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RC Improvement

ledkarlyledkarly Alum Member

Would anyone recommend the Powerscore bibbles for RC? it is by far my worst section and I am writing in October. I am scoring -2/-1 on LG and -4/-5 on LR - BUT -13/-9 on RC.

I am also open to any other suggestions!

HELP!

Thank you!

Comments

  • luckysat1luckysat1 Alum Member
    167 karma

    I average -3/-4 on RC (-1/-2 on BR) but have PT'd with a -0 more than once. When I started I was closer to where you are averaging. This is what helped me:

    • Train yourself to be interested. Assuming you enjoy reading nonfiction material to an average or above extent -- and if you don't then you probably should not be a lawyer because it's a massive part of the job -- then chances are you're already quite good at 'reading comprehension' in layman's terms. Chances are if I gave you a piece of writing on whatever you are interested in, you would absorb it quite well. Transitioning to absorbing the RC material, then, is mainly about self-discipline not about learning a whole new skill. Take a breath, pretend this isn't the LSAT, and just read. Exactly as you would in your personal life. As you read do your absolute best to engage with the text. Care about the subject matter, no matter how dry. Don't allow your eyeballs to glaze or your mind to wander.

    • Low resolution first time, high resolution (with highlighter pen) second time. Low Res = reading 'recreationally': Read as you would casually with no particular agenda. Skip nothing, focus on nothing. High Res = re-reading again, this time focusing on the main aspects, particularly those that lend themselves to 'an argument'. This should be sufficient to be able to at least eliminate most wrong AC's on most of the questions. It should at least be enough to get you through the 'main point' and 'author most agree with' type questions without much referencing back to the text.

    The hardest aspects of RC, in my view, come down to subtle shades of meaning in the questions and answer choices, and balancing the desire for certainty with the clock. Tunnel vision and panic are real problems on RC. With the couple answers I get wrong now, they are almost always the top-rated in difficulty and even then mostly come down to perceived ambiguity between two terms or falling for the old trick of some/all, often as a result of time pressure, rather than anything to do with intellectual stretching. Pretty much, the stuff I get wrong on RC is stuff I (unfortunately) get wrong across the entire test. It's not an issue of comprehending the passage in any real sense. It's not an issue of the questions being hard in isolation really ever.

    I dunno, maybe some of the above is just rambling, but I honestly find RC the best section of the three. I realize almost nobody shares this opinion, but if you can persuade yourself to take an interest in the material most of the questions themselves are no harder than argument labeling and the easier type of LR questions.

  • ledkarlyledkarly Alum Member
    482 karma

    @luckysat1 said:
    I average -3/-4 on RC (-1/-2 on BR) but have PT'd with a -0 more than once. When I started I was closer to where you are averaging. This is what helped me:

    • Train yourself to be interested. Assuming you enjoy reading nonfiction material to an average or above extent -- and if you don't then you probably should not be a lawyer because it's a massive part of the job -- then chances are you're already quite good at 'reading comprehension' in layman's terms. Chances are if I gave you a piece of writing on whatever you are interested in, you would absorb it quite well. Transitioning to absorbing the RC material, then, is mainly about self-discipline not about learning a whole new skill. Take a breath, pretend this isn't the LSAT, and just read. Exactly as you would in your personal life. As you read do your absolute best to engage with the text. Care about the subject matter, no matter how dry. Don't allow your eyeballs to glaze or your mind to wander.

    • Low resolution first time, high resolution (with highlighter pen) second time. Low Res = reading 'recreationally': Read as you would casually with no particular agenda. Skip nothing, focus on nothing. High Res = re-reading again, this time focusing on the main aspects, particularly those that lend themselves to 'an argument'. This should be sufficient to be able to at least eliminate most wrong AC's on most of the questions. It should at least be enough to get you through the 'main point' and 'author most agree with' type questions without much referencing back to the text.

    The hardest aspects of RC, in my view, come down to subtle shades of meaning in the questions and answer choices, and balancing the desire for certainty with the clock. Tunnel vision and panic are real problems on RC. With the couple answers I get wrong now, they are almost always the top-rated in difficulty and even then mostly come down to perceived ambiguity between two terms or falling for the old trick of some/all, often as a result of time pressure, rather than anything to do with intellectual stretching. Pretty much, the stuff I get wrong on RC is stuff I (unfortunately) get wrong across the entire test. It's not an issue of comprehending the passage in any real sense. It's not an issue of the questions being hard in isolation really ever.

    I dunno, maybe some of the above is just rambling, but I honestly find RC the best section of the three. I realize almost nobody shares this opinion, but if you can persuade yourself to take an interest in the material most of the questions themselves are no harder than argument labeling and the easier type of LR questions.

    WOW thank you so much for such good insights! I have read a few types that if you pretend you have interest in the material you are reading, you will retain/focus more on the material at hand.

    I have also noticed that the questions I get wrong is because I didn't read them properly. They are stupid mistakes and not because I dont understand the passage.

    I am hoping I can average to -6/-7 for the test.

    Thank you so much again!

  • sarakimmelsarakimmel Alum Member
    1488 karma

    I know it sounds terrifying, but slowing down is probably the best thing you can do to improve RC. So many people rush through it, then they miss the "low hanging fruit" on the easier passages which rattles your confidence for the tougher ones. I like to think of it like LG (which looks like your strongest section), if you invest time upfront in reading and understanding the passage, the questions are easier to answer and you can often predict them or they jump out at you from the ACs.
    I was in your exact same situation of getting -8-12 on RC, but really taking my time made me faster and more accurate in the long run. You can train this pretty easily if you do some passages untimed, then slowly reduce your time. It kinda tricks your brain into relaxing: no stress here, we're in no hurry, just reading this fascinating article on planets for fun ;)

    @luckysat1 , I am gaining an appreciation for RC, slowly but surely, and I NEVER thought I'd say that!

  • luckysat1luckysat1 Alum Member
    167 karma

    It's perfectly fine, really, it's just more effort. But even then not really.

    I have a theory that if rather than one big chunk + a dozen questions about what chunk contains the exact same length and content was simply dissected out into, say, 20 paragraphs of less than 100 words with 1-2 questions for each 'section' (so, essentially, formatted like your typical LR) it would be the absolute easiest section of the game. By far. Why wouldn't it be? There are four main point questions, perhaps a couple of flaw/sufficiency type questions. Everything else is pretty much a word search.

    So what? So if the questions are rarely that hard, then its the situation and presentation of the stimulus. Human psychology + our flawed education system has fostered a natural aversion to navigating big blocks of text, especially stuff containing language and ideas that we understand but are unfamiliar with. Dealing with that psychological hurdle, together with the stressors of the clock, create a perfect storm of stress that only makes it harder. More than any other section of the LSAT, this feels like traditional schoolwork and I think that shows in the general aversion.

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