How to deal with ART passage in RC

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lauriewang

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How to deal with ART passage in RC

Postby lauriewang » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:08 am

My ART passage is a disaster. Still can't find out an effective way to deal with this type of topic. Anyone can help me? Thanks a lot :cry:

Biggiesloths

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Re: How to deal with ART passage in RC

Postby Biggiesloths » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:34 pm

Hi Laurie,

When you say "ART passage," do you mean the passages in RC that discuss artistic topics, such as writers, music, art, literature, panting, sculptor, etc.? If yes, perhaps I could give you my two cents! These passages are my favorite, most of the time, because I studied comparative world literature in college and love reading about art history for fun.

What I hear most from people who struggle with these passages is that the "topic is so convoluted" or the authors use pedantic language and weird, long, unnecessary ways of getting to the point. While it may be true, here is what I do to get through the weeds:

1. Paraphrase. After every paragraph or chunk of sentences, I mentally sit back and ask myself to paraphrase. Re-word it. Dumb it down. I envision that someone just handed me a very long JSTOR article and asked me "what the hell is this about?" to which I would reply. I will summarize the Sparknotes version of what I just read.

2. Identify common patterns. In these "arts" passages, I've noticed that there are usually a couple things going on...
a. Comparing movements: maybe there are two different competing artistic theories. Be sensitive to differences and similarities are.
b. Identifying key figures: maybe there was a famous musician. What ABOUT this guy makes him DIFFERENT from other artists? All artists usually want to distinguish themselves from previous norms. It's all about building from the past movement or assumption.
c. Pay attention to characteristics: for example, certain key features about an artist's work, notable features in the way a musical movement was misunderstood, obstacles that the the artist/author/theory/movement whatever faced and overcame, list of things that seem not very important but in a big picture, say something bigger
d. The point of it all: you have to ask yourself: WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS PASSAGE? Why are you reading about a photographer who uses tinsel instead of modern photography? Is it about the aesthetic? Is it about redefining meaning of photography as an art itself? Is the author making an argument about something? Why is it is so important? What the hell is the bigger picture?! Why should we care?!

Those are the questions I ask myself when I'm reading. It helps cut through all the abstract concepts and the pedantic way of writing in these passages. There's an argument in there somewhere- whether its an argument about how something is/exists, or whether its an argument about how something should be.

Just try to enjoy it. If you are actually interested in what you're reading, the chances are, the more you'll be paying attention. Think of it as a small opportunity to become a slightly bit more cultured and educated rather than a tortured 10 minutes of your life (or however long it takes you to get through it).

Hope that helps!

Synapse2018

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Re: How to deal with ART passage in RC

Postby Synapse2018 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:42 am

I'd like to chime in because this was/is my particular weakness. At one point, I would get the majority of art passage questions wrong and it otherwise was holding back my score significantly. Coming from a CS background, I never had much interest or formal education in the arts. As a result, much of the terminology was vague and non-descriptive to me and, as a result, I wasn't comprehending the actual meaning of the passage. In my opinion, simply outlining the logic isn't enough to answer many of the problems especially considering a bunch of questions have multiple right answers and you need to know specific definitions to choose the best answer.

What I did was watch a handful of art-history documentaries to learn more and improve my vocabulary/comprehension of the material.

After that, I went through older practice tests that I never used (10-30), took out every art passage and drilled untimed. It can take a few months to notice a significant improvement, but it WILL HAPPEN if you can learn to comprehend the themes/narratives/context better.

lauriewang

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Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:30 am

Re: How to deal with ART passage in RC

Postby lauriewang » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:11 am

Biggiesloths wrote:Hi Laurie,

When you say "ART passage," do you mean the passages in RC that discuss artistic topics, such as writers, music, art, literature, panting, sculptor, etc.? If yes, perhaps I could give you my two cents! These passages are my favorite, most of the time, because I studied comparative world literature in college and love reading about art history for fun.

What I hear most from people who struggle with these passages is that the "topic is so convoluted" or the authors use pedantic language and weird, long, unnecessary ways of getting to the point. While it may be true, here is what I do to get through the weeds:

1. Paraphrase. After every paragraph or chunk of sentences, I mentally sit back and ask myself to paraphrase. Re-word it. Dumb it down. I envision that someone just handed me a very long JSTOR article and asked me "what the hell is this about?" to which I would reply. I will summarize the Sparknotes version of what I just read.

2. Identify common patterns. In these "arts" passages, I've noticed that there are usually a couple things going on...
a. Comparing movements: maybe there are two different competing artistic theories. Be sensitive to differences and similarities are.
b. Identifying key figures: maybe there was a famous musician. What ABOUT this guy makes him DIFFERENT from other artists? All artists usually want to distinguish themselves from previous norms. It's all about building from the past movement or assumption.
c. Pay attention to characteristics: for example, certain key features about an artist's work, notable features in the way a musical movement was misunderstood, obstacles that the the artist/author/theory/movement whatever faced and overcame, list of things that seem not very important but in a big picture, say something bigger
d. The point of it all: you have to ask yourself: WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS PASSAGE? Why are you reading about a photographer who uses tinsel instead of modern photography? Is it about the aesthetic? Is it about redefining meaning of photography as an art itself? Is the author making an argument about something? Why is it is so important? What the hell is the bigger picture?! Why should we care?!

Those are the questions I ask myself when I'm reading. It helps cut through all the abstract concepts and the pedantic way of writing in these passages. There's an argument in there somewhere- whether its an argument about how something is/exists, or whether its an argument about how something should be.

Just try to enjoy it. If you are actually interested in what you're reading, the chances are, the more you'll be paying attention. Think of it as a small opportunity to become a slightly bit more cultured and educated rather than a tortured 10 minutes of your life (or however long it takes you to get through it).

Hope that helps!




Thank you soooo much! It helps me a lot:p I did feel there's some pattern in this kind of passage, but the thing is when I faced an art passage I just felt that there are tons of things going around, the word they use to describe those things, the particular 'artistic' way of addressing the idea... So I always got tangled in the confusing details and missed the big picture. Your summary helps me make this clear! Now I know what I am supposed to look for in the passages. <3<3

lauriewang

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Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:30 am

Re: How to deal with ART passage in RC

Postby lauriewang » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:32 am

Synapse2018 wrote:I'd like to chime in because this was/is my particular weakness. At one point, I would get the majority of art passage questions wrong and it otherwise was holding back my score significantly. Coming from a CS background, I never had much interest or formal education in the arts. As a result, much of the terminology was vague and non-descriptive to me and, as a result, I wasn't comprehending the actual meaning of the passage. In my opinion, simply outlining the logic isn't enough to answer many of the problems especially considering a bunch of questions have multiple right answers and you need to know specific definitions to choose the best answer.

What I did was watch a handful of art-history documentaries to learn more and improve my vocabulary/comprehension of the material.

After that, I went through older practice tests that I never used (10-30), took out every art passage and drilled untimed. It can take a few months to notice a significant improvement, but it WILL HAPPEN if you can learn to comprehend the themes/narratives/context better.



Thank you so much for your encouragement! I must say I feel the same about these passages -- vague & non-descriptive. While the logical structure is the most important thing to understand a passage, I can do nothing without understanding the descriptive part of it at the same time. I guess this is the unique characteristic of art passages. So I feel I need some 'art cultivation' here. I'm reading a book on art history now, but still it's kind of hard to understand with just plain texts. So I guess your way is much better than mine :p I'll try it. Thank you for your suggestion! <3



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