By - possibleperspectives
For reading comp, I think it’s the hardest section for a lot of people only because you can’t shortcut it. The next best thing to do is build habits. For me, I just read to understand what was going on. As you’re reading, the only two things you need to be asking yourself is “what did I read,” and “how is everything tying together.” RC isn’t a trick section. It’s not trying to test you on anything you don’t know. It’s assessing a skill anyone is super duper capable of. It’s just that reading and thinking about what you’re reading takes some time to get used to. This is especially true if you get fatigued. If at ANY point you didn’t understand a sentence, try not to just brush it off. The thing I really liked about reading comp is that the answers are ALWAYS in the text. So, to reiterate, just remember that RC isn’t trying to trick you.
Now for actual steps to take: you’re going to have to face the music. RC is a stamina killer, and it’s also the section that will take the most practice. I would highly recommend starting by doing sections by just reading and answering untimed. Do that with a couple of sections until you start getting near perfect scores. Then do the same thing, but using time and a half. Then you can do regular time. Build the habits. You’ve got this, you’re gonna crush it (:
This is golden. Thanks for the tips friend! Realizing they aren’t trying to trick me is huge.
That’s why I second guess answers sometimes because I’m like no this is a trap
Second guessing was my DOWNFALL like three weeks before I took the LSAT actually. If you feel like changing an answer, just make sure you can explain it to yourself. If you change your answer from A to C, ask yourself if there’s any hard proof in the text that would be used to show why C is more worthwhile.
When you read it like a passage instead of a puzzle, it’s kinda like giving a presentation on a topic you actually researched well. You’re ready for most questions, even if they aren’t things you directly googled, because you understand what’s going on. You don’t have to research every single question, just like how you don’t have to annotate and read into the detail of every single line. Understand the passage bit by bit, and the rest will fall into place.
I’m speaking straight out of my ass as someone with NO professional tutoring experience, so I get taking internet stranger advice with a grain of salt. But I do think reading just normally for understanding is a reliable tool. I was able to consistently score -3 on a bad day, to getting perfect scores. But that’s only because when you do what you’re comfortable with, your method becomes reliable/consistent. I have friends who did the same thing I did, and it worked for them, too. Contrary to popular opinion, RC was honestly my favorite section. If you have any questions or want any words of encouragement, feel free to PM me. Otherwise, good luck!
I really appreciate your thoughts! I think I’ve just been overthinking the section coming out of LG’s where I’ve focused so hard on making inferences to cut down on time. I’m realizing I really have to treat each section differently.
Going to use this strat
Reading comp hero. I was similar with my score and it was a game changer
Interesting… I’ll have to look into this
Idk but clean your screen bro💀
What study website is this?
Bruh, clean your screen. That would be a good start.
Lmaoooo watch him go -1 once his screen is cleaned. It turns out he just wasn’t able to read the passage…
Oof yep - definitely need to do this haha
What test is this, -14/169??
I was flabbergasted myself, but it was test 27?
Hello I’m pretty good at RC (-3) and my strategy is that I don’t read every word in the passage. If it’s and/but/or/yet it gets skipped and small details get highlighted. I hope that helps!
Help me understand - you highlight those key words and that’s what you look for the most?
Correct. Let’s say the passage is on tectonic plate movement (dreadfully boring or difficult to understand) I highlight the details about which scientist discovered it, when, and the mechanics ie “the plates slide over each other” etc and then I’m not afraid to use control F if there is a detail I missed. Let’s say the passage is on art history (also dreadfully boring) I barely read the passage thoroughly and just look for the main idea and details, like what year Picasso painted a certain piece and the characteristics of said piece. I find that RC sections like to ask you what the characteristics of a thing is or to summarize a process. This method works really well for me. I often have extra time.
Interesting. I’ll have to try this out when I take my next practice test Saturday. I want to understand the passage, but I feel like whenever I try to OVER understand it is where I completely screw myself over. I’ll keep it light and see what happens!
Thanks for the tip to try! I know different things work for different people but this is the big area I know I can patch up if I can just find what works for me
Yea I completely agree about over understanding it. I think they try to mess us up that way. Let me know how it goes!
My approach - get out of "pop quiz" mindset - "I have to understand and have every word locked down" - and focus on "open book" mindset. Use the text as a reference to look up answers. Read it for the main idea and paragraph map, and then go back for specific when you are asked about them. Only about 15-20% is tested in the questions; the other 80-85% you may be belaboring and then never be asked about.
Interesting. This very much falls in line with the other good advice. Planning to take this type of approach Saturday
I have a similar problem in RC where I tend to second guess myself and reread things a few too many times in the beginning of the section, rather than just moving onto the questions/the next question
Bump coz I have the similar problem
Review your wrong answers (and any right answers you weren’t sure of) very, very carefully. Make sure you understand exactly why the wrong answer(s) was wrong and exactly why the right answer is right.
Split your practice into 1/2 timed work and 1/2 untimed. When you do untimed work, don’t answer until you’re certain that your answer is correct.
This is what I did for logic games because I enjoy them. I guess I should apply the same logic to RC too eh?
Yes! For every question on the test, there’s only one right answer. The wrong answers are all demonstrably wrong. This is harder to see when the elements don’t break down to if/then or 3+4=7, but it’s still 100% true.
Read a lot. Read NYT or WSJ opinion section articles every morning and maybe respond to some angry nerds in their comment sections. It's fun and doesn't feel like studying, but I think it really helped me.
Haha ok this one is out there but I like it
I don’t really remember my strategy, but I was consistently -1 on RC after reading the LSAT Trainer by Mike Kim’s section on RC. Got -0 fairly often too.
