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Building RC Confidence

Phil IveyPhil Ivey Alum Member
edited September 2014 in Reading Comprehension 28 karma
Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone had good suggestions for building RC confidence with regards to specific passage topics? I was a Humanities major in college and I tend to do pretty okay on RC passages that are about art/history/diversity (-1 or -2 per passage on average). But whenever I encounter passages about science (any and all kinds of science...) or really jargon-y law stuff, I perform very inconsistently, at times even getting most questions wrong. I think a lot of it has to do with just not feeling confident about these topics. So I've tried to read academic science journals from which the LSAT passages were taken, but I found them to be rather overwhelming.

Thank you for your time in advance and I would appreciate any suggestions!


  • ENTJENTJ Alum Inactive ⭐
    3658 karma
    Read for structure and make sure to highlight specific references.
  • kellysmellykellysmelly Alum Member
    84 karma
    Being well read is great of course. But you can't control what is given to you on test day. So be comfortable with dissecting and defining the many horrible RC structures. In this way, redoing RC passages is helpful. I agree with the statement "I think a lot of it has to do with just not feeling confident [about the material in the passage]" --I think "reading for structure" on these types of passages specifically gives you this LSAT RC confidence.

    Like JY says, every thing brought up in the passage is connected in some way, connecting it reveals the structure and makes the passage more clear to you. In a unknown domain, with lots of fuzzy words and fuzzy ideas being passed around, attack the structure, by paraphrasing major ideas/topics as they come up, for example if major ideas/topics (1),(2), ect --notice what other concepts, views are being associated with major ideas/topics (1),(2) to get more clarity, be mindful of views presented (for/against), and what the author is trying to convince you of (looking for the key words that signal a turn in position: But, However, Yet, Even if- to defog the fuzzy words and ideas, and who has what position-.

    J-Y tutorial videos of paraphrasing are lengthy and entertaining (not what you would do on an actual exam) but it works. When your brain paraphrases quickly and efficiently -to deal with the fuzzy words/ideas in their "base" terms, it gives you a solid enough idea how to connect the mess coming up and revealing the crappiest of structures to you.

    I think it is also helpful to listen to NPR commentary. There are a lot of bad arguments presented on talk radio and it reminds me a lot of LSAT RC passages. Sometimes stuff is oddly presented, you are unclear in the domain which is being discussed,there are random tangents, but in all that mess, the question is..what can be understood as the fundamental positions being stated.. poorly or adeptly.

    Full disclosure, I don't "rock" RC by any means but I have gotten much better.
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