The GMAT is predictable to an extent as question types are pre-defined. In reading comprehension, these are the basic question types:
‘What is the Main idea of the given passage?’ is the most often repeated question in RC passages. The answer to this question tests your ability to capture the big picture. Typically, this is the first question in the series of questions that follow a passage. It can be worded differently though.
And generally, the main idea of a passage is found in the first one or two sentences in the first paragraph. Else, you will find it in the final paragraph. Very rarely, the main idea is found elsewhere or is not stated explicitly and is left to reader to be inferred.
These questions focus on information presented in the passage and the idea supported by this information. The idea behind this type of questions is to understand how you can differentiate what is implicit and explicit.
This type of question will test you on facts stated in the passage, specific arguments for and against the conclusion of the author and details used in context of the argument.
These are questions that require you to come to a conclusion based on the information from the passage. These questions test you on your logical thought process. Typically, the questions are framed thus:
- What can be inferred from the passage?
- The author would most likely agree with which of these statements?
Making use of information to extend outside the passage
These questions require some application skills. They ask you to take the information presented in the passage and apply it logically to something outside the passage. They are framed thus:
Which of these is very similar to what is described in the passage?
This type of questions analyses the structure of the passage and determines what the role of each component is.
Examples of such questions are:
- How does the author convince the reader to accept his assertions?
- What is the reason behind the author’s use of a particular detail?
Is the author biased? Is he/she positive about a particular detail? Is he neutral between 2 varying opinions on a single issue? These are tone based questions that require you to decide on the author’s standpoint in an issue. Tone can be critical, assertive, sceptical, questioning, neutral, or enthusiastic.
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