how long take you -1/-2 in RC consistently? Wide fluctuations - how to build consistency in RC?

youbbyunyoubbyun Alum Member
edited June 2018 in Reading Comprehension 1755 karma

hey all,

i've been drilling RC for a few weeks, and I've been facing lots of fluctuations in RC. My timed score can range from like -4 to -7. My BR scores range from like -2 to -7.

I get really happy when I see a BR score of -2, but then really sad when I see a BR score of like -7.

How long did it take ppl to get consistent with RC - where they're consistently hitting like -1/-2? It's kinda frustrating to see this kind of fluctuation. And any advice on how to get there? Thanks!

Comments

  • RiseandGrindRiseandGrind Alum Member
    219 karma

    Hey there, so I usually get up from -1 to -3 on RC, and I've been studying for about 1.5 years in cumulative. However, my biggest jump from RC came when I started reading regularly outside of LSAT studies, also known as reading for fun. I like to read on my commute back and forth from work, totaling about 40 minutes per day. On weekends I would read 1.5-2 hours total. I usually would read any where from self help books to articles from The Economist to Political Fiction/Nonfiction. Currently I am reading The New Jim Crow. I think extracurricular reading has everything to do with speed and accuracy on RC as it trains you to retain focus. I wish I had started reading much earlier in my LSAT studies instead of trying to force myself to practice on passages which I had no interest. Now, after reading books I actually enjoy outside of my studies, I can push myself to focus on LSAT passages and pretend I care about the details.

  • Gunningfor121Gunningfor121 Alum Member
    512 karma

    Hey there, so I usually get up from -1 to -3 on RC, and I've been studying for about 1.5 years in cumulative.>

    @RiseandGrind When you say 1.5 years cumulative, about how much would you say you study per day? Have you made your way through all of the Ultimate+ material including all the practice tests?

    I've got about 8 months to study at about 4 hours a day and am wondering if it'll be enough. I know it varies from person to person, but I'm interested in seeing what others find to be the right amount.

  • btate87btate87 Alum Member
    782 karma

    I'm not sure I can give you an exact answer as mine still fluctuates based on how frequently I'm exposing myself to RC. I can go from a -0/-1 streak when I'm drilling diligently to a -4/-5 if I've let things slip.

    That is definitely frustrating to see fluctuations like you are. What does your RC study look like? Do you do a section, BR, then do the next? What really started making a difference for me is when I started treating RC passages like logic games. If a passage gave me any trouble I would do it 3+ times after BR over the course of a month or two. The patterns in RC really started to stand out to me after this, and it gave me more opportunities to get into the right mindset for RC more frequently.

  • youbbyunyoubbyun Alum Member
    edited June 2018 1755 karma

    @btate87 gotcha thanks for the feedback!

    I've been mostly doing an intensive of only drilling RC sections these past few weeks - so just doing full RC sections.

    I do a RC section, circle those questions I don't know. I then BR it by rereading the passage, and trying to prove out each AC with line references for questions I circled during my timed take. I then check answers, and watch JY's video explanations as well as other explanations from Manhattan Prep, etc. for questions I get wrong or wasn't too sure about.

    For each Question I get wrong, I try to explain to myself why I got it wrong and write down lessons learned -- and try to pick out patterns (ex. "pay attention more to question stem," "you picked X's perspective when question stem wanted Y's perspective - bad!" , etc. )

    I then do the same thing for the next RC section.

  • RiseandGrindRiseandGrind Alum Member
    edited June 2018 219 karma

    @RiseandGrind When you say 1.5 years cumulative, about how much would you say you study per day? Have you made your way through all of the Ultimate+ material including all the practice tests?

    I've got about 8 months to study at about 4 hours a day and am wondering if it'll be enough. I know it varies from person to person, but I'm interested in seeing what others find to be the right amount.

    Hi @DavidBennet
    So since I am working 40-45 hours a week, I can only do about 2-3 hours of studying per week day and then 10 hours over the weekend. In total I can average 20 hours of studying in a good week. On bad weeks its more like 15 hours. Which is why it took me more than a year to have a 15 point increase from my diagnostic to my average score. I think that if you can do 4 hours per day, you are going to be in excellent shape in 8 months! I wish I could have quit my job to dedicate 4-5 hours to LSAT per day, unfortunately that wasn't an option for me. That being said, I do think its the quality of your studying rather than a certain amount of hours that you need to hit. Just focus on learning concepts, testing your understanding and then reviewing your mistakes. So if you can study very efficiently in those four hours each day,you'll be just fine.

    Also, I am 90 percent through the Ultimate + material and have done all 83 available practice tests. I made the mistake of blowing through them quickly when I was preparing to take the last two official tests and sincerely regret it. If you're just starting out your studies, just be sure to go through them slowly and squeeze every last drop of knowledge out of them.

  • Raychul123Raychul123 Legacy Member
    179 karma

    @username_hello said:
    hey all,

    i've been drilling RC for a few weeks, and I've been facing lots of fluctuations in RC. My timed score can range from like -4 to -7. My BR scores range from like -2 to -7.

    I get really happy when I see a BR score of -2, but then really sad when I see a BR score of like -7.

    How long did it take ppl to get consistent with RC - where they're consistently hitting like -1/-2? It's kinda frustrating to see this kind of fluctuation. And any advice on how to get there? Thanks!

    I was able to reduce my average wrong per section from -5/6 to -1/2 by focusing on structure rather than details, taking note of all relevant view points and being aware that in RC, like LR, evidence is being presented and ideas are being expressed for a reason and to understand the function of different parts of the passage enables you to understand the arguments being made and answer the questions with much more confidence.

