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Main Idea Question

Hi all!

I seem to be struggling with main idea question on the RC portion. I usually narrow it down to 2 answers, but almost always choose the incorrect one. Did anyone else struggle with this? And what strategies did you use to overcome it?

Comments

  • shizuokatwin379shizuokatwin379 Alum Member
    edited January 2016 95 karma
    I used to, I was over-thinking them. Then I decided to just take the dumb answer, the one that most quickly and simply seems like main point without over-thinking it at all, and found that it works 99% of the time. I find that in main point they are VERY rarely trying to trick you with a vague point, but really are just looking for like grade-school understanding level main point.

    Try it and see if it works for you.
  • hlsat180hlsat180 Member
    edited January 2016 362 karma
    Noureenhashim:
    Could you cite any specific questions and share your reasoning for selecting, between the two remaining choices, the wrong answer over the right answer? Being pattern suggests a consistent reasoning error but any details would help pinpoint the problem and attendant strategy to avoid this error.
  • c.janson35c.janson35 Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2398 karma
    The main point is something that must be true, so you can eliminate wrong answers by combing answers for inaccuracies, conflations, and "out-of-scopeness". You may have internalized this already, but taking this as a concerted approach to these questions can help your POE.
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    edited January 2016 2481 karma
    Like with a lot of incorrect answers, in RC and LR, start with eliminating answers that are inaccurate (things like what @c.janson35 pointed out). I'd add to that list answers that are too strong (look out for never, always, only, etc), answers that imply a comparison when none was provided in the text and so on. After this round, you should be left with answers that are correct based on the passage. One of these will be the MP, the others will be parts of the passage that are correct, but are not the MAIN point. If you are down to say, two of these, having correctly eliminated the rest, usually the one that is more "big picture" or is more aligned to the author's opinion is the correct answer, and the other one either provides support, background, or an opposing point to it.
  • pritisharmapritisharma Alum Member
    477 karma
    I tried to verbalize the main idea before I checked the answer choices to help me with these questions. Also as said above "If you are down to say, two of these, having correctly eliminated the rest, usually the one that is more "big picture" or is more aligned to the author's opinion is the correct answer, and the other one either provides support, background, or an opposing point to it. "
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