Tips to Crack the Reading Comprehension Section of the GMAT
Reading Comprehension is one of the most important and, at the same time, the most dreaded sections of GMAT. Many students find it challenging and time-consuming to read long and complex paragraphs. Moreover, simply reading the text is not enough as the questions are based on a deep understanding of the text and the inferences drawn from it.
Technique for approaching the Reading Comprehension passages:
- Prefer to read questions first so that you are aware of what you have to answer
- Understand the meaning and demand of the question in the language you are comfortable.
- Summarize each paragraph
- Read every option in the question carefully
- Select the best suitable option
How to read passages effectively
- Visualize: Visualization is one of the best strategies to understand what you are reading. It makes it easier for you to remember things for a long time and the chances of choosing the wrong answer decreases. This method is suitable for those passages which have lots of descriptive words or a strong sense of place.
- Selective reading: With selective reading, you can go through a paragraph quickly and find the specific information that you are looking for. The first two (introductory) and the last two (concluding) sentences are the most important ones. This method makes it easier for you to ignore unrelated information and focus on the most relevant sections.
- Be careful of transition words: Transition words signal the shift in the passage - anew argument, the direction of the author’s next thought, or a piece of evidence that might be important to answer the questions. Please be careful regarding the purpose of these words and the way they are used.
- Similarity (just like, likewise)
- Expansion (also, additionally)
- Contrast/exception (despite, conversely)
- Emphasis (in fact, particularly)
- Cause and effect (accordingly, hence)
- Conclusion (finally, in summary)
All these words will help you to predict what will come next in the passage.
- Feign Interest:
The more interest you have in something, the easier it will be for you to understand it.
However, more often than not, the passages in the Reading Comprehension section of
GMAT, to put it bluntly, are far from interesting. The best way forward is, therefore, to
feign interest in the topic. This will make it easier for you to gain a deep understanding of the passage. For better comprehension skills, you can try reading some journals and
articles at least once a day.
Never forget that hard work always pays off! By following the above-mentioned tips, you can significantly increase your chances of doing well in the Reading Comprehension section.