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Does it ring a bell? [RC QT's]

Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
edited May 2016 in Reading Comprehension 4344 karma
Listen to this as background music for this post:

Hey guys,

I want to share a method that I use in RC and that I have been teaching several of my students recently. RC is at least in certain instances designed to test your short term memory. To that end, there's a question type that seems to be designed to do exactly that. I've collected a few examples and have a method to recommend for approaching these questions.
  • The passage asserts which of the following about X?
  • The passage provides sufficient information to answer which of the following questions?
  • The passage mentions which of the following about/as a component of X?
  • In the passage, the author says which of the following about X?
  • Which of the following is a characteristic about X mentioned in the passage/in both passages?
  • According to the passage, which of the following is an essential property of/attribute of X?
Here's what I do with these questions.
  1. Jump right into the answer choices.
  2. For each AC, I ask: "Does this ring a bell?"
  3. If it doesn't ring a bell, I either move on quickly or mark it with an X (do not mark the answer choice out necessarily—we are just testing each AC to see if it rings a bell or not)
  4. If it rings a bell, put a checkmark next to the AC. "Yep, that rings a bell."
  5. Typically 4 AC's will NOT ring a bell because they just weren't in the passage and therefore not available in my short term memory bank.
  6. In the case where 2 seem to ring a bell, look for something concrete and specific in one of the AC's that you can quickly locate in the passage and thereby either confirm or eliminate. For instance, proper names, "some scientists," dates, key terms, etc.
Most of the time, only one AC rings a bell. And that's the right answer (barring hallucinations/clear over-inferences/reasons to eliminate an AC. I don't think I've ever had an AC that truly rang a bell that ended up being wrong).

Try this out for this QT and see where you end up. By focusing on what LSAC is testing on these QT's, you avoid the pitfalls of wasting time and misdirecting energy.


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