One of the most important things to get from an RC passage is its position in the big picture of the argument - is it a claim, an opposition to a claim or a rebuttal to an opposition? That helps keep things straight in your head. You can usually get that from the first paragraph. If not, you will get it from the very beginning of the second paragraph.
Next, watch for a thesis statement. Some have it. Some do not. If they have it, get it.
Next, watch the flow of the argument. How is the author constructing his/her case? Don't worry nearly as much about the details of the argument. Treat it like an open book test. (Because, it really is an open book test). If you need details for an answer, you want to be able to look back at them. There is no reason to work those from memory.
Last, watch for a conclusion. Some have it. Some do not. If they have one, it is very helpful (obviously).
It should not take more than one to two minutes to get this from a passage leaving plenty of time to answer the questions. All that other stuff - about reading questions first, etc., is more for people who are "gaming" the RC section rather than doing it the way it is designed to be done.
RC has nothing to do with speed reading or reading dense material. It is about reading argument (something we lawyers do every day of our lives).
Great advice. My score in RC went up after I stopped trying to read and internalize the passage in detail and started reading for general gist and relationships, diagramming as I went along. Referring back to the passage to answer questions as they came up was most effective, kept my mind clearer to focus on the main point instead of retaining all the details. I think that reading the questions first in anything is a waste of time, better of spending that time reading and noting the passage, reading the questions and having time to refer back to the passage.
I agree that RC may be a poor test of reading comprehension in some ways because the section is susceptible to techniques other than pure reading skill and short term memory.