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RC Perfection Free Preview: Chapter 7 Part V

In this chapter, we saw four types of Purpose Questions, each of which addresses a component of the passage. There are questions that ask us for the whole purpose of the passage, the purpose of a paragraph within a passage, the purpose of a sentence or statement within a paragraph, or the purpose of a single word or phrase.

Collectively, these questions constitute one of the most frequently appearing question families in RC, so it’s important to have a clear pathway to attacking them.

For Purpose questions, it’s crucial to try to anticipate what the correct answer may look like prior to tackling the answer choices. As we saw time and time again, tricky answer choices that mention issues discussed in the passage; or obfuscate different ideas will abound in the harder questions. If our understanding of the relationships between different components isn’t clear, then it’s very easy to be led astray by these trap answer choices.

When examining answer choices, there are two questions that we must ask ourselves:

First, does what the answer choice describes occur in the passage?

Second, even if what the answer choice describes is a part of the passage, is it the purpose of the passage/paragraph/sentence/word?

Only when an answer choice satisfies both requirements, can we be confident that it is the correct answer.

Another tip I have for those who found these questions challenging is to take a closer look at Role Questions. How we approach these LR questions is very similar to how we approach Purpose questions. In both instances, we are considering the relationship between different elements of a stimulus/passage.