I need your help in formulating strategy for attacking RC passages. As we do not discuss RC often here it is difficult to learn from others here. Moreever, RC questions are the more in number than any other category in GMAT.
I would appreciate if you can suggest some tips and answer some of these questions:
- what is permissible time to answer RC passage with 5 questions? 10/12?
- For speficic questions (according the passage...), is it good idea to go to passage. It surely takes times to go to passage for all answer choices. However, I cannot claim to know this level of detail during initial passage scan?
- when questions asks about meaning of a word/phrase in a statement, do we need to answer in the context of whole passage or only in the context of the statement?
- during test do we know the number of questions in a passage? If not, what is the average number of questions and avg length of passage I should expect to see in real test?
thanks in advance.
I agree with you Duttsit, members very rarely post RCs probably because of the huge intimidation factor- RCs are the most challenging component for most (especially non-native) test takers.
Coffeeloverfreak has got some great comments on how to "attack" RCs, so hopefully he/she can chime in on this topic.
Some key things to keep in mind to make RCs a little less burdensome:
1. Know the standard 4 themes- Physical Science, Social Science, Humanities, and (unbelievably) Business. Read from some old college core texts on these subjects half a page at a time and then try paraphrasing what you just read. ***This skill will also have an impact on SC and CR performance.
2. Use the scratch paper and make a passage map. Read the first few lines of each paragraph extra carefully to see which direction the author is going (compare/contrast, explain, advocate, critique, rebut) and use shorthand notes to save time.
3. Take special note when an author states his/her own opinion. Usually there is a question based on this.
4. When a question asks you to refer to line #... then go directly to that line and put your finger on the screen
to mark the spot. Read the preceding line and even a few lines after and then put your finger on the answer choices
and cross reference for the best restatement or appropriate answer choice. ETS will not scold you for touching the screen- we pay good money (Give Money And Time) to use their archaic facilities, so go ahead and smudge it up because the test is almost over at this post anyway.
5. Don`t worry so much about splittling hairs on RC timing. I sometimes take as much as 15 minutes to answer 5 difficult questions (including reading) but know that a few SCs will shortly follow and can use those to make up for a little lost time.
6. I can`t remember if the display informs you as to how many questions are allotted to each RC. Also, RCs tend get longer as you score higher, so 60-95 lines is not an impossibility if you are in the V38-42+ range.
Hope this helps!