I was just studying for the SC section when the GMAT Pill
portal suddenly stopped responding (happens for the first time). As I don't know how long it is going to take, I just decided to continue with my review here.
It's already been a few weeks that I completed the RC pill
. Here is what I think about it.Structure of prep materials
The RC Pill
includes 4 core frameworks that teach you how to approach every RC passage. In addition, you have about 20 (both easy and tougher) passages, in which you look over the shoulder of Zeke Lee, solving questions. You have 2 sets of questions - 600 level (short passages) and 700 level (long passages with 8-9 questions per passage) that you solve by yourself. You can also utilize the GMAT Pill
Prep Platform as well as video explanations of all OG13 questions. I decided to keep those for the next stage of my preparation, when I will have covered and practiced the basic and advanced theory for all sections and will come back to work on timing and polish everything.General information and approach
You can cover all core frameworks in about an hour and then start with the videos, in which Zeke Lee solves the questions for you. Those take time, but are actually the main learning material you get. Though they are easy to follow, they do expect some stellar concentration from your side, as you have to catch all the information that is presented to you. The individual reading passages include:
- one video with passage analysis
- one video per every question you have for the respective passage
Every video has a length of between 3 and 7 minutes.
While I found the core framework ideas helpful, the real value of the program comes with the videos, in which Zeke talks about specific passages. One can see how he tackles every type of question. As you can imagine, this has a downside as well, namely that experience-based learning and the conclusion derived sometimes seem a bit ambiguous to observers and it just takes time for you to develop this feeling of what every question is testing, if you should first read the passage or the question, etc., but it was a surprise to me as well, how I managed to incorporate the approach quite fast. When I solved the 600/700 level question, I had the mental attitude allowing me to focus on key transition words, extrapolate/prethink the idea of a certain paragraph, based on first and last sentence, etc. Pros
+ easy to use interface
+ easy to grasp videos with visualizations
+ clear concepts
+ good explanation of theory and passages
+ ask questions as comments within the gmatpill
video platform (answers within 3-4 days)Cons
- rare technical issues - in the 2 weeks I studied for RC, I once had a problem with the gmatpill
platform, as several of my videos would not continue/load after a certain place (e.g. 3:54). The next day it all worked, but it still interrupted my prep process (it definitely wasn't a problem of my internet connection or browser)
- ambiguity of the experience-based approachPersonal Conclusion
The RC Pill
expects you to follow and apply simple rules, while answering RC questions. As RC in general does't try to test you on grammar or tenses, but rather reading comprehension and related strategy and speed, I think it is the predestined section to apply the GMAT Pill
to. The simplicity of the rules allows you to not only have a fast plan A, but also a plan B. This being said, learning from Zeke is not always easy and expects you to sometimes go the extra mile, watch the video 2-3 times, until you grasp why he just eliminated one of the answer choices. As a beginner I sometimes had a hard time while he was eliminating certain answer choices. And I asked myself "Wait a second, how do you know that?!". Or I would have read out loud all 5 answer choices, while he just looked for the key-words he wants to see and sometimes even didn't bother reading the other ones. This was indeed confusing to me, but in the long-run:
(1) Gives you the stimulus to pursue via a comment additional questions till you can enumerate almost all reason why a certain answer choice is wrong
(2) Teaches you to be fast and on the exam to be confident to eliminate answer choices after finding just 1 reason to do so
I think the RC Pill
is perfect for people who want to be efficient. If you think about the passages, you rarely need to read them entirely. If you think about WHY RC is on the exam, it's just to test you what you would do if at Stanford GSB they would give you a 40 pages case for tomorrow morning. You can't read it, you can't digest it, but you can get the big picture. Now what you need to do here is just do the same. For this, the RC Pill
is perfect. If you want to know what every single line of the passage says, it is not. Tips
Practice is irreplaceable. I would search high-quality readings that you are interested in and read almost all articles (some interesting, some rather boring to you), so that you practice the concepts. Look for transition words, think what the opinion of the author is, this will make you perfect. I used The New Yorker and HBR, but you can use almost any source.
As always, feel free to reach out with any questions and comments.
Thank you very much for reading this post till the end! Kudos?