RC help

PunjabiLower
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RC help

Postby PunjabiLower » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:16 pm

So I just plain suck at RC. I got -14 on the December test, but I aced the other sections. It was a sad moment for me. I've tried Voyager's method, RC Bible method, and other methods. Your personal opinions please....

Should I just read the entire thing slowly once and absorb all the material? I think this worked best for me, but I'm not fully sure. I think note taking might distract me. Voyager makes it sound stupid though and he advocates note taking just like the RC Bible. While I'm reading...I do keep ViewStamp in mind, but I try to take as few notes as possible. I understand different strategies work for different people. Tell me what you think is the best method and I'll try them all out.

So far I have 2 strategies...tell me if there are any more I should try out.

1. Read the whole thing slowly and absorb all the material. Keep viewstamp in mind. Return to paragraphs quickly that were not clear.

2. Go through the whole thing and note take and follow Voyager's strategy. Don't focus on details and just highlight the important parts and return to them while doing the questions.

Thanks!
Last edited by PunjabiLower on Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Anaconda
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Re: RC help

Postby Anaconda » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:23 pm

Are you having more problems with the question types or understanding the passage?

PunjabiLower
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Re: RC help

Postby PunjabiLower » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:35 pm

I think I want to find a good strategy to understand the passage...then the questions should come easily right? Wait why did you ask me that question? Would your advice vary?

youknowryan
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Re: RC help

Postby youknowryan » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:50 pm

I do not know you personally, but can offer the following advice:

#1. Really read the passage. Only read it for main point, structure and relationships. Go as slowly as you need to. Make notes or not, that's up to you.

#2. If you're scoring 14/28, then you might do attempt only 3 and guess on the last one. 21/28 (with the possibility of getting 1 or 2 more by guessing) is better than what you have now by a lot. Read the first 10-15 lines of a section and if it clicks, keep going. If it's not clicking, drop it.

#3. Review your PTs and in detail figure out what your issues were and address them realistically. If you are not good at science passages, or if you simply are rushing too quickly, then the above will help. If you are missing certain question types over and over (parallel or author's opinion), drill them methodically. When you get a question right or wrong, ask yourself what attracted you to it, why did you pick it.

In the end missing that many questions points to a fundamental issue in your approach that you can surely address to improve performance.

Edit: if you can do #1, most of the questions answers are obvious. They really jump out as correct.

PunjabiLower
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: RC help

Postby PunjabiLower » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:00 pm

youknowryan wrote:I do not know you personally, but can offer the following advice:

#1. Really read the passage. Only read it for main point, structure and relationships. Go as slowly as you need to. Make notes or not, that's up to you.

#2. If you're scoring 14/28, then you might do attempt only 3 and guess on the last one. 21/28 (with the possibility of getting 1 or 2 more by guessing) is better than what you have now by a lot. Read the first 10-15 lines of a section and if it clicks, keep going. If it's not clicking, drop it.

#3. Review your PTs and in detail figure out what your issues were and address them realistically. If you are not good at science passages, or if you simply are rushing too quickly, then the above will help. If you are missing certain question types over and over (parallel or author's opinion), drill them methodically. When you get a question right or wrong, ask yourself what attracted you to it, why did you pick it.

In the end missing that many questions points to a fundamental issue in your approach that you can surely address to improve performance.

Edit: if you can do #1, most of the questions answers are obvious. They really jump out as correct.


Yeah I heard people just get distracted by notes and just slowly read the entire passage with minimal note taking.

I have also tried to slowly read the entire passage and then do a quick 30 sec-1 minute read of the passage to freshen it up.

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Anaconda
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Re: RC help

Postby Anaconda » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:20 am

PunjabiLower wrote:I think I want to find a good strategy to understand the passage...then the questions should come easily right? Wait why did you ask me that question? Would your advice vary?


I'm struggling w/ RC too, and my problem is more with the questions than understanding the main ideas of the passages (although that is a struggle sometimes too). I think the approaches would vary depending on your weakness.

Also have you studied for LR yet? It seems that many of the RC questions are somewhat similar to LR questions (I haven't gotten into LR yet).

PunjabiLower
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Re: RC help

Postby PunjabiLower » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:13 am

Anaconda wrote:
PunjabiLower wrote:I think I want to find a good strategy to understand the passage...then the questions should come easily right? Wait why did you ask me that question? Would your advice vary?


I'm struggling w/ RC too, and my problem is more with the questions than understanding the main ideas of the passages (although that is a struggle sometimes too). I think the approaches would vary depending on your weakness.

