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How to know what RC sections to skip

TheWildsTheWilds Monthly Member

I want to try some practice tests skipping a RC section to see if it would be beneficial to my overall score. I feel like I often get hung up on that one difficult passage. Are there any tricks to determine, without wasting too much time, which passage I should skip and which I should not?


  • luckysat1luckysat1 Alum Member
    167 karma

    Lots of different 'tricks', but 'tricks' are no substitute for technique. Quite honestly, you need to focus on not getting hung up on any of the passages.

    Common sense says if you must skip a passage, you should skip the ones with fewer (~6) questions attached because they are worth fewer points. So that's one fairly rationally sound approach.

    Personally I always start with the sections that look hardest/most unfamiliar in terms of subject matter. Usually science, since I do not have a STEM background and, depending on what sort of science it is, I can get very confused by the weird terminology. So I will usually start on those because that way I am less pressured by the clock and generally 'fresher' so it's a little easier.

    I usually finish on the passage that is more familiar. Stuff about writers/artists that appear to be less of an argument between two positions and more a tribute to someone's work or an evaluation of it, things like that. The law stuff is hit-and-miss depending, frankly, on how obscure the law is.

    I must stress that any kind of 'cherry picking' needs to be, assuming you intend on answering all the questions incredibly brief. I mean like less than 30 seconds type of brief. Ultimately, the only purpose of skipping is to give yourself an easier time psychologically with the clock. If you take multiple minutes, that is entirely undermined.

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