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Does the Memory Method work?

Hey all. I am currently PTing between 169-171. Over half my wrong answers come from RC, which I have admittedly done very, very little practice with. I usually go -5 to -7. Has anyone found success with the memory method?

My tactic has always been to read the passage deeply for 3-4 minutes, highlighting and notating the crap out of it, and doing the questions quickly. I am unwilling to change this tactic at the moment because I am taking my first LSAT in January.


  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27869 karma

    I like your general time management strategy of spending time to read the passage deeply and then being aggressive in the Q&A's. That is correct.

    I don't particularly like what you're specifically doing with that time as far as all the highlighting and notating. Highlighting and notating is a great exercise. It can really help you develop a lot of sensitivity to the things you need to be aware of. It can even be a good strategy up until about when folks start breaking into the low 160's. From there, it's really hard to 160 your way into the 170's.

    I get that you don't want to shake things up so close to test date. That is normally the correct outlook, and may very well be correct in your case. But the answer to your question on how to improve from -5 to -7 has to start with dropping the strategy that tends to max out right at about the -5 range. RC stretches our bandwidth so thin already. Most of us just don't have the chops to be able to do everything we'd ideally like to do in RC. You've got to prioritize. And highlighting and notating take up too much of our mental bandwidth for too little in return. We lose the nuance of the bigger picture with all that, and so much of the section is concerned with that.

    So I'd recommend just giving it a try. Just as an exercise, untether yourself from all the markings. Read without a pencil and without the highlighter. No marks allowed. Period. And just relax and focus on just reading the passage. Make sure you're getting it, stop and do the work any time you need to figure something out, but just cut out all of the "LSAT'ing" stuff (written, highlit, or in-you-head equivalents) and just read like a literate adult with strong language skills. (If you're breaking 170's with -5/-7 RC, you're clearly doing plenty fine on LR for me to infer strong language skills.)

    Just see how it goes. The great thing about exercises is that your objective usually isn't to hit any particular score. Here, the objective is to give it a good-enough effort so that you can be confident the score will be a reasonable indicator of how well this works. So just do it and let whatever happens with the score happen. If you crash and burn, that's actually really great because you know for sure not to work on this before Jan test. If you go -0 on four sections in a row, probably a good indication of what you need to do. Collect the data and do what it says.

  • Thanks so much for your comment! I will give that a try.

  • mesposito886mesposito886 Member
    254 karma

    Agreed with the comment above about easing up on notations. From someone who used to heavily markup the passage, I think it causes more clutter and redirects your attention to too many places, especially when you're trying to get to a specific part of the passage.

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