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Hey guys- I learn a lot from these forums so I like to post tips that have helped me improve and could possibly help others.
1) I am still making a few mistakes on each test but with RC, what has really helped me is reading it as many times as I need to to understand it. I just read one passage 3 times before I got the jist of it- But in return I was able to answer the questions pretty fast- something I wouldn't have been able to do if I didn't really grasp the material.
2) What has helped me is knowing that the answer has to be 100 percent supported by the passage. Meaning, a lot of answers will talk about the same topic and things that make sense but are not directly in the passage. The Gmat creators have to make every single questions 100% valid and non-arguable. I have caught myself many times by saying, " well ya this makes sense"- it can't just make sense, it has to be supported directly from the passage, unless its an inference question.
Some students might be worried about timing if you really read the passage over and over. In a time-pressured situation this can be tough. Once you figure out what is important and what is less important, you can train your eyes to properly move and focus on only the material that is important for you to get the general gist. Then you'll learn to spot the areas that require more detailed perusal.
I think it also depends on the passages you get. Some times I'll understand all the passages the first time. Another, I'll get two heavy economic theory based passages that I struggle ALOT with. I actually think SC is, at least for me, the most important section- Heres why.
You may be able to get to the SC answer if you don't know a lot of the rules, but it can take a very long time; Although, every extra thirty seconds you spend on an SC ( which can add up to a solid 4-8 minutes), you lose focusing that extra time on reading the difficult passages. For me, I need the extra time especially to confirm my answer. So being able to complete SC fast and accurately for me is the key to a higher verbal score...Luckily they say its the easiest verbal section to improve on.
Great advice..surely it will help. I am facing accuracy problem in RC..if i try to re-read the passage then i get lost in the passage text..but if i understand the passage in initial reading then it helps me a lot..I need to practice hell lot in RC...hope i will make good out of practice at D-day
3 things I wanted to mention as far as GMAT RC goes:
1) Remember that answering the questions correctly is far more important than understanding the passage fully. Many students fall into the trap of spending way too long on the passage and end up rushed when they hit the questions.
2) RC is not so much about knowing stuff but more about keeping your mental stamina up. For 2 passages with similar difficulty - solving RC question #36 is a lot, lot different from solving RC question #6 on the test. During practice we tend to solve in isolated sprints while on the real deal it is all about putting it in a 3-hour marathon.
3) RC is about critical reading i.e. reading with a sense of anticipation. In normal life the onus on being understood is upto the writer. On the GMAT it lies with the reader. So we need to ask ourselves "Why is he saying this? Why does he use "however" in this sentence? What is the summary?" etc while reading. Read it as you are reading this post and you're dead!
In my opinion, one needs to read and comprehend the passage to be able to answer questions efficiently. Remember, to save time you want to minimize back and forth between the passage and answer choices. This also minimizes the strain on your mind. We recently launched our RC course (on April 7). Prior to that we did a lot of research working with approximately 50 students. Efficient reading is the #1 factor that impacted an individuals performance on RC.
As a best practice, we do trials prior to the launch to gauge the effectiveness of our offering. Here is what our beta trial users reported: