I find the “relationship” questions for Passage 1 / Passage 2 to be so hard!

Main idea, no problem.  Tone, easy.

But don’t ask me to state “the relationship” between the two passages in a very short sentence (i.e. 6-8 words).  I fumble every time.

Here’s a Passage 1 / Passage 2 Relationship Recipe

  1. Read the questions to see if there are any that relate to just one of the two passasges.  If so, read that passage first and answer those questions.
  2. Read passage 1.  Circle transitions, dashes, colons, etc.  They signal something important.
  3. Underline last sentence (i.e. main idea)
  4. Quickly jot down main idea in your own words in shorthand.
  5. Note the tone:  +   –
  6. Read second passage and repeat steps 2-5.
  7. Note the “relationship” in shorthand between the two passages.
  8. Cover up answers and come up with your own answer.  Uncover answers and see if one of the multiple choice answers matches yours.
  9. Write down everything so you are not taxing your working memory.


Below is my rendition of what I learned (i.e. don’t blame Erica if you don’t get it):