Hey — more than happy to go back and forth as much as you’d like, and I think I understand where you are coming from (but you could let me know if I’m off) —
1) In terms of according to the passage q’s, I do not recommend that you anticipate that the parts in question play a particular role, such as conclusion or support, etc. The test writers have no incentive to create such a tendency, and in my research I haven’t seen any evidence of such tendencies. They can ask about details from any part of the passage — and, if you put yourself in the shoes of the test writers, I think it’s actually more understandable to assume that, should you want to make a particular detail q harder on students, you’ll pick a detail they are less likely to remember.
2) This is a very technical point, but I just want to make sure we’re on the same page — when I use terms to describe the passage such as “‘this’ is support” or “‘this’ is a main point,” during the actual read, the “this” is replaced with the actual subject matter being discussed — so, in reading that passage, I’m saying to myself that the besalt/magnetite stuff is the support, not that “this” is (if that makes sense) —
To see examples of this, check out the real-time thoughts I model on pages 522, 526, and 532.
3) Reading for reasoning structure doesn’t guarantee that I will be able to remember the detail they ask about. Fortunately, this is not a memorization test (I have a horrible memory).
4) Reading for reasoning structure does mean my brain has a (practiced and habitualized) method for organizing the information I’ve read. It makes it easier for it to retain more of the read, and, just as importantly, it makes it easier to scan through the passage to find the relevant information, just like knowing the layout of a house makes it easier to scan it to find your keys.
In the case of this q, I happened to remember magnetite, and in my explanation what I was trying to do was model how reading for reasoning structure gave me a better chance to remember it, and remember it in the right way, but there are plenty of times when I can’t recall seeing the term or terms they ask about. In those cases, my understanding of reasoning structure puts me in a better position to evaluate which answers might be attractive and which ones aren’t, and makes it easier to more quickly scan through the passage to find relevant info.
5) I realize reading for reasoning structure isn’t having quite that same effect for you, and especially if you aren’t used to doing it, I can see how it can slow you down and make things feel fuzzier. I do encourage you to try to keep at it — if you take a look at any collection of q’s for an RC passage, and really break down what the q’s as a whole are asking of you, you can argue that the challenges, again and again, run to three main areas — a) understanding the author’s purpose in writing the passage b) how he/she structures the passage in relation to that purpose and c) carefully matching and being correct about specific wording issues — reading for reasoning structure is extremely beneficial relative to these challenges, and so, as frustrating as it might be, I encourage you to maybe try approaching it from different perspectives, but keep at it.
So those are some thoughts — I can keep going but I’ll stop myself there — again, if you want to keep going back and forth more than happy to — MK