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RC Help/Tips

jakejohns777jakejohns777 Member
in General 52 karma

Can anyone give me their best tips on how to do well on RC? It is constantly the one section that is dragging me down. Some days I can go -5 and others it is -10+. It is super frustrating. I am planning on taking the LSAT in January one last time. I typically read each paragraph and make short 3-4 word summaries on scratch paper. I try to piece it together and analyze the structure. I honestly sometimes just don't understand some of the passages. I struggle more so with the law passages and science. I am Pting between a 159-163. My LR and LG have improved a ton. Goal is a 157+ on test day.



  • taschasptaschasp Alum Member Sage
    edited December 2019 796 karma

    Hey there. RC was my worst nightmare, but I overcame it and scored a 179. Based on what worked for me, I have a few recommendations:

    • Practice as many RC sections as you can. If its your weak point, then focus on them disproportionately. Though, the flipside of this is that RC does tend to be the hardest section to improve on, so there's a trade-off (losing out on potential improvements in LR and LG, if you think you can improve more).
    • When you don't understand something, slow down, and read it again. Don't jump ahead. Make sure you get what you're reading before you move on. Summarizing and mentally organizing the passage is helpful, but its secondary: if you don't first understand what you've read before you try to summarize, you might miss important details that the questions will grill you on.
    • This may sound weird, but it helped me: when you don't understand something, stop and ask yourself why. What is it about what you read that prevented you from understanding it? Was there something wrong with the way you read it? With the way you connected the words and ideas in your head? Were you reading too fast? Did you get distracted? Were there words you didn't understand? Did you forget what the first half of the sentence was about by the time you got to the second half? These are all examples--but identifying why you didn't understand something is the crucial step to then trying to improve that understanding. It's a lot harder than LR or LG, because we aren't talking about some straightforward reasoning flaw to fix--it's about how your brain interacts with the text, which is a more complicated matter. But if you ask yourself the right questions you'll find the right answers, and hopefully have the ability to train yourself to improve your comprehension. Even a little bit goes a long way.
    • Read the economist, or something similar, as much as you can. Read it slowly, make sure you understand everything you're reading, as if you're taking it for the LSAT. Even listen to any dense podcasts you can find. Just focus your attention on the comprehension part, as if you're going to answer questions about it after. Read (or listen) to sections at a time and then see if you can recount what you just read. Mentally imagine you're telling someone about it. (FYI, this may be helpful:
    • This might actually be the most important thing. Learn to LOVE what you are reading. If you don't find it interesting, you won't remember it. A weird tip - force yourself to smile. It will psychologically induce your body into a better state. But beyond smiling, really try to see the beauty and intrigue in what you're reading, discovering something new. I promise it makes a huge difference.

    Hope something in here is helpful!

  • studyingandrestudyingstudyingandrestudying Core Member
    5254 karma

    Going along with the above comment, which is great, maybe being patient with long sentences. And keeping a Wrong Answer Journal.

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