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Could use feedback on how to improve on RC

Forever Addicted to CoffeeForever Addicted to Coffee Alum Member
edited March 2020 in Reading Comprehension 540 karma

Hi guys,

I feel like I have a good grasp of how to improve in the LG and LR sections, but not necessarily the RC section. I'm a scientist so the science passages are quite easy for me. I know that I need to improve on art and law passages.

What I have been doing:
So far, I have been printing off art and law RC sections, doing them individually timed (8.5 min) and BR'ing them right away from PT 36 - 41. I've been working on developing my skipping strategy more, where on my first pass I note any questions to return to on my second pass. I tend to have a mix of questions to return to, some are the ones that I nailed down to 2 ACs and need to choose the one, but some are the ones that I read all ACs and just had no clue, and some are the ones that I needed to refer back to the passage and would take a bit of time to do so. At the same time, I try to identify any questions to be my "loser" and try to focus the remainder of my time on questions that I can get right. I just started developing this more consciously on both LR and RC.

My reading time for the passage is generally between 2.5 - 3.5 minutes. I tend to get -1 or -2 wrong per passage, which would be -4 to -8 in the RC section. Not good enough for what I want... I seem to struggle a bit with inference and most strongly supported type questions.

How do you think I should structure my studying to go forward? I am not completely certain that just doing more passages with thorough blind review will help improve my score. My goal is to try and get consistently -4 per RC section or better.


  • The Great White SharkThe Great White Shark Alum Member
    edited March 2020 1058 karma

    These strategies are what I practice and have helped me improve in RC:

    -Slow down for the passage as needed. Giving myself more time here and less on questions works best for me. If I understand the passage well, I don't struggle between answer choices as much.
    -Link every paragraph to the ones before it. How does it relate?
    -If I run into difficult sentences, I break down the grammar and link the concept or idea in the sentence back to the previous ones.
    -Always understand what referential phrases are referring to.
    -Evaluate arguments as I am reading.
    -Fill in vague ideas with real life examples or use my imagination to picture what is happening.

    I practice these steps untimed every morning when I am warming up and I write down each paragraph's main point and how it relates to the one before it. This forces me to be deliberate and precise. The goal is to get to the point where all of this happens naturally under timed conditions.

    Also, reading complex material about the subjects you struggle with is a good idea. For me that includes reading philosophy type books.

    Hope this helps!

  • lexxx745lexxx745 Alum Member Sage
    3190 karma

    For me I spent too much time on the passages. Once i cut down to 2.75- 3.25 minutes consistently my RC score improved. I always had pretty good reading speed so what actually got me was overthinking. I noticed my intuition was usually right

    Also recommend @"Cant Get Right"

    Instrumental in my RC success

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