Questions about RC 99 : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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28 Feb 2011, 14:51
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Hi,

I have read some reviews about the RC 99 book, but I would like your help in these specific questions:
- Does the book have explanations of the answers or only an answers key?

- I think that I have a good level in RC. At least, I think I did it well in the OGs. In this sense, in order to save time, could I start my practice in the reading # 50 to reading # 99?, or, do you suggest not to skip the previous readings?

- What are the differences between this book and the MGMAT RC book? Does it worth the Manhattan book? I have not heard good references about it. If you think that it is a good book, what would suggest in order to use it efficiently?

Thank you very much!
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28 Feb 2011, 16:07
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The book has answer explanations. The explanations are rather brief and not as elaborate as the OG.

The book is ordered in level of difficulty so maybe it makes sense for you to start in the middle and work upwards. Or you can mix and match and do a few passages from each section.

The MGMAT book is more of a stratgey book with tips on how to tackle the passages. The RC99 has no stratgey. It's simply a compilation of passages across different difficulty levels.

Hope this helps.
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28 Feb 2011, 16:27
ibbys wrote:
The book has answer explanations. The explanations are rather brief and not as elaborate as the OG.

The book is ordered in level of difficulty so maybe it makes sense for you to start in the middle and work upwards. Or you can mix and match and do a few passages from each section.

The MGMAT book is more of a stratgey book with tips on how to tackle the passages. The RC99 has no stratgey. It's simply a compilation of passages across different difficulty levels.

Hope this helps.

Thanks! Kudos for you!
But, do you think that the MGMAT RC book is good? I even heard a guy blaming the book when he explained why he scored low in RC.
Thanks,
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28 Feb 2011, 19:06
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28 Feb 2011, 19:46
In my opinion--no. I came across the book at a bookstore and quickly skimmed through it. I was able to finish this "skimming" process in 2 hours. I don't think one would get much value in actually buying the book and reading it thoroughly.

In my mind, there are two strategies that work for people. The stratgey that you choose to use will depend on how much time you have for the RCs and how attentive you are to detail and can retain information.

(1) The first one is to read the passage thoroughly the first time around and try to absorb as much as possible. You shouldn't get bogged down by minute details (dates, scientific terms, etc.) but you should know the overall structure of the passage and pay attention to the introduction, the beginning and last sentence of the paragraph and the conclusion. After finishing the reading you should be able to answer questions such as:

(a) What was the purpose of the passage? (argument, presenting a set of facts, alternate hypothesis, etc.)
(b) What was the conclusion? (similar stratgey that is used to find the conclusion for CR passages)
(c) What role does each paragraph play? (ex: intro sets the tone, first paragraph provides examples, second paragraph provides counter examples, etc.)

If you can briefly answer these three questions in your mind before heading to the questions you will have a rough understanding of what the passage is about and where the specific details can be found. Usually knowing the answer to these three questions will allow one to answer more general questions about the passage. This technique takes more time since you will be reading more carefully. I usually try to "borrow" this time from SC by limiting the time it takes me to answer them to around a minute or so.

(2) The second stratgey is if you are short on time and often find yourself falling into traps that the GMAT has for the RC section. For example, you may always choose distorted answers (half the answer choice is true but the other half is not) or answers choices that have content mentioned in the paragraph but does not answer the question at hand. This probably means that you are reading but the details are getting lost and you pick an answer simply because you remember reading something about it. In this instance, it may be best to skim the passage and read just the introduction and the topic sentence of each paragraph. The question at hand will direct you to a specific portion of the text and you should read around that area thoroughly so that you do not get lost in extra, sometimes irrelevant, information.

One stratgey may work for you and the other may not. Or you may choose to use a hybrid of the two. You should definitely practice both techniques on passages such as those found in the RC99 and zero in on the one that works for you. Personally, I read the passage thoroughly the first time around even if it takes a little longer. Usually, when I answer the question, I am confident of the right one and just quickly reference the text to double check.

