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Section Strategy

The most effective and efficient order approach the section:
choose your passage # of questions and degree of difficulty
Read the passage strategically
Identify the Question Type
Research the Relevant Text
Make a Prediction
Evaluate the Answer Choices


• Identify the topic
• Scope
• Purpose
• Main idea

Question Types

• Global
• Detail
• Inference
• Logic Function
• Logic Reasoning

Global Questions

• Identify the question type: "Main idea", "Purpose", "Organization"
• Task: Think big picture, Review T/S/P/MI, Consult you roadmap
• You should be able to predict an answer to most Global questions
• Do global questions first
• Global questions are usually the first and next to last questions

Detail Questions

• Identify the question type: "According to the author", "The passage states", "the author mentions"
• Task: Research the relevant text

Inference Questions

• Identify the question type: "the author implies", "the passage suggests", "likely to agree"
• Task: Read between the lines, Perhaps combine statements, Identify what must follow from the passage
• Inference means "must be true". It's a statement that must be true if everything in the stimulus is true.
• Inference questions require you to paraphrase the relevant text or make a deduction
• Common wrong answer choices; 180, faulty use of detail, extreme, out of scope
• Answer inference questions after you've already picked up points with Global and Detail questions
• The correct answer to an inference question doesn't require any information that isn't included in the stimulus
• Valid inferences aren't necessarily mind-blowing
• Beware of extreme wording in inference answer choices
• The correct answer doesn't have to take the entire stimulus into account

Logical Function Questions

• Identify the question type: "the author...primarily in order to", "primary purpose of the first passage", "best describes the function of"
• Task: Looks at the context of the detail or paragraph and ask why the author put it there
• Common wrong answer choices; 180, distortion, faulty use of detail

Logical Reasoning Questions

• Identify the question type: Will mimic LR question types, including
o strengthening / weakening - "supports" / "undermines"
o Principle - "principle"
o Parallel Reasoning - "analogies"
• Task: Use the appropriate LR strategy

Common Logical Reasoning & Reading Comp Wrong Answer Types

• Extreme Language
• Faulty use of detail
• Outside of scope
• 180
• Distortion
• Half Right, Half Wrong
• Irrelevant Comparison

Reading Strategically

Whatever strategy you choose, you should give the passage or pair of passages at least one careful reading before answering the questions. Try to distinguish main ideas from supporting ideas, and opinions or attitudes from factual, objective information. Note transitions from one idea to the next and identify the relationships among the different ideas or parts of a passage, or between the two passages in Comparative Reading sets. Consider how and why an author makes points and draws conclusions. Be sensitive to implications of what the passages say.

Roadmap the Text

You may find it helpful to mark key parts of passages. For example, you might underline main ideas or important arguments, and you might circle transitional words—"although," "nevertheless," "correspondingly," and the like—that will help you map the structure of a passage. Also, you might note descriptive words that will help you identify an author's attitude toward a particular idea or person.
• Always circle colon
• Always circle a question mark

Locate and use keywords

• Logic - Evidence and Conclusion (Therefore..., Since...)
• Contrast (However...)
• Continuation (Moreover...)
• Illustration (Examples of...)
• Emphasis / Opinion (Critics, Voices, Even)
• Sequence / Timing (Frame of reference, Dates, More Recently)

Contrast Keywords

But Despite
Yet Although
However Even So
Nevertheless Whereas
On the other hand Conversely

Emphasis Keywords

Remarkable (more / most) important
Compelling Substantial
Even more than

Opinion Keywords

Believed by Thought to be
Asserts Some maintain
Argues that According to
As X sees it The astronomers assumed

Contrast Keywords

; In addition
Also As well
Similarly Likewise

Illustration Keywords

: In contrast to
For example

Temporal Keywords

Since Until recently
Recent developments In the past
Historically Traditionally

Numerical Keywords

Three possible explanations There are two reasons for this
Abrams describes a fourfold structure

Evidence Keywords

Because Since
This is clear from

Conclusion Keywords

Thus Clearly as a result
And so

Words that reveal the author's viewpoint - Negative

Doubtful Unconvincing
Unlikely Danger

Words that reveal the author's viewpoint - Positive

Cogent Completing

Words that reveal the author's viewpoint - Uncertainty / Qualification

Seems Appears

Use the clues

• Proper Nouns & Names; look for same key word in the text or margin notes
• Line Reference; context is key. Look at the surrounding paragraph (+/- 2 sentences)
• Direct Quotes; context is key. Who is quoted (author, critic) Associated Keywords
• Paragraph References; consider paragraph in totality. Consider paragraph in context of larger argument
• Content Clues; word or phrase of the text. What paragraph. Look for associated key words

Comparative Reading

• Two short passages
• 6-8 questions

Testing Strategy

• Expect questions that reward your ability to identify points of agreement and disagreement between the passages

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