How to Solve Tough GMAT Reading Comprehension Questions?

Reading comprehension has always been a difficult task especially considering the limited time which one will have to read the entire passage, interpret the relevant data in it and then answer the questions pertaining to it. Many individuals are prone to making errors in this section of the exam since most of them either skim read the passage and miss out on important and key points or they misunderstand what the author is trying to convey and once again end up losing precious points on their overall score as well.

However, it is definitely possible to overcome this section of the exam provided the candidates adopt the correct strategies and learning methods. We shall view some of the important steps which you can follow to successfully navigate your way through this section.

Read the Passage Actively and not in a Passive Manner:

The passage may not always be from a topic which you are well versed with but that should not deter you from doing well in this section. Do remember that the intention of the passage is not to evaluate your knowledge on the topic but to test how adept you are at analyzing the given text, interpreting what the author is trying to convey and accordingly answer the questions that follow. The GMAT exam tries to evaluate if you are able to grasp the main idea which the author has written about and also the tone/attitude of the author as well.

Use the process of elimination to arrive at the correct answer

Once you complete reading the passage you will have to commence answering the questions which follow it. At times most of the answers may appear similar and therefore you may be in a dilemma on which option to choose. In such cases, it is advised that you use the process of elimination to get rid of the incorrect options. This will help you in a better manner to reach a conclusion.

Do not let abbreviations or new words confuse you:

In almost all cases the passages in the Reading comprehension will be from a wide range of topics. Therefore it is plausible that you may come across new words which you would not have heard of earlier. This should not discourage you or prohibit you from proceeding further with the passage or answering the questions as well. The same happens with abbreviations too. They are introduced in the passage with an aim only to distract you. You can expand them as you read so that it doesn’t cause any inconveniences to you at a later point of time.

Do not read the answer choices before you read the passage:

It is recommended that you only read the question stems and not the answer options prior to reading the passage. Reading the answer choices is bound to confuse you or you may come to an incorrect conclusion about the passage if you read the false statements which occur in the answer choices. Hence don’t make the cardinal mistake of reading the answer choices before you read the RC passage in the exam.

Practice taking notes during the Reading Comprehension session:

This is another tip which will aid you more since you don’t have to refer back to the passage every time you are answering a question. Also phrasing the passage in your own words will guide you in a better manner rather than the actual passage which may tend to mislead you. Don’t attempt to write the entire passage but just relevant and significant points which could help you further when answering the questions.

Time yourself during practice tests:

This is bound to help you read faster in the exam. When you time yourself you become aware of your reading speed and also perceptive about the average time you have taken for answering the questions in the RC section. The practice tests will also help you gauge what type of passages are generally asked in the exam. You will be able to analyze how much time to allocate for all lengths of Reading comprehension passages. This is certain to assist you further in acing the final exam.

Practice Reading:

This is a default tip which every aspirant who would like to do well in the verbal section has to follow. Developing a reading habit is a foolproof way of becoming adept at solving the RC passages. You would already be accustomed to the writing styles of many authors and therefore have little to no difficulty in deciphering a new passage. Invest time to read books and materials of good quality and calibre alone.

Answer traps to avoid:

Some of the common traps which GMAT employs to further misguide the test takers are as follows : Do not choose an answer which gives information from outside the given passage,They present the answer with the correct facts from the passage but change the sequence in which they appear, Choices which employ the use of words like – “only”, “never”, “exclusively” etc, Answers which have incorrect information. Avoiding such answers will prove to be favorable for you.

Anticipate the questions which may be asked:

This step will prove beneficial since when you read the actual questions you would be more equipped to answer them accordingly. While reading the passage you would get a general idea on the main idea of the passage, the background, the supporting points for the same and the conclusion which the author arrives at. These are essentially the vital components of the passage which is guaranteed to appear in the questions in one form or the other. When you already foresee the questions which are most likely to be asked then you are helping yourself to attain a position where you can score high in the RC part of the GMAT Verbal section.

Thus all of the above mentioned approaches will definitely help you to solve any difficulty level RC sections. It is important to maintain a cool mind and to not let any nerves steer you off track.

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