GMAT Reading Comprehension is not everyone’s cup of tea and there are various reasons behind it. The foremost reason is that not many students, who are otherwise smart and intelligent, read anything other than their syllabus text or online articles. So, if you are one among the non-readers, reading comprehension becomes difficult. Let’s look at what we are trying to achieve in RC passages. Three things: to understand the overall “story” of the passage, understand what the purpose of each paragraph is, and to understand what the author’s overall main point is. Within the stipulated time, it is difficult to isolate these 3 pointers especially when you encounter three passages in the exam.
The idea here in RC is not to go down deep into the context and analyse every detail. You don’t have time for that. All you need is information on answering the given questions. And that requires selective reading. It is prudent to know a few things before you start with the passage. One, GMAT passages follow a similar pattern. That’s why you know that the primary purpose is almost always found in the first or last paragraph. GMAT passages are not extremely critical about anything at all. And that is why the answer option that sounds extremely critical is never the answer to the given question. Seldom is the tone of the author critical and biased. If it’s a heavily biased passage, GMAT does not include it in its test series.
When you do not understand much about a passage, read just the first and last paragraph. After all, these are where you find the answers to your questions, most of the time. There are passages from topics that sound unfamiliar to you. That’s what it is like to most exam takers. Remember again that prior information on the topic is not a requisite to answer the questions that follow the passage. If an option presents itself to be true only if an external assumption has to be made, it is not the answer.
Whenever you read a passage, take a minute to tell yourself about what you have learned from the passage. This would help you articulate the subject in words you understand. Never skip this step.
Lastly, whenever you are completely clueless about a particular RC question, so much that all the answers look equally probable answers and at the same time, completely confusing, opt for the simplest answer option.
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