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Need advice on improving RC

loxoxoxoloxoxoxo Member
edited December 2017 in General 14 karma



  • loxoxoxoloxoxoxo Member
    14 karma

    Upon reviewing my technique, I guess I got carried away by the information, especially in difficult passages, and placed less emphasis on the reasoning structures. Advice on how to avoid this will be helpful too :)

  • lsat 1101lsat 1101 Alum Member
    267 karma

    I understand what you mean I tend to do the same, do you stay actively engaged with the text, asking yourself why does the author mention this detail, where does it fit into the bigger picture of this paragraph and the passage in particular? Do you try to anticipate and make a prediction where the passage will go next?

  • twssmithtwssmith Alum
    5120 karma

    This was exactly my issue with RC but there are a few things that have helped me make incredible strides in RC... Thanks to both @danielznelson & @Daniel.Sieradzki :)

    • Do older RC passages untimed but with a lap timer to keep internal time clock in check...
    • When doing older RC passages, pay specific attention to the structure utilizing JY's low resolution strategy and learn to recognize the patterns - that is all you care about, not how you score on the questions.
      (The greatest gift I got from a past Sage is that she had never seen a new RC passage; they are formulaic just as LG even with a curve ball thrown in.)
    • Once you recognize the patterns, LSAC really does give you hints of the concepts that they are going to target on the questions. Highly recommend when starting to read a passage, glance down at the rest of the paragraphs to recognize structure. For the RC strugglers, I promise you can start to identify where they are going to strike on the tough questions.
    • I made a shift in my RC notation strategy to not clutter the passage with consistent concepts and focus on words/phrases/shifts that seemed to be "out of the ordinary context"
    • Once you see LSACs patterns and experienced enough of those Oh Sh!t moments - "I have no clue what this specific BS is?" - you have practiced enough to not go into panic mode and be strategic how you answer the questions.
    • When you recognize that LSAC is going to "focus" on a specific concept within a passage, use that to your advantage. Instead of spinning your wheels on a horrific inference question, skip it and use the next questions to give line references, etc, that will tie it all together - it does work:)
    • Last tip: Reread the 1st sentence of the passage after mentally doing a low resolution of structure especially when the 1st paragraph is context - you will gain points, I promise:)

    All the best!!!
    p.s. Not sure of where you are in your prep, but highly recommend joining Sage Daniel's RC strategy sessions when they resume. There are strategies for passage types to recognize the "Key Sentence" that is causing you issues:)

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited November 2017 23929 karma

    @loxoxoxo said:
    When I was checking the passages that I absolutely bombed, it often comes down to the inability to understand a key sentence (and there are usually two to three questions on it). My questions is how do you know what part to read/place less focus on and what to do when you encounter a word that you don't understand and couldn't infer the meaning out of context? Any advice will be greatly appreciated

    So I think the answer to where to focus on while reading a passage really changes with each passage. It's also often something we can't ever really anticipate until we've read the entire passage. What's helped me is after reading the passage, to quickly re-skim what I've just read. It helps me to see things a bit differently because I usually now have a much better idea of the main point of the passage as a whole. This helps me to key in on important sentences.

    Keep in mind that harder LSAT questions are not worth more points -- you don't get anything more from spending 2:30 on a hard question and getting it right than you do from spending :45 seconds on an easy question and getting it right. Most test takers suffer from over-investing time in the hardest questions and taking away time on the ones they have the ability to get right. So as @twssmith advises above, "Instead of spinning your wheels on a horrific inference question, skip it and use the next questions to give line references, etc, that will tie it all together - it does work."

    Another thing that's been a big help is "fool proofing" RC passages, or doing them until I can go -0 on them and then writing explanations. While incredibly time consuming, it has conditioned my mind to zero in on important parts of each passage while not getting lost in unimportant context/details. In short, lots of practice will help you to develop an intuition about what are likely to be the important parts to focus on.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    Looking forward to return of the RC sessions.

  • loxoxoxoloxoxoxo Member
    14 karma

    A big thanks to everyone who posted (I haven't figured out how to reply individually sorry). A lot of the comments really strike home on the deficiencies of my strategies. I guess I will have to adopt a more aggressive mindset and practice more!

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