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Are older RC sections more similar to current RC sections?

Jax09876
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:12 pm
Points: 7

Here's my problem: I do much better on the RC sections from preptests in the 50-65 range than I do more recent 70+ tests. It seems like most people agree the RC section has gotten more difficult in recent years (I know it gets compensated for in either the curve or by having another slightly easier section but RC sections alone have definitely changed).I know that theres been a trend in recent LSATs having games similar to the earlier games in preptests 1-20. Any chance its the same for RC as well? I want to be able to train for the more difficult RC sections without wasting my more recent preptests.

Also, is there any benefit from redoing old RC sections? Redoing games has been very beneficial but I wonder if redoing RC sections would help.

Thank you
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
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Jax09876 wrote:Here's my problem: I do much better on the RC sections from preptests in the 50-65 range than I do more recent 70+ tests. It seems like most people agree the RC section has gotten more difficult in recent years (I know it gets compensated for in either the curve or by having another slightly easier section but RC sections alone have definitely changed).I know that theres been a trend in recent LSATs having games similar to the earlier games in preptests 1-20. Any chance its the same for RC as well? I want to be able to train for the more difficult RC sections without wasting my more recent preptests.

Also, is there any benefit from redoing old RC sections? Redoing games has been very beneficial but I wonder if redoing RC sections would help.

Thank you


Hi Jax,

This is a tough question because there isn't a simple answer that covers all of the early (or late) tests. The first helpful point is that the older tests have always been useful: there are numerous LR, LG, and LR questions that are as tough or tougher than anything out there today. This list from a few years ago gives you a good sense of of how passages from the 90s at times stack up as some of the hardest out there: The 10 Hardest LSAT Reading Comprehension Passages Of All Time.

The second helpful point is that what I think has happened over the years is that the passages have—on the whole—become less clear cut. The overall level of uncertainty has risen, and the level of what I call sentence convolution is higher than below.

What that says about older RC sections is that you will at times still run into some brutal passages. Plus, the way in which questions are formed is still the same, so, if the level of convolution is lower, what it means is that you should be able to dominate those sections. So, the recommendation I often make with students who worry about the older RC being too easy is the following: do about 5-6 sections and see how it goes. If you dominate the sections (and I mean -0, -1, or -2) then skip doing the rest and instead just seek out the passages known to be harder. If you don't dominate, start doing more full sections until you do start dominating. You can't be "hurt" by doing questions from LSAC because most of the creation protocols are still the same, so use it as a test of how good you are.

Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation
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My LSAT Articles: http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/author/dave-killoran
Jax09876
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:12 pm
Points: 7

Dave Killoran wrote:
Jax09876 wrote:Here's my problem: I do much better on the RC sections from preptests in the 50-65 range than I do more recent 70+ tests. It seems like most people agree the RC section has gotten more difficult in recent years (I know it gets compensated for in either the curve or by having another slightly easier section but RC sections alone have definitely changed).I know that theres been a trend in recent LSATs having games similar to the earlier games in preptests 1-20. Any chance its the same for RC as well? I want to be able to train for the more difficult RC sections without wasting my more recent preptests.

Also, is there any benefit from redoing old RC sections? Redoing games has been very beneficial but I wonder if redoing RC sections would help.

Thank you


Hi Jax,

This is a tough question because there isn't a simple answer that covers all of the early (or late) tests. The first helpful point is that the older tests have always been useful: there are numerous LR, LG, and LR questions that are as tough or tougher than anything out there today. This list from a few years ago gives you a good sense of of how passages from the 90s at times stack up as some of the hardest out there: The 10 Hardest LSAT Reading Comprehension Passages Of All Time.

The second helpful point is that what I think has happened over the years is that the passages have—on the whole—become less clear cut. The overall level of uncertainty has risen, and the level of what I call sentence convolution is higher than below.

What that says about older RC sections is that you will at times still run into some brutal passages. Plus, the way in which questions are formed is still the same, so, if the level of convolution is lower, what it means is that you should be able to dominate those sections. So, the recommendation I often make with students who worry about the older RC being too easy is the following: do about 5-6 sections and see how it goes. If you dominate the sections (and I mean -0, -1, or -2) then skip doing the rest and instead just seek out the passages known to be harder. If you don't dominate, start doing more full sections until you do start dominating. You can't be "hurt" by doing questions from LSAC because most of the creation protocols are still the same, so use it as a test of how good you are.

Please let me know what you think. Thanks!


That sounds like a good strategy. I'll give it a try. Thank you for your reply!