RC Main Point Generalizations

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RC Main Point Generalizations

Postby elee » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:56 pm

I'm having trouble consistently answering RC MP questions, even ones that are supposed to be "easy".
I was wondering if people could contribute here generalizations about correct answers, and especially wrong answer to avoid, that you have found helpful to keep in mind before/while attacking answering these questions. Do you usually pre-phrase the MP before seeing the answer? How do you attack the ACs when your pre-phrase doesn't match any of them?

For example, I missed Q1 of Section 4 in Practice Test C, about Kinglet birds.

Why am I having so much trouble with these! Thank you.

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Re: RC Main Point Generalizations

Postby Micdiddy » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:37 pm

I wouldn't say I prephrase the MP answer, but I definitely think of elements that must be involved, often a mention of whatever was discussed heavily in the paragraph.

I cannot offer a comprehensive approach to RC MP, but here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Almost every time there will be "true" answers that are not the "right" answer. Usually (always?) these are simply restatements of some fact used in the passage. Just because you can find that the passage definitively mentions this, does not make it correct.

2. Almost every time there are variations of the main point with one detail blatantly false or completely absent. Often in natural science questions, for instance, a main point will look good, good, good, then it mentions something about evolution (let's say) which was never mentioned in the paragraph. It's wrong. Other times it may say someone's opinion, which is correct, but attribute that opinion to the wrong cause, or say it that opinion caused the wrong effect. Anything even remotely untrue, or anything NEVER mentioned, in a MP questions makes that question choice wrong.

3. Keep in mind the opinion of the author. I rartely miss MP questions, but I distinctly remember one I did miss because 9/10th of the passage was the author talking about someone else's study, then only in the last two lines or so did the author mention problems he/she had with this study that occupied basically the whole thing. I incorrectly chose an answer devoted to accurately describing the study in full, without mention to the author's opinion, whereas the right answer briefly mentioned the study and the author's opinion, and I simply overlooked it.

That's about it for now. More people will come and help elaborate I'm sure...

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