Hi everyone. I need some advice on strategies for RC section.
My biggest problem is that my RC score fluctuates a lot depending on the topic of the passage.
I tend to do well on art, literature, history, diversity, social science passages, but suck at science passages (physics, geology in particular) and any legal passages concerning morality, ethics issue.
If the test includes one or two of the topics I suck at, I always run out of time.
And in general, I tend to miss inference questions a lot.
Is there a more efficient strategy for approaching RC questions other than repetition?
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Everyone suggests notating the hell out of science passages and then returning for inference questions. Well, I think the opposite is a viable strategy: spend about four minutes reading the passage and conceptualizing the life out of it and then fly through the answer choices. definitely a risky strategy, for you might fail to conceptualize the material and still spend four minutes reading it, but when it works its like smashing a homerun, left center.
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shkang89 wrote:Is there a more efficient strategy for approaching RC questions other than repetition?
It's hard to give you ideas for a more efficient strategy without knowing how you're approaching passages now. Personally, I'm a big fan of limited and strategic annotation - just writing a couple key words next to each paragraph so that you know the rough function of the paragraph and can find your way back to the relevant part of the passage for specific reference questions. Underlining parts of the passage with author attitude helps a lot for "which one of the following would the author agree with?"-type questions. And I will always advocate taking enough time to really understand the passage and then trying to get through the questions faster, rather than rushing through the passage in an effort to save time.
I also wonder if, to a certain extent, you're just psyching yourself out when you see a science or law/morality passage. The topic of a passage doesn't actually matter all that much - you're looking for the same things, it will have a structure similar to structures you've seen before, etc. - so it sounds like your belief that you're bad at those passages is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'd suggest taking some time to really break down a couple of the passages you've done poorly on in the past - make sure you understand everything about them, their structure, and why all the questions are right. I think if you can force yourself to be more comfortable with those passages, you'll find that they're really not that different from the humanities passages.