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GMAT Reading Comprehension - How to Remember Information

Although we recommend that test takers go back to the passage for facts or questions related to “quotes,” memory serves the crucial role of understanding the author’s point of view. Skim the passage when the questions are about “the main idea,” “tone,” “passage structure,” and “author’s stand,” but without comprehending the author’s point of view, reading in record time becomes a wasteful exercise.

You cannot improve your memory with a 3-month GMAT preparation, but you can improve with these four focus areas:

1) Motivation

When you perform any activity – reading or writing, the motivation to do it efficiently, influences your concentration. If you look at GMAT as a roadblock for completing the MBA application process, you are less likely to score in the competitive range. Instead, look at GMAT as a tool to solidify your position among the probable candidates, before the admission team evaluates essays, recommendation letters, and interview performance. This small shift in approach drastically changes your outlook towards reading GMAT passages, even if that means reading some of the most boring texts about coral reefs, or a scientific phenomenon that you don’t care.

2) Remembering Irrelevant Information

Authors not only plug in irrelevant facts and distract the GMAT test taker, but they use multiple arguments to convey the main idea, and not all the points are relevant for the questions asked. Read the questions before reading the passage. This will save time.
Read this passage

<Start of Passage>


After four years of bloody fighting, the Civil War ceased in 1865 with the hope that the end of slavery would mark the beginning of equality and racial harmony. Consequently, three constitutional amendments were passed; starting with the 13th Amendment to end slavery, followed by one to give African Americans unfettered citizenship, and the final one to give African American males the right to vote. Nearly 100 years later, the United States was still deeply divided. Racial segregation was the norm, buttressed by various Jim Crow laws - named after the anonymous African American male. It ensured that all public facilities and state services were separated into "white" and "colored" spheres, with one sphere naturally enjoying an advantage over the other. White politicians passed laws that made voter registration more inaccessible to blacks, and the number of African American voters nosedived drastically. Equal economic opportunities were denied to people of color. But what may have been the tipping point was unbridled aggression and violence - by the police, individuals and extremist groups like the now infamous Ku Klux Klan. From 1910 to 1970, nearly seven million African Americans left the South in the 'Great Migration.'


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had fought since 1909 to end discrimination with peaceful tools such as lawsuits, education, and political lobbying. Those efforts didn’t have any visible effect until the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education (1954) case that overturned the facile "separate but equal" doctrine. One by one, schools slowly implemented the ruling. What the law decreed the state could not implement, and schools remained segregated. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to get up from her seat on a public bus for a white passenger. She was arrested, but her adamancy kicked off the civil disobedience movement. Martin Luther King Jr took up the baton and used his immense oratorical skills to promote the nonviolent tactics used by Mahatma Gandhi. A plethora of disobedience incidents culminated in the 200,000-strong August march in Washington, leading up to the historic “I have a dream" speech. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 that outlawed segregation and racial discrimination was soon passed.


Did Barack Obama’s reelection on 7th November 2012 finally mark the rise of the new America? The first re-election can be dismissed as an anti-incumbency vote against Bush. But when an African American President stood on the victory step for the second time, it must surely count as a recognition of the fact that all the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement headed by Martin Luther King have borne fruit. Perhaps!

In 1984, 73% of whites aged 65 and above earned incomes from assets, compared to 31% of blacks and 38% of Hispanics. In 1998, the figures were 69%, 26% and 33%. The 2009 median wealth of white households was $113,149, Hispanic households at $6,325 and that of black households at $5,677.  Arguably, the biggest indicator of whether Americans have grown beyond race has been the recent statement by the presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who said, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. These are people who pay no income tax." Is it covert racism, or an insensitive gaffe?


<End of Passage>

Questions

1) The primary purpose of the passage is to

a) Provide historical context of the African American Civil Right movement

b) Suggest that racism has become irrelevant in modern America
c) Provide historical context and measures taken by NAACP to fight racism
d) Show that equality is yet to be attained.
e) Provide evidence that African Americans are still segregated in society

2) The author quotes Mitt Romney to hint that


a) Racism still exists in America

b) People are evading tax by supporting Obama
c) Income inequalities exist in American society especially among minorities
d) The insensitive remark cost Mitt Romney the 2012 election
e) The assumption made by Mitt Romney was wrong


3) According to the passage, which organization or event was first responsible for bringing equality among US citizens?

a) National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

b) Great Migration
c) Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Case
d) Civil Rights Movement
e) Passing  the 13th Amendment


4) Which of the following describes the relationship between the last paragraph and the passage as a whole?

a) It cites recent events to make a conclusion

b) It poses a question and hints at a negative observation
c) It makes a general observation
d) It provides statements to support arguments mentioned in the preceding paragraphs
e) It cites recent events to explain a phenomenon


5) The attitude of the author towards Obama’s reelection is one of


a) Respectful Skepticism

b) Explicit Support
c) Implicit Support
d) Marked Suspicion
e) Opposition


Warning: Read below only after answering the above questions

Did you read the questions before reading the passage?

The above passage has questions that ask primary purpose, quotes from the passage, paragraph structure relative to the passage, reference to a line, and attitude of the author towards Obama’s reelection.

From the questions, you know that skimming the passage will help you answer, “the primary purpose,” “paragraph structure,” and “attitude of the author towards Obama’s reelection” questions. You can answer 3 out of 5 questions without remembering irrelevant information. Most passages follow a similar structure. It is rare that the majority of the questions will require you to go back to the passage. When you know that you don’t have to go back to the passage, you are more likely to read the passage with attention.


