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General questions relating to LSAT Reading Comprehension.
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Jul 16, 2017

So far, I have improved from having -8/10 to -4/3 (last 4 exams). I was wondering what steps I can take to improve and get the last few points in the section. I think that my problem is that I am struggling with both a specific question type and time management.

In my last two exams, I made mistakes on 6 MBT SR questions and 1 PR SR question. I noticed that in my last exam (that I examined more closely and made clear notes), I returned to the text but either glossed over or misunderstood the reference.

I am tempted to say that the issue might be a time one but that might be mistaken. I usually finish either every question, or all but one question, on time but always feel rushed in the last passage. On the 2013 Oct test, I spent too much time on #14 b/c I did not read "unrealistically" and #17, missing the concept of "human nature" and losing the question to a contender; this did result in having only 5 minutes for the last passage, and getting #25 wrong based on a quick educated guess before time was called.

So for the last exam, if I had just picked answers for #14 and #17, I would have probably gotten #25 right, which would make it a time management problem. But, on the other hand, if there was a way to more quickly ascertain the answer to #14 and #17, I would have gotten all three right.
 Luke Haqq
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 747
  • Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Hi acheung,

Happy to address what seems to be the general, underlying question--of what ways to work to improve on RC in particular, when you're missing 3 to 4 on that section.

It's good to hear that you made clear notes--marking up a passage is essential for being able to get through all of the questions in the RC section and answering all of them correctly. It helps you spot new terms, examples, lists, passage structure, disagreement, tone, etc. which you can denote in the margins. Having all of that information visible next to a passage makes the questions go a lot quicker, whether they're specific-reference questions or more general ones about structure or tone.

To that end, you might consider treating RC passages like games, in the sense that it's important to pause after reading the game to diagram all of the rules and inferences that follow from them. While you certainly don't need to spend as long as you would on a game, pausing after reading a passage can help in getting better traction on what the passage was about. PowerScore's tools is to remember the phrase "VIEWSTAMP" (Viewpoint, Structure, Tone Arguments, Main Point), so it could be helpful to jot those things down briefly for each passage, or make a note of them in your head if you think it would be too time consuming to write out.

Second, depending on which PowerScore materials you have, you might try focusing on the drills/marathons for must-be-true questions. Those are the most likely type of question to arise on RC, and both #14 and #17 from the Oct 2013 are MBT questions. If you get MBT questions wrong more often than others, focusing on doing drills of that type can both improve your abilities/timing for RC, and also for the rest of the test.

Hope those thoughts help!

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