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# what approach do you follow for RC section ??

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Joined: 16 Mar 2009
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18 Mar 2009, 19:04
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Hi guys
RC is really tough for me , especially when the sentences are too long. sometimes vocab is tough for me , because of these two factors i am unable to score well ( during practices )

I started this thread because i wanted to know
1) what approach you guys follow
2) how much time does it take for an avg 75 lines passage
will appreciate if you can spare 2-3 mins answering the same

my approach ...
step 1 )
as suggested in manhattan gmat i make a "skeleton" for whole passage ... but this ususally talkes me time 7 mins
step 2)
then i try to ans ques one by one ... i often have to go back to read the pasage and then read ans again , i repeat this step for all the ques , takes 10 mins

in total i spend 17-20 mins on 75 line passage , still i hardly get 50% correct ... dont understand what to do ? science passages are easy for me get 90% correct ...

on serious note how to appraoch RC .. wats the way that suits you ?

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19 Mar 2009, 21:54
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Expert's post
Your approach makes sense. I found reading to be the hardest part as well.

My problem was taking too much time to read and not remembering ANYTHING. What I did instead - read through passage and stop after each paragraph and paraphrase it - that made me remember it. Don't rush - read and then summarize it in 1 sentence.

The obvious approach of reading the first question before reading the passage.

Then I would try to answer RC questions without looking at answer choices - not as efficient as CR, but it worked for me.

I still found that I would spend 10-12 mins on a passage or up to 15 mins and I could not cut it down, so instead I would study SC and CR harder to to cut time down on SC questions and use it on RC.

My goal was 1 min on SC; 1:30 on CR; Remaining time on RC. That translates into 15 mins on SC; 25 mins on CR, and 35 mins on 3-4 RC passages.

Finally, I also read as much quality fiction as I could and I put a basic list here - it was much more effective (for me) than newspapers:
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19 Mar 2009, 03:31
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few points from my side
1.understand the RC. Not every Words. sometimes "Vertical Reading" helps. Understand the "Gross" meaning of each Para.Dont make Notes. make a Mental Map.

2. ask yrself.what each para is conveying? forget nitty -gritty in first readings. 4 Qs means 8 Mins. If you spend 10 mins. you are ruined.

3.always read the first Q before you start the RC.

4. GMAT RC is not that tough(Except the interference Q).IF you understand the editorial of Hindu/Times of India/Articies of WSJ/Economist/NGC/GEO--dont bother abt Vocab.

5.Most of the passages floating on net/forums are from LSAT. Dont worry so much.

6.Accuracy will improve once you practice more. You will feel lethargic sometimes. Share thoughts, Gyan. Like I am doing now

7.increase yr interest in every subjects. Never feel tired

thats all, Lav
Good to see you here in GMAT club
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19 Mar 2009, 21:07
thanks to you nitya for taking time to discuss
and above that posting regularly

yes i used to read times of india editorial , not much of an issue there, even i feel vocab is not the issue with me , often once can guess logically the meaning.

yeah i must change from "making notes" to making "mental map" , coz of making notes it takes time ... and anyways after making notes too , one needs to re-read the specific lines after ques ...

practice and sharing knowledge seems to be the key .. will try to be ore regualr on this forum

thanks again nitya

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19 Mar 2009, 22:07
+1 to bb
totally agreed.
My problem is I am unable to cut down the "Av time taken in CR Qs"
I always take more than 2 mins/Q. Thats killing me.
I know I need lots of Practice on Quality New Qs (I recall the OAs of old Qs)

In the exam, I got first RC on astronomy(35 lines)-a simple one
then came the 65 lines on simple theme like "Dam and environment". It killed my time as it had only 5 Qs.
next--v simple on Wind energy in Norway etc

i had no time for the 4th--which was on paleontology(my fav)

so its absolutely essential to practice more(daily basis)
Infact More Practice in RC will improve reading skills in CR also. Its happening.
Also, PoE is a MUST in CR/SC/RC
this way we can increase the probability of Correctness

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Last edited by nitya34 on 20 Mar 2009, 20:46, edited 1 time in total.

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20 Mar 2009, 03:01
thanks bb and nitya
I definately use POE
I need to practice more n more , BB's idea is nice a more "precise" mind map approach

wish me luck with my practices

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20 Mar 2009, 05:47
dnt worry lav, u r not the only one who is scared by RC. To tell u the truth,some time back, i used to dread RCs. But i nev did anyting to improve it. This played havoc in my final exam. I got 49 in quant but only 31 in verbal oly bcos of RC. but then the first thing i did was take up OG11. i did all passages. after every passage i read complete explanation given in the answer. Thats very important. U get to learn a lot from analysis part.
Rest participate in this forum. Believe me , it will pay u a lot.
All the best!
lav wrote:
thanks bb and nitya
I definately use POE
I need to practice more n more , BB's idea is nice a more "precise" mind map approach

wish me luck with my practices

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20 Mar 2009, 12:11
lav wrote:
thanks bb and nitya
I definately use POE
I need to practice more n more , BB's idea is nice a more "precise" mind map approach

wish me luck with my practices

Thanks - I believe it came from Kaplan Verbal Workbook, and was one of their strategies.

