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RC Technique Strangely Working So Far... Is this sustainable?

bostero719bostero719 Monthly Member

Let me start off by saying that, in every other area, whether in LR or LG, JY's suggested techniques have worked brilliantly for me. As long as the hours and repetitions are put in consistently and core curriculum hasn't been skimmed through, I believe these methods are widely applicable for most, if not all, people. JY is the man. In RC, however, it has often felt like I've been trying to force his 'low res' technique to sink in and, after countless hours of trying to hammer this technique home, my brain's natural method of information intake just doesn't seem to agree with it. This post is more relevant for people who take in information in a similar manner to me (eg: You read an article once through without distraction or stopping and can summarize it confidently)

When using the low res summary technique, each time I underline, circle, scribble a low res paragraph summary, etc, it tends to A) distract me (almost a 'context shift' for anyone familiar with Cal Newport) from actually absorbing/comprehending information, B) slow me down both in terms of sheer getting through the passage and comprehending first time through (resulting in inefficient sentence re-reads) or C) both.

Last week, out of tired frustration more than anything, I just randomly started reading passages all the way through without stopping to mark anything- just recreational reading like I would any book or magazine for fun. Definitely TMI, but I treated it as if it was just light reading a magazine on the toilet (which tbh was where I discovered this method), and it's strangely worked. I've gone -0 on nearly all RC passages since. I have a better feeling for passage structure and paragraph purposes, however, the main issue this has solved is timing. Because of my mind having a tendency to lose track of context or details every time I stop to mark the passage, that resulted in many sentences being re-read, resulting in 5-6 minutes being spent on passage analysis and STILL sometimes missing ideas, which then meant spending more time on certain questions than necessary. Simply reading it straight through like I would an FT article solves all of that for me. I'm acutely aware of how ridiculous this all sounds, but it's working so far regardless of 'cookie-cutter' passage type, subject matter (which used to catch me out, especially Art) or passage difficulty level. I thought tougher RecSE- type questions that require recall of specific or hidden details would expose me, but I actually feel better with these types as well.

Has anyone else done this or something similar? Is this going to come back and bite me in the ass?


  • valeriehevaleriehe Alum Member
    148 karma

    I read in some other posts (possible powerscore ones), some students just don't underline at all in RC and still achieve 0,-1. At the end, most RC method posts will end up with "finding a method that works the best for you". It seems like that not underline is the method for you.
    The essence of RC is its sturcture. So as long as you keep an eye for sturcture during the reading, underline is not necessary. It is just a tool for some students to analyze sturcture better.

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