SC & RC almost always cause trouble for me. I guess it is generally a cause of concern for those who are i) non-natives (ii) lack reading habits (iii) rely too much on ears (rather than internalizing the rules of grammar). What compounds the agony is that there ain't any quick fix solutions. Also, the improvement in most cases is gradual, and certainly not as drastic as one may expect. My Prescription1. A compulsory habit of reading
I am reading my 6th book of 2013 (one of them was ~1350 pages long). The background is that I do not remember finishing a whole book earlier. I generally lose interest mid way. However, I am fighting a battle against my natural instincts this time. 2. Speed Reading
A conscious effort at reading fast helps me change gears from being a passive reader to an aggressive one. Attacking the content now comes naturally to me, though I would still call myself an average reader. Also, contrary to common belief, I felt that by being aggressive and reading fast, I was able to comprehend better. I rarely feel the need to go back on the content (unless it is very technical) and paraphrase (immediately after the paragraph) for better understanding.3. Recognize patterns
Tackling the test does not require profound understanding of subjects but the basics. Though every one learns the basics, the differentiation comes in recognizing certain patterns which are commonly tested on GMAT in every topic. It is important to intuitively identify the decision points in a problem. Once we build that intuition, then in 90% verbal questions, we are not at the mercy of the answer choices. We know the answer beforehand and just look for the correct one in choices, saving us time and improving accuracy.4. Idioms can be a challenge
I don't have much of a strategy for idioms other than remembering the common ones. I would invite ideas from more experienced members.5. Steal time from SC, invest in RC
This makes SC a notch tougher than RC. In SC, if we don't find the error in the first reading, we begin to panic. Also, if we find an error, we tend to relax ignoring the possibility of more than one error. The target should be to nail 85% SC problems in the first reading itself. I am practicing, keeping an error log
, and trying hard not to repeat the mistakes.
This was after my initial encounter with SC & RC. I would be starting my prep for Quants today and shall get over with it in a month. Thereafter, I will share my experience on quants topics. Hope its useful.