One of the biggest challenges students face on GRE and GMAT is the reading comprehension question type. From time management, comprehension levels to accuracy issues when approaching answer options. In this article, we will look at ways to over come some of the most challenging aspects of GRE and GMAT reading: time management and comprehension.
We are going to address this in the following steps.
Step 1 Read the passage strategically focusing on pivotal ideas
Step 2 Read the question carefully
Step 3 Go back to the passage to find relevant information or consult the map you’ve created of the passage (from step 1)
Step 4 make a prediction for the question
Step 5 evaluate each option based on the prediction you’ve made – eliminate the improbable options until only the correct option remains
Understanding step 1
To read the passage strategically, you must focus on the “big picture” of things. Don’t worry about the details and descriptions. You must be able to answer these three questions after reading a passage –
- WHAT is each paragraph broadly about>
- WHY does the author bring up this paragraph (for what purpose?) / what point does he make by introducing this para
- HOW does the author discuss issues in the passage (Is he +ve -ve or neutral about things?)
Make your goal to ONLY try to answer these questions. Don’t worry about the rest! You’ll realise that your ability to focus on important things improves substantially and your accuracy improves many folds as well.
Lets try this out
WHAT: Amateur journalism, significance
WHY: Evolution of Am – Jour
WHAT: What amateur journalism actually is
WHY: to suggest amateur doesn’t mean “immature” – rather quite skilled work is done by these people!
It’s important to follow step 3. Even if you remember things on the top of your head, you are very likely to fall for traps if you do not go back to the passage or your “map” and find proof!
Try this out for a few passages, let me know how this works!