13 - 760+: Reading Comp: Practice Your Reading Pace on 3 Passages

By richc On Oct 30, 2021 In  Quant Verbal IR Study Plans General GMAT MBA Advice & Tips 

In the prior post, we discussed proper reading pace for when you deal with GMAT RC passages (as a reminder, that pace should be about 150 words per minute).  Unfortunately, simply knowing that fact won’t necessarily lead you to adjust your reading speed. So here are three practice prompts – taken from the OG12 – for you to practice on. Use a timer and make sure to note how long it took you to read each passage. The proper (goal) amount of reading time is listed beneath each prompt.
Passage 1:
Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize a
new technology has benefited from the unique
opportunity to shape product definitions, forcing
followers to adapt to a standard or invest in
an unproven alternative. Today, however, the
largest payoffs may go to companies that lead in
developing integrated approaches for successful
mass production and distribution.

Producers of the Beta format for videocassette
recorders (VCRs), for example, were first to develop
the VCR commercially in 1975, but producers of the
rival VHS (Video Home System) format proved to be
more successful at forming strategic alliances with
other producers and distributors to manufacture
and market their VCR format. Seeking to maintain
exclusive control over VCR distribution, Beta
producers were reluctant to form such alliances and
eventually lost ground to VHS in the competition for
the global VCR market.

Despite Beta's substantial technological head
start and the fact that VHS was neither technically
better nor cheaper than Beta, developers of VHS
quickly turned a slight early lead in sales into a
dominant position. Strategic alignments with
producers of prerecorded tapes reinforced the VHS
advantage. The perception among consumers that
prerecorded tapes were more available in VHS
format further expanded VHS's share of the market.
By the end of the 1980s, Beta was no longer in
Reading Time Goal: 85-95 seconds
Passage 2:
A recent study has provided clues to
predator-prey dynamics in the late Pleistocene
era. Researchers compared the number of tooth
fractures in present-day carnivores with tooth
fractures in carnivores that lived 36,000 to 10,000
years ago and that were preserved in the Rancho
La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles. The breakage
frequencies in the extinct species were strikingly
higher than those in the present-day species.

In considering possible explanations for this
finding, the researchers dismissed demographic bias
because older individuals were not over represented
in the fossil samples. They rejected preservational
bias because a total absence of breakage in two
extinct species demonstrated that the fractures
were not the result of abrasion within the pits.
They ruled out local bias because breakage data
obtained from other Pleistocene sites were similar
to the La Brea data. The explanation they consider
most plausible is behavioral differences between
extinct and present-day carnivores—in particular,
more contact between the teeth of predators and
the bones of prey due to more thorough
consumption of carcasses by the extinct species.

Such thorough carcass consumption implies to
the researchers either that prey availability was
low, at least seasonally, or that there was intense
competition over kills and a high rate of carcass
theft due to relatively high predator densities.
Reading Time Goal: 85-95 seconds 
Passage 3:
Many United States companies have,
unfortunately, made the search for legal protection
from import competition into a major line of
work. Since 1980 the United States International
Trade Commission (ITC) has received about 280
complaints alleging damage from imports that
benefit from subsidies by foreign governments.
Another 340 charge that foreign companies
“dumped” their products in the United States at
“less than fair value.” Even when no unfair practices
are alleged, the simple claim that an industry has
been injured by imports is sufficient grounds to
seek relief.

Contrary to the general impression, this quest
for import relief has hurt more companies than
it has helped. As corporations begin to function
globally, they develop an intricate web of marketing,
production, and research relationships. The complexity
of these relationships makes it unlikely that a system
of import relief laws will meet the strategic needs of
all the units under the same parent company.

Internationalization increases the danger that
foreign companies will use import relief laws against
the very companies the laws were designed to
protect. Suppose a United States-owned company
establishes an overseas plant to manufacture
a product while its competitor makes the same
product in the United States. If the competitor can
prove injury from the imports—and that the United
States company received a subsidy from a foreign
government to build its plant abroad—the United
States company’s products will be uncompetitive in
the United States, since they would be subject to

Perhaps the most brazen case occurred when
the ITC investigated allegations that Canadian
companies were injuring the United States salt
industry by dumping rock salt, used to de-ice roads.
The bizarre aspect of the complaint was that a
foreign conglomerate with United States operations
was crying for help against a United States
company with foreign operations. The “United
States” company claiming injury was a subsidiary
of a Dutch conglomerate, while the “Canadian”
companies included a subsidiary of a Chicago firm
that was the second-largest domestic producer of
rock salt.
Reading Time Goal: 130-140 seconds
Good GMAT ‘habits’ take time to hone, so you have to continue to train at this proper reading speed. Combined with the proper note-taking and Tactical knowledge about RC question types (and the types of common wrong answers that often appear), you’ll find that dealing with any passage – regardless of length or subject matter – will become a standard process.
GMAT assassins aren’t born, they’re made,
If you have any questions about anything in this thread, then you can feel free to contact me directly via email (at [email protected])

Tags & Topics
Which training plan is best for you?

Get instant advice free. We'll take a look at your target score and your time-frame and recommend the best option for you

Get Instant Advice