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Been thinking of doing only 3 RC passages

Matthew LLCMatthew LLC Free Trial Member
in General 114 karma
I've been trying to improve the RC section for the last 4 months with little luck. I've tried a few notable methods, but I'm still consistently picking incorrect answer choices in every passage. I do pretty well on LG and LR however so I've been thinking of just allocating the time I'd use on the fourth passage to making sure the first three are perfect. Do you guys think this is a good idea?

I'm not sure what else I can do with RC. Thanks.


  • AlexanderL0AlexanderL0 Alum Member
    239 karma
    I have tried this, and I would not try this consistently, only as a method to get better. If you're depending on 3 passages, one bad passage and your score for the whole section is done
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @"Matthew LLC" Are you missing questions as you described on timed as well as untimed sections?
  • Matthew LLCMatthew LLC Free Trial Member
    114 karma
    @nicole.hopkins I'm missing a lot of inference and specific line questions on both timed and untimed practice. Not sure how to improve it.
  • blah170blahblah170blah Alum Inactive ⭐
    edited April 2015 3545 karma
    @"Matthew LLC" When you go through the RC questions after review, force yourself to identify the line that EITHER the right answer is actually referencing OR the wrong answer that the writers want you to misinterpret. For almost 99% of inference questions (fake statistic but overall I think the sentiment holds), the right answer is a weird paraphrase of the line in question (e.g.,what is the role in line 33), 3 of the 4 wrong answers will be a mischaracterization of the line (too strong, too weak, too general), and 1 of the wrong answers will be woefully out of scope. The more you can train your mind to see how LSAC writers are manipulating your mind and memory by making false inferences, the better you'll get at ascertaining wrong answers.

    Also, I'm kind of anti-taking untimed sections because I end up creating two separate habits. Obviously, this is a point of personal preference and it's very different when you need the time to understand the argument versus the time to methodically apply strategies consistently throughout a section but I always had very different methods for taking untimed and timed sections and I could never really get a lot of crossover. Instead I had to take multiple timed sections and spend a lot of time reviewing my mistakes in order to get better. I would personally recommend taking timed sections and then reviewing them untimed.
  • deleted accountdeleted account Free Trial Member
    393 karma
    I personally think that a number of untimed sections/tests is necessary at the beginning. I don't know how long you have been studying, but when I started (both times -- took in Feb after 6 weeks of study, retaking in June), I started with a series of tests where I gave myself as much time as I needed.

    I think you should decide whether to do this based on untimed sections. If you do really well on them, then go for it. Of course, my other question would be how many are you missing? If only a few, then you are probably missing the hardest questions anyway and more time won't improve your score that much.
  • emli1000emli1000 Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    edited April 2015 3462 karma
    Is there a specific type of RC passage that gives you a hard time? If so, which type? How many of these passages are you drilling per day? Do you have the Cambridge RC packets? Do you BR each RC passage untimed? Does your score increase after BR? During BR I would make sure that every question I answered relating to the passage I could pinpoint it to a line in the passage, only then would I move on to the next question during BR. I have usually gotten -4 or less after BR on each section. I would recommend that you at least attempt to answer all 4 passages while you're practicing even if you don't finish the timed section, finish it during BR.
  • Matthew LLCMatthew LLC Free Trial Member
    114 karma
    @emil1000 Even if I don't finish, I still complete them during BR. I usually go -4 or under during Blind Review. Not too fond of art and science passages. I'm just trying to focus on finishing them in the time limit, my understanding of the passage isn't a problem (at least I'd like to think that). I don't get bored of them either, and I usually understand what each paragraph does to one another. It's those darn specific line questions that get me.
  • blah170blahblah170blah Alum Inactive ⭐
    3545 karma
    @"Matthew LLC" What's your step by step approach to answering RC passages (how much time do you spend upfront, how long do you take to read the passage, what kind of notations do you mark, etc.)?
  • Matthew LLCMatthew LLC Free Trial Member
    114 karma
    @blah170blah I mostly use Voyager's RC strategy. I box all names, places, and important definitions. Underline main conclusions and viewpoint shifts. I summarize each paragraph using as few words as possible.

    I sorta just read the passage in 3.5 minutes and just move onto the questions.
  • emli1000emli1000 Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    edited April 2015 3462 karma
    @"Matthew LLC" If you want I could send you some RC study guides that I have.
  • Matthew LLCMatthew LLC Free Trial Member
    edited April 2015 114 karma
    @emil1000 That would be great.
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