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RC: main idea questions problem

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RC: main idea questions problem [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2005, 22:13
hi guys,

I have a terrible problem with the purpose of the passage, organisation of the passage structure of passage questions in RC. i just cannot seem to get them right. I narrow it down to a 50-50 call and i don't like this. invariably get them wrong which is so frustrating. any tips for dumb newbie?
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2005, 07:04
Over time, I have come up with the foll. strategy:

Write down the mapping of the passage....how each paragraph begins, the gist of it(how it flows in a couple of words), the authores tone, making a special note of words like: 'usually, therefore, in so and so's opinion, etc-> see Kaplan's book for details.....and it quite works!

IMHO, your strategy should evolve with practice, I do like Kaplan's methodology in particular for main idea of the passage, and there is no substitute for practice!

Good Luck!
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Re: RC: main idea questions problem [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2005, 18:32
Decibel wrote:
I have a terrible problem with the purpose of the passage, organisation of the passage structure of passage questions in RC. i just cannot seem to get them right. I narrow it down to a 50-50 call and i don't like this. invariably get them wrong which is so frustrating. any tips for dumb newbie?


you had better if you post those passage here for discussion (but make sure you have answers ready to be posted next day. :wink:)
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Re: RC: main idea questions problem [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2013, 09:54
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I agree that getting the gist or mapping out the passage helps immensely.

While doing so some students contain this info in their heads and work from memory - not usually a good idea unless you have a photographic memory. Jot down some quick notes. This will help you with Main Idea/purpose, Style and Tone and Structure questions (and can even sometimes help you locate answers to detail questions!)

If you do the legwork/analysis check out answer choices and work backwards to see where the right answer choices come from. In most cases you will notice that the correct answer choice comes from the 1st two sentences of each paragraph. In a very long paragraph you may have to look at 3rd and/or last too especially if there is an opposition conjunction at the beginning of the sentence (opposition conjunctions are very important in any one of those sentences). Also pay attention to an opinion expressed (implicitly or explicitly).

Once you realize that almost all answer choices come from the first two sentences of each paragraph then you know how much to read. You will then need to be careful of traps etc. But the main thing is start to understand that such a mapping WILL save you time and effort and make you more precise (notetaking can save you time yes! You will simply not need to keep gravitating back and forth and relying on memory).
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Re: RC: main idea questions problem [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2013, 04:28
I agree that mapping can help a lot. With the course of time and more practice, you might also develop your own strategy and share it with us here :) Pay special attention to particular groups of words which indicate opinions or logical transitions between different parts. However, try to avoid the traps and overcome the influence of bias which can distort your perception of the main message. Try to be as objective as possible to make appropriate conclusions.
Re: RC: main idea questions problem   [#permalink] 15 Nov 2013, 04:28
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