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General questions relating to LSAT Reading Comprehension.
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Jul 11, 2020

I'm having a difficult time with LR-type questions on RC, (i.e. strengthen/weaken, disagreement, parallel) especially when the question does not refer to specific lines or paragraphs, but rather the passage as a whole. Anyone have advice on how to do better on these types of questions? They alone cost me 3-4 questions on RC and I want to improve my RC performance. Thanks y'all!
 Jeremy Press
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 944
  • Joined: Jun 12, 2017
Hi majilat,

My advice is to find something specific to focus on even if the question stem doesn't refer to a specific word, or phrase. Generally speaking what you're being asked to Weaken or Strengthen or Parallel (on such questions) is some kind of claim the author is arguing for (a claim that can be analogized to a conclusion in a logical reasoning stimulus). Even if the question stem doesn't refer to a specific word or phrase, it will have to refer at least to some concept the author is arguing for (along the lines of a claim/conclusion in logical reasoning). I've never seen a Weaken question in RC that merely said something like, "Which one of the following, if true, weakens the passage?" It's just never going to be worded that broadly! So when you're reviewing, you need to think about what specific claim/conclusion the question stem must've been asking you to Weaken (or Strengthen, or Parallel). Think about how you could locate that claim under the time pressure of the test, and then make sure you're able to judge each answer choice accurately in light of its effect on (or relationship to, in Parallel questions) that claim.

Disagreement questions rely on your ability to locate viewpoints. Make sure you've tracked viewpoints in the passage so you can locate all the passage evidence of the viewpoints of each person (or group) included in the question stem. You might find that some of them only express viewpoints on a limited number of issues (which should help with sorting answers)! Apply the Agree/Disagree Test to each answer that is a contender in order to sort them effectively.

I hope this helps!

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