GMAT Reading Comprehension

GMAT reading comprehension is about 1/3 of the verbal section in terms of questions but for some sucks up to 40% or more of the clock. On a reasoning level I'd rate it easier than the critical reasoning but the length of the passages can be challenging especially if reading skills are weak. There are a range of topics: social science, science (biology/chemistry), humanities, and business. The passages range from approximately 260 to 540 words with 3-6 questions ranging from main idea and primary purpose to detailed line reference questions. RC tends to divide. Some people mow it down while others really struggle and even skip entire passages to save time. The best thing you can do to improve GMAT reading comprehension is to improve your general reading skills. Before starting to study for the GMAT spend 3-4 months reading every day.

How to study for GMAT Reading Comprehension?

A lot of the advice from the Critical Reasoning still stands.

-Use Official GMAT materials. For verbal this is extra important as third party verbal questions are unquestionably sub-par and often do not capture enough of the GMATs specific vibe.

-Use LSAT reading comprehension for GMAT verbal improvement. Yeah I know, not official GMAT questions. Well, these are the exception. LSAT RC is spot on content wise except for a few exceptions and tends to be denser and tougher then GMAT reading comprehension so makes for superb practice. There's a also a on of it. basically and unlimited amount. So if you're GMAT verbal is in the dumps or if you want to absolutely perfect your verbal to reach a 99th percentile score you've got your work cut out for you.

-Start reading comprehension studying early. It can take a while to improve. Don't be afraid to compartmentalize your studying it's completely fine to ignore quant and sentence correction for a few months so you can deal with what can the more difficult sections to improve, Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning.

-Read. A lot. And focus on active reading. This reading shouldn't all be test prep. Always have a long-form novel that you read in the evening and always read at least one challenging article per day. I like the Economist for this reading as it's density and range of topics mirrors the GMATs but up to you. I'd advide against dailys (NYT, WSJ...) and go for weeklies and monthlies as they tend to be denser and more like the GMAT reading.



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