I will start my humble verbal suggestions with RC, mainly because I believe the importance of this section is not well understood and there are too many theories. Again the following is my own technique(it may not be 100% original of course) and should be used with precaution.
First some thoughts on RC,
Out of the 3 verbal question type RC is the easiest to explain to a person who does not know anything about GMAT. Few years ago,I was talking to a friend of mine who was curious about GMAT and asked me about question types in verbal,SC,CR and RC. When I finished explaining RC , she said:''So it is just understanding what you read'' . She will never be a gmat guru but she was right. At the end of the day,GMAT RC,despite its question types,word games,close answer choices,is about understanding what one reads! So in theory if you are clever enough to understand all you read you should get all RC questions correct!!!
Yet, my humble opinion is that most testtakers, the ones who get 20-35 and who think RC was easy, make many mistakes in RC. Unlike SC, RC is very sneaky and doesnt make you feel you are getting questions wrong.
RC also carries a huge importance for the timing in verbal section. If you plan to solve an RC within 5 minutes,when you dont really understand the passage ,that time doubles immediately. Whereas, you can always pass a SC question by looking at the difference among choices, if you dont know where the info RC question is based upon in the passage, you are doomed. Worse: The additional time you spent in RC wears you out , decrease your morale. Please check your verbal mistakes, it is very likely that you will get more CR and SC wrong right after a horrible passage! At least this was happening to me.
Also, my experience with gmatprep tells me RC and CR mistakes are more damaging to the verbal score than SC ones(even after accounting for the disproportion in question number)
So RC IS IMPORTANT. DESPITE THE HYPE ABOUT SC,RC IS CRITICAL FOR A HIGH VERBAL SCORE. ====================================================
I read so many general approaches to RC,
- Skim passage fast, then read very quickly answer qs. - Skim passage,read first and last sentence of each paragraph - Read first question first,then read passage answer first question immediately then read the rest of the passage.........
My opinion: This is not the way to go if you are serious about RC and your verbal score. So,the following is my general approach and I repeated these 2-3 times just before the verbal section on the test day.
1) Start to read(:)this is great advice,no?) SLOWLY. This was one of the best advices I have seen. I read this somewhere dont remember. It is crucial. You wanna solve RC as quickly as possible so you rush into the 1st paragraph, read it in 20 sc and move to the next and basically=> You have no idea about what to expect next,you have no idea about author's position, no clue about author's goal. YOU SHOULD READ THE FIRST PARAGRAPH SLOWLY!!!. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE OVERALL ISSUE!!! UNDERSTAND THE TIME ARTICLE REFERS TO. DIFFERENT PLAYERS.... NEVER EVER START FAST.
2) Paraphrase with exaggeration! You should think for 1-2 seconds in every 2-3 sentences and repeat your understanding in your own language. But when you paraphrase add something to it. When you repeat your understanding in your own language, say something in your mind that will make you remember that. For example, if author says scientist A was wrong. I paraphrase this in my own language: Wow look at this author , he says this stupid scientist made wrong assumptions.Lets see why?.... It may sound silly but it is very effective. This exaggeration also keeps your attention at high levels.
3)Related to the previous item: Reading with the desire to learn and at least agree or disagree with the author! In almost all passages, either the author or the people mentioned argue for X and some other people argue...
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