67 RC : how much to refer back

jmjm
Posts: 329
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67 RC : how much to refer back

Postby jmjm » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:57 pm

Looking to find if better approaches exist to address my recent RC slump before October test!

I spend about 4 minutes reading the passage before quickly going through the questions trying not to refer back to passage much (7sage approach). This approach is harder to follow in 60s RC as line number references cut answer choices very close in meaning making referring to passage important. But referring back to the passage takes around 30 secs extra per question. Is there any other to effectively handle this?

For example, in pt-67 for the 1st passage q7 I just didn't find any right answer for in the passage even as I scanned it over and over wasting precious time. It turns out that the question requires inferences based on ideas and lines in different paragraphs of the passage making it just too damn hard to figure in test conditions.

Manhattan's advice is to read quicker than 7sage and read for structure and refer back to the passage more unlike 7sage. I think this timing related to referring back and scanning for details is limiting my progress.

Is there any concrete idea about how to cross this hurdle? thanks in advance

jshaffer740
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Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:48 am

Re: 67 RC : how much to refer back

Postby jshaffer740 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:07 pm

jmjm wrote:Looking to find if better approaches exist to address my recent RC slump before October test!

I spend about 4 minutes reading the passage before quickly going through the questions trying not to refer back to passage much (7sage approach). This approach is harder to follow in 60s RC as line number references cut answer choices very close in meaning making referring to passage important. But referring back to the passage takes around 30 secs extra per question. Is there any other to effectively handle this?

For example, in pt-67 for the 1st passage q7 I just didn't find any right answer for in the passage even as I scanned it over and over wasting precious time. It turns out that the question requires inferences based on ideas and lines in different paragraphs of the passage making it just too damn hard to figure in test conditions.

Manhattan's advice is to read quicker than 7sage and read for structure and refer back to the passage more unlike 7sage. I think this timing related to referring back and scanning for details is limiting my progress.

Is there any concrete idea about how to cross this hurdle? thanks in advance


In my opinion you should spend less time reading the passage. Shoot for 2:30-3 minutes max on your initial read. You are correct that the 60's require much closer detail-oriented distinctions between certain AC's. So you need this extra time afforded from a quicker initial read to allow you to go back and check your AC against the text.

Another thing I do is to make sure my "paragraph summary" that I mentally do after each paragraph is more detailed than "the author introduced to opposing views on evolution." I would try to at least mentally state the key holding of each view before moving on, for example.

Finally, I do not annotate. I'm not sure if you do or not. But my single biggest score jump in RC came after I stopped annotating. I know, correlation =/= causation, but I do think it helped. It certainly helped with timing, and I actually felt more focused on the passage because I wasn't distracted by the act of annotating. I knew I wouldn't have that "crutch" to rely on so I absorbed more of what I read.

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Jeffort
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Re: 67 RC : how much to refer back

Postby Jeffort » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:30 pm

jshaffer740 wrote:Another thing I do is to make sure my "paragraph summary" that I mentally do after each paragraph is more detailed than "the author introduced to opposing views on evolution." I would try to at least mentally state the key holding of each view before moving on, for example.



Doing this is one of the most important things for RC success. Simply just pausing after each paragraph and doing a little summary in your head before moving on to the next is a critical step for processing the passage well, being clear about the main points, structure, positions, where details are, and overall main point and purposes.

Unfortunately most people not only don't do it in a more detailed way like you describe, they don't even pause and think about a little summary at all before powering forward reading the next paragraph of the passage. Not pausing for a few seconds leaves zero time for your brain to structurally process the paragraph before starting to read and think about whatever is next and you certainly cannot be thinking about the structure of one paragraph at the same time you are trying to read and understand the next one.

For anyone with RC trouble, if you are not pausing after each paragraph for at least a few seconds to think about, process and summarize what you just read, that is your main problem. Without pausing to make sense of what you read you just end up with a big disorganized blur of information in your head at the end that makes answering the questions much harder.

