Always Identify a Passage’s Main Point or Purpose of an RC Passage

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Always Identify a Passage’s Main Point or Purpose of an RC Passage

Since you can just about count on seeing one Primary Purpose question for each RC passage, always identifying the main point or primary purpose of a passage upon your initial reading is a wise strategy.

How would you summarize what the passage says? What is the author’s overall message?

Note that many test-takers fall into the trap of assuming that the central idea of an RC passage will be stated in either the first or last paragraph. While that scenario is certainly possible, there is no rule that the author’s main point has to be in the first or the last paragraph. In fact, some trap answers in Primary Purpose questions are directly related to what is said in the first and/or last paragraph but don’t actually articulate the passage’s main point or purpose.

Thus, it’s smart to identify for yourself what the overall point of a passage is rather than assume what is said in a certain part of the passage must always be the main point. Of course, your initial impression need not be set in stone.

As you’re deciding between answer choices, you can always refer back to the passage to make sure you’ve properly understood what you’ve read.

Warmest regards,

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder & CEO, Target Test Prep