RC Main Point Questions

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jingosaur
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RC Main Point Questions

Postby jingosaur » Fri May 10, 2013 1:18 am

So I've gone from -6 to -8 on RC to -2 to -4 in the last month, but I have one glaring problem: I'm getting Main Point questions wrong for some reason. On every test, I get 1 or 2 MP questions wrong. It's very confusing because these are the most basic questions on the test and I'm getting the harder questions right with confidence. Does anybody have any tips on how to get Main Point questions right every time assuming that you understand the passage?

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Beercules
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Re: RC Main Point Questions

Postby Beercules » Fri May 10, 2013 7:15 am

Read the answer choices very, very carefully. There is often one word per answer that invalidates it.

Also, avoid being suckered into a choice with a narrow scope because it looks familiar. These are the most common wrong answer choices on main point questions.

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mehiguess
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Re: RC Main Point Questions

Postby mehiguess » Sun May 12, 2013 10:49 pm

Also, try recognizing the argument and the opinions within the passage. More often than not the main point is the point the author is making. Use your annotations when you recognize a change in argument--this could help pin down the correct answer.

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elterrible78
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Re: RC Main Point Questions

Postby elterrible78 » Sun May 12, 2013 11:06 pm

mehiguess wrote:Also, try recognizing the argument and the opinions within the passage. More often than not the main point is the point the author is making. Use your annotations when you recognize a change in argument--this could help pin down the correct answer.


Fixed for greater precision. If the author isn't making an argument or voicing an opinion, there won't be a "main point" question. There might be a "primary purpose" question, though.

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Micdiddy
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Re: RC Main Point Questions

Postby Micdiddy » Sun May 12, 2013 11:55 pm

elterrible78 wrote:
mehiguess wrote:Also, try recognizing the argument and the opinions within the passage. More often than not the main point is the point the author is making. Use your annotations when you recognize a change in argument--this could help pin down the correct answer.


Fixed for greater precision. If the author isn't making an argument or voicing an opinion, there won't be a "main point" question. There might be a "primary purpose" question, though.


Look at you, Mr. Advice on rc mp questions. Well where were you when I NEEDED YOU! YOU WEREN'T THERE!!!!
Last edited by Micdiddy on Mon May 13, 2013 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Jeffort
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Re: RC Main Point Questions

Postby Jeffort » Mon May 13, 2013 12:22 am

Beercules wrote:Read the answer choices very, very carefully. There is often one word per answer that invalidates it.

Also, avoid being suckered into a choice with a narrow scope because it looks familiar. These are the most common wrong answer choices on main point questions.


This^ is important.

The main trap answer frequently has just one word or phrase that goes out of the box about what the passage logically establishes. Sometimes it is a logical force problem, other times it is an answer choice that describes the important factors involved but does so in a way that mis-describes their relationship to one another.

The devil is in the details in terms of the difference between the most tempting trap answer and the credited response. When down to two tempting answer choices, it is good to look for a flaw/mis-description in one of them to justify eliminating it. One little flaw in the statement presented as an answer choice makes it incorrect no matter how perfectly the rest of it matches up with the passage and call of the question.

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Skill Game
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Re: RC Main Point Questions

Postby Skill Game » Mon May 13, 2013 8:22 am

One problem I've had with MP questions for the longest time, is that I would always want to select the answer choice that I feel best summarizes the passage. I never had any problem with eliminating those tricky answers that have just the slightest thing wrong with them. But when I got it down to 2 and it was between one that seemed like a good summary and one that seemed kind of narrow, I always chose the broader one. But that's not always going to work. What helped me was to start thinking of these questions as just asking for the conclusion. And so these really broad answer choices can be seen more as the premises of the argument.

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Word1
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Re: RC Main Point Questions

Postby Word1 » Mon May 13, 2013 8:27 am

I found that I improved when I forced myself to stop after the passage and asked myself some basic questions (main point, author's tone, basic structure). My instinct is to fly into the questions, but if i stop and formulate my prephrase, I am less likely to get tricked by the ACs.

bp shinners
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Re: RC Main Point Questions

Postby bp shinners » Mon May 13, 2013 12:10 pm

elterrible78 wrote:
mehiguess wrote:Also, try recognizing the argument and the opinions within the passage. More often than not the main point is the point the author is making. Use your annotations when you recognize a change in argument--this could help pin down the correct answer.


Fixed for greater precision. If the author isn't making an argument or voicing an opinion, there won't be a "main point" question. There might be a "primary purpose" question, though.


This is not true. There could be a Main Point question with an absent author. If that's the case, the answer choice is going to use neutral language to show that the author was presenting arguments instead of making the arguments herself.

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elterrible78
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Re: RC Main Point Questions

Postby elterrible78 » Mon May 13, 2013 2:06 pm

bp shinners wrote:
elterrible78 wrote:
mehiguess wrote:Also, try recognizing the argument and the opinions within the passage. More often than not the main point is the point the author is making. Use your annotations when you recognize a change in argument--this could help pin down the correct answer.


Fixed for greater precision. If the author isn't making an argument or voicing an opinion, there won't be a "main point" question. There might be a "primary purpose" question, though.


This is not true. There could be a Main Point question with an absent author. If that's the case, the answer choice is going to use neutral language to show that the author was presenting arguments instead of making the arguments herself.


Yeah, my bad. Although this is very, very rare as far as I can see.

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Micdiddy
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Re: RC Main Point Questions

Postby Micdiddy » Mon May 13, 2013 2:53 pm

elterrible78 wrote:
bp shinners wrote:
elterrible78 wrote:
mehiguess wrote:Also, try recognizing the argument and the opinions within the passage. More often than not the main point is the point the author is making. Use your annotations when you recognize a change in argument--this could help pin down the correct answer.


Fixed for greater precision. If the author isn't making an argument or voicing an opinion, there won't be a "main point" question. There might be a "primary purpose" question, though.


This is not true. There could be a Main Point question with an absent author. If that's the case, the answer choice is going to use neutral language to show that the author was presenting arguments instead of making the arguments herself.


Yeah, my bad. Although this is very, very rare as far as I can see.


Meyerson vs. CLS.




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