Incredibly frustrated - RC

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Incredibly frustrated - RC

Postby h3jk5h » Tue May 12, 2015 1:55 pm

Even after drilling countless RC passages/sections, it's incredibly frustrating to see myself committing the exact same type of error over and over.

I'm still around -5 to -6 per section, and I would like to get it down to -0 to -3.

I don't think comprehending the passage as a whole (e.g. main idea and structure) is a big issue for me, my biggest problem is glossing over answer choices instead of reading them word by word closely.

I think I have ingrained the bad habit of quickly reading the answer choices without going through a thought process, and it's always the subtlety of correct/false answer choices that throw me off - that one or two words that significantly changes the nature of the answer choice without me noticing it. After reviewing the passages/sections, I find that there are always 0-3 questions that I probably don't have a chance on, but there's the other 2-3 questions that I clearly should have gotten correct, but for whatever stupid reason I get it wrong (I always think to myself: wtf was I thinking...). I don't have a knack for the subtlety for the English language and I'm just a careless reader.



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Re: Incredibly frustrated - RC

Postby msp8 » Tue May 12, 2015 2:06 pm

Are you from Montreal?

And, I used to have similar problems. I think/hope I've overcome them (mostly) now. Do you find you're torn between two ACs, and pick the wrong one? Or is it really that you've glossed over TCR and dismiss it?

When you read the question, do you prephrase at all? I think it's Velocity that recommends reading a passage, then reading the questions and NOT looking at the ACs, but answering the questions on your own. At least, I think that's what he recommends. Anyway, I've found that a worthwhile approach -- it trains your mind to prephrase, which in turn trains your mind on subsequent passages on the initial read to anticipate questions.

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Postby appind » Mon May 18, 2015 12:15 pm

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Last edited by appind on Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Incredibly frustrated - RC

Postby msp8 » Mon May 18, 2015 4:11 pm

appind wrote:facing similar issues with rc even after drilling and having read (and followed) various rc advice here. wonder if a tutor, not with some predefined curriculum but any personal one, could identify blind spots.

for example i did 11 RC passage-1. read the passage in 3 min and finished its 7 questions at 11:40 min mark. i waffled between 7.B and 7.C for a bit and even after drills and enough time on the passage, still picked the wrong one.

I did this PT recently, so it's fresh-ish on my mind.

I can understand struggling between B and C here, but you really shouldn't be struggling between the two. Here are two ways that have helped me overcome that particular issue:

1) what is the underlying theme throughout this passage? In this instance, if memory serves me correctly, the author was making the point that Thoreau's impact on King was given too much emphasis. And, in fact, that King's philosophy fell in line with other transcendalists' thinking -- even if unwittingly.

2) More to that latter point, what is the main point of that particular paragraph? Look to the first sentence: King's writings suggest that ... without realizing it, he was an incipient transcendalist.

So, given these two points (underlying theme of the passage as a whole; MP of that particular paragraph), there is no way it could be (B). (B) states that King was influenced by transcendalists. However, the author states this is an under-studied area. The author also states that King did not read other transcendalists, even if his philosophy was similar to theirs. So (B) contradicts the text's main point.

(C), however, almost paraphrases that paragraph's first sentence (which is the paragraph's main point).

So for question types like that, if reading the lines around the quoted text/line reference is insufficient, then keep in mind the overarching claim(s) made in the text AND the main point of that particular paragraph. Sometimes it's not abundantly clear, but I would say in this case it's plainly laid out.

Another tip: I've found it increasingly useful to think of the overarching point of the passage for pretty much all questions. I actually don't think the RC section is intended to trick you overtly; rather, the section tricks you into thinking too micro/detail, whereas you ought to keep a general, macro idea of what's taking place. Most Qs address that overarching theme and purpose, rather than detail. Even detail Qs like this one and line ref questions in general, they pinpoint a particular line but then draw it back to: how does this fit with the overall message?

Anyway, hope that helps.

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