This is an explanation for passage 2 of LSAT preptest 35, the October 2001 LSAT. This passage is about an artist, Romare Bearden. It discusses his work and the innovative techniques he used to depict African-American life during the depression.
This section has paragraph summaries and an analysis of the passage, links to the explanations for the questions are below.
- The two triumphs of Romare Bearden: innovative painting techniques, and exploration of the African-American experience.
- Description of Bearden’s style.
- How Bearden depicted the struggles of African Americans during the depression. He used innovative techniques to show individual suffering.
- How Bearden showed the happy side of the African-American experience.
This passage praises and describes Bearden’s work. The concepts aren’t too hard compared to other passages. But that doesn’t make this type of passage easy. Questions 12 and 13 are both exception questions; they demand a mastery of the passage’s structure and an ability to quickly find details.
Most of the questions ask about specific details. So it’s very important to make a good map of the passage. That way you can quickly find anything you need to know. By “map of the passage” I mean the sort of information I listed in the paragraph summaries above. Not all details from the passage are there, but the summaries make it easy to know where to look for details.
If you know to look for a detail in paragraph 3, it’s must faster than having to search the entire passage.
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I have one general RC question to ask. It’s true everyone’s reading pace varies, but what would you say as a suitable reading pace to get more than 170+?
I have one friend who got high 170s on LSAT, and he recommended me to read a passage under 2 minutes just enough to grasp scope, topic and main point. Then, spend rest of time finding details that questions ask to solve them right. So, he keeps telling me to practice not to fear lack of understanding from reading under 2 minutes and practice how to find details questions are asking.
I usually read one passage around 2 min 30 sec (if dense, close to 3 min) and spend 6 minutes working on questions. I wouldn’t say I retain all details but have a fairly good idea what paragraphs are about, so when questions ask details, I usually have a good idea where to look for them. Even if I think I know answers to certain questions before looking at the passage, I always try to go back to the passage to confirm my choice.
I tried his method (reading under 2 minutes), but that involves too much uncertainty for me and I think I feel so uncomfortable/less confident about my performance.
So, my real question regarding this issue is that would you recommend students to read more thoroughly and understand more than just scope, topic, and main point or recommend the method he suggested to me?
Thank you so much for your help Graeme.