I think I probably started around -5 or -6 on RC.
So there’s hope for me!
If I’m not mistaken isn’t it generally -8 to -9 that is a 169? Usually that’s the case for a test graded on 75 questions without the experimental.
But tips would be to always remember that you should create a passage map in your head. Purpose of each paragraph, how is the passage organized, indicator words for authors voice. Read in 4 minutes max. Try not to highlight to much. Just read fast… your brain will catch up if you make it.
Generally I would read 5 passages at least per day and just ask myself
What is the main point if it were 1 sentence?
Anything controversial between the subjects discussed?
Tone of the passage?
Don’t do any of the questions. Just keep reading and noticing the word and structure patterns and tricks. Sometimes they’ll put a disagreement pivot for some else but make it seem like the author or vice versa.
These are great points! I appreciate your comment. And yeah for the record I assumed I’d be around a 164-165 ish with that many misses so I’m not really sure.
I’m more concerned on fixing my weakness than the score though because I recognize the score is just the outcome of doing things better
Congrats! What did you do to get a 169 and how long?
Hot take incoming: I feel like reading comp gaslights people into thinking they don’t know how to read. You actually have all the tools you need to get perfect RC sections, because you know how to read. So the good news is that if you just keep doing practice with this in mind, you should be better.
Basically, I would try to ignore strategies for a bit and just read what is on the paper. The test is testing comprehension, and you’ve been reading your entire life. You have a four year degree and have read and engaged with way more complex topics than the short passages that are on the LSAT. You have already proven that you can read above the LSAT level, so this test is below your ability.
But people like to complicate it with strategies and allegations that reading comp tests your ability to read in a way that people normally do not read. I disagree with that. If you’re reading an argumentative paper/research, you are reading to understand what the person is saying. You’ve read this way all throughout college. Read it like you would read any reading you were assigned in college. Do not focus on strategies too much because it will take you out of the passage and thus hurt comprehension.
The reason why it is hard to improve in RC is because, unlike LR or LG, there isn’t really a strategy to get better at the section since it’s just testing the content in the most raw way possible.
The only thing I do is highlight important parts of the passage so I can come back later if needed and I consistently score almost perfect/perfect in RC. If there’s an important idea I’ll use different colors to highlight the support/conclusion, but that’s pretty much it. But essentially the advice is this, try a few passages without focusing on strategy and see how you do by just reading what is on the paper and highlighting what you think is important, not what some strategy tells you is theoretically sometimes important.
Of course, everyone is different. So it’s not like my word is 100% correct all the time or anything. So if you don’t see my advice working definitely throw it away and try something else.
I appreciate the “hot take”! It sounds like my problem is common with a lot of people. I have very much enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts because you all are making it seem way easier if I can just get it to click
Drill baby drill. I'd say really try to understand not just the literal points the passage says but potential inferences. really try to understand the play between the joints between the choices bc often they say very similar things but if you stop and think for a few seconds you'll realize that one of them implies something or includes something the other doesn't and that may be the difference between a correct answer and the best answer (on summary type questions) or the correct answer and a almost correct answer.
Yeah… when I was reviewing my wrong answers from the RC section after the fact (and granted I had explanations on) I was like wow, I did I miss something so obvious, this was just slightly off.
I’m just annoyed because these silly mistakes it feels like I only consistently miss here.
Feels like I can pause my LG drilling and allocate more time to RC despite LG being more “fun” for me to try and solve
Start with your a b c's
Use the search for text it’s okay to do so
I didn’t even know this was a thing
Hate Reading Comp with a passion. But I will say I’ve improved 10 points in one month. I’ve been just taking my time and reading more actively. I’m also studying for a certification exam and practicing the LSAT has made me way more confident in that other exam because I catch the subtleties of how the exam is trying to trick you. The makers of the LSAT are genius. It makes every other exam look like peanuts. I mean 169 is great. I would be stoked to improve that much. I would literally get a full ride at all the schools I’m applying. I don’t want to pay for LawSchool. Currently in 15lows. But it’s one step at a time.
Completely understand. I need a 165 for the schools I am applying to for the full ride as well, but I’m just trying to do my best as well brick by brick. (I’m extremely excited for the PR but know it only counts on the real thing haha). I just noticed that even on the PR one section is not like the others for me and it’s always been the case. I just need to switch up how I’m approaching that section.
Thank you for your thoughts, you got this!
Likewise! Your doing awesome as well. Stay confident and have swagger. You can dominate this exam.
Rooting for you as well my friend!
yes read alot of old poetry (google book search or librivox.org) and when u dont know a word stop and look it up, take notes and if you dont know how to say a word ask google.
How did you get this breakdown? Was it on the website?
what prep test is that? the curve is insane
Exactly what I was thinking for this one too - it was test 27. My assumption is that my true score is close to the 165-167 range since I missed 14.
The reading comp sections are all based on logical reasoning (not LSAT logical reasoning, but actual philosophy: logic). All the reading sections are actual arguments that can be broken down into constructive premises. Some premises support the conclusion, some are irrelevant, some contradict the conclusion. You're looking to understand how the premises relate to the conclusions, either stated, or the ones they want you to pick from. Here's a basic breakdown, but if you picked up a brief guide to this stuff, you will crush RC:
There's a way to convert any written narrative that describes or asserts truth about literally anything, into a finite system of logical entailment that is almost mathematical. Arguments can be converted into structured reasoning in an almost algebraic manner, and this stuff gets pretty deep, you really only need a surface level understanding of it for the LSAT.
Thank you for this resource!!