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How Can I Improve Reading Comprehension?! #help

Hello fellow students,

I apologize for the vague nature of my question, but I am issuing this post in search of any possible tips, advice, etc.

I have been studying the LSAT (predominantly on 7sage) for the past 2-3 months. On my practice exams my average LG score is -1 and LR score is -4. These are noticeable improvements from when I first began this summer, and more importantly these scores satisfy my target/goal.

However, when it comes to RC it is very difficult to see steady improvement. My average score on a RC is -8 with scores ranging from -4 all the way to a disastrous -14. Despite seeing consistent improvement in other sections, my RC score is as much of a toss-up as it was on day 1.

I have watched the majority of the curriculum regarding RC questions and (to the best of my ability) attempt to utilize low resolution summaries, however I am still stuck.

I was wondering if anyone else had a similar struggle and has found a way to overcome such an issue through different study methods, tips during the reading of passages, etc.

Any input would be greatly appreciated :)

Comments

  • Cynthia-2Cynthia-2 Alum Member
    498 karma

    Hello, good job with LR and LG, that's impressive! As for RC, at the beginning of June I was missing anywhere from 10 to as high as 15. Honestly, I just started to watch the explanation videos after every passage and my score has come down to a consistent 6/7 only in the month of June. I can now do a passage, review it and know where I went wrong. For me, seeing JY solve and explain the reasoning behind AC's was enough for me to see a huge improvement.

  • mynameisdavidmynameisdavid Alum Member
    24 karma

    @"Cynthia-2" said:
    Hello, good job with LR and LG, that's impressive! As for RC, at the beginning of June I was missing anywhere from 10 to as high as 15. Honestly, I just started to watch the explanation videos after every passage and my score has come down to a consistent 6/7 only in the month of June. I can now do a passage, review it and know where I went wrong. For me, seeing JY solve and explain the reasoning behind AC's was enough for me to see a huge improvement.

    Thank you for your reply! I suppose the LSAT offers very little in terms of shortcuts and RC is no different in that respect. I will keep plugging away and try to retain as much as possible from the videos. Thanks again. Always good to know people are/were in a similar position.

  • Lucas CarterLucas Carter Alum Member
    2793 karma

    Hey! I posted a thread on RC improvement a while back that I think could be useful. Good luck!

    https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/22588/a-guide-on-rc-improvement

  • nnnnnnzzzznnnnnnzzzz Alum Member
    168 karma

    I would recommend Speed Reading with the Right Brain by David Butler. Basically this book explains how to use visualization improves comprehension, and with great comprehension comes speed reading.

  • majilatmajilat Alum Member
    99 karma

    What do you typically struggle with, understanding the passage or attacking the questions? If you are not sure, here's one thing you can try:
    1. Find an RC lesson on 7Sage that explains each paragraph of a passage in detail, listen carefully and maybe jot some things down. You want to make sure you have a clear idea of where the author stands on the issue vs other people, what the purpose of the passage is as a whole, and what the main point is.
    2. Move on to the questions - DO THEM BY YOURSELF first, do not listen to the questions' explanations until you have answered all of the questions. Once you have answered all the questions, check your answers and watch the explanation videos to confirm/correct your thinking.
    3. Ask yourself, as you were doing the questions, did you feel like you had to reread the passage over and over again, or did you rely on your memory + notes? What were the questions that you struggled with the most (i.e. could not eliminate 4 answers with confidence or took too long to arrive at an answer)?
    4. After reflecting on your performance, it should give you an idea of what you need to work on. For example, if, even after watching the passage explanations and jotting down notes, you still needed to reread parts of passage before every question then it would be useful to focus on reading strategies and memorization. However, if you struggled more with attacking the questions and eliminating obviously wrong answers, then you may need to brush up on RC question strategies, better understand the Explicitly Stated-Strongly Implied spectrum, and practice spotting trap answers.

    Most importantly, (this is echoed in every blog/comment/advice on RC), you have to stay engaged with the material, as boring as it may seem to you. If you struggle with staying interested, try shifting your mindset: the RC passages you read are more often than not on topics most people go a LIFETIME without ever hearing or learning about. If you come across a passage whose topic is totally out of your field of study or expertise, think about how cool it is that you are among very few people in your field who have this nugget of knowledge (that is seldom practical or useful but cool nonetheless).

  • JDream2023JDream2023 Alum Member
    576 karma

    When you are reading a passage, you must able to differentiate many factors.
    1) Is the author present or absent? If the author is present, you will read words which states POV. If the author is absent, then the author will most likely talk about other people's opinions. If the author is present, you should be highlighting the words because these can come up in the questions.
    2) What is the tone of the passage and what is it trying to tell you? Is it trying to convince you? Is it informational?
    3) I would also underline or highlight the words, "for example, for instances..." anything which gives examples. These can be used as reference questions. Examples are generally given to elaborate on the MP.
    4) How many view points are there? Is the author debating? If that is the case, then you will have two POV or even sometimes three. Most passages either contain one POV or two. So see if the author is stating a view and then stating someone else view, that is obviously two POV's.

    This is just a structure and not an exhaustive list of all the things you should be looking out for but it is a good start. RC was my suckiest section but after paying attention to these things, the passage seems so much clearer! I hope you get to see it like this, too.

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