« on: August 09, 2004, 02:36:02 PM »
i do very well on the RC section, maybe missing 2 per section at worst. most of the time i dont get any wrong.
my strategy is to read the passage once very carefully while making sure i understand everything i read. if its not completely clear to me, i dont hesitate to go back and re-read a paragraph once or twice before progressing further into the passage. its actually pretty common for me to read the first paragraph 2 times before moving on. i think the worst thing you can do is to just ignore the fact that you didnt grasp the meaning of a certain part and just move on.
as i read i think of what i read in my own words, and after finishing the passage i take a few seconds to summarize the passage in my head. i never write anything or make notes on the passage, i think its a waste of time and you can get too caught up in worrying over what is and what isnt important to underline/circle/highlight/etc.
then i go through the questions and usually have no trouble at all answering them without having to look back at the passage since i have a good understanding of it. on specific line reference questions i go back and read from a few lines above to a few lines below the reference and then answer the question.
it takes me on average about 6-7 minutes to complete 1 passage. i think the majority of this time is spent reading since i usually breeze right through the questions taking about 15-30seconds each except for the occasional wordy one.
one specific strategy i would try if the passage is particularly hard is to do the specific questions first and leave the main point/author would agree with/etc. questions for last.
i think this section is pretty much the hardest to learn and has the least universal strategies, so if you are having trouble i think the only way to improve is to practice a lot and try different strategies. maybe reading the questions first will help you, or maybe underlining will work, you never know until you try them.