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For any of you that saw improvement on RC, please share with me!

lsatgodjklsatgodjk Alum Member
in General 926 karma

hey all!

I am at an average of 160 on my PTs with the following breakdown:
-0 Games
-6 Per LR, sometimes less, sometimes more.
-13 on RC

If I improved my RC, it could totally push me into the 165 range. With only 7 weeks left until the Jan exam, I'm seeking advice on the best way to improve my RC score. Advice on LR is welcomed, too!

Thanks all!


  • JerryJerry Legacy Member
    176 karma

    I started to purposely seek out reading materials and watching videos related to the passages that I know I do badly on: philosophy and art history. Coincidentally, or maybe not, my RC score has improved since then. I'm more familiar with how art historians and philosophers communicate their ideas.

  • Atticus KingsfieldAtticus Kingsfield Monthly Member
    edited November 2019 206 karma

    I did see a lot of improvement in my reading comp over the last 6 months and used tweak 7sage reading method to be more lawerlike. I changed tactics. Instead of reading the whole passage at once. I decided to break it down into smaller paragraphs and mark c for conclusion I would stop and write out in a few words the conclusion after each paragraph. For the opinions, I would track each view point. Let me should what I did.

    I did my notation like this on a passage that was not comparative reading.

    P1 conclusion

    P2 conclusion

    P3 conclusion

    Proponent 1 opinion:

    Opponent 1 opinion:

    Main Idea.:

    For a comparative reading passage, it would look like this

    Passage A

    P1 conclusion

    P2 conclusion

    P3 conclusion

    Passage A viewpoint/conclusion

    Passage B

    P1 conclusion

    P2 conclusion

    P3 concluion

    Passage B viewpoint/conclusion

    The idea is break it down where the passage is manageable and in smaller pieces. Because reading straight through can be difficult to remember what you read. I came to the realization that I make less mistake doing the way I do it now versus reading straight through without any kind of notation.

  • lsatgodjklsatgodjk Alum Member
    926 karma

    @"Atticus Kingsfield" I really like this, I'm going to try it during my practice and get back to you in PMs! thanks for your advice, brother.

  • KingTChallaKingTChalla Monthly Member
    499 karma

    I started reading a lot—at the very least a book per month. Also, when you start a passage make sure to read actively, for a purpose, use low resolution summary, and point out referential phrases. And last but not least, practice, practice, and practice some more!

  • jsolomon759jsolomon759 Legacy Member
    51 karma

    So after my first pt I got-15 on rc. After completing the CC I took another PT and scored-7 on the rc. Since then I have scored consistently between -4 to -7. I was really surprised by the change in score because it was so drastic, then I realized that in the first test I was trying to digest every detail (which is impossible) and after completing the CC I was concentrating on reading for structure and ignoring most of the details. Reading for structure is extremely important, it the only was to get a good score on the rc. Also I started summarizing as I read, meaning I'd read a sentence then stop for a fraction of a second and say to myself," what did I just read there". It doesn't take very long and really helped me with the rc.

  • lsatgodjklsatgodjk Alum Member
    926 karma

    @TChalla thanks for your note, will do. wakanda forever.

    @jsolomon759 the consensus seems to be reading for structure > reading for details. I think my issue is lack of practice and trying to learn everything the author is saying. Sometimes I forget to actively read (especially during timed constraints). I'll consider your advice, thanks so much for your note!

  • itsemmarobynitsemmarobyn Legacy Member
    272 karma

    I saw a lot of improvement in RC very quickly. On my diagnostic, I was -14, but since finishing the core curriculum I have been scoring around -3 on my PTs. It's now consistently my best section.

    I don't actually use J.Y.'s method. I found that it really slowed me down and didn't help me much in answering the questions. My approach differs depending on what type of passage I'm reading. If it's a science passage with lots of different names, I'll highlight the name of each scientist/theorist mentioned the first time their name appears in text. This helps me for quick reference if I get stuck on a question and to keep each theorist (and their corresponding theory) straight in my head.

    For comparative passages, I'll focus on figuring out what the central topic or thesis statement of the first passage is (e.g. role of social norms in regulating comedy vs. legal idea protection). This is because the second passage is usually about an element/piece of content from the first passage or something parallel to the main idea of the first passage (e.g. role of social norms in regulating idea protection for chefs vs. legal protection). That helps me to separate the parallels and argumentation/perspective differences between the two passages in my head.

    Overall, as I read, I try to get a sense of the big picture idea of the entire passage (though more so for the science passage since, as a social science grad, I have a weak background in natural sciences). This doesn't necessarily mean the main thesis, but sort of the general structure-- I guess in that sense it's similar to JY's method. At the end of each paragraph I stop and think for a second to almost map the passage as it unfolds. For example (mapped from PT50):

    Introduction: X's finding = seemingly contrary to general principle of science
    2nd paragraph: X's model analogy
    3rd paragraph: details of analogy
    4rth paragraph: distinguishing analogy
    5th paragraph: impact of X's model on general principle / science

    For really difficult science passages, I try to visually picture the information in my head. For example, there is a murderously difficult passage at the end of PT50. The information in each paragraph is ridiculously confusing and dense. Here's how I scored -0 on my first try during a PT:

    1) read and re-read sentences (over and over and over again) that I didn't understand until I could picture it in my head
    2) formed the "big picture" idea of the passage overall (i.e., distinguished details from the main point of the passage)
    3) referred back to the passage and re-read certain passages to answer questions when stuck between answer choices.

    Honestly, don't be afraid to re-read confusing/dense sentences, even multiple times. Sometimes it takes a few rounds for the information to sink into my brain and for me to connect it to other related ideas. That's okay! I'd even argue that, since the passage builds on the information contained in previous paragraphs, moving on to the rest of the passage without understanding the previous paragraph or idea will result in further confusion. Focus on understanding each idea/sentence before you move on.

    Besides these tips, I would recommend reading more. I read A LOT in my spare time, it's a huge hobby of mine. To be fair, most of what I read is rubbish fiction, but I do read the Economist and the NY Times regularly as well. If you're really struggling, start reading one article or chapter of a a notoriously dense newspaper or book (hello Lord of the Rings) every day. And practice! Figure out what works for you. There's no "wrong way" in my opinion to RC, as long as you get the right answer.

    I hope this helps! Best of luck! :smile:

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