I am sure other members on here can comment on the specific stratgey they use. I don't think you can "learn" RC from a book. It's best learned, in my opinion, through practice. You will be surprised how much practicing CR will help you in RC. Finding the conclusion is a critical step for both CR and RC passages.

Hope this helps.
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28 Feb 2011, 20:54
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I don't think you can "learn" RC from a book. It's best learned, in my opinion, through practice.

I absolutely agree with this. RC strategy is anyway a very subjective area and what works for me may not work for you. The best way to improve RC is by practicing different types of passages - long, short, from different subject areas, and so on.

I personally think there is enough RC strategy on gmatclub's RC strategy thread - gmat-club-s-reading-comprehension-strategy-guide-83101.html

I have picked up some strategies from this thread and am using RC99 to practice passages from and my accuracy level has improved greatly from arnd 50% intially to closer to 80% at the moment.
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01 Mar 2011, 10:19
ibbys wrote:
In my opinion--no. I came across the book at a bookstore and quickly skimmed through it. I was able to finish this "skimming" process in 2 hours. I don't think one would get much value in actually buying the book and reading it thoroughly.

In my mind, there are two strategies that work for people. The stratgey that you choose to use will depend on how much time you have for the RCs and how attentive you are to detail and can retain information.

(1) The first one is to read the passage thoroughly the first time around and try to absorb as much as possible. You shouldn't get bogged down by minute details (dates, scientific terms, etc.) but you should know the overall structure of the passage and pay attention to the introduction, the beginning and last sentence of the paragraph and the conclusion. After finishing the reading you should be able to answer questions such as:

(a) What was the purpose of the passage? (argument, presenting a set of facts, alternate hypothesis, etc.)
(b) What was the conclusion? (similar stratgey that is used to find the conclusion for CR passages)
(c) What role does each paragraph play? (ex: intro sets the tone, first paragraph provides examples, second paragraph provides counter examples, etc.)

If you can briefly answer these three questions in your mind before heading to the questions you will have a rough understanding of what the passage is about and where the specific details can be found. Usually knowing the answer to these three questions will allow one to answer more general questions about the passage. This technique takes more time since you will be reading more carefully. I usually try to "borrow" this time from SC by limiting the time it takes me to answer them to around a minute or so.

I am also applying this strategy. I often spend about over 3 minutes to read the whole passage and about 1 minute to answer each question. In a RC with 4 questions, it often takes me around 10 minutes to complete but the percentage of correct answers is not high, about 50%.
FYI, I started RC99 half a month ago and tried to practice 3 RCs per day. It seemed that I did not make any progress.
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01 Mar 2011, 10:26
windofchange wrote:
I am also applying this strategy. I often spend about over 3 minutes to read the whole passage and about 1 minute to answer each question. In a RC with 4 questions, it often takes me around 10 minutes to complete but the percentage of correct answers is not high, about 50%.
FYI, I started RC99 half a month ago and tried to practice 3 RCs per day. It seemed that I did not make any progress.

RC99 usually classifies incorrect answers as the following: opposite answer, distorted answer and irrelevant. Which ones are you constantly getting wrong? If you assess this, maybe you will be more alert in future passages.
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02 Mar 2011, 04:22
ibbys wrote:
RC99 usually classifies incorrect answers as the following: opposite answer, distorted answer and irrelevant. Which ones are you constantly getting wrong? If you assess this, maybe you will be more alert in future passages.

After reviewing the incorrect answers of the first 10 passages, I see that the majority of the wrong ones fall into opposite type. Btw, I don't really understand the way RC99 classifies the incorrect answers.

