GMAT Preparation: Reading Comprehension Tips for difficult passages

GMAT verbal section has been a challenge for many Indian MBA applicants. Consider the GMAT reading comprehension section for instance. If you’ve grown up reading Tinkle, Chandamama or Economic Times, chances are you’ll still struggle with the RC passages. You might have wondered why they seem so different from your day-to-day reading and more importantly what you can do to make life a little easier when it comes to RC passages. Our friends as Knewton have some tips on the GMAT comprehension section that you can use in your GMAT preparation. – –


GMAT Reading vs. Everyday Reading: What Makes GMAT Passages Tricky?

If you’ve started studying for the GMAT, you know that reading passages on the GMAT is very different from reading “normal” things–novels, newspaper articles, magazines, blogs.

If you’re looking to enhance your GMAT Reading Comprehension skills, the best things you can do for yourself are:

* Understand what exactly makes GMAT passages tricky
* Develop strategies for processing complex information, so that you can attack the questions efficiently

So, what can you expect on the GMAT? How are GMAT passages structured differently from normal prose?

On the GMAT, you shouldn’t necessarily expect arguments to be concise or neatly summarized. In fact, the test-makers will often intentionally try to confuse you by providing passages that ramble or contain insignificant details.

Being able to distinguish between the main idea of the passage and the supporting details will help you increase accuracy and save time on Reading Comprehension.

Practice finding the main idea in different types of GMAT passages. That way, on test day, you won’t waste time with superfluous details!

In short, it’s natural to feel like you’re “fighting an uphill battle” with GMAT reading comprehension passages. The key is to keep your calm and employ the reading strategies described above.

[Update: Since this post was published, many of the images used in it – were sourced from the Knewton GMAT Blog – are missing from the source website. So if this posts appeared a little lightweight, you might want to check out another post on how GMAT verbal reading comprehension is different from everyday reading]


So theoretically you know what to do when the reading comprehension passage starts off in Jalandhar and starts moving towards Kanyakumari towards the end.

Now it’s time for you to practise. If you’ve exhausted your stock of GMAT study material or it all seems to too confusing considering the sources of your study material aren’t as consistent as you had initially expected them to be, then you’ll find some taaza maal here –> GMAT test prep.

Continue learning on our GMAT discussion forum. If you have any GMAT related questions about this post or any other GMAT topic, head over to the GMAT preparation helpdesk and shoot your queries.


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Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat

Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here’s more about me. Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin

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