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[User Question] Comparison Paragraphs?

inactiveinactive Alum Member
edited December 2017 in Reading Comprehension 12637 karma

Hey guys! Had a 7Sager email in with a question that I thought you guys could help out with. Note that any iterations of "you" are referencing J.Y.

I have a question for you regarding reading comprehension, specifically the comparison passages.

I noticed that in several older videos/tests with the comparison passages, you read both passages first and then went straight to the questions. In the newer tests though, I saw that you did one comparison passage first, then went to the questions and answered them or eliminated answer choices, and then read the second passage and returned to the questions afterwards. When I do this second approach of reading one passage, going to the questions, and then reading the second passage VERSUS reading both passages before the questions, I end up spending more time on the questions.

Would it be wiser for me to stick to reading both passages first and then heading over to the questions, OR should I retrain myself to the method that you have been doing in newer tests of reading one passage and then going to the questions before reading the second passage?

Also, I'm curious what your view is on marking/notating the passages while reading the passage. Your videos focus on the memory method. For me personally, I have to underline and circle words in order to stay focused and engaged with the reading. I've seen different methods regarding notating such as the Powerscore book and Nicole Hopkins' methods of Reading Comp. From your experience, do most of the high test takers whom you have worked with heavily mark the passage or not as they read?



  • Legally_SpeakingLegally_Speaking Alum Member
    547 karma

    Although I am only an aspiring high LSAT scorer, I have had the most success with taking very minimal notation in RC. Although it can be tempting and is certainly not a horrible idea to write a very brief summary (like three or four words brief), over time I've trained myself to read for an understanding of how the passages are structured. With this in mind, however, I'll still circle a word here or there if I'm unsure of the tone. Also, it's worth mentioning that on the newer LSAT's RC has apparently begun to include more inference-type questions where "reading between the lines" is a critical skill in addition to merely locating where in a passage something was mentioned.

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    9361 karma

    I believe J.Y. does not notate, and I agree with @"forest.dearing.2017".

    As for whether or not you should read both A and B passages, here is what @"Cant Get Right" (176) said in this thread:

    @"Cant Get Right" said:
    I go through all the questions after Passage A. You may not complete many or any questions all the way, but you can eliminate loads of wrong ACs with absolute confidence. On this first run through, I frequently eliminate 40% to 50% of all the ACs. Going through the questions again after reading Passage B, it provides an enormous advantage and I don't have to worry so much about tracking where the details are coming from.

    Here is what J.Y. said:

    @"J.Y. Ping" said:
    @"Cant Get Right" Yeah, this is the approach I think works best.

    If you very high into the 170's, you might have the ability to simultaneously keep two different points of view separately clear in your mind. If you can do this, then read A, read B, do the questions. But, I find it very challenging to do that so I don't presume that others can.

    In the 50's PT explanations where A/B passages first start appearing, you'll see me advocate all sorts of different approaches. They were new and I was trying to figure out how best to approach them. But in the 70's and into the 80's explanations, you'll see that I exclusively handle them by reading A, taking a pass at the answers, then read B and taking a second pass.

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