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Lecture Notes for Verbal Reasoning. Lesson 3 Strategies, Tactics, and Tips for reading the VR Passages according to Kaplan. Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan. Select a passage. Skip passages if necessary, but avoid wasting time. Don’t try to rank passages.

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lecture notes for verbal reasoning

Lecture Notes for Verbal Reasoning

Lesson 3

Strategies, Tactics, and Tips for reading the VR Passages according to Kaplan

strategies tactics tips according to kaplan
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
  • Select a passage.
    • Skip passages if necessary, but avoid wasting time.
      • Don’t try to rank passages.
      • Keep in mind many test-takers make more mistakes with topics in which they are familiar.
        • Mistakenly rely on their own outside knowledge.
      • Passages typically move from less difficult to more difficult.
strategies tactics tips according to kaplan1
Strategies, Tactics, Tipsaccording to Kaplan
  • Critically read the passage.
    • Use keywords to help navigate the passage.
      • Conclusion keywords identify opinions, especially central claims or the primary argument.
        • Examples: therefore, wrong, must, conclude, perhaps, unhappy.
      • Evidence keywords identify rationale, support or premises.
        • Examples: because, illustrates, several reasons, due to.
      • Contrast keywords identify a reversal or opposing shift in thought or opinion.
        • Examples: but, rather, than, distinction, ironically, alternatively, in contrast, on the other hand, conversely, etc.
strategies tactics tips according to kaplan2
Strategies, Tactics, TipsAccording to Kaplan
  • Critically read the passage (cont’d.)
    • Emphasis keywords identify comparative importance or relevance.
      • Examples: most of all, especially, only, primarily, occasionally, sometimes, etc.
    • Sequence keywords identify an order at work.
      • Examples: first, then, finally, moreover, before/after.
strategies tactics tips according to kaplan3
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
  • Paraphrasing—putting the content or idea of a passage into your own words.
    • Put the main idea of each paragraph in your own words.
      • Write this out in a short sentence or two.
      • Use keywords to help you.
strategies tactics tips according to kaplan4
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
  • Topic, Scope, and Purpose
    • Quickly figure out the broad subject matter, the specific focus, and the purpose of the passage.
      • By the 1st third-to-half of the passage you should have a fairly good idea of topic, scope, and purpose.
      • Author’s purpose(s) includes(s) describing, analyzing, comparing, arguing, or rebutting.
      • Two-thirds of VR passages reveal the main idea in the last paragraph.
      • Half of VR passages involve main idea in the first paragraph.
strategies tactics tips according to kaplan5
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
  • Structure
    • Look for a logical, consistent structure/organization to the writing based on author’s purpose.
    • Passages are typically organized much like college essays or academic writing.
      • Introduction—thesis—counter-thesis—synthesis—conclusion
    • Passages can be excerpts from published work
      • Might be missing an element of the pattern, which can make the passage more challenging.
strategies tactics tips according to kaplan6
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
  • Critical analysis of arguments.
    • Break down the argument to better comprehend the passage.
      • Conclusion, premises, evidence, counter-arguments, refutations.
    • Identify assumptions or warrants.
      • What’s assumed?
        • Deduction or unstated evidence.
        • The connection between facts and opinion.
      • Toulmin Argument
        • A schema for analyzing argument
strategies tactics tips according to kaplan7
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
  • Critical Analysis of Arguments (Cont’d.)
    • Be able to restate the argument in your own words.
      • Determine facts from opinion first.
    • Do not impose outside information on the argument.
      • Avoid letting biases determine your analysis.
    • Use keywords to separate fact from opinion.
    • Use context to separate fact from opinion.
      • An Example.
        • My apartment is a mess. My refrigerator is empty. I haven’t done laundry in a month. I’m the world’s worst housekeeper.
        • My apartment is a mess. The living room needs to be vacuumed. The sink is full of dishes. Dust clings to everything.