Mastering GMAT Reading Comprehension: 3 Best Practices

Mastering GMAT Reading ComprehensionStaying still and reading 600 to 1000 word passages seem a daunting task for most. In regular reading, we skim the content, look for titles & subtitles, and try to pick the gist of the passage. This process cannot be followed in GMAT Reading Comprehension passages where answering the question require paying close attention to keywords, the tone of the author, and other details embedded in the passage.

1) Read the Message not the Word

Even though GMAT RC requires test takers to pay close attention, reading every word and forcing yourself through the passage is a sign of a poor reader. Instead, read the passage for the message and not the word. If the passage has a question specific to a passage or the “word” used in the passage, you can always go back to the text and figure it out. Most questions will be related to the Main Idea of the passage, tone of the author, Title, Inference, Organization of the passage, and assumptions.

To go beyond the words, and read the message, you have to develop a habit of reading a line. This can be tricky early on and need practice. Even though you feel that you have missed important information our brains are receptive and much more capable than we anticipate. Reading a line with a one-sweep eyeball movement can capture a lot more than reading each word. Start practicing speed-reading during practice, and after reading 5-10 passage, you will be comfortable with this practice, and the accuracy rate will improve considerably.

2) Set Targets

When you have targets before reading a passage, you are likely to read with purpose. We are not talking about the accuracy or timing targets. These are end results of settings qualitative goals. Some of the them include:

a) Writing down the main idea of the paragraph

b) Noting down keywords

Timing targets are important even for qualitative goals.

Qualitative Target Example: Read an 800-word 3-paragraph passage in 3 minutes with keywords, and the main idea of each paragraph noted down in your worksheet.

3) Look for Argument Flaws

It is strange that when we read to find fault with the author’s argument, we pay close attention to the sentence structure, words used, and the intent behind each paragraph. To meet qualitative targets like 3-minute reads, you don’t need a critical eye, but to meet accuracy goals, read with a critical view of the author’s argument. It will help you retain the essential part of the text that would be useful for answering questions related to the main idea or attitude of the author. GMAT test takers have a tendency to go back to the paragraph even for such questions. This is a bad practice, and you are losing precious seconds by following this habit. Unless the question quotes a paragraph or a line, the temptation to go back to the passage should be culled in practice itself.

When you read the passage for argument flaws, ask the following questions:

a) What biases does the Author have?

b) What assumptions is the Author making?

We are not suggesting to write down answers to these questions, but if you enter a reading comprehension exercise with these questions in mind, you are likely to retain the gist of the passage and the attitude of the author.

The Above post is an excerpt from Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide. Download it here.

Essential GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide (2019 Edition)


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

Question #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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