Reading comp AGH

UBC HopefulUBC Hopeful Alum Member
I'm scheduled to write the Feb exam and I've noticed that my RC is my worst section by far! I'm averaging - (3-5) per LR section, and -(0-2) per LG section... but getting around 15-17 (out of 27) on RC... I find that I focus too much on the content rather than structure. I most always correctly answer MP questions but find myself lost on questions that reference specific lines and ask for such things as the tone. Recently I've tried to focus less on content, but then I am complete loss when it comes to questions that ask for analogous situations/opinions/beliefs (because I either don't know the authors motives or I spend too much time trying to re-read). I've done loads of passages to know that my skills deteriorate with complexity (obviously like everyone else) but rather than by theme (science, econ, law, etc)... with the exception of history passages, which I would rather just guess :p

Any tips or recommendations for specific skills to help keep on track of what's happening in the passage, without trying to retain information overload?

THANK YOU!!

Comments

  • inactiveinactive Alum Member
    12637 karma
    Bumping so more people see!
  • roblim92roblim92 Legacy Member
    73 karma
    @"UBC Hopeful" said:
    Recently I've tried to focus less on content, but then I am complete loss when it comes to questions that ask for analogous situations/opinions/beliefs
    Same boat here :/
  • mcneeleytmcneeleyt Legacy Member
    64 karma
    Hey, I'm taking the Feb LSAT too! I found myself in the same boat as you for a long time honestly. I found RC to be the most challenging section I believe because I majored in history, where I spent four years learning to quickly read large bodies of texts while simultaneously memorizing all the information (well this is formal education as a whole honestly).

    But, that's not what the LSAT is testing us on.. it's not the context of the passage or our ability to memorize the details of the passages presented, it's the structure of the passages themselves which the LSAT is concerned on. I ramble about this because this was my kind of "oooooh FUCK" moment for me. I essentially had to re-teach myself the approach I was taking for RC, against all the preconditioning schooling had taught me.

    So, what I started doing is going over some of the older PTs that I had already taken and reading & answering the RC sections again. I find that the 2nd read through so much more beneficial, for you already know most of the details of the particular story from the previous read, yet this time you're relaxed, able to focus on the structure of the passage & the important words/themes & such as a whole. Every word present in a RC passage has it's purpose, whether it's absolutely crucial to answer that one question or just meaningless list of details to try and clutter your brain.

    I find highlighting/underlying important indicators (but,some,however,because, etc.) & also the subjects of the RC passages helpful. It's easy to go back to the passage on harder questions and skim thru what you underlined vs. trying to keep all the details in your head and/or reread the passage.

    I've also found that knowing the different type of RC questions extremely helpful. Other than the Passage A vs Passage B ones, I feel as if there is always a reoccurring bit of question stems: main point question, what's the purpose of a certain sentence/paragraph, MSS bc passage/Most likely to agree, pulling a word or phrase (with where it is listed) and asking the meaning/why it's included....

    Also! I can't remember where I saw, but another tip is to have a passage in front of you, Read the first paragraph, flip to the back of the page, and right a VERY brief sentence or two about what the paragraph is about/the purpose of it. If you find yourself after reading a RC passage thinking, "now what was that about?" then this studying technique will REALLY help you, I promise. I know it seems time consuming, but repetition is a hell of a studying tool. It helped me with being able to recall structuring of the paragraphs, the relationships between all said paragraphs, and the passage as a whole, SO much better.

    It's a pain in the ass, but repeat, repeat, repeat. At this point of the game, I would be doing many RC drills. We're getting so close to the Feb LSAT, but I didn't find my -8RC jump to -1to-3 until this month. Learning the LSAT is a long process.....but I Hope this helps!
  • UBC HopefulUBC Hopeful Alum Member
    44 karma
    @mcneeleyt thank you so much!!
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26300 karma
    @mcneeleyt said:
    So, what I started doing is going over some of the older PTs that I had already taken and reading & answering the RC sections again. I find that the 2nd read through so much more beneficial, for you already know most of the details of the particular story from the previous read, yet this time you're relaxed, able to focus on the structure of the passage & the important words/themes & such as a whole. Every word present in a RC passage has it's purpose, whether it's absolutely crucial to answer that one question or just meaningless list of details to try and clutter your brain.
    Yeah, I second @mcneeleyt 's response, and this bit especially.
    @"UBC Hopeful" said:
    Recently I've tried to focus less on content, but then I am complete loss when it comes to questions that ask for analogous situations/opinions/beliefs
    Particularly if this is your issue, there is nothing like repeat sections to train you on how to read for both surface level and underlying structural elements.
  • dantlee14dantlee14 Member
    617 karma
    http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/lsat-reading-comprehension-passages.html

    I found this method of notation extroardinarily helpful for conquering RC. I never run out of time anymore and usually get between -3 and -0 on RC now (I used to get between -8 and -5). Always remember that you're reading for argumentation and structure, not for the content of the passage itself.
  • mcmlaw36mcmlaw36 Alum Member
    631 karma
    @"UBC Hopeful" said:
    Any tips or recommendations for specific skills to help keep on track of what's happening in the passage, without trying to retain information overload?
    The LSAT Trainer has changed my LIFE on this issue lol! I too am writing in February, and in just a couple weeks, after breezing through some of the RC chapters of the Trainer, my improvement has been drastic.

    Good luck!
  • mcmlaw36mcmlaw36 Alum Member
    631 karma
    @mcneeleyt said:
    Also! I can't remember where I saw, but another tip is to have a passage in front of you, Read the first paragraph, flip to the back of the page, and right a VERY brief sentence or two about what the paragraph is about/the purpose of it. If you find yourself after reading a RC passage thinking, "now what was that about?" then this studying technique will REALLY help you
    Pretty sure J.Y. says to do this in his RC lessons! Haha.
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