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Inconsistency on RC

LegalityLegality Alum Member

Hey everyone,

My PT scores have been varying wildly from low 160s to low 170s, with pretty much all of the variation coming from RC. I consistently get between -2 to -4 on LG and LR, but my RC scores vary from -2 to -10. It seems to have less to do with the question types and more to do with if I happen to be able to retain focus while reading the passages (which appears almost arbitrary). If anybody has any advice about how they stay focused on the passages while reading, I'd be grateful. I try to convince my brain I'm interested in the topics and actively work on a low res summary, but it seems to be hit or mess on whether it's successful.

Comments

  • DontPay4LawSchoolDontPay4LawSchool Alum Member
    566 karma

    Being unnecessarily critical and talking to yourself through the reading tends to be pretty helpful. I might not be the best to ask, given RC is my worst section, but this is my advice!

  • luckysat1luckysat1 Alum Member
    167 karma

    It's not arbitrary whether or not you can be focused -- it's a choice. You can, and must, choose your focus and interest level by appropriating the right attitude to the task going in.

    Rather than approach RC as a matter of 'I need to be focused' try going in with a more positive perspective. Try going in with the view of learning something new. Most of the time the passages are probably not on subject matter you are familiar of. Simply looking at it as an opportunity to 'learn something' can be all you need to organically 'keep focused'.

    Try this: When the passage comes up, read the first line or two, then pause. Tell yourself some version of "Oh awesome, I'm going to learn about....French pastry design!" Then, before you start critiquing the validity and interest of that, quickly remind yourself that this is the first and perhaps the only opportunity you will ever have to learn about French pastry design. Remind yourself that following this exercise you will be smarter than you were starting it. Then start reading. Aim to learn EVERYTHING about it. Because why not?

    I don't know if that helps or not, but in my opinion this is necessary. At the end of the day, nobody can teach you how to be interested in something, but I guess if one finds a few passages on some 17th Century Feminist Space Explorer or whatever uninspiring then they're going to have a really tough time with some of the dry stuff they will need to read at law school :)

  • LegalityLegality Alum Member
    280 karma

    @luckysat1 said:
    It's not arbitrary whether or not you can be focused -- it's a choice. You can, and must, choose your focus and interest level by appropriating the right attitude to the task going in.

    Rather than approach RC as a matter of 'I need to be focused' try going in with a more positive perspective. Try going in with the view of learning something new. Most of the time the passages are probably not on subject matter you are familiar of. Simply looking at it as an opportunity to 'learn something' can be all you need to organically 'keep focused'.

    Try this: When the passage comes up, read the first line or two, then pause. Tell yourself some version of "Oh awesome, I'm going to learn about....French pastry design!" Then, before you start critiquing the validity and interest of that, quickly remind yourself that this is the first and perhaps the only opportunity you will ever have to learn about French pastry design. Remind yourself that following this exercise you will be smarter than you were starting it. Then start reading. Aim to learn EVERYTHING about it. Because why not?

    I don't know if that helps or not, but in my opinion this is necessary. At the end of the day, nobody can teach you how to be interested in something, but I guess if one finds a few passages on some 17th Century Feminist Space Explorer or whatever uninspiring then they're going to have a really tough time with some of the dry stuff they will need to read at law school :)

    I can't tell you how much this little distinction of my perspective has helped. I have always tried to identify and clearly define the main topic of the passage after the first couple lines but since your recommendation I have taken the extra second to try to get myself excited about the topic after I've identified it (even if it's literally just thinking "this is interesting!"). Since I started doing this, I've been much more consistently missing ~2 on the set. Occasionally I'll have an extra hard passage that throws my average off, but as a whole I've been much more consistent and I'm pretty sure it's literally just because I stop and take a few seconds to try to convince myself that the passage is interesting (and sometimes it genuinely is!). Thanks for the tip.

  • dicino63dicino63 Monthly Member
    142 karma

    To build on what others have said, I notice that my score improves when the topic actually interests me. Take PT 40's RC, for example. I normally average -4 on RC, but was able to go -2 on this problem set because the last two passages were about dark matter and leading questions, both of which were of interest to me. Just goes to show: it does help out your score.

  • ledkarlyledkarly Alum Member
    482 karma

    Yes! Be interested and excited about reading the material! Be present - it is so easy to distract yourself and think of things but this is what changed the game for me! BE PRESENT! Also, meditate and take deep breaths in between!

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