RC strategies

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RC strategies

Postby gambelda » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:57 pm

I've been studying for about a month and a half, mostly within the LG and LR sections. My last two exams have been 165 which appears to be my new wall. However, my goal is a 170 to make sure I have a solid chance at the school I want.

These last two exams have consisted both of -7 on the RC sections. Clearly it is my weakness. Most of the questions I miss seem to be:

"information in the passage most strongly supports which of the following" or
"it can be inferred that the author of the passage believes which of the following"

I'm a slower reader and find myself often having read something and then realizing I didnt understand it and have to read it again (a trait that is not conducive to a higher score in this section). Does anyone have any suggestions for what helped them study for this section or how I can improve?

I think that Ideally I'd like to miss AT MOST 3 questions in this section of the test. Dropping from -7 to -3 is certainly an attainable goal.


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Re: RC strategies

Postby JJDancer » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:20 pm

can you write 1 phrase per paragraph to show what it's role is in the passage and what important point it's making.

For example you could write:
Chronicles Vargas' involvement in chicano theater.
"Actos" are useful because come from personal experience.

- this will help solidify the main points in your head and make the connections between tone and how the argument is set up so you know what can be inferred.

Are you taking the oct exam? If so, IMHO, it would be hard to jump 5 points in a week.


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Re: RC strategies

Postby gambelda » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:42 pm

No, I was scheduled to take it, but I'm no-showing sue to a work conflict that came up at a client site and will take a few weeks to fix. I am pushing it back to December...I think the extra time will greatly help anyways.

My last two tests were

December 2006: -0 LG/-6 LR/-5 LR/ -7 RC
December 2007: -0 LG/-7 LR/-3 LR/ -7 RC

I know I will always miss a few in the LR, even though I can certainly improve....but the RC I feel like I shouldn't be missing ANYWHERE near how many I am currently missing.


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Re: RC strategies

Postby fosterp » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:52 pm

You sound like you have the same problems as me. I feel like I have to read and reread lines of the passages sometimes to comprehend what is being said. Only happens on overly technical sentences though, but there is a lot of that in RC. My RC is pretty random sometimes I can pull -2, others -8, and it seems to come down to if I get lucky and really understand the passages. If I don't understand very well I invariably miss a bunch on the inference questions or "x would most likely agree with ___." Main point, overall structure, authors view don't seem to be tough. Another thing I commonly miss is "x is most likely mentioned in the passage for the following reason"


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Re: RC strategies

Postby jsuperman59 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:50 pm

Gambelda, I was/am having similar issues w/ RC, but slowly improving.

I have been making photocopies of passages I completed 1-2 months ago, and use them to focus solely on road mapping efficiently ie what fosterp said. Short phrase summarizing main idea of each paragraph.

Success = how close I paraphrase the authors main idea when compared with the Kaplan Explanation. I was way off at first, but this is helping me hone in on the "what" and the "why".

Also, before attacking the questions, I try to mentally paraphrase what the authors main idea is. Literally composing a sentence in my head before q-attack helps me solidify the authors opinion. Yes, this slows me down, and yes it is annoying as hell, and yes I forget to do it sometimes - but eventually it will be second nature, and will help significantly.

I have already noticed how much easier/quicker the Inference q's are on the easier passages. Hope this helps and good luck in Dec. I'll be re-taking as well for the same reason. Cheers.


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Re: RC strategies

Postby Sandro » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:57 pm

RC is now my nemesis. its accounting for atleast half of my mistakes usually on a PT in the 50s. Part of it is timing - it seems 1-2 questions in the hardest passage will stump me and I will just sit there and waste time - leaving 5 mins or so for the last passage.

I've started to get mainpoint questions right more often now and am slowly working on actively reading for structure. I think its almost impossible to read through a dense science RC with tons of details and learn it all - I might just read it and then re read those details.


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Re: RC strategies

Postby bjc314 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:51 pm

My reading comp scores have varied wildly depending on the practice test, from -2 to -10. I'm still not perfect; however,
several things have helped me immensely:

First, skim--but do not ready fully--the questions before reading the passage. Circle and make a mental note of key words, names, phenomena, etc. Spend no more than 20 seconds doing this. As you are reading the passage circle these words and underline the supporting evidence/arguments surrounding them.

Second, learn to read the passages in three minutes. This can be difficult for some; I especially had a difficult time with this because as an English major I was trained to read thoroughly and methodically and therefore slowly. Pay attention to structure, but also try to make note of who says what and when.

Finally, do not let yourself spend too much time with a question. If you become stuck, eliminate the answers that are obviously incorrect, move on, and return after you answered the other questions for the passage (sometimes they help). If you still have no clue, guess between what appear to be the best choices before moving on to the next section; you probably won't have time to go back, and skipping answers can lead to bubbling mistakes when you're bubbling the 7 or so questions for each passage after you've finished (which you should be doing as well).

I Hope this helps. Best of luck!

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Re: RC strategies

Postby typ3 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:58 pm

I used the rKitten method to up my RC score.


I consistently score 0-2.

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