RC Main Point Help

RG10
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:48 am

RC Main Point Help

Postby RG10 » Fri May 31, 2013 12:50 pm

Hey guys I'm having a little bit of trouble with the main point questions in reading comprehension. I usually average about -3 to -5 for the entire section, but almost always 2-3 of those will be me missing the main point of the passage. It seems like I'm not seeing something simple because oftentimes I will select an answer that to me seems very close to the correct answer. What should I be focusing on when trying to select the main point? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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SteelPenguin
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Re: RC Main Point Help

Postby SteelPenguin » Fri May 31, 2013 1:44 pm

RG10 wrote:Hey guys I'm having a little bit of trouble with the main point questions in reading comprehension. I usually average about -3 to -5 for the entire section, but almost always 2-3 of those will be me missing the main point of the passage. It seems like I'm not seeing something simple because oftentimes I will select an answer that to me seems very close to the correct answer. What should I be focusing on when trying to select the main point? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


This is a weakness of mine, but I have been able to improve it some. There are some cases where there are no really good options, and in this case you have to pick the best option. Some wrong answer choices are ALMOST right except for one word that makes it incorrect "all critics" instead of "one/some critic(s)," "predicted" instead of "observed," etc. If one answer seems correct, but weak, and another seems good except for one or two words, the right answer should be the one that has no inaccuracies. Am I making sense?

Another wrong answer choice is one that is factually correct, but is not the main point of the passage (scope of answer is too narrow). If the passage mentions two important studies, and the correct answer only summarizes the first study, that probably isn't the right answer.

These shouldn't be viewed as automatic ways to eliminate certain answers, but you should be aware of these wrong types of answers.

RG10
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:48 am

Re: RC Main Point Help

Postby RG10 » Fri May 31, 2013 2:21 pm

This is a weakness of mine, but I have been able to improve it some. There are some cases where there are no really good options, and in this case you have to pick the best option. Some wrong answer choices are ALMOST right except for one word that makes it incorrect "all critics" instead of "one/some critic(s)," "predicted" instead of "observed," etc. If one answer seems correct, but weak, and another seems good except for one or two words, the right answer should be the one that has no inaccuracies. Am I making sense?

Another wrong answer choice is one that is factually correct, but is not the main point of the passage (scope of answer is too narrow). If the passage mentions two important studies, and the correct answer only summarizes the first study, that probably isn't the right answer.

These shouldn't be viewed as automatic ways to eliminate certain answers, but you should be aware of these wrong types of answers.


Yeah these are some great points. I have a tendency to choose answers that I think are too narrow but actually end up being the main point of the passage lol. I'll definitely be on the lookout for the things you mentioned though. Thanks for the help

peke
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat May 25, 2013 6:01 pm

Re: RC Main Point Help

Postby peke » Fri May 31, 2013 2:53 pm

SteelPenguin wrote:
RG10 wrote:Hey guys I'm having a little bit of trouble with the main point questions in reading comprehension. I usually average about -3 to -5 for the entire section, but almost always 2-3 of those will be me missing the main point of the passage. It seems like I'm not seeing something simple because oftentimes I will select an answer that to me seems very close to the correct answer. What should I be focusing on when trying to select the main point? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


This is a weakness of mine, but I have been able to improve it some. There are some cases where there are no really good options, and in this case you have to pick the best option. Some wrong answer choices are ALMOST right except for one word that makes it incorrect "all critics" instead of "one/some critic(s)," "predicted" instead of "observed," etc. If one answer seems correct, but weak, and another seems good except for one or two words, the right answer should be the one that has no inaccuracies. Am I making sense?

Another wrong answer choice is one that is factually correct, but is not the main point of the passage (scope of answer is too narrow). If the passage mentions two important studies, and the correct answer only summarizes the first study, that probably isn't the right answer.

These shouldn't be viewed as automatic ways to eliminate certain answers, but you should be aware of these wrong types of answers.


Just to follow up on the great post: if you've been reading carefully, you can eliminate 3 answer choices on main point questions without referring back to the text (that's a good test if you've been reading slowly enough). If you're struggling between the remaining 2 (I often found myself in that situation), I can say with almost absolute certainty that one of them is "out of scope".

