What the Instructions Don’t Tell You
The instructions gloss over two important facts about
reading passages and questions. Here they are:
- Don’t skip over the italicized contextual
blurb. Above each passage, you’ll see an italicized introductory
blurb that may offer some contextual information. The introduction
looks a lot like instructions, and you know you’re usually supposed
to not waste time reading instructions that you can memorize long before
taking the test. However, the context that the introduction provides
will often help you understand the passage. So, read this introduction.
Do not skip over it.
- The order of the questions. The questions
following the passage are not ordered by difficulty.
That means you should not adjust your pacing strategy
on reading passages based on where a particular question appears
relative to the other questions. The last few questions won’t necessarily
be tougher than the first few. Instead, RP questions are ordered
by what part of the passage they refer to. Questions that test the
beginning of the passage appear at the beginning of the group, questions
that test the middle appear in the middle, and questions that cover
the end appear at the end. General questions that cover the entire
passage can appear either at the beginning or the end of the group
of questions. General questions won’t appear in the middle of the