  • youbbyunyoubbyun Alum Member
    1755 karma

    @Raychul123 thank you!

  • kflor028kflor028 Member
    18 karma

    @Raychul123 said:

    @username_hello said:
    hey all,

    i've been drilling RC for a few weeks, and I've been facing lots of fluctuations in RC. My timed score can range from like -4 to -7. My BR scores range from like -2 to -7.

    I get really happy when I see a BR score of -2, but then really sad when I see a BR score of like -7.

    How long did it take ppl to get consistent with RC - where they're consistently hitting like -1/-2? It's kinda frustrating to see this kind of fluctuation. And any advice on how to get there? Thanks!

    I was able to reduce my average wrong per section from -5/6 to -1/2 by focusing on structure rather than details, taking note of all relevant view points and being aware that in RC, like LR, evidence is being presented and ideas are being expressed for a reason and to understand the function of different parts of the passage enables you to understand the arguments being made and answer the questions with much more confidence.

    Oh wow, that's an interesting strategy. I might steal that. When I first started RC, I was notating like crazy. I was using it as a crutch. After I stopped myself from notating, my score shot up to now an average of -5/-8. Lately, my average has been hitting -3/-5 because I have been focusing more on time strategies, but I feel like that structure strategy (where you focus on the structure instead of the details) would save me time and drop my incorrect question total to a competitive score. Thanks for the insight.

  • Raychul123Raychul123 Legacy Member
    179 karma

    No problem! Applying this strategy to my Reading comprehension was the difference between seeing high 160's and mid 170's on my prep tests. (0-1 on LG) (0-2 on LR) and then I was getting (5-6 on RC) and it was really messing with my score and was indicative of a real deficiency that needed fixing! TBH it really didn't take that long, maybe about a month of doing at least 2 passages a day to really see results- the way we read in our daily lives isn't rewarded on the LSAT and it just comes down to practicing approaching the material from a more active, curious and analytical perspective than we usually read .After a while it becomes second nature!

    In terms of timing, getting through the passages is super important, but what helped me was giving myself the extra 45 seconds-1 minute up front to really understand the passage, understand why the author is saying the things he's saying, and drawing a clear connection between the paragraphs. For example. P1 might introduce a theory, P2 might expand upon the implications of that theory, P3 maybe is the VP of critics of the theory, and lastly p4 maybe is the author's VP of the theory. By creating this mental framework of the passage and understanding the relationship between the paragraphs you are setting yourself up to answer the questions quicker because you will be able to reference the material faster (ex which would critics of the theory MSS and you know off the bat that its probably in P3). In addition, this really helped me to identify the arguments being made and the evidence that is cited to support them.

    I have also found being an active reader (constantly predicting what will happen next, questioning what the author is saying, trying to visualize what he is saying) and not allowing my mind to wander made me engage with the material at a deeper level, thus enabling me to identify reasoning structure, certain assumptions that may be being made by the author or speakers, causal explanations and any conditional reasoning.

    Another tip that I recently learned is that if while reading a passage you see the words "for example" typically the example about to be talked about is an example of whatever is being talked about in the sentence before, and rarely a sentence after. This seems obvious, but when you are reading quickly it can be easy to get confused and overlook the reference being made. By drawing an arrow from the words "for example" to the sentence before really helped me to solidify the motivation behind certain things being referenced. Often you'll get a question asking "what is the purpose of the example given at lines 8-10" and if you know what it is an example of by drawing the arrow, it will enable you to answer the question very quickly.

    Lastly, I have also found that applying a "better" rather than right or wrong mentality when attacking the questions has really helped me. Often when pressed for time you'll get an answer that seems good, but by really scrutinizing all of its implications (does it use prescriptive language where it maybe isn't fitting, does it use strong terms like all or most), you can often realize that there is probably a better answer choice.

    Sorry for the obnoxiously long post lol- I hope it helps!!

  • youbbyunyoubbyun Alum Member
    1755 karma

    @Raychul123

    thanks!! that was super helpful!

  • Super SaiyanSuper Saiyan Legacy Member
    112 karma

    @Raychul123 That was extremely helpful thanks!

  • cooljon525-1-1cooljon525-1-1 Alum Member
    edited June 2019 917 karma

    @RiseandGrind said:

    @RiseandGrind When you say 1.5 years cumulative, about how much would you say you study per day? Have you made your way through all of the Ultimate+ material including all the practice tests?

    I've got about 8 months to study at about 4 hours a day and am wondering if it'll be enough. I know it varies from person to person, but I'm interested in seeing what others find to be the right amount.

    Hi @DavidBennet
    So since I am working 40-45 hours a week, I can only do about 2-3 hours of studying per week day and then 10 hours over the weekend. In total I can average 20 hours of studying in a good week. On bad weeks its more like 15 hours. Which is why it took me more than a year to have a 15 point increase from my diagnostic to my average score. I think that if you can do 4 hours per day, you are going to be in excellent shape in 8 months! I wish I could have quit my job to dedicate 4-5 hours to LSAT per day, unfortunately that wasn't an option for me. That being said, I do think its the quality of your studying rather than a certain amount of hours that you need to hit. Just focus on learning concepts, testing your understanding and then reviewing your mistakes. So if you can study very efficiently in those four hours each day,you'll be just fine.

    Also, I am 90 percent through the Ultimate + material and have done all 83 available practice tests. I made the mistake of blowing through them quickly when I was preparing to take the last two official tests and sincerely regret it. If you're just starting out your studies, just be sure to go through them slowly and squeeze every last drop of knowledge out of them.

    I made the same mistake as you. I blew around 20-30 pts. I've done around 50 pts so far. I was wondering if it is a good idea to retake PTs once I finish all of them?

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