Now let us look at the answers one by one.

Answers


1)  The primary purpose of the passage is to:

a) Provide historical context of the African American Civil Right movement

Although the author provides historical context in paragraph 2, the primary purpose is not the same. Eliminate.

b) Suggest that racism has become irrelevant in modern America

Quite the contrary. The author hints that racism is not entirely uprooted. Eliminate.

c) Provide historical context and measures taken by NAACP to fight racism

The author mentions the tools used by NAACP to fight racism, but the primary purpose of the passage is not the same. Eliminate.

d) Show that equality is yet to be attained.

Quite close to the primary purpose of the passage.

Keep it.

e)  Provide evidence that African Americans are still segregated in society

The author talks about segregation in paragraph 2, but it is not the primary purpose. Eliminate.

From options a-e, d looks like the only answer choice that makes sense.

Correct Answer: D

For Complete Answers and Explanation, Download F1GMAT's Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide.


3) Bring the Author to Life

When you start reading a passage, guess the author’s stand. Is he for or against a subject? Passages used in GMAT reading comprehension are opinion pieces on historical events and political movements or fact-based scientific passages. Once you guess the stand, reading complex arguments becomes interesting, and you will evaluate the structure of the passage, and the adjectives used by the author. The phrases reveal the attitude of the author and confirm or reject your theory on where the author stands on the subject.

4) Association

Mnemonics have helped Medical students remember complex biological names, but you don’t have to go that far. In a computer Adaptive test like the GMAT, word-by-word recall is not necessary. It is the ideas that count.

Associate simple daily objects with complex definitions, names, and theories. Let us say that the author is comparing Ptolemy's theory with Copernican theory.

Smart readers quickly create word association to remember the principal names.

Ptolemy's theory = Toll’s theory
Copernican theory = Copper Theory

Example: According to Ptolemy's theory, Earth was the center of the planetary system, and the planets & the sun circled the earth. Copernicus later challenged this theory with accurate observations devoid of any outlandish assumptions to prove the contrary.

Those who read incrementally, accumulating information in an easily digestible format, can create idea association like:

Toll’s theory = Earth Center
Copper Theory = Sun Center

Three lines of text converted into 4-word equations. For complex theories and science passages, practice with similar techniques.

Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide (2019 Edition)


Chapters

Collecting and Interpreting Facts: GMAT Reading Comprehension    
Effective Note-taking for GMAT Reading Comprehension    
5 Questions to Speed up Summary Creation    
Mastering GMAT Reading Comprehension: 3 Best Practices    
How to Remember Information    
How to improve comprehension by Questioning the Author    
How to Read Faster    
How to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Title question
How to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Main Idea Question    
How to Answer GMAT Reading comprehension inference question    
How to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Purpose Question    
How to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Detail Question    
How to Answer the GMAT organization of passage Question    

How to Improve GMAT Reading Comprehension Score?   

Passage #1: Protein-Rich Diet    
Passage #2: Pregnant Women and Stress Management    
Passage #3: F Losing Momentum    
Passage #4: Conservatives and Automation    
Passage #5: Collaboration, Team size and Performance    
Passage #6: Effective Altruism    
Passage #7: Loneliness Epidemic    
Passage #8: Space Exploration    
Passage #9: Lab-Grown Meat    
Passage #10: Minimum Wage in the US    
Passage #11: AI and Creativity    
Passage #12: Bias Against Healthcare in Developing Economies    
Passage #13: Legacy Admissions    
Passage #14: Plastic Ban and alternatives    
Passage #15: Underestimating Homo Sapiens    
Passage #16: Conspiracy Theories    
Passage #17: Relative Poverty    
Passage #18: Why Paintings are expensive    
Passage #19: US Obesity Epidemics    
Passage #20: The Future of Advertising    
Passage #21: Breaking Large Companies    
Passage #22: Helicopter Parenting    
Passage #23: Future of Democracy    
Passage #24: Technology and Global Citizenship    

Passage #25: Morality and Investment   

Answers: 157 to 294

Pages: 295

Questions: 100+


Download F1GMAT's Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide (2019 Edition)

Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide


After reading F1GMAT’s Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide, you will:

1. Complete GMAT RC Questions in less than 1 minute and 50 seconds
2. Read Faster
3. Take Notes Effectively
4. Collect and Interpret Facts
5. Speed up Summary Creation
6. Remember Information
7. Question the Author   
8. Learn to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Title question   
9. Learn to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Main Idea Question   

10.Learn to Answer GMAT Reading comprehension Inference question

11. Learn to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Detail Question   

12. Learn to Answer GMAT Reading Comprehension Purpose Question
12. Learn to Answer GMAT organization of passage Question
13. Learn to identify the style/tone or attitude of the author

Download Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide (2019 Edition) (100+ New Questions)









Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning



After you read F1GMAT’s Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning Guide, you will learn:

How to overcome flawed thinking in GMAT Critical Reasoning?  


How to spot Inconsistencies in Arguments  

How to eliminate out of scope answer choices using Necessary and Sufficient Conditions  

How to Paraphrase GMAT Critical Reasoning Question  

How to Answer Assumption Question Type  

How to Answer Conclusion Question Type  

How to Answer Inference Question Type  

How to Answer Strengthen Question Type  

How to Answer Weaken Question Type  

How to Answer bold-faced and Summary Question Types  

How to Answer Parallel Reasoning Questions  

How to Answer the Fill in the Blanks Question


Download Mastering GMAT Critical Reasoning (2019 Edition) (25+ New Questions)




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