Some examples of OOS:
"all" <-> "most/some"
"people" <-> "adolescents"
"animal" <-> "mammals"

A good practice for this is after you're done reading a passage, write you're own main point question first. Force yourself to think like LSAC and write out trap answer choices, such as OOS ones.

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wtrc
Posts: 2057
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Re: RC Main Point Help

Postby wtrc » Fri May 31, 2013 3:00 pm

peke wrote:
SteelPenguin wrote:
RG10 wrote:Hey guys I'm having a little bit of trouble with the main point questions in reading comprehension. I usually average about -3 to -5 for the entire section, but almost always 2-3 of those will be me missing the main point of the passage. It seems like I'm not seeing something simple because oftentimes I will select an answer that to me seems very close to the correct answer. What should I be focusing on when trying to select the main point? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


This is a weakness of mine, but I have been able to improve it some. There are some cases where there are no really good options, and in this case you have to pick the best option. Some wrong answer choices are ALMOST right except for one word that makes it incorrect "all critics" instead of "one/some critic(s)," "predicted" instead of "observed," etc. If one answer seems correct, but weak, and another seems good except for one or two words, the right answer should be the one that has no inaccuracies. Am I making sense?

Another wrong answer choice is one that is factually correct, but is not the main point of the passage (scope of answer is too narrow). If the passage mentions two important studies, and the correct answer only summarizes the first study, that probably isn't the right answer.

These shouldn't be viewed as automatic ways to eliminate certain answers, but you should be aware of these wrong types of answers.


Just to follow up on the great post: if you've been reading carefully, you can eliminate 3 answer choices on main point questions without referring back to the text (that's a good test if you've been reading slowly enough). If you're struggling between the remaining 2 (I often found myself in that situation), I can say with almost absolute certainty that one of them is "out of scope".

Some examples of OOS:
"all" <-> "most/some"
"people" <-> "adolescents"
"animal" <-> "mammals"

A good practice for this is after you're done reading a passage, write you're own main point question first. Force yourself to think like LSAC and write out trap answer choices, such as OOS ones.


Great points. In these questions, every word matters so much. Make sure every word fits. As the above posters have said, one (seemingly good at first) choice almost always will have a word that is way too strong or out of scope or too much a generalization.

RG10
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:48 am

Re: RC Main Point Help

Postby RG10 » Fri May 31, 2013 9:30 pm

Thanks for all the help guys. I took a practice test today and got all the main point questions correct using your advice so I really do appreciate it

lawschoolplease1
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:56 pm

Re: RC Main Point Help

Postby lawschoolplease1 » Fri May 31, 2013 10:21 pm

do you answer the MP questions before all the questions, or after?

RG10
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:48 am

Re: RC Main Point Help

Postby RG10 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:56 am

do you answer the MP questions before all the questions, or after?


Before actually. It hadn't really crossed my mind to do them after all the other ones. I just used the advice of looking for one word that made it incorrect and it really helped.

Daily_Double
Posts: 1035
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:45 pm

Re: RC Main Point Help

Postby Daily_Double » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:59 am

RG10 wrote:
do you answer the MP questions before all the questions, or after?


Before actually. It hadn't really crossed my mind to do them after all the other ones. I just used the advice of looking for one word that made it incorrect and it really helped.


I like doing them before because I use the main point answer, which is obviously the main point of the passage, for author's tone, author agreement, structure of the passage, and some role of the line questions. In addition, I always deduce the main point before going into the answers, though sometimes a word in the answers causes me to make errors, but usually these questions are just free points.

lawschoolplease1
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:56 pm

Re: RC Main Point Help

Postby lawschoolplease1 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:51 pm

i answer them at the end because the questions kind of lead me to the MP....
maybe you want to try?

bp shinners
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: RC Main Point Help

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:44 am

lawschoolplease1 wrote:i answer them at the end because the questions kind of lead me to the MP....
maybe you want to try?


I can't see how you could have a high level of accuracy on the other questions if you don't already have a handle on the main point of the passage since understanding that is almost a requirement for the majority of questions. So I think (with absolutely no personal knowledge of you, so maybe this really does work for you) that you'd do just as well on those MP questions if you answered them first.




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