My scores are almost the same as when I started prepping for RC months ago, and I know it is preventing me from achieving the score I want. My LR and LG is usually -0 to -2 per section, but for RC I'll usually do -8 to -12 and almost never make it to the last passage. Even of the one's I get to, I get a bunch wrong. Part of my problem is staying focused. I've noticed that when I do too much marking I, ironically, lose track of what just happened. I've also noticed that sometimes I completely forget where something is in the passage and waste too much time trying to find it. What can I do to really improve with RC? I was considering printing off all the RC passages from 1-38 (from Cambridge LSAT) and just drilling for a few hours at a time. Does this sound like a reasonable way to improve? I have all the time in the world and I'm willing to put in the work; I just don't really know what to do at this point.
LSAT Kung Fu Forum / Really struggling with RC
Really struggling with RC
Try this first:
Start with 5 tests' worth of reading passages. Get the right answers from the key for each of those questions.
Then, before you read any passages, compare those right answers to the wrong answers. What do you notice that's different between them? Which wrong choices are most like the correct answers? How are those choices different from the right answers?
Then, having thoroughly studied the 5-8 right answers for a given passage, read the passage itself. As you read, try to mark the places in the text that gave support to the right answers to the questions.
You don't have to catch all the relevant info for every one of the questions (i.e., you don't need to have those answers memorized); you'd be doing good work if you found 3 or 4 answers on your first read.
Read the passage a second time, this time starting from the questions; for each question, comb the passage - the whole passage - looking for evidence to support the right answer. Mark all that evidence.
Now, compare all of your markings to our READ ACTIVELY list. How many are instances of that list?
Of those that aren't instances, do you find anything in common between them?
The goal of this exercise is to get you to become a more effective reader by uncovering for yourself the things the test writers find important, and learning to recognize them as you read.
Remember, it's not how much work you put in - it's how smart that work is. Your focus has to stay on gaining efficiency through pattern recognition. You'll begin to predict accurately both where the author - and where the test writers - are headed, if you do this kind of thoroughgoing prep work.
I envision you doing just one or two passages a day in this manner, and it still taking you 1-2 hours. I think that's about the right amount of time.
Let me know how it goes,
Thanks, Dave! I will certainly give this a shot and keep you posted.
I'm really struggling with RC.. I keep consistently scoring -8 and -9 on my PTs in just RC. On LR I get about -2 to -5 and LG I'm usually -0 or -1 so the RC is really holding me back from hitting 170 and above.
I just keep making the same mistakes and I never get a good grasp of the passage and even when I do the questions just blow me away. I want to try this method you have suggested to try and improve but I feel like I don't have enough time left to do this and PT also in just these two weeks. FML man I'm starting to get discouraged and full of anxiety now
Now is not the time to panic. Breathe, and remember that you still have lots of time to do good work. Two weeks of dedication can change everything. Work hard and work well and you may start to see all the stuff you'd been working on more haphazardly for so long come into clearer focus.
The only thing you can do wrong is not to try, or to give up.
You can do this; now do it.
thanks for the encouragement man, i am very confident that I can do this. I just keep making the same mistakes and scoring in the same 165-169 range PT after PT.
I don't know what to change or how I can improve, I feel like I'm at a plateau. With RC I keep making the same mistakes -- with LG I just need practice to get faster and get -0 consistently.. and LR I keep missing -2 to -5 per section. I get through every single LR question right on the dot at 35 minutes.. but sometimes i'll have 5 minutes left over. Either way I'll get random questions wrong with no discernible pattern. I started keeping a legal pad of which questions I get wrong and why I get them wrong.. so I'm hoping this helps me figure it out. Do you have any other suggestions that may help me figure it out? With RC, I think the only way I'm going to get better is after I do a shitload more of passages and am just more used to it... I suck at reading.. sometimes I'll read something just will have no idea what I read.. super ADD :/
Hey, I was--and still might be--in the same situation as you. But I've changed a couple small things, and I believe they're helping. So, they might help you out too. I've found that I'm a momentum driven reader. So, instead of bubbling between sections, I bubble after three sections. Also, I save the reading section with the least questions for last. One more thing, don't be bothered if don't completely understand what you just read. It's more important that you understand the topic ( was it an example, some justification, etc...) because you'll be able to find it if you're asked about it. Again, this is just me. So, don't take this as gold until it's velocity approved. But think of it like basketball or whatever sport (or really anything else for that matter). If you want to see results, you gotta make changes in your approach. Well, that's what I've been telling myself. Anyways, I hope this helps. Keep working hard. But, don't mess up the grade curve for me :)
This is exactly what I'd say, Steve.
I will add that a disciplined application of the Post-It notes method can make major improvements in a relatively short period, when coupled with a thoroughgoing review of your work.
thanks for the replies guys.
I think you're right because as I am reading and I stop to make markings - I lose my train of thought and forget about what I am reading. I usually bubble each page at a time - I'm gonna see how I do if I bubble a passage at a time. If I do one quick read through I feel like I get a better grasp of the main point/purpose/attitude but don't necessarily remember the details although I do tend to know where I read them on the page. All I want is a consistent -5 on RC lol and I'll be happy. Took PT 62 today and got -6 so I'm going to re-read the passages untimed without knowing which questions I got wrong and try to answer each question with post its. Hoping this gives me some sort of epiphany lol.
I've found that I'm significantly better at science passages and A/B style passages than the others. I'll actively seek out the science passage and start with it to build momentum going into the later passages. This accomplishes 2 things for me. I develop a faster rhythm to start off which gives me more time overall. If I get tripped up a little on a subsequent passage, I don't freak out as much because I know that I've already gotten all the "easy" questions from science so I don't feel like the time is being wasted, and I usually have a little extra time anyway so it's easier to keep a level head.
I actually feel like I'm better at the science passages also - I tend to suck at the the humanities. I think I'm going to just slow down overall actually, I think that is where my problem lies.