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  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Sep 14, 2020
Hi- I had a few questions on RCB Chapter 8, the dual passages. I’ve been missing a few things on the passages, such as what phrases/words have both passages mentioned. I always seem to get those type of questions wrong. Also, I tried to approach the dual passages with the view stamp approach but often times I find it challenging to approach the method because often times the author is speaking in first person. Do you have a better suggestion on approaching the dual passages questions in order for me to maximize my score. I used the tips in the RCB chapter 8, but I often find myself rereading the passages as well in order for me to retain the information .
 Jeremy Press
PowerScore Staff
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  • Joined: Jun 12, 2017
Hi ndumay,

Focus heavily on two things: first, trying to extract the author's main point from each of the passages (you should practice prephrasing this after each short passage you read: sum up the main point in one sentence). To extract the main point, ask yourself, "What is the author trying to sell me (i.e. what does the author want me to believe?" Second, focus on the relationship between the two passages: is the first passage a theory (or theories), and the second passage an application of the theory (or theories)? Is the first passage an argument for, and the second passage an argument against, something? Is the first passage presenting a problem, and the second problem presenting a solution to that problem? Knowing the relationship between the passages will help tremendously with the many questions that are asking about similarities and differences between the passages. It will also help with viewpoint-oriented questions about what the authors would agree/disagree with.

When it comes to VIEWSTAMP, if you see a viewpoint beyond the author's in the passage, of course you should take note of it. But the bulk of the questions tend to focus on the viewpoints of each author (rather than multiple viewpoints other than the author's within the passage). So just make sure you're really capturing the essence of each author's viewpoint through your prephrase of the main point. Also, just an observation that because these passages are shorter, the "S" element ("structure") is often not as prominent.

For word/phrase questions, you should make sure you utilize the search function (ctrl-f, or command-f) that the Flex format of the test allows for. This makes it easier to find terms or parts of terms within the passages.

I'm okay with a quick reread of a passage sometimes. But you should make it a goal to try to prephrase main points, and determine passage relationships, without rereading. This might be ambitious on some of the more-technical passages. But make it a goal when you're practicing.

I hope this helps!
  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: Aug 19, 2020

I am asking for a few tips in completing the RC section. I have been reading through the comparative arguments. I am following your advice which is helpful. However I find myself taking ALOT of time completing one "game" or section of the reasoning. One section took me 17+, another 14:11, the last one 11:16. After seeing that I am taking WAYYYYY to long after the first set of questions, I began to read faster to try to shave down the time. Indeed I did but I am still a ways off.

What I am noticing is that when I read, if I FULLY understand what I am reading, I tend to answer most of the questions correctly. For example: the section that took me 17+ minutes, I only missed 1 question. The section that took me 11:16, I missed half of the questions.

What I noticed is that the questions I missed had a common theme. That I did not fully understand one of the passages. So it seems to me that when I fully understand what is going on, I have accuracy but it effects my time. If I read too fast, I don't fully understand but get answers wrong.

I found this to be true with LR as well. If I understand what I am reading, I feel much more confident answering the questions and I am more accurate. With LR, even if I take more time than the 1.25, I am not too far from that. Perhaps this is much easier because I am reading much less. What do you suggest I do for speed and more importantly understanding?
 Frank Peter
PowerScore Staff
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  • Posts: 100
  • Joined: May 14, 2020
Hi Imcuffy,

The Powerscore materials for reading comp contain a lot of helpful strategies that could help you with this problem. Keeping VIEWSTAMP in mind when reading and having an awareness of common text-based question indicators should help you to speed up without losing accuracy. The problem, really, is that a reading comp passage cannot be treated the same way you might read for leisure. You need to approach each passage with an attack-oriented mindset, meaning you are looking to gather as much helpful information during your initial read through the passage without getting too lost in the weeds. Spending too long trying to understand every aspect of the passage before you've gotten to the questions is inefficient because you aren't going to be asked about every detail.

I would suggest revisiting the Powerscore materials for RC to make sure you are implementing them. For example, as an exercise you may want to write out brief notes to make sure you are capturing VIEWSTAMP when you do practice sections. Often times, many difficulties with the test can be resolved by revisiting the basics and making sure you are solid with them.

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