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I am in the middle of my preparation for GMAT exam. When I

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I am in the middle of my preparation for GMAT exam. When I [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2012, 19:32
I am in the middle of my preparation for GMAT exam. When I am practicing RC passages, in some passages I am marking a lot of questions wrong ( sometimes 3 out of 4), or 4 out of 4( all wrong,pretty scary!). What I usually do is I set a time limit of 10 minutes per passage ( reading plus answering) and try to finish within that limit. My question is, suppose I am finding some passage difficult, whats the best way to improve on those passages. Should I again set a time limit of 10 minutes and again try to answer questions and see if there is any improvement.
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Re: How to improve in RC passages which I am finding difficult [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2012, 22:53
Are you doing fine with CR? If you're giving yourself 2 minutes on average per question over an entire passage, you should be fine unless you're having problems making out what the question is asking. Since you're getting almost all questions wrong on every passage, maybe you're having trouble making out what the question is really asking you to do. If you're doing fine on CR you shouldn't have this issue on RC questions, since RC questions are CR-lite. CR-lite + passage checking-memory mix. :)

I personally follow only one strategy - Rhyme's strategy and it is working extremely well for me. I'm averaging about 1:45 average per RC question with an extremely high success rate. Look here if you haven't already: Link

The thing with Rhyme's strategy is that it dramatically speeds up identification of the correct answer (for me at least), but it won't help you if you're having trouble making out what the question is asking of you.

Maybe don't set yourself a time limit at all and take all the time you need and then when you start getting at least a 80% success rate, start timing yourself. Till then, keep track of how much time you're taking and gradually close the gap to 2:00 rather than practicing a whole bunch of questions under a limit and getting them mostly wrong.

Aside from these, I don't have any other ideas, sorry. :)
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Re: How to improve in RC passages which I am finding difficult [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2012, 02:55
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An excerpt by RON purewal about RC passage strategy (I hope you know who he is.................)

Quote:
the two official guides (twelfth edition and verbal supplement), taken together, provide more than enough practice.

if the student has gone through those materials and is still having considerable trouble, then one of the following three things (or more than one of them) is true:
(1) the student hasn't taken the time to learn how the problems work, and is just randomly trying to memorize things;
(2) the student doesn't understand how to read and process the passages, and is basically reading as though the passages were just factfactfactfact;
(3) the student isn't yet good enough at reading and understanding professionally written english.

notice that NONE of these three things is going to be fix-able by a greater volume of practice problems. if any of these three things is going on, additional practice problems won't fix the problem; in fact, additional practice is just going to cement the problem.
as an analogy, think of someone with a totally wrong golf swing. now, think of what will happen if this person goes out and takes 10,000 practice swings at golf balls -- the person will still have exactly the same problems, but those problems will now be so thoroughly reinforced that they will be practically impossible to fix.
the same is true for rc. in fact, i will just come out and say that no student should spend more than 15-20 hours of his or her entire life practicing specifically for gmat rc. (note that this is a lifetime total -- not monthly, not weekly, but actual lifetime.) that is plenty of time to learn how gmac writes the wording of its questions, what terms such as “primary purpose” and “inference” mean, etc.
beyond this point, gmat-specific studying is simply not going to help, and, in all probability, will make bad habits even worse and more permanent.

if someone is going to spend a large number of hours, then those hours should be spent before the person starts taking on gmat-type problems. for instance, if the student can't read english fast enough, then that's a problem that must be addressed before he/she begins to look at gmat style problems. if the student doesn't understand how to read passages for the main point, then that's a problem that must be addressed before he/she begins to look at gmat style problems. etc.


Hope this will be useful to you to comprehend the meaning of a GMAT RC passage ;)
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Re: How to improve in RC passages which I am finding difficult [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2012, 03:46
carcass wrote:
An excerpt by RON purewal about RC passage strategy (I hope you know who he is.................)

Quote:
the two official guides (twelfth edition and verbal supplement), taken together, provide more than enough practice.

if the student has gone through those materials and is still having considerable trouble, then one of the following three things (or more than one of them) is true:
(1) the student hasn't taken the time to learn how the problems work, and is just randomly trying to memorize things;
(2) the student doesn't understand how to read and process the passages, and is basically reading as though the passages were just factfactfactfact;
(3) the student isn't yet good enough at reading and understanding professionally written english.

notice that NONE of these three things is going to be fix-able by a greater volume of practice problems. if any of these three things is going on, additional practice problems won't fix the problem; in fact, additional practice is just going to cement the problem.
as an analogy, think of someone with a totally wrong golf swing. now, think of what will happen if this person goes out and takes 10,000 practice swings at golf balls -- the person will still have exactly the same problems, but those problems will now be so thoroughly reinforced that they will be practically impossible to fix.
the same is true for rc. in fact, i will just come out and say that no student should spend more than 15-20 hours of his or her entire life practicing specifically for gmat rc. (note that this is a lifetime total -- not monthly, not weekly, but actual lifetime.) that is plenty of time to learn how gmac writes the wording of its questions, what terms such as “primary purpose” and “inference” mean, etc.
beyond this point, gmat-specific studying is simply not going to help, and, in all probability, will make bad habits even worse and more permanent.

if someone is going to spend a large number of hours, then those hours should be spent before the person starts taking on gmat-type problems. for instance, if the student can't read english fast enough, then that's a problem that must be addressed before he/she begins to look at gmat style problems. if the student doesn't understand how to read passages for the main point, then that's a problem that must be addressed before he/she begins to look at gmat style problems. etc.


Hope this will be useful to you to comprehend the meaning of a GMAT RC passage ;)


wow Ron is too good!

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Re: I am in the middle of my preparation for GMAT exam. When I [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2013, 16:21
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Yes you need to have a strategy for reading through RC passages. It's not just "fact fact fact fact..." -- that's generally how most ppl read academic books. Why? because they want to learn from each statement that is presented.

But that is not what most reading is out there. Most reading out there is about a point of view -- and presenting that point of view in different ways ---hence why there are so many "main idea" questions. Try out the RC Pill strategy
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Re: I am in the middle of my preparation for GMAT exam. When I   [#permalink] 25 Aug 2013, 16:21
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