bp shinners wrote:
PotenC wrote:Do you have any advice for the RC section? I did PrepTest 58 today and it has the been the first time in a long while that my score dipped below a 170, since I missed a whopping 7 questions on the RC section. I've read that RC section has gotten more difficult over the past couple of years, and it has kind of destroyed my confidence.
People always say this, and I just don't see it. RC has changed, for sure, but I don't think it's become more difficult. To me, it's actually easier now for three reasons:
1) Comparative reading. You will have one of these passages. Most of my students find these passages easier than the other ones.
2) Fewer passages that are helped by specialized knowledge. Sure, it was great to get a passage on a topic with which you were familiar. But it sucked when everyone else was familiar with the topic and you weren't. Recently, I've been seeing more passages that are so esoteric/obscure that no one reading it really has a leg up. That evens the field.
3) Tighter answer choices. The questions have become LR-esque in how tight they are with the wording. This means that you should be better able to eliminate the incorrect answer and pick the correct answers based on strategies from LR, and be more certain of your answers than most people think you can be on RC.
Biggest change in strategy I can suggest is to approach each question as an LR question. Type it just as you would in that section. Most will be "Most Strongly Supported"-type questions (including the Main Point question, which should be viewed as a hybrid Main Point/Soft Must Be True ("Most Strongly Supported") question). There will be a smattering of Strengthen/Weaken/Parallel questions. Then a few Role and Organization questions. But use your LR strategies here.
When reviewing passages, don't just find why your answer was wrong and the other answer was right. Figure out what you could have done to quickly answer that question. This usually involves making a new tag on the passage that you didn't the first time through. You don't want every detail that shows up in a question tagged in the passage, but you do want to at least have the paragraph in which it appears tagged so that you could have quickly found that answer choice.
Finally, look at every passage as a progression. X used to be true/what we believed. Y happened. Now we believe Z.
We used to believe theory X.
Then some scientist did experiment Y.
Now we believe Z.
X was the historical trend.
Then event Y happened.
After that, we saw Z.
X was the style at the time.
Then artist/movement Y happened.
Now we have style Z.
It's not universal, but it does apply to a ton of passage. If you understand the differences between X and Z, and you know what Y consists of (not necessarily all the specifics, but at least how it moved us from X to Z), then you should be solid on the RC.