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Reading vs Skimming

This topic has 1 expert reply and 1 member reply
mriaz1 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
30 Apr 2006
Posted:
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Reading vs Skimming

Post Tue May 16, 2006 1:58 pm
I have refered to several preparation books in the market and each one of them have a different strategy to attack RC questions. However, two approaches are discussed in general.
1. Just read the whole passage quickly to get the topic and the overal scope and start answering the questions.
OR
2. Just skim and write details of every paragraph as you skim and then look at the question and refer back to the passage.

First approach takes alot of my time and I normally finish in 8-10 min with 50% accuracy.

Second approach, when asnwering the questions I feel as if I am missing something and I feel like i should read the whole passage again etc. that gives me lack of confidence as i approach the questions.


Please help me to find the best approach to attack RC passages and answering them. I know its said that tackling RC depends on person to person but any help would be deeply appreciated.

Thanks

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naveen_27m Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 Apr 2006
Posted:
14 messages
Post Thu May 18, 2006 3:38 am
Excellent explanation Eric.. I was about to post this question. Meanwhile u have answered. Let me try your technique.

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Tue May 16, 2006 5:07 pm
Hi mriaz1:

Providing advice about RC is very difficult because--as you had said--there is no universal strategy for all people. Some people prefer to skim, while others (like myself) prefer to read more thoroughly.

Try doing this: don't worry about timing for now, but read through a few RC passages at your own comfortable pace. While you are reading--or perhaps after you finish reading--write out an outline of the passage you had just read. Try to extract the key ideas and argument structure (an good way of doing this is noting transition words, like 'however', and 'therefore').

Practice active reading. Don't just read the passage and hope that you will understand everything at the end. Instead, take a note when you hit a big idea, or when you notice a transition word that shifts the direction of the passage.

Once you feel like you have a sense of how to read reading comprehension passages strategically (as I described above), try doing a few RCs with a skimming tactic and a few RCs with thorough-read tactic. It will be up to you to decide which method you are more comfortable.

There is no easy way to improve RC, other than a TON of practice. With significant practice, you will begin to notice patterns, and breaking down passages will become easier and easier. You will improve, but it will be slow.

I hope this advice helps--practice, practice, practice! Best of luck!

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