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Author Topic: Improving on RC  (Read 952 times)

giveme170

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Improving on RC
« on: October 23, 2007, 03:58:48 AM »
I almost always miss 1~2 questions per passage on RC. I rarely miss main point/tone questions, but detail/extension questions are giving me trouble because it takes so long for me to choose the right answer (and sometimes i choose the wrong ones). It seems like no matter what I do, I don't seem to improve much on RC. I read the Nova's, the sparknotes, and some of the stuff on here. I found the sparknotes to be pretty helful, but applying everything I learned from it would consume way too much time. Studying for RC is so discouraging because I don't seem to improve at all. Improving on LR was so much easier. Can someone suggest anything that mihgt be helpful? Should I just continue to do passage after passage even though I don't see any improvements? (Yes, that sounded dumb) Please help!

ughhhLSAT

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Re: Improving on RC
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2007, 04:00:54 AM »
I almost always miss 1~2 questions per passage on RC. I rarely miss main point/tone questions, but detail/extension questions are giving me trouble because it takes so long for me to choose the right answer (and sometimes i choose the wrong ones). It seems like no matter what I do, I don't seem to improve much on RC. I read the Nova's, the sparknotes, and some of the stuff on here. I found the sparknotes to be pretty helful, but applying everything I learned from it would consume way too much time. Studying for RC is so discouraging because I don't seem to improve at all. Improving on LR was so much easier. Can someone suggest anything that mihgt be helpful? Should I just continue to do passage after passage even though I don't see any improvements? (Yes, that sounded dumb) Please help!

I am in the same boat, dear.
Right now, my strategy is to read and answer carefully question for three passages and the remaining minutes to spend on the fourth and/or guess.

I have exhausted all of my options.  :(

giveme170

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Re: Improving on RC
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2007, 04:06:51 AM »
 For me, what's really frustrating is that these detail questions are indeed so detailed that you literally have to reread those parts in the passage, and that consumes A LOT OF TIME, at least for me. I am tired of doing the passages without seeing any improvement. If I really take as much time as I would like on each passage, I would get all the questions correct, but then what use is that since the real LSAT only allows 35 minutes. I am so discouraged.  :(

RiddledBasins

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Re: Improving on RC
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2007, 12:10:00 PM »
I normally miss about 5 questions in the RC section, so I'm not exactly perfect, but when I started out I was getting as much as 12 wrong.  So in the time I've been studying I must have been doing something right.

My advice would be to read the passage carefully before doing anything else.  Don't even skim the questions before hand, because if you do you'll subconsciously be on the lookout for certain words, and you'll miss the organizational layout, and that's the last thing you want to do.  What you want to do instead is read the entire passage as carefully as you can, and quickly too.  By the time you get to the detail questions, things should already be clicking in your mind.  Say for example the detail question asks what the word "obscure" in "line 27" is intended to do.  By this time, you should already know the organization of the passage and how each paragraph relates to each other.  So all you have to do is go back to line 27 and see how it relates to the paragraph.  And then you will know how it relates to the passage.  The problem with just going to line 27 without knowing the organization of the passage is that you may think you know how it relates to the few lines surrounding it, which just isn't good enough, because the direction of the argument too often changes.  Although the detail question specifically asks about line 27, you may have to read lines 50-55, for example, to get the correct answer.

You mentioned you're pressed for time, but reading the entire passage first (and carefully) is the best time-saver in the long run.

RiddledBasins

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Re: Improving on RC
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2007, 12:40:14 PM »
Wow. Hang in there SoCal.

giveme170

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Re: Improving on RC
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2007, 09:29:49 PM »
I normally miss about 5 questions in the RC section, so I'm not exactly perfect, but when I started out I was getting as much as 12 wrong.  So in the time I've been studying I must have been doing something right.

My advice would be to read the passage carefully before doing anything else.  Don't even skim the questions before hand, because if you do you'll subconsciously be on the lookout for certain words, and you'll miss the organizational layout, and that's the last thing you want to do.  What you want to do instead is read the entire passage as carefully as you can, and quickly too.  By the time you get to the detail questions, things should already be clicking in your mind.  Say for example the detail question asks what the word "obscure" in "line 27" is intended to do.  By this time, you should already know the organization of the passage and how each paragraph relates to each other.  So all you have to do is go back to line 27 and see how it relates to the paragraph.  And then you will know how it relates to the passage.  The problem with just going to line 27 without knowing the organization of the passage is that you may think you know how it relates to the few lines surrounding it, which just isn't good enough, because the direction of the argument too often changes.  Although the detail question specifically asks about line 27, you may have to read lines 50-55, for example, to get the correct answer.

You mentioned you're pressed for time, but reading the entire passage first (and carefully) is the best time-saver in the long run.

Hey thanks for the explanation. It is really helpful. I always tend to read a little too fast, and did not train myself enough to focus on the structure I guess. What you said about the detail/line questions really do make sense. I will try reading for the sctructure more. Do you think reading for structure is also the way to solve extension/ parellel questions? I also have trouble with these.

RiddledBasins

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Re: Improving on RC
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2007, 12:48:58 AM »
Hey thanks for the explanation. It is really helpful. I always tend to read a little too fast, and did not train myself enough to focus on the structure I guess. What you said about the detail/line questions really do make sense. I will try reading for the sctructure more. Do you think reading for structure is also the way to solve extension/ parellel questions? I also have trouble with these.

Absolutely.  In fact, for extension questions Iíd even say knowing the passage structure is crucial.  How else could you know how the passage should end?  By just reading the final line, any of the five answer choices could sound like a semi-plausible add-on to that.  The right answer may relate to the final paragraph, but in other cases it often relates to the first paragraph (and I guess itís possible to relate to the middle paragraphs, but that isnít too common).

As for parallel questions, I think theyíll be more frequent thanks to the new comparative reading section.  Itís just too easy for them to ask how a certain line in passage A is analogous to a certain line in passage B.  So yeah knowing the passage structure would help here too.  For other parallel questions, I guess knowing the structure is a bit less essential, but it still couldnít hurt.  :D

PNym

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Re: Improving on RC
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2007, 03:44:25 AM »
When you say "parallel" questions, are you referring to RC questions where you need to find an analogous circumstance or relationship similar to one described in the passage?

RiddledBasins

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Re: Improving on RC
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2007, 10:08:47 PM »
When you say "parallel" questions, are you referring to RC questions where you need to find an analogous circumstance or relationship similar to one described in the passage?

Actually I was referring to both.  Hence, I was trying to say that knowing the structure would help for any parallel question which asks to compare roles in the new comparative reading section, but perhaps not maybe as much for questions that ask for an analogous circumstance and give 5 seemingly unrelated answer choices.  At first, I thought the OP was referring to just the "which is most similar to..." type questions, but upon further reflection, I think some questions in the comparative reading passages can be considered a different type of parallel question.