1st, you need to understand one very important idea when you read RC, ...The Passage is set up as a Filler to slow you down and confuse you, and answer choices are made to entice you and lure you in...Period.. the PROFESIONALS THAT MAKE THIS TEST ARE PROFESSIONALS, ...!! now with that in mind, You have to read the passage from a removed perspective, take yourself out of the passage, Read for structure ALL THE TIME,,...Do not, I repeat do not read for detail to detail, specific deatil yes, and we will get to that in a second by not word for word, "I really need to understand whats going on here word for word", NO, that is not necessary at all. Believe me I went from 1/2 right on a RC section to 99.5% with this approach.
YOU NEED TO, AT THE END OF THE PASSAGE BE ABLE TO KNOW THE MAIN IDEA/MAIN POINT.PERIOD!! VERY SIMPLE, LETS MOVE ON...BY THE WAY, READING THE PASSAGE SHOULD TAKE YOU AT MAX 3MINS, I USUALLY FINISH IN 2 1/2 WITH ALL OF THE INFO I NEED. When you read each passage, you need to be able to:
1. When you get to the end, think about what just happened for a couple of seconds, notice any view points, the 1st passage especially, whats the issue at hand, ex. advocate, expain, extend an idea, jot down mentally or on paper 1 sentence ; the purpose of the Paragraph, the funtion of each paragraph, and the tone of any one who is speaking, ex..author, critic, who agrees with whom and who disagrees with whom, does the authour agree or disagree with any and the examples they give to support their opinions/viewpoints.
2. Did you notice any examples or any "List" (for example, 1....., 2..... etc) given for suppot of any of the viewpoints..100% of the time there will be examples/ list and you will be tested on them. or did you notice any words or phrases the author, proponents/opponents use, write down what you think in means, must be within scope of the argument....(thats how I get the answers to questions like, ?this individual would most likely agree with or disagree with ...etc and what did the indivdual mean by this or which of these words can replace the example" " without changing the meaning much. You don't need to know all the details, you just need to find them.. example, In the 2nd paragrah I know this is mention... In he third paragrph, I know this this specific idea is avocated for etc...
I do not mark up or diagram when I am reading, some may find it useful, I don't feel it is necessary.
For viewpoints, next to whom ever it is ex, some critics say etc... I put, V1 or next V2 if the authour disagrees- or agrees+ with any, I put V1+ for author agrees or V1- if the author disagrees. For examples or support given, I put ex. V1+, V2-, for examples I put ex next to the example in the passage or ex1, ex2..for list, I put L next it and under line the list.
I never thought at the beginning of studying RC that I would be able to get it but I did, Stay positive and approach the questios with confidence.... no surprises in RC if you prepare yourself correctly..I have a 3year old who is very distracting especially while im studying so I have to study with distractions, which I think helps for test day. You just have to be confident and positive..
I hope this helps you guys.