Trouble with humanities passages

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:14 am

Trouble with humanities passages

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:37 pm

Hey,

Any advice on overcoming your under-performance in specific passage types (i.e. humanities)? My undergraduate background is social science. I've always been interested in natural science and did pretty well in those courses in high schools, so natural science passages are not a problem for me. As for social science and law, I don't really see much difference. In fact, law passages seem to resemble criminology a lot.

Anyways, thanks in advance!

Brian

Swimp
Posts: 493
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 9:32 am

Re: Trouble with humanities passages

Postby Swimp » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:49 am

The goal that most people seem to shoot for in RC is to read the content of the passage very superficially and focus harder on the structure of the arguments being made. You're trying to discern the logical skeleton of the passage, because that's what the questions are mostly going to involve. The topic and the specifics of any given passage are mostly just a distraction.

Of course everybody who takes the test is prejudiced for or against one topic or another, but if Humanities passages are bothering you to the point that it's affecting your score, it might be because you're not being diligent about reading for argumentative structure.

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sabanist
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Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:48 pm

Re: Trouble with humanities passages

Postby sabanist » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:03 pm

One thing that the PS RC Bible helped me with was sort of stereotyping passages' content and structure based on the type of passage it is. Humanities has by far been the most predictable passage type in my experience, and that helps me quickly eliminate wrong answer choices.

When I reach the humanities passage, I assume it's going to introduce an artist of some type, often a minority, who challenges the status quo in some way (new style of art, blending of two types of storytelling in a novel, etc.), gets criticized for it, but eventually becomes appreciated for what they did. The author's tone is usually positive toward the artist.
When I approach the passage with those assumptions, I keep in mind that they won't necessarily be proven true, but every time they are I find it easier to focus on details for Must Be True questions, and structural questions come as second nature.

Maybe this isn't very helpful because it seems pretty basic, but it helps me speed up on questions like "What is the author's attitude toward X artist?" because I was either proven right in assuming it was positive or it jumped out at me that the tone was neutral or even negative because it was unexpected.
Hope this helps!

Locke89
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:03 am

Re: Trouble with humanities passages

Postby Locke89 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:13 pm

When I reach the humanities passage, I assume it's going to introduce an artist of some type, often a minority, who challenges the status quo in some way (new style of art, blending of two types of storytelling in a novel, etc.), gets criticized for it, but eventually becomes appreciated for what they did. The author's tone is usually positive toward the artist.


I haven't read PS RCB but I have definitely done enough passages to notice that this general archetype happens pretty frequently.




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