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General questions relating to LSAT Reading Comprehension.
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 Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
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We get direct questions occasionally, and as is our custom, we post the answers in the Forum for everyone to see:
As for RC, sometimes I get -1 and other times I get -7. There seems to be no consistency in the types of questions I'm getting wrong. I feel like sometimes I just click with the passage and other times I don't. It's very frustrating because I always thought of myself as an avid reader.

I've been trying to spend some time every day reading articles from The Economist and doing some practice sections as well. I usually don't take notes for RC, but I've been experimenting with it recently. Unfortunately I only have untouched RC sections from very recent exams (which I want to save for PTs) and then very old ones (PTs 1-20). I'm not sure how much easier these are compared with the newer ones.

Anyway, I was just wondering if you could offer any advice about how I can improve my LG and RC consistency. I know I have the ability to do well because I've gotten -1 on both sections before, but I just can't seem to do that well consistently.

Hi, thanks for the message! There are a few thoughts I have here:

First, being an avid reader is great (I am one, too!) but you have to remember that the reading you do in general is quite different than LSAT reading. thus, the way you read has to change as well. You have to be far more focused on understanding and retaining where the information resides as well as the general gist of the info. So, use that love of reading as a base, but then reconfigure what you are doing to make it conform to the needs of the LSAT. And don't get frustrated—many, many people have been in these exact same shoes before!

The Economist and other magazines are great when you are months away from the test, but drop those immediately and start doing more LSAT passages. For you, showtime is approaching and it should be all about directly applicable reading and focusing on those skills.

I've talked extensively about what mastering passages/games/questions looks like, and so I won't go into detail here, but mastery isn't doing a passage just once; it's being able to teach it to me flawlessly. I'd bet that even though you've seen a bunch of passages, there is much more to learn from them still :)

Older RC tends to be a bit less convoluted than recent passages,s o there is a difference. That said, sometimes when you do clearer passages, it makes it easier for you to find out where you are going wrong. Listen to this podcast as well, if you haven't already:

As far as consistency, it's clear that topic affects you greatly. when you click with a topic, things seem to go fine. but when you don't, it's trouble. Instead of shying away from those passages, go study them relentlessly and see what it was about them that gave you trouble. As an avid reader, look for points of interest even in the "worst" passages you encounter. Make it interesting, and try to determine where you are running into issues (aside from topic) with these passages. If it's just that you can't get in tune with them, then you'll have to either skip them and come back to them at the end, or simply concede that that particular LSAT isn't going to showcase your abilities to the best.

that's a start, and I hope it helps. Thanks!

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