September 4, 2016 at 9:20 am #2666tiwinkleParticipant
I plan to take the LSAT this September. I’m taking two preptests a day. I take breaks here and there but the past few weeks have been intense. Overall, I’ve improved on the LR and LG. However, I feel like I still have trouble with the RC especially with questions that embarrassingly have to do with the main point and organization which I know are kinda the “easy” large scope questions. It’s not always easy to concentrate on the passages especially if some of them are boring.
Are there any tips you can give me so that I can improve on the RC and general and those questions?
September 5, 2016 at 3:30 pm #2678Mike KimKeymaster
Hey Tiwinkle! —
Hope you’ve been well —
Not a whole lot I can say beyond what’s already in the Trainer (and you can check out Lesson 37 if you need an overall review of the RC lessons) —
But here are a few thoughts that came to mind when I read your post:
1) You know, in real life, when someone is talking to you, and they are very indirect and difficult to understand, and you find that you are asking yourself, “Why in the world is this person telling me this?” —
This is actually a great mentality to have for RC as well — whenever you get bored or lost, try to center yourself by thinking about the why the person is telling you what they are telling you — that purpose is always the most important thing to think about as you read passages —
2) Make sure you are not rushing to judgement about the purposes of paragraphs and whatnot, and that you are pausing at the end of a passage to reflect on overall purpose/reasoning structure — it’s always easier to see these things more clearly after the fact —
3) In terms of what you get out of your practice — one thing you want to work on is developing a very strong sense of when you’ve nailed it vs when you haven’t — in general, it’s easier to “feel” this in LG, but you can work on it for RC as well — really having a great read entails knowing exactly what the author is trying to say, and understanding how the author structured the passage in order to say it.
4) Use main point q’s to affirm / reassess your understanding — (and by the way, a lot of them can feel very tough, so don’t beat yourself up if you struggle with them) — if you feel you’ve really understood a passage well, but struggle w/the main point q’s, you want to reconsider whether you actually have. Meanwhile, if you feel you’ve really understood a passage well and you get exactly the type of right answer you expect, that’s always a great sign. On the flip side, if you struggled with a passage, obviously the main point q’s are going to feel more challenging, but, at the same time, they can be helpful for guiding you to see the reasoning structure of a passage more clearly than you did during your initial read.
5) In terms of actually solving main point q’s — especially for passages / q’s that feel difficult, make sure to develop and rely on your elimination skills — four answer choices will not represent the passage as a whole, most commonly because they go beyond the passage and say more than the passage said, or because they only represent a small part of the passage, rather than the passage as a whole. Make sure you are practicing using these gauges to eliminate wrong answers, and, in terms of confirming right answers — make sure you are checking the details of them against the text to make sure they don’t go beyond the text, and also make sure to evaluate them against the passage as a whole — that is, make sure they account for what the entire passage discusses, as opposed to just one part.
Again, a lot more tips in the Trainer, but I hope at least some of that was helpful, and good luck in September! —
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