So in reviewing the most recent practice tests, I had a couple takeaways.
They seem much more reliant on identifying the MP. It really seemed like more tricky ACs were directly related to the evidences and topics introduced in the passage, but they could be easily dismissed once you had a firm grasp of the MP. ( same goes for attitude).
I don't think they made the passages any harder, I think they made the questions tougher. In that now there seems to be more choices that are tempting. On the other hand TCR might feel like a stretch (as far as inferences go), but it would often be the only thing with much support. The rest of the ACs would mix up topics or maybe attribute a VP to evidence which is unrelated but mentioned elsewhere in the passage. They seem to lend themselves to directly referring back to the passage (as opposed to trying to remember everything), and I really felt like I benefitted when I read the whole paragraph when I needed to.
The biggest thing I think, is actually trying to anticipate what TCR is. I really focused on the newer tests on trying to identify what we know about the concept being questioned. It really helped me sort through the distracting answers. The only really hard ones are the very global questions like "the author would agree with which of the following" and it doesn't refer to anything specific in the stim. For those I eliminate by finding each topic in the passage.
Idk if this really helps anyone, but I figured I'd throw out my 2c. For 72-75 I went through each RC summarizing the passages, questions, and ACs.
Also appind, I found it really helpful retake PTs (I had done them all by June) and really focus on my actual testing habits and strategies. So maybe this time around focus on 60-76 and really get analytical as to what you're missing in RC. I had to take a really detailed approach to start getting things.
thanks mint for writing this.
shineoncrazydiamond wrote:This is really helpful, Mint. Especially agree about analyzing what you're missing and why.
My additional 2 cents as somebody for whom RC has been holding scores back most: I haven't gone through the most recent PTs as extensively, but in my more limited experience what Mint said rings true. I feel that there are more "trap" wrong answer choices in recent PTs, if that makes sense-ones that might seem like a good idea if you didn't fully grasp the main idea of the passage or aren't reading carefully but can be eliminated if you put in a little work up front to grasp the main arguments/themes in the passage.
I have found that Mint's strategy of trying to anticipate the correct answer ahead of time so that you don't fall into said traps is useful. I also thought that a slightly less elaborate version of Manhattan's RC strategy, trying to set up a "scale" in passages where there are two potentially contrasting views presented and identifying where the author and any other parties mentioned fall was helpful. I was missing 5-6 on some of the later RCs with no time to spare and when I tried this strategy yesterday on PT63 I didn't miss any and finished on time. I am curious to see how it works for more PTs in the 70s though, and for a larger sample size (maybe those passages just worked for me or I was on top of my game more than usual or something).
shineoncrazydiamond wrote: I feel that there are more "trap" wrong answer choices in recent PTs, if that makes sense-ones that might seem like a good idea if you didn't fully grasp the main idea of the passage or aren't reading carefully but can be eliminated if you put in a little work up front to grasp the main arguments/themes in the passage.
any example you can cite?
the "scale" is basically keeping track of different viewpoints mentioned in the passage, correct. i guess i don't get what is so special about the scale, because aren't we supposed to know the different viewpoints in the passage and which one the authors aligns with and how. is there something i am missing here?
one of the differences i noticed in the modern PTs is that questions try to ask for things in slightly more complex ways and require one to synthesize from details distributed in different parts of the passage. E.g. 75.RC.20. the question stem is somewhat different than usual, and it's actually very tricky to eliminate D.
also, 75.RC.14 A can be very close to a credited answer so it's not clear how much wiggle room is allowed for "most likely to agree" questions.