I usually got wrong with inference questions. According to a strategy book I have recently read, the approach to this question type is: (1) Identify the key words in the question stem; (2) Identify the part of the passage using the key words; (3) Pick the answer choice that essentially restates an implied meaning. How do you think of this strategy? Could you tell me how you approach the inference question? By the way, do you think that it's a good idea to re-do the passages with which I often got wrong?
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02 Mar 2011, 11:01
windofchange wrote:
After reviewing the incorrect answers of the first 10 passages, I see that the majority of the wrong ones fall into opposite type. Btw, I don't really understand the way RC99 classifies the incorrect answers.

I usually got wrong with inference questions. According to a strategy book I have recently read, the approach to this question type is: (1) Identify the key words in the question stem; (2) Identify the part of the passage using the key words; (3) Pick the answer choice that essentially restates an implied meaning. How do you think of this strategy? Could you tell me how you approach the inference question? By the way, do you think that it's a good idea to re-do the passages with which I often got wrong?

I believe the RC99 classifies incorrect answers like this:

(1) Opposite: if the question stem is asking for a statement that strengthens (support), then the answer choice is a statement that actually weakens or vice versa

(2) Distorted: the answer choice has some truth to it that is supported by the passage but a subtle change has been made that has changed the meaning all together.
For example, the passage may state the following: SOME student who study for 100+ hours tend to score very well.
The question stem could ask the following: Which statement does the passage support?
The distorted answer choice could be: ALL students who study for 100+ hours tend to score very well.
Subtle changes like this change the meaning all together.

(3) Irrelevant: These answer choices have content that is mentioned is the passage but it does not answer the question at hand.
For example, the passage may state the following: I need to study for the GMAT to get into a good MBA program. Applications for
these programs will be due soon. The application process is quite a lengthy one.

If the question stem asks: Why does the author need to study for the GMAT?
An irrelevant answer choice would be: The author needs to study for the GMAT because applications for programs will be due soon.
This answer choice is true but it is irrelevant to the QUESTION AT HAND. The statement clearly says that the author needs to study for
the GMAT to get into a good MBA program.

It all comes down to a matter of detail. In longer passages, it is easy to get lost in all the detail and just pick an answer choice because you remember it being mentioned.

I mentioned in my GMAT log, that the RC99 inference questions are a little "off". In my opinion, they tend to infer too much. In the OG12 passages, and the GMAT in general, infer really means "what is stated/can be supported by the passage." While the other question types in the RC99 are solid, I am not a fan of the inference ones. If this is where most of your mistakes are, I personally would not worry. Have you been getting the inference questions in the OG 12 correct? But the stratgey you mentioned is a good one and one that I use as well.

I personally do not do passages over again. I tend to remember the content/the answers. However, if you are using the RC99 for your study, then I would definitely revert back to the OG passages a few days before your test. In doing so, you will notice how the inference questions differ between the two sources.

Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me.
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02 Mar 2011, 21:10
One major grouse that I have with the OG passages is that they ask you too many questions (avg. of 5-6 questions) whereas on the Gmat the avg. is closer to 3 questions per passage. Heck one of the passages in the OG actually had 9 questions.

This means I really can't practice the 'skimming' strategy on the OG passages since to answer so many questions I have to read the passage in a much more detailed manner.

I also did not find the OG passages to be of a high difficulty level; most were easy and maybe some were mid-level. As against this, from what I've gathered reading debriefs of high-scorers on gmatclub, the passages on the actual GMAT are much more difficult than those appearing in the OG. I have even read some posts by 'experts' on how to tackle the new 'more difficult passages' that are now apperaing on the GMAT.

In my case I am going even beyond the RC99 and practicing some LSAT passages as well (I am making sure the topics are relevant to the GMAT). Better to be safe than sorry
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03 Mar 2011, 09:33
bob75 wrote:
One major grouse that I have with the OG passages is that they ask you too many questions (avg. of 5-6 questions) whereas on the Gmat the avg. is closer to 3 questions per passage. Heck one of the passages in the OG actually had 9 questions.

This means I really can't practice the 'skimming' strategy on the OG passages since to answer so many questions I have to read the passage in a much more detailed manner.