That's the only strategy I used for Reading. No other checklists or things to clutter my head.
I was not a strong believer in check lists, so I only used checklists for SC (if I could not identify the incorrect/correct answer).
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21 Mar 2009, 23:14
bb wrote:

I still found that I would spend 10-12 mins on a passage or up to 15 mins and I could not cut it down, so instead I would study SC and CR harder to to cut time down on SC questions and use it on RC.

My goal was 1 min on SC; 1:30 on CR; Remaining time on RC. That translates into 15 mins on SC; 25 mins on CR, and 35 mins on 3-4 RC passages.

Finally, I also read as much quality fiction as I could and I put a basic list here - it was much more effective (for me) than newspapers:

The only problem I have with this approach (in color) is one has be almost next to GOD, Just like Rafael Nadal is these days, in SC and CR. I agree that if we have more time for RC, we will score better in RC. How ever, it should not come at the cost of some thing else.

A 700 level test taker might knock out the first 3/4 SC's in a minute or even less. How ever, the curve becomes a little bit steep from there as all the Q's will become tough except for the occasional placebo. Unless we have a well rounded knowledge/stamina in all sections we cannot sustain the adaptivity of the CAT. Practice, Practice Practice is the only key to success in Verbal.

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21 Mar 2009, 23:51
Cant agree more with you
As the game(Exam) progresses and we perform well, the Qs become tougher and we tend to falter at that point

Thats why we get so un-palatable Verbal score(V 17 to V 28)

Practice will make us Semi-Perfect to tackle this CAT pattern of GMAT
Had it been a "paper test" of yester years, we could have easily saved time in one Q.
Its not possible any more
We need to show more interest in CR and RC sections before we face the Monster

in all forums, I have seen SC is the most popular of all
we need to reverse it

icandy wrote:
bb wrote:

I still found that I would spend 10-12 mins on a passage or up to 15 mins and I could not cut it down, so instead I would study SC and CR harder to to cut time down on SC questions and use it on RC.

My goal was 1 min on SC; 1:30 on CR; Remaining time on RC. That translates into 15 mins on SC; 25 mins on CR, and 35 mins on 3-4 RC passages.

Finally, I also read as much quality fiction as I could and I put a basic list here - it was much more effective (for me) than newspapers:

The only problem I have with this approach (in color) is one has be almost next to GOD, Just like Rafael Nadal is these days, in SC and CR. I agree that if we have more time for RC, we will score better in RC. How ever, it should not come at the cost of some thing else.

A 700 level test taker might knock out the first 3/4 SC's in a minute or even less. How ever, the curve becomes a little bit steep from there as all the Q's will become tough except for the occasional placebo. Unless we have a well rounded knowledge/stamina in all sections we cannot sustain the adaptivity of the CAT. Practice, Practice Practice is the only key to success in Verbal.

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22 Mar 2009, 15:16
icandy wrote:
bb wrote:

I still found that I would spend 10-12 mins on a passage or up to 15 mins and I could not cut it down, so instead I would study SC and CR harder to to cut time down on SC questions and use it on RC.

My goal was 1 min on SC; 1:30 on CR; Remaining time on RC. That translates into 15 mins on SC; 25 mins on CR, and 35 mins on 3-4 RC passages.

Finally, I also read as much quality fiction as I could and I put a basic list here - it was much more effective (for me) than newspapers:

The only problem I have with this approach (in color) is one has be almost next to GOD, Just like Rafael Nadal is these days, in SC and CR. I agree that if we have more time for RC, we will score better in RC. How ever, it should not come at the cost of some thing else.

A 700 level test taker might knock out the first 3/4 SC's in a minute or even less. How ever, the curve becomes a little bit steep from there as all the Q's will become tough except for the occasional placebo. Unless we have a well rounded knowledge/stamina in all sections we cannot sustain the adaptivity of the CAT. Practice, Practice Practice is the only key to success in Verbal.

Thank you for the compliment

However, let me "defend" my strategy a bit. I am not saying this should be everyone's strategy, but I just looked at it realistically and figured that I had a better chance of cutting down my timing on SC's than on RC's - better investment of study time. SC was my favorite type of questions - I enjoyed cracking them, RC's were hated as there was no clear rule to RC's and no clear strategy to improve really.

Here is what I found:
With SC's, in more than 50%, I could pick out the mistake and how to fix it just from reading the original sentence without having to read another answer choice.
In 25% of cases, I could spot one after reading a series of answer choices or validate that "A" was the best answer. In either of these cases, I could do an SC in about 30-45 seconds. Of course these are 75% of easier questions.

In yet another 25%, I had to actually look for the mistake through answer choices, noticing differences, and checking what the trap may be. Also I would always get caught with parallel structures, so I had to doublecheck at the end just in case.

however, I do think that after question 15 or 17, the difficulty stabilizes and stops going up/down significantly - at least that's my personal experience. This goes a bit towards the test format and algorithm rather than strategy but I think the two are related.

I am a non-native speaker, so I do have a bit of an advantage in terms of grammar, since I had to learn it rule by rule rather than just intuitively figure out at the age of 5. (I am a grammar mess in my native language though )
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15 Nov 2010, 22:22
I ma looking for some strategies on how to tackle each of GMAT question on RC. I found PowerScore book helpful but not very GMAt specific(treats GMAT as step brother) . Could ppl good in RC throw some light on there approach on reading RC and attacking each kind of ques...
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Re: what approach do you follow for RC section ??   [#permalink] 15 Nov 2010, 22:22
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# what approach do you follow for RC section ??

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