LSAT RC honing tip - read books?

Chris_Webby_SeoulChris_Webby_Seoul Monthly Member
edited July 2021 in Reading Comprehension 352 karma

I am studying for the LSAT full-time. I saw on one of the YouTube videos posted by a Korean-American HLS student that reading the Economist was helpful for him to hone his RC skills. I tried reading the Economist but it doesn’t relate to my current standing in the world, specifically in South Korea as a tutor. I am looking to read books and papers such as Federalist, Declaration of Independence, Democracy in America, Leviathan, Politics, Prince, Republic, Two Treaties of Government, Utilitarianism, Writings of Thomas Paine. These works are written by famous thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson, Tocqueville, Hobbes, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Plato, Locke, Mill, and Paine. I was just wondering to what extent reading these works would be helpful on my end to hone the RC part.

Thanks,
Ken

Comments

  • 5Fennel LSAT5Fennel LSAT Monthly Member
    93 karma

    Hi Ken,
    The works you listed are significant and worth reading. However, in terms of relevance to your goal of improving your LSAT RC skills, I would agree with the youtuber that reading articles in the Economist (as well as many other publications) would be highly beneficial to your RC skills.

    The sections of the Economist can be similar in subject matter to LSAT passages (law, politics, humanities, science, art etc) and are sometimes similar in length (400-600 words) to an LSAT RC passage. Even if you are not familiar with the subject matter of an article, it would be useful to read as practice, as we are typically not familiar with the sometimes obscure subject matter of LSAT passages either. I would recommend reading articles in the same process as you would an RC passage - identify and comprehend main points, argument structure, relevant details etc.

    Articles in the Economist or other publications may not relate to you personally at this time, but do consider that LSAT RC passages are intentionally selected to be obscure and unfamiliar to most people. If the goal is to improve your RC as well as general reading ability to comprehend and digest an unfamiliar article quickly and accurately, I agree with the youtuber's recommendation!

  • CripTheLawCripTheLaw Alum Member
    45 karma

    I am of the belief, and have heard this from LSAT tutors, that reading the Economist or similar publications should only be your RC improvement strategy after you have read all of the available RC passages in the preptests. Yes, the articles will be similar, but nothing will prepare you better than reading actual passages. Plus, if the Economist isn't particlarly relevant to you, and you are only reading it to improve your RC, I don't see how that would be preferable to reading and drilling an RC passage instead.

  • zoomzoomzoomzoom Alum Member
    462 karma

    I agree with other commenters that outside reading for RC should be secondary to actual RC passages. I believe that being good or fast at reading is not absolutely necessary to succeed in RC. It certainly helps if you are fast but RC tests your ability to understand reading structure and main ideas rather than details and the content within.

    What I do think outside reading does do is strengthen your ability to handle complex material. Like weightlifting or any skill, the more you challenge yourself, the more adept you become at handling it. So if you challenge yourself with outside reading, it will certainly prepare you to be able to tackle RC passages.

    But again, I don't think it is necessary. It helps certainly, but I would prioritize RC passages first.

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    edited July 2021 7820 karma

    To add... definitely take the opportunity to compare an actual RC passage to its source material and see how different they are. Any outside reading is going to be something that was written with comparatively more focus on being readable. RC passages are designed to be hard to read. Until you've expended all released material... nearly 400 passages, there's nothing better than that.

  • Chris_Webby_SeoulChris_Webby_Seoul Monthly Member
    352 karma

    @vb000000 said:
    Hi Ken,
    The works you listed are significant and worth reading. However, in terms of relevance to your goal of improving your LSAT RC skills, I would agree with the youtuber that reading articles in the Economist (as well as many other publications) would be highly beneficial to your RC skills.

    The sections of the Economist can be similar in subject matter to LSAT passages (law, politics, humanities, science, art etc) and are sometimes similar in length (400-600 words) to an LSAT RC passage. Even if you are not familiar with the subject matter of an article, it would be useful to read as practice, as we are typically not familiar with the sometimes obscure subject matter of LSAT passages either. I would recommend reading articles in the same process as you would an RC passage - identify and comprehend main points, argument structure, relevant details etc.

    Articles in the Economist or other publications may not relate to you personally at this time, but do consider that LSAT RC passages are intentionally selected to be obscure and unfamiliar to most people. If the goal is to improve your RC as well as general reading ability to comprehend and digest an unfamiliar article quickly and accurately, I agree with the youtuber's recommendation!

    thank you! (:

  • Chris_Webby_SeoulChris_Webby_Seoul Monthly Member
    352 karma

    @canihazJD said:
    To add... definitely take the opportunity to compare an actual RC passage to its source material and see how different they are. Any outside reading is going to be something that was written with comparatively more focus on being readable. RC passages are designed to be hard to read. Until you've expended all released material... nearly 400 passages, there's nothing better than that.

    thank you! (:

  • Chris_Webby_SeoulChris_Webby_Seoul Monthly Member
    352 karma

    @oychoi79 said:
    I agree with other commenters that outside reading for RC should be secondary to actual RC passages. I believe that being good or fast at reading is not absolutely necessary to succeed in RC. It certainly helps if you are fast but RC tests your ability to understand reading structure and main ideas rather than details and the content within.

    What I do think outside reading does do is strengthen your ability to handle complex material. Like weightlifting or any skill, the more you challenge yourself, the more adept you become at handling it. So if you challenge yourself with outside reading, it will certainly prepare you to be able to tackle RC passages.

    But again, I don't think it is necessary. It helps certainly, but I would prioritize RC passages first.

    thank you! (:

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