Also have you studied for LR yet? It seems that many of the RC questions are somewhat similar to LR questions (I haven't gotten into LR yet).


I have gone through all the bibles twice...and I have done every PT from 1998-2009

Hedwig
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Re: RC help

Postby Hedwig » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:17 pm

Ah, Reading Comprehension...

I always have one passage I feel terrible about, and two to three that I find the easiest things ever. I'm scoring around -3 or -4 so far, and two mistakes are usually localized on one passage, with one or two sprinkled in the remaining 2/3 passages.

Although I don't have major problems with this section, I'm working on slowing down a bit and looking for the main point/structure/tone, etc. I don't notate much, which I think works for me. I rarely refer to my notations, so it seems pointless for me to make too many of them. I write "evid" or "ev" beside paragraphs listing evidence. In paragraphs where the author is describing someone else's position, I box the name of the person whose position he is describing, to try to differentiate between what is attributed to the person/subject of the paragraph and what the author believes. Tone is fairly easy as long as you keep an eye out for tone words - I don't refer back to my underlining, but I do let myself underline words that tend to indicate an author's opinion (always varies what those words are, of course).

I think it also depends what reading background you're coming from. I tend to go through a book a day and have basically done so since I was five years old. So, I read a little faster than most people. This makes it easier for me to return to the text and kind of "look" for the answer, whereas some people will advocate not looking at the text each time. However, for detail questions, watch out - don't rely on your memory! They will use the exact same wording but throw a "not" in or reverse something obvious - I find these are easier just double checked against the passage.

I also think you can tell when a passage is going well, and when you're just not clicking with it. For me, I have one of these passages every time. I'm well within time limits so far, but I'm going to focus on the other passages first, then work through the difficult passage. It's better to rack up points where you can than to sit struggling with one passage for half your time limit, you know?

koolfrog11
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:10 pm

Re: RC help

Postby koolfrog11 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:01 am

It was my 2nd worst / 2nd best section starting out and turned into my strongest during prep. There is no magic for RC like there is for LG and to a lesser degree LR. Just get used to the type of questions, find out the 4 main types of passages (1 each for: science (hard or social), law, art, and one other. There is one section with two different passages. The best advice I got for RC is on the section w/ 2 dif. passages just check questions before beginning reading and if one deals specifically with the first pass., read that and answer the ? b4 moving to the 2nd. Same for the 2nd - read pass. 2 and do pass. 2 specific ?s before ones that deal with both. Other than that just practice practice with a timer, although don't beat yourself up with the timer, time will come. Best advice I can give: practice, read CAREFULLY and mark passages (by that i mean just underline what jumps out at you as important. This is as much if not more to keep you on track and focused as it is to easily get back to it later), take your time reading and don't rush it, then once you know the passage answer the ?s. They shouldn't take too long if you read carefully...

Audio Technica Guy
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Re: RC help

Postby Audio Technica Guy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:33 am

PunjabiLower wrote:
Yeah I heard people just get distracted by notes and just slowly read the entire passage with minimal note taking.

I have also tried to slowly read the entire passage and then do a quick 30 sec-1 minute read of the passage to freshen it up.


what do you mean by "slowly read the entire passage and then do a quick 30 sec-1 minute read of the passage to freshen it up."? It sounds like you're spending like 6 minutes total reading the passage. Multiply that by 4 passages and you're spending 24 minutes before you've ever even looked at a question. That gives you 11 minutes to answer around 27 questions, less than 30 seconds, which is a recipe for disaster.

The thing about RC is that the majority of questions are detail questions where the answer is pretty much directly stated somewhere in the passage, if you can either remember it or find it. Most people take the former route, but RC is formulated by psychologists who know exactly how to take advantage of the fact that our short term memories are almost invariably TERRIBLE. If you want to be highly accurate, you have to find the answer in the passage to detail questions.

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DGLitcH
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Re: RC help

Postby DGLitcH » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:37 pm

Audio Technica Guy wrote:
The thing about RC is that the majority of questions are detail questions where the answer is pretty much directly stated somewhere in the passage, if you can either remember it or find it. Most people take the former route, but RC is formulated by psychologists who know exactly how to take advantage of the fact that our short term memories are almost invariably TERRIBLE. If you want to be highly accurate, you have to find the answer in the passage to detail questions.


I agree that Explicit Detail questions should not be done by memory, but what about inference and author's perspective questions?




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