Improve Your GMAT Reading Comprehension
Exam-takers will struggle with different sections of the verbal portion of the GMAT. Critical thinking questions are focused on logic, sentence correction on grammar, and reading comprehension on understanding. Depending on your strengths, some of these questions will come more easily to you than others. Today we’re going to focus on GMAT reading comprehension. If this is an area you struggle, here are four ways you can improve your reading comprehension for the GMAT and improve your GMAT prep.
The easiest way to comprehend something you read, even if it’s full of jargon and extra words, is to summarize it. And the GMAT reading comprehension questions are absolutely full of jargon and unnecessary words! So your first plan of attack as you practice reading comprehension is to explain what the passage said, as simply and quickly as possible. It is better to do this one paragraph at a time, so you are sure each piece of the whole makes sense. Once you understand the gist of the paragraph, you can easily answer questions about it, or at least know where to find them.
As you summarize a paragraph, you might get bogged down in the language and feel completely lost. In these instances, it is very helpful to take note. Jot down what you know to be important and leave out what is not. Reading back over your notes will give you a clearer picture of the information you will need in order to answer questions about the passage.
Identify the Author’s Perspective
You should expect to be asked about the author’s perspective on a statement or idea. This information is part of almost every set of GMAT reading comprehension questions. For this reason, be on the lookout as you read for any indications of the author’s perspective and opinions. Include these in your notes and summary: “Author believes….” This will allow you to know immediately if you are asked about the author's feelings on that subject.
Like anything else on the GMAT, reading comprehension takes lots of practice. The first few passages you see will leave your head spinning. However, the more you practice simplifying, taking notes, and identifying the author's perspective, the faster you will get at breaking down the passage and answering the questions. GMAT reading comprehension is really just many critical reasoning paragraphs linked together. Once you find the pattern and rhythm, you crack the code.
GMAT reading comprehension is often intimidating due to the sheer length of its questions. If you aren’t prepared to wade through the jargon, you’ll struggle to grasp the meaning of the passage well enough to ace the questions. At the same time, there’s a formula to reading comprehension just like everything else on the GMAT. Spend time learning the tools and you’ll be acing the questions in no time. Looking for study materials that will help you achieve the GMAT score you hope for? Look no further than EMPOWERgmat. Explore our online course today.