Sometimes, you get stuck in a short RC passage and before you know it and it’s taken 15 minutes of your time. And you had budgeted half of that time for the passage. After all, the best-laid plans can fail. Short passages are structured differently. There might not be a definite beginning, introduction, and end that are common to other passages.
What are the tricks that can help you with short passages?
Read it once. Take mental notes.
The shorter RC passages are either one or two paragraphs long. Practice with longer passages tunes your eyes to look for structural elements. Here, search for structural elements that define the concept, introduce the concept, detail the argument and conclude the idea. Examples of structural words are “however, or “yet”.
The first sentence of each paragraph holds the key text in these 1 or 2 paragraph passages. So, spend time understanding these sentences.
In case you don’t understand much of the context from the initial glance, move to the questions. Then, from the questions, retrace the lines that correspond to the questions. This tip will help you, especially with short passages because you will not be lost in a sea of information when you are looking for something in particular.
Read the questions first.
If the passage is really short, you may try reading the questions first and then coming back to the passage. The passage is short and you will read it from the perspective of solving the questions which might work out in your favour. Now, this is a good strategy for short passages because a read of the entire passage will not take much time and you can easily spot the right parts of the passage to correspond to each question.
Don’t emphasise on strategies.
So, the content you follow says that you need to find the answers to certain types of questions in certain places of the passage. It might not work out with exceptions like short, one paragraph passages. Typically, these passages have only 3-4 questions and each sentence matters in forming answers to each of these questions. So, look at the passage with unbiased eyes and follow a brute force method to find answers. Read each word of each answer option before you choose your answer.