best approach to passage A / passage B RC?

shesovertheedgeshesovertheedge Legacy Member
in General 242 karma

they are killing my score!!!
I've been doing tiny summary of each paragraph. is this still a good idea?



  • Lolo1996Lolo1996 Legacy Member
    edited November 2019 498 karma

    This used to kill my score, now it is my best RC passage (not that my RC was so great to begin with... anyways)

    What I do is I read passage A, every question pertaining to A, then eliminate wrong AC's based on A (like what was not mentioned etc.), and completely highlight the AC I think is best

    Then I read passage B and decide on the correct AC. If it is eliminated, it is eliminated. I am also not too "lenient" when eliminating.

    I do not really take notes, just get a general idea of the structure and what the author's disagree over

    I used to think this method was "really ineffecient", because it takes a bit more time, but its worth it because your accuracy increases (well, mine did)

  • Ms NikkiMs Nikki Alum Member
    128 karma

    It might be a good idea to watch some of JY's videos on the comparative RCs for pts you have taken. His approach is what @Lolo1996 describes. Read A, get the main point and attitude down. I might have something in my mind as simple as "A likes this method". I personally don't write summaries anymore, but maybe underline a key word or phrase in the passage. With A strong in your mind, tackle the questions, paying careful attention to the question stem, asking yourself what your task is in eliminating ACs.

    If the question says something like "Which of the following is a central point/topic of both of the passages" go ahead and Eliminate any AC that doesn't seems like a mp of A. Same with a question stem like "Which of the following is mentioned in both of the passages". Eliminate anything not mentioned in A.

    If the question says "Which of the following is mentioned in B, but not A" eliminate any ACs that are mentioned in A.

    If the question stem asks you to draw an analogy between the two passages, skip it! You need to understand both passages to understand how they are related.

    If the question stem asks for the relationship, sometimes you can answer it based on how it describes A. "Passage A criticizes a trend that passage B endorses" You might ask yourself if passage A really is criticizing a trend.

    Then read passage B. Because you went thru the questions, you will kinda have an idea of what they will ask for. When you do your second pass, most of the questions will be a breeze.

  • EveryCookCanGovernEveryCookCanGovern Alum Member
    401 karma

    You should try to ascertain the relationship between the passages before going in to the question. Generally they will be either adversarial, supplementary, general vs. specific, but they could also assume other relationships.

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