Main point RC questions--strategy?

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mmk33
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Main point RC questions--strategy?

Postby mmk33 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:18 pm

I searched the forum and wasn't able to find advice on RC main point questions. My problem is that I am routinely at -2/-3 on RC, and probably on average one error on a main point question per exam. This seems crazy to me since one would expect these to be the easiest questions, and I'm not bad on the section overall. Does anyone have advice about how to tackle these questions? Anyone in a similar position?

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glucose101
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Re: Main point RC questions--strategy?

Postby glucose101 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:55 pm

Bracket the passage's thesis as you read; MP questions will come from this statement (along with other important details that majorly frame the overall passage)

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Olive
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Re: Main point RC questions--strategy?

Postby Olive » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:34 pm

I'm in a similar position. Sometimes I find them really easy and other times I find these questions the hardest.

At times it seems hard to track down one sentence that really sums up the passage and then when I do I often can't find a good paraphrase in the answer choices because two answer choices seem possible.

I'm finding it hard to be consistent on these question. Any other tips?

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clouds101
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Re: Main point RC questions--strategy?

Postby clouds101 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:49 pm

I found that for harder main point RC questions, the correct answer will combine elements from different paragraphs; i.e. it will combine the main problem that was stated in paragraph 1 with the major experimental finding described in paragraph 3. These correct answer choices seem incorrect or iffy because it's not directly linked to one sentence in the passage. I think with more complex passages, you have to break away from the rigid mindset that the main point/thesis is located in one spot.

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glucose101
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Re: Main point RC questions--strategy?

Postby glucose101 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:59 pm

clouds101 wrote:I found that for harder main point RC questions, the correct answer will combine elements from different paragraphs; i.e. it will combine the main problem that was stated in paragraph 1 with the major experimental finding described in paragraph 3. These correct answer choices seem incorrect or iffy because it's not directly linked to one sentence in the passage. I think with more complex passages, you have to break away from the rigid mindset that the main point/thesis is located in one spot.


"(along with other important details that majorly frame the overall passage)"

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Errzii
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Re: Main point RC questions--strategy?

Postby Errzii » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:27 pm

The correct choice seems to always be broad enough to encompass everything in the passage and common wrong choices often focus on narrow details that support the main point but are themselves only subsidiary conclusions. When looking at "contenders" try to think about which choices are actually supporting the one correct answer. HTH

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clouds101
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Re: Main point RC questions--strategy?

Postby clouds101 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:19 pm

glucose101 wrote:
clouds101 wrote:I found that for harder main point RC questions, the correct answer will combine elements from different paragraphs; i.e. it will combine the main problem that was stated in paragraph 1 with the major experimental finding described in paragraph 3. These correct answer choices seem incorrect or iffy because it's not directly linked to one sentence in the passage. I think with more complex passages, you have to break away from the rigid mindset that the main point/thesis is located in one spot.


"(along with other important details that majorly frame the overall passage)"


ah, sorry glucose, didn't read the fine print.

read mine for the flowery version :)

bp shinners
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Re: Main point RC questions--strategy?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:07 pm

If there's one viewpoint, that's the main point.

If there are multiple viewpoints, the correct answer will generally (but not universally, though it's rare that it doesn't) present all of the viewpoints. If the author is present, her viewpoint will be the one sided with in the correct answer ("While many people believe that a flying spaghetti monster killed the dinosaurs, the more compelling, scientific answer is that a combination of natural disasters resulted in their extinction.").

Additionally, the answer choices all need to have every element be 100% true. If there's a single word that throws it off, then it's not the right answer. They'll get especially tricky with this in highly technical passages, where two words that mean different things (and are expressed as such in the passage), but in common usage have essentially the same meaning, are used interchangeably in the answer choice. Or they'll use a scientific term with which the average person isn't familiar in an incorrect way (based on the definition/explanation given in the passage). If this happens, the answer is wrong.

SanDiegoJake
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Re: Main point RC questions--strategy?

Postby SanDiegoJake » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:24 pm

Bracket the main point of each paragraph as you read. Just before you answer this question, re-read everything you bracketed and answer the question in your own words. What do you think the main point is? Choose the answer that comes closest to what you said in your own words.




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