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RC - Weakness to strength Strategies

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Joined: 18 Feb 2010
Posts: 122
Schools: ISB
RC - Weakness to strength Strategies  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2010, 10:37
1) Read the whole passage CAREFULLY. What I do is jot down the main idea in each paragraph. Once I'm done, I can look back and basically get the gist of the whole passage just from a few sentences. This also helps me engage more with the material.

It is not uncommon for me to take 3 to 4 minutes to read the passage. The upside is then the questions hardly take any time, because you understand the passage so thoroughly.

2) DO NOT LOOK AT THE TIME WHILE READING. This ALWAYS disrupted my thoughts for a good 10 seconds, until I got back into comprehend mode. It's much more efficient just to not worry about time.

3) Do not rush your reading. You don't know how many questions will follow the passage, so you just gotta take the time to understand the passage thoroughly. Sometimes you'll get unlucky (only 3 questions), other times lucky (5+): obviously the more questions, the more overall time you're going to save because of high fixed cost of passage, and small variable cost of each question.

4) Always refer to the passage before confirming a choice, unless it's a main idea question (those you should be able to answer from your thorough understanding). In the OG, answer choices were riddled with tempting choices that substituted a word in for a different word.

5) Whenever a question asks for you to identify an assumption, identify the explicit conclusion in the passage, then look for a supporting assumption among the answer choices(the RC passages don't test defending assumptions).

Supporting assumptions can be identified by logically negating them, and they will weaken the conclusion.

To logically negate, take the verb and add "not". You're either wet, or not wet. So suppose the conclusion is if you touch a toad, you will get a wart. This assumes that toads can transmit warts. Logically negate, "toads can not transmit warts", and you see the conclusion is weakened: how can you get a wart from touching a toad if toads can't transmit warts?

If the negated answer choice cripples the argument, then you have found your assumption. If it doesn't weaken, strengthens, or weakens in a roundabout way, keep looking!

6) Trust your gut - The GMAT people are experts at constructing choices that SOUND plausible, but in the end don't sit right. If you read the passage carefully, a look-good answer should seem weird, and the right answer should pop out at you, 80% of the time. The other 20%, you got to reason through and refer to the passage.

Sometimes I wasn't able to eliminate four answer choices, and relied on my intuition to pick the right answer, double checking to see if it was supported by the passage.

7) Pause for "one alligator" before clicking "confirm", skimming over the question and the answer choices one last time. A couple times I selected an answer, and a few seconds later something clicked in my head that said "waaaait a minute". If I had brazenly charged ahead, I would've gotten these questions wrong.

8) If you remember only one thing...always look for answers that are supported by the passage, and always eliminate answers that are not discussed in the passage.

Finally, if your reading speed isn't up to snuff, you can practice reading LSAT passages, or McKinsey Quarterly.

Good luck!

Source: Cbenk
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Re: RC - Weakness to strength Strategies  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2014, 08:04
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Re: RC - Weakness to strength Strategies   [#permalink] 15 Oct 2014, 08:04
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