« on: September 13, 2008, 12:05:25 PM »
I took a quick look at the RC bible. I didn't order it but got a chance to look over someone else's copy for about thirty minutes. It looks to me to be very well done, and basically it tries to teach you all the "tricks" that a good reader will already know, with a very well organized methodology. I think it could definitely be a big help for alot of people. That being said, at least from my preliminary look at it, I think that its going to have the same problems that all RC methods have. 1) If you only suggest methods for targeted reading, and discuss question types (which ithis bible does, but then goes far beyond it, which I'll discuss shortly), you will see some increases, but you'll never address the core problem that many students are having - bad reading ability. 2) If you take the other approach, which is what Powerscore had done with this book, and try to actually teach good reading, then the people that really learn the material well will see huge increases in score, but in the meantime you will leave a majority of people behind. This is because the number of things that need to be taught, the number of concepts that will be relevant to every single passage you will see is astronomical - hence 11 chapters, over 300 pages, all devoted to the subject. With logic games and logical reasoning, there are only a few really key logical concepts to understand - these would normally be covered in a few chapters, or a few classes - and the remaining part of effective methodologies will be a discussion of each different question type, or each different game type, with a couple more concepts that will be relevant to each of those question types. This gives students the ability to think categorically, and draw only the relevant concepts for each question or game type. But reading comp is, in this respect, totally different. The great majority of the information in those 340 some pages will be relevant to EVERY reading comp passage, meaning that there will be a great wealth of information not only to know well (which, admittedly, is true of every section) but also no real clear signal (such as a question stem or recognizable game type) as to what part of your knowledge is relevant. I anticipate that some of you will object that there are some clear distinctions in RC - for example, you know that you will probably see a science passage, a law passage, a humanities passage, etc. But the fundamental approach to all of these types of passages is the same, meaning that knowing that you're looking at a "science passage" isn't going to help you in the respect that I just discussed. Don't get me wrong, I think that reading comp is definitely learnable, and in the Reading comp bible I saw advice that is very, very similar (although different in a few respects) to the type of advice that I would give my students. And I've seen some student make big increases in reading comp. And I commend Powerscore for making a book that really tries to teach the fundamentals in a digestable way. And I'm sure that this book will help many students. I just think it will also leave many students scratching their heads.