Science passages help

dba415
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Science passages help

Postby dba415 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:15 am

I am literally at a lost for words as to why they are so difficult to me. I usually take 2x the time on these passages as others, and I end up getting 3x the questions wrong on them and actually kind of guess on some of them. I on average am missing -1 per reading passage right now (which is not good I know but am trying to improve) but on science passages I take so much time on them and still get 3 of the questions wrong.

What are the tips for these? It's gotta be something more than simply just big words and scientific terms that is causing this trouble, but rather an inherent attribute of them.

Like just now, I spent a LONG time on one science passage and going over the questions, most of them I was unsure about. One of them I couldn't find a right answer despite it being untimed and me determined to find the right answer no matter how long it took. I even read the entire passage AGAIN and it didn't help me AT ALL with the inference question.

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PDaddy
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Re: Science passages help

Postby PDaddy » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:43 am

First, approach the passages as quick lectures. Pretend you randomly stepped into a science museum, and a professor happens to be speaking to a small group of people. You're just listening and trying to learn. Secondly, abbreviate difficult sounding words into familiar sounding ones (eg. "photosythesis" = "photos"); don't let the language fool you. Thirdly, be sure to understand the first paragraph before moving on to the next one. Pay attention to the transition and anticipate what information may come next. Focus on the organization of the passage. If you actively read the first paragraph and understand the structure of the the passage, you are already halfway to victory.

Science passages tend to be some of the easiest passages to read and understand, but fear often defeats readers who assume that they should be hard. That fear causes them to disengage from what can be very interesting and even entertaining reading. Once you get past the psychological issue, i.e. your fear of conquering the passages, you will be able to do them confidently, and you will answer most or all of the questions correctly.

You aren't being tested on the concepts, per se; you are being tested on the organization of the passage and the ideas expressed in the passage. To a lesser degree, you are being tested on the logic used to formulate the opinions expressed in the passage.

For instance, you need not understand what photosynthesis is, but you should definitely understand that two or more scientists have differing views on the way it works, and what those views are, etc. You need to understand the logical gaps in the opinions expressed. For example, a theory about photosynthesis may not completely explain some related phenomenon, weakening the theory. Identify such weaknesses if you notice them, because you may be asked to strengthen one of them.

And remember, a list is just a list. Memorization is death! You don't even have to know what the stuff means...just know that it's a list. No special knowledge is necessary. You can use the two-finger method and go back to it. Any term for which you should have a definition will be defined for you. Don't let science passages blind you.

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Ohiobumpkin
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Re: Science passages help

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:18 am

You might be over-analyzing the data in the passages themselves. Science passages, as the previous poster just mentioned, are actually really easy, because you aren't being expected to critique the passage, but just simply describe what you just read. Highlighting is key. For example, I'm not going to waste my time highlighting about the relations between protons and neutrons if the main thrust of the passage is talking about something more narrow (like an experiment). In addition, don't think of it like a science passage. These passages are more like historical passages if anything. The difficulty of these passages are not too similar to actual scientific writings (which are gibberish except to those in that field).

sportgirl234
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Re: Science passages help

Postby sportgirl234 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:28 am

+1 i bet too at this point your are psyching yourself out...when you get to a science passage take a deep breathe and approach it the same way you would any other passage : confidently. Don't let your mind get all wound up in the terms or facts. If a concept is foreign to most people they will explicitly explain it and will definitely not be drilling you one the details of if. They are testing your analytical abilities, not if you could be a nuclear physicist. When you get to a question you don't understand break it down into prop logic (if this does not confuse you more). Make the confusing term "p" and see how "p" fits with the applicable answer choices. Idk but this works for me

good luck!!

bp shinners
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Re: Science passages help

Postby bp shinners » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:23 pm

I also suggest that my students break down the passage as follows:

The old theory of ______________ was........
Studies that changed our views
New theory of ____________ is.........

Most science passages conform to something like this. If you understand what the old belief was, and who did what studies to lead to a new belief, you're generally golden, even if you don't understand exactly the science behind it.

I'd also expect the following general question types to show up:
1) What the old theory couldn't explain
2) Several specific questions about the studies (including language that bridges studies to try to trip you up, such as 'electroreceptors' in a 'mechanoreceptor' question, from the platypus passage)
3) How certain scientists are of the new theory
4) What the new theory still needs to explain
5) How certain the author is of the new theory

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lovejopd
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Re: Science passages help

Postby lovejopd » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:08 pm

bp shinners wrote:I also suggest that my students break down the passage as follows:

The old theory of ______________ was........
Studies that changed our views
New theory of ____________ is.........

Most science passages conform to something like this. If you understand what the old belief was, and who did what studies to lead to a new belief, you're generally golden, even if you don't understand exactly the science behind it.

I'd also expect the following general question types to show up:
1) What the old theory couldn't explain
2) Several specific questions about the studies (including language that bridges studies to try to trip you up, such as 'electroreceptors' in a 'mechanoreceptor' question, from the platypus passage)
3) How certain scientists are of the new theory
4) What the new theory still needs to explain
5) How certain the author is of the new theory

wow nice explanation...
Thank you

roranoa
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Re: Science passages help

Postby roranoa » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:10 pm

Like just now, I spent a LONG time on one science passage and going over the questions, most of them I was unsure about. One of them I couldn't find a right answer despite it being untimed and me determined to find the right answer no matter how long it took. I even read the entire passage AGAIN and it didn't help me AT ALL with the inference question.


Which passage was that? Which pt?

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happyshapy
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Re: Science passages help

Postby happyshapy » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:56 pm

roranoa wrote:
Like just now, I spent a LONG time on one science passage and going over the questions, most of them I was unsure about. One of them I couldn't find a right answer despite it being untimed and me determined to find the right answer no matter how long it took. I even read the entire passage AGAIN and it didn't help me AT ALL with the inference question.


Which passage was that? Which pt?


wild guess: riddled basins?




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