It sounds really simple and stupid, but to actually comprehend the passages decently well, you do have to pause and consciously think about what you read to be able to see and understand the structure. It doesn't just magically pop into your head at the end of reading like turning on a light bulb, you actually have to put specific effort into building the big picture understanding of the passage in your head by thinking about each of the parts and then how they relate, your brain doesn't do that automatically unless you make it do the necessary processing steps along the way while reading. Simplifying each paragraph into a short summary in your head before moving into the next is one of the necessary processing steps. This stuff doesn't automatically happen on a subconscious level just because you read the passage, you have to make yourself consciously think about structure and relationships while reading, some call it meta reading.

Whether you annotate or not is personal preference, but the key is to at least think about what the main points are as you read them to make sure you are getting an understanding and tracking the flow of the passage from idea to idea.

Making sure to summarize each paragraph as you go also helps with retention of details since you spent a little time thinking about them as they relate to the summary of the paragraph after you read it, which makes it much easier to remember where details are if you have to go back to verify.

Try it out and you should notice a big difference in how well prepared you are to handle the questions. Just force yourself to pause for at least 5 seconds (maybe more) after each paragraph to form a summary that includes the main point/conclusion/point of view/whatever of that paragraph. Ever notice that in classes at school when the professor says something important/makes a big point about something that students pause to write notes right then instead of waiting until later to think about it and/or take note? It's how they give the idea more priority by focusing on it for a few seconds in a way to make it more memorable and significant in context before moving on to think about other things that also demand attention! Same basic principle applies in RC, pause and at least take mental note of the big important things as you encounter them and before you forget because of getting distracted by other information you read next.

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Fianna13
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Re: 67 RC : how much to refer back

Postby Fianna13 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:11 pm

^ this is golden advice. Jeffort, can you elaborate on how detailed would it be optimal to maximize the performance on RC? Because I usually just summarize it enough to understand the structure. For example, author introduce new point then provide evidence.

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Jeffort
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Re: 67 RC : how much to refer back

Postby Jeffort » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:47 pm

Fianna13 wrote:^ this is golden advice. Jeffort, can you elaborate on how detailed would it be optimal to maximize the performance on RC? Because I usually just summarize it enough to understand the structure. For example, author introduce new point then provide evidence.


Go a little deeper than that, you should think about the actual substance. What actually is the new point made by the author- subject matter wise, what is (s)he saying? and then quickly review in your mind the details given in support of the point so you see how the point is supported and so your brain associates those details with that point/conclusion for comprehension, relationship and memory purposes.

By just quickly re-running the details through your head with the point they support in mind while you make your mental summary, you are making your brain think about the things in premise-conclusion support relation to one another, which makes stuff more likely to make sense and to stick as well as letting you clearly see the structure.

It's not really much different than typical ways people go about trying to remember certain things they hear or read. Before moving on to thinking about something else, re-read/re-think the idea through your brain a couple of times repeating it mentally in your head for memory encoding as well as comprehension.

It's kinda hard to encode things into your mind that you only give your brain split seconds to fully process while also continuing to read more stuff at a brisk pace that you also need to process. Short term memory can only hold soo much, so pausing to distill the passage into bite sized pieces, paragraph by paragraph or main point to main point or whatever makes each piece digestible as you go and easy to remember for when you add them all up to the overall main point at the end. If you wait until the end of the passage to try to process the main points and relationships presented to find structures, a lot of the information you need to process to see structure has already left your short term memory and been replaced by other stuff you read.

Pausing for 5-15 seconds several times through a passage to digest it in pieces as you go instead of trying to swallow and process the entire thing whole at the end makes a world of difference with which things you do remember that will be important for the questions. It's really silly not to pause here and there to make sense of each part you read in a section that has the word Comprehension in its title! People that don't do it and cite time consuming as the reason are foolish because they are in essence saying they don't have time to comprehend the material properly before trying out the questions, sounds kinda stupid right?




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