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***RC Help!!!!!!***

nzLSAT71nzLSAT71 Alum Member
edited October 2021 in Reading Comprehension 42 karma

Help!!! RC is by far my WORST section. I am consistently missing -12/13 on each practice section I complete. While I am reading, I try to ask myself what each paragraph is about. Once I'm done reading and it's time to go to the questions, I realize that nothing I have read has stuck with me, forcing me to go back to the passage multiple times. I, then, consistently get multiple questions wrong based on the fact that I don't have great RC reading strategies and can't visualize or condense the information I have read into the important things I should know before going to the questions. Does anyone else have any tips on how to focus more on understanding the passage before even getting to the questions and still being in the time limit? I also have decided I'm probably going to end up skipping one passage as a whole on the exam, so I'm thinking I'll have roughly ~12 minutes on each of the other 3 passages. Any help would be soooo greatly appreciated!


  • sarasinger08sarasinger08 Monthly Member
    10 karma


    I went from getting around -12-14 wrong to -6-4 wrong by heavily using the highlighter. I usually don't use the highlighter, but I tried it out and it's made it much easier to understand the passages and scroll through them when I am answering the questions. I use one color for main points for each paragraph. I use another color for either opinions or explanations based on the type of passage it is. When I am answering the questions, I will also highlight the part of the passage I used to explain my answer choice.
    I also try to get as interested as possible for reading the passages. I tell myself I am going to end up being interested in what I learned during the passage.

    Also, to save time I saw that someone said to skip the passages that are "Passage A vs Passage B" because you don't have to spend as much time reading through the passages as the rest. I also heard that you're allowed to "control F" during the exam which should save you some time.

  • ledkarlyledkarly Alum Member
    482 karma

    spend more time upfront. I usually write down (literally write down) a brief summary of each paragraph on a piece of paper. I do it during timed sections and plan on doing it on the real test. this makes you pay attention to the paragraph, because (at least for me), I don't want to not write anything down!

  • crystal0712crystal0712 Monthly Member
    107 karma

    OK, HEAR ME OUT. Something that helped me go from -7/9 to -4 on RC is, and some might be against this but we get desperate sometimes, actually skipping a passage all together, specifically the comparative passage. NOW BEFORE YOU HATE ME FOR THIS, JUST SEE WHAT I HAVE TO SHARE.

    I always struggled with timing on RC, and when I read faster, my accuracy went down. So what my tutor taught me is as you go through the section, read the passages slowly, take your time really understanding what the passage is saying, and don't move on to the questions until you have a good understanding. Then, do the questions as normal. When you get to the comparative passage, pick a letter and answer that letter for all the questions. Don't even read the passage or questions, just fill in the letter and move on. Go back to in-depth reading and answering for the rest of the passages.

    What you might find is because you skipped a passage, you'll have about 3-6 minutes left over to go back and review the skipped comparative passage (this will fluctuate as you get more confident with RC). When you go back to the comparative, don't read the passage, but skim over the questions and see which you can answer without actually reading the whole passage. These will be questions like ones that only deal with passage A/B, ones that reference a specific area of passage A/B, or structure questions that you might be able to point out. Look at the answer you selected while skipping and see if the answer makes sense. If it doesn't, change it to one that does make more sense or simply a different one.

    Normally, with selecting the same letter for all of a passage's questions, at least one is going to be right. After that, your review with your extra time should help you get one or two more right. Now, the key to this strategy is that you must work on getting all of the questions right on the other passages that you took your time on. This might sound scary, but you might surprise yourself on how much you can understand and answer when you give yourself the time. If you get all the other passage problems correct, and you get at least one right with your skipping due to all of them being the same letter, you will automatically go down to -6/7 depending on how many questions the comparative passage has. Add the questions that you might get right from your second quick review of the comparative and you can bring that down to -4/5.

    I HATED RC and I never thought I could conquer it, but this strategy has allowed me to be so comfortable with it because I can slow read and really understand the passages which makes the questions a lot easier, while still using analytical skills, that are easier to master than speed reading, to squeeze out those extra points. If anyone has any questions, please reach out to me. I'd love to help a fellow RC strugglers :)

  • sarakimmelsarakimmel Alum Member
    1488 karma

    I feel the need to reiterate, skipping the comparative passage by default is not the best strategy if you are planning to only attempt 3 passages. Skip the one with the fewest questions if you must, otherwise you are leaving too many potential points on the table. What if the comparative was the easiest? What if it has 8 questions?

    As @ledkarly said, put in the time up front to be sure you understand the passage. Do whatever you need to do to make the passage interesting and engaging: highlight (sparingly), annotate a low-resolution summary on scratch paper, use your mouse to track where you reading, pretend you are having a conversation with the author and are legitimately interested in what he/she is telling you (fake it till you make it). Ultimately, if you are not engaged in the material, it will continue to be a slog through RC.

    You can make it easier on yourself by practicing passages untimed, when you are getting all (or almost all) the questions right untimed, you can add time constraints, but do it slowly (shave a minute or so off, so long as your accuracy doesn't suffer). If you can make the clock less of a factor, you will become faster (how's that for irony). The speed comes not in the reading, but in the questions. When you have a solid grasp on what you read, you have to look back less, and you are often able to predict the answer.

    Skipping an entire passage would be appropriate if you are struggling with RC and taking your test soon (November), but even still, taking the time to practice engaged reading and becoming faster through efficiency is the way to go, and will help you in law school as well.

    Best of luck!

  • NowOrNever-1-1-1-1NowOrNever-1-1-1-1 Monthly Member
    484 karma

    If you need to completely guess on the LSAT, historical averages say you should guess E for LR, B for RC and A for LG

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