I also did not find the OG passages to be of a high difficulty level; most were easy and maybe some were mid-level. As against this, from what I've gathered reading debriefs of high-scorers on gmatclub, the passages on the actual GMAT are much more difficult than those appearing in the OG. I have even read some posts by 'experts' on how to tackle the new 'more difficult passages' that are now apperaing on the GMAT.

In my case I am going even beyond the RC99 and practicing some LSAT passages as well (I am making sure the topics are relevant to the GMAT). Better to be safe than sorry

Totally agree with you. OGs usually prepare you for a 600- sub 700 score.
Apply the same criteria for the other sections.
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03 Mar 2011, 15:44
Now that this topic is being discussed here I want to add my question too, metallicafan - pardon me ,

I started with the easy passages in RC 99 and am getting most questions right. Infact, I find the easy passages toooo easy in content. I want to skip the easy ones and move on
So, how do the medium level passages compare to GMAT? is it like 650+ level approx? Guys, any views?
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03 Mar 2011, 18:03
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I am not entirely too sure. I am still working on the easy section. I read somewhere that the difficult section is more difficult than the actual GMAT. Perhaps the medium section is somewhere in between.

If you need more of a challenge, then maybe you can skip the earlier ones.

Overall, I am just using the RC99 as an exposure to different types of passages and extra practice. Since all the passages in RC 99 are of the longer variety, I am sure the real GMAT will be a little easier since it has a mix of short/long passages.
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03 Mar 2011, 19:06
ibbys wrote:
I am not entirely too sure. I am still working on the easy section. I read somewhere that the difficult section is more difficult than the actual GMAT. Perhaps the medium section is somewhere in between.

If you need more of a challenge, then maybe you can skip the earlier ones.

Overall, I am just using the RC99 as an exposure to different types of passages and extra practice. Since all the passages in RC 99 are of the longer variety, I am sure the real GMAT will be a little easier since it has a mix of short/long passages.

thanks for ur reply. the only prob with RC 99 , that i have found til now, is that there r no short passages...but the real gmat does throw in atleast 1 passage like that
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04 Mar 2011, 08:23
ibbys -- thanks for your input

ibbys wrote:

Have you been getting the inference questions in the OG 12 correct?

Well, I did the Diagnostic Verbal questions in OG 12 today and got 4 (out of 17 questions) wrong. Two of them are inference questions. Even though I might say that this question type is not my weak area, I should definitely be more alert.

I have just finished the first 33 passages and consider re-doing them again . Because I personally find them quite tough and I hardly remember the content and the answers :D. Do you think I should move on to the medium difficulty or re-do the low difficulty?
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04 Mar 2011, 09:52
If you are going to redo passages, I would try using a different stratgey than what you were using. Maybe you can compare accuracy that way and zero in on the one that works for you.
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06 Mar 2011, 21:49
windofchange wrote:

I have just finished the first 33 passages and consider re-doing them again . Because I personally find them quite tough and I hardly remember the content and the answers :D. Do you think I should move on to the medium difficulty or re-do the low difficulty?

If I were you, I'd not re-do the low difficulty level passages again. Rather I'd learn a couple of better strategies of tackling passages, review why I got a particular type of questions wrong and then apply the learnings in medium difficulty level passages.
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07 Mar 2011, 06:23
windofchange wrote:
I have just finished the first 33 passages and consider re-doing them again . Because I personally find them quite tough and I hardly remember the content and the answers :D. Do you think I should move on to the medium difficulty or re-do the low difficulty?

I would not want to re-do any passages because I tend to remember the correct answer choice and sometimes even the passage! But, that's me! So if you don't remember the passage/amswers then you could do it again. Having said that, I feel that it is better to move on to the medium-level passages. These passages are better practice than the easy ones.
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07 Mar 2011, 08:32
thank you all for your perspective.

I decide to re-do some passages with which I got all the answers incorrect. Then I will move on to the medium section and see how things go.
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