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Intern
Joined: 19 Oct 2018
Posts: 38
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 17

How can I improve RC?
Target Test Prep Representative
Joined: 12 Sep 2018
Posts: 190
Followers: 10

Kudos [?]: 119 [0], given: 0

Expert's post
I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. If you are struggling with both the single- and multi-paragraph Reading Comprehension questions, here is some advice you can follow to improve your RC skills:

Another major mistake that people make when training for single-paragraph passages is that they do practice questions too fast. To get single-paragraph passages questions correct, you have to see exactly what is going on in the passages and answer choices, and you likely won't learn to do so by spending a few minutes on each question. At this stage of your training, you may need to spend even fifteen minutes on each question, learning to see what there is to see. Here is a way to look at this process. If you get a new job in a field in which you are not experienced, you may not be as fast as the other people working with you, but you know you have a job to do and you make sure you learn all the angles, so that you do the job well, if not as quickly as those around you, Rushing through the job and doing it incorrectly would not make sense. Then, as you gain more experience, you learn to do the same job more quickly. Think of single-paragraph passages questions similarly. Your job is to do what? To get through questions quickly? Not really. Your job is to get correct answers.

So, first you have to learn to get correct answers, generally at least 10 to 15 in a row consistently, and more in a row would be better. That is your job, and if it takes you fifteen minutes per question to get correct answers consistently, then so be it. Only after you have learned to get correct answers consistently can you work on speeding up. Working quickly but not doing your job is useless. Better to work slowly and learn to do your job well. You can be sure that with experience, you will learn to speed up, and then you will still be doing your job well, i.e., getting correct answers consistently.

Finally, a key aspect of getting correct answers to single-paragraph passages questions is noticing the key differences between trap choices and correct answers. Trap choices can sound temptingly correct but don't get the job done. The logic of what a trap choice says simply doesn't fit what the question is asking you to find. So, to get better at your job, learn to see the key differences between trap choices and correct answers.

Another component of understanding what you are reading is being “present” when reading. Don’t worry about how things are going at work, or what you will eat for dinner, or even how long you are taking to read through the passage. Just focus on what is in front of you, word by word, line by line. Furthermore, try to make reading fun. For example, even if you are reading about a topic that bores you, pretend that you are the person making the argument. By doing so, you will make the passage more relatable to YOU, and ultimately you should be able to read with greater focus.

One final component that may be tripping you up is that, as with single-paragraph passages, multi-paragraph questions contain one or more trap answers that seem to answer the question but don't really. So, once again, you have to learn to see how trap answers seem to follow from what the passages say, but don't really, while correct answers fit what the passages say exactly.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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