GMAT

Ace GMAT reading comprehension: Proven strategies and tips

Updated on: Jun 16, 2023
Ace GMAT reading comprehension: Proven strategies and tips
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Acing the GMAT reading comprehension section can be challenging for some, but with the right strategies and preparation, you can master this section.

In this guide, we will provide proven strategies and tips to ace the GMAT reading comprehension section.

Overview of the GMAT reading comprehension section

The GMAT reading comprehension section is designed to measure a test taker's ability to read, understand and analyze written material. It consists of reading passages of varying lengths and difficulty levels, followed by multiple-choice questions. The passages may be written in any academic field and may be drawn from various sources, including newspapers, magazines, journals, books and online sources.

The GMAT reading comprehension section is divided into three distinct parts: the passage, the questions, and the answer choices.

The passage is the most important part of the reading comprehension section because it provides the information the test taker needs to answer the questions correctly. The passage is typically followed by multiple-choice questions designed to assess the test taker’s ability to interpret and draw conclusions from the text.

The questions in the GMAT reading comprehension section are designed to assess the test taker’s ability to understand the main points of the passage and to interpret the information presented. These questions may ask about the main idea of the passage, the author’s opinion, the purpose of the passage, or the meaning of certain words and phrases.

Finally, the answer choices are provided to help the test taker select the correct answer. These answer choices are designed to provide the test taker with a range of possible answers that are both correct and incorrect. The test taker must use their understanding of the passage and the question in order to select the correct answer.

Also Read: GMAT Self-study Plan

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Tips to ace the GMAT reading comprehension section 

Acing the GMAT reading comprehension section can be challenging, but these tips can help make the process easier.

1: Read the entire passage carefully

The most important tip for acing GMAT reading comprehension is to read the entire passage carefully and thoroughly before attempting to answer any questions. This may seem like a time-consuming process, but it’s essential since many of the answers are found within the text itself and can only be understood after taking some time to understand what has been written. Additionally, understanding all aspects of the passage can help you recognize hints that might not jump out at first glance.

2: Break down complex sentences & paragraphs

The GMAT test makers tend to use complex sentences and formal language in passages, making them difficult to understand. It’s essential to slow down and break down these sentences into smaller components to ensure you understand the text. For example, if a sentence is too long, try breaking it up into parts and focus on understanding each section individually before attempting to answer any questions.

3: Identify keywords

Before tackling any passage, take a few moments to scan through and identify any keywords that stand out quickly - these will indicate the passage's main idea. Make sure to pay special attention to verbs; they often provide critical information about what you should look for as you read. After identifying keywords, take a moment to jot them down so that you can refer back to them as needed while navigating the passage.

4: Understand vocabulary

It is crucial to approach each passage with an understanding of any unfamiliar words, phrases, or sentence structures that you may encounter. Make sure to take notes on any new vocabulary that comes up so you can refer back to them when needed. Additionally, looking at the context surrounding these words in the passage can also help you better understand their meaning.

5: Identify the tone

It is also important to be aware of the tone of each passage, as this can give clues about its main purpose and theme. Pay attention to how the author speaks about specific topics or characters and try to identify whether they have positive, negative, or neutral feelings towards them. This will allow you to quickly narrow down your answer choices and pick one that best reflects the overall tone of the passage.

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6: Skim the questions first

Once you’ve completed your preliminary scan of the passage, skim through the questions quickly to get an overall sense of what they’re asking so that you know where to focus your attention while reading. This approach allows you to read with purpose since you already have a basic understanding of what needs to be answered for the question(s) to be answered correctly.

7: Use the process of elimination

The GMAT reading comprehension section requires you to choose from four possible answers per question. When answering the questions, using the process of elimination can be very helpful in narrowing down your choices. Look for wrong choices that are clearly irrelevant or contradict what was written and cross them off immediately. This will make it easier to focus on which option is correct, as fewer choices will be left.

8: Answer in order

When answering GMAT reading comprehension questions, it’s best to start at the beginning and work your way down. This will help you to avoid jumping back and forth between questions, which can be time-consuming and confusing. Additionally, by answering in order, you’ll be able to use the information from each question as clues for the ones that follow.

9: Be aware of your time

The GMAT reading comprehension section is typically the longest section on the test, and you will be limited to a certain amount of time per question. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of your time and not spend too much time on any one question. If you find yourself stuck on a particular question, move on and return to it later if there’s still time. This will help you make sure that you answer as many questions as possible within the allotted time frame.

10: Practice reading comprehension questions

Practice makes perfect when it comes to preparing for the GMAT reading comprehension section. Familiarizing yourself with different types of passage styles and how to answer the most common types of questions is essential for acing the section. In addition, try reading sample passages and attempting to answer the questions in a timed environment, as this will help you get used to the process of answering GMAT reading comprehension questions quickly and accurately.

These are just a few tips to help you ace the GMAT reading comprehension section. With a little practice and preparation, you can master this section and get the score you need to get into your dream school.

Conclusion

Acing the GMAT reading comprehension section requires a combination of strategy, practice, and knowledge of the test. A solid grasp of the fundamentals of reading comprehension can help you confidently approach the GMAT reading comprehension section. With the right strategies and the willingness to put in the time, anyone can be successful in the GMAT reading comprehension section.

Frequently asked questions

What does the GMAT reading comprehension section test?

The GMAT reading comprehension section measures a test taker's ability to read, understand and analyze written material. It consists of reading passages of varying lengths and difficulty levels, followed by multiple-choice questions.

What are some tips to ace the GMAT reading comprehension sections?

Some tips to ace the GMAT reading comprehension section are reading the entire passage carefully, breaking down complex sentences & paragraphs, identifying keywords and tone, understanding vocabulary, using the process of elimination, and answering in order.

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