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 Mmjd12
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  • Joined: Apr 12, 2023
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#106279
Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for answering all my questions on this forum.

I have been struggling with RC recently, I have no idea why. It was my best section, and now it's my lowest scoring. I didn't even struggle this much during my diagnostic test, when I went to it cold without having any familiarity with the LSAT.

During PTs, I used to finish the section with -0 to -3 at the most. Meanwhile I got 3 questions wrong on a single passage just now.

I do a rough viewstamp analysis in my head while reading the passage. Circle any indicators of tone and pov, and I highlight important information as I'm reading, then move on to the questions. This has always worked for me.

I don't know why I regressed and how to turn it around. I am studying full time. Any insight you could provide would be appreciated
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 Mmjd12
  • Posts: 63
  • Joined: Apr 12, 2023
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#106307
Update: I've listened to Episode 41 of your podcast re: reading comprehension skill tests. I'm going to try a couple passage using those skill tests to see if I can gauge where the problem is coming from. Any other recommendations would be very helpful.
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 Dana D
PowerScore Staff
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#106335
Hi Mmjd,

It would be helpful for you to track what question types you are getting wrong with RC to further troubleshoot the issue. Are they main point questions? Global? Local? etc. Also, is there any correlation between passage subject or type (law passages versus comparative passages) that give you more trouble?
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 Mmjd12
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#107320
Hi Dana,

I've done probably 15 RC sections since I've posted this. Turns out there is almost exclusively one type of question I get wrong. The inference/perspective type of questions such as "It can be inferred from the passage that the author would be most likely to agree with which of the following views" Where the choices present (sometimes new) information and I have to pick the one that most aligns with the prespective of the subject.

I have been struggling with this type of question across the board; whether its a science, humanities or law passage.

I just took Oct 2005, I scored -3 on the RC section, and sure enough the ones I got wrong were #11, #16, #17

I don't miss any MBTx questions, on the other hand. The ones that ask "which would the author be least likely to disagree with" So I want to believe I have a decent sense of different prespectives in the passage, I just struggle isolating the correct choice when its a straight MBT question.

Thanks so much for all your insight.
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 Mmjd12
  • Posts: 63
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#107321
Correction: The ones that ask "which would the author be least likely to agree with”
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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#107385
If the questions that you are struggling with are mostly the ones that ask what the author would be most likely to agree with, then you need to approach them in the same way that you approach any Most Strongly Supported question in the LR sections, Mmjd12. The correct answer will be supported by evidence in the passage, and the wrong answers will not have that kind of support. They might be possible, but they are too speculative and not based on the facts given. Or, they might be opposite answers, ones that the author would say are false. Frequently, the wrong answers will be ones that mix up the facts and we just can't know what the author would say about them.

These questions are hard to prephrase, but as you sort through the answers, keep in mind the author's main point and tone. Answers that conflict with those things will almost certainly be wrong. But don't be too hasty in crossing answers out - all too often, I see students getting rid of answers for bad reasons, like "that wasn't what the passage was about" or "I don't remember that." The author will agree with some things that are not all that important in the overall scheme of the passage, but are just minor details. In fact, the test makers love to ask about those little, insignificant details, precisely because careless students will reject those answers. If you don't remember something, that doesn't mean it's wrong; it means it might be right, and you won't know until you check! Only get rid of the ones that you absolutely know the author would disagree with, or that you absolutely know the passage never mentioned. Any doubt at all on your part means that answer is a contender, and you may have to do some research after you're done sorting.

Once you have sorted out the losers and the contenders, focus on just one of your contenders, starting with whichever one you like the best at first glance. Research it in the text. Is there evidence that the author would agree? Can you point to the text that indicates that agreement? If so, that's the correct answer, and you should select it without further hesitation. But if not, cross it out and move to another answer to do that same research. Don't go with vibes, don't base it on your memory or on what you assume the author might believe. Base it on the text, and only the text. The evidence is either there, or it isn't.

Reading Comp isn't about your knowledge of the subject matter, and it isn't about your ability to memorize. It's about your ability to support your answer choices with textual evidence. It's a research project. So do your research, find your evidence, and select your answer based on that.

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