Eliminate Inefficiencies in How You Handle GMAT Verbal Questions

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Many GMAT Focus students don’t realize that they’re using inefficient methods to answer Verbal questions. Some of these time-wasting strategies may be the result of bad advice, while others may simply be a student’s default mode of handling a particular question type.

Part of training for the GMAT Focus is rigorously evaluating each technique we use to answer questions. If, for example, we read about a particular strategy online, we should ask ourselves, does this strategy make sense? If we incorporate the strategy into our practice, we should periodically analyze whether it’s bringing the results we expect. If there are ways we’ve never thought much about that we naturally work through certain types of questions, we should stop and ask ourselves, is this really the best way, or is it simply the way I’ve always done it?

For example, many GMAT students mistakenly believe that reading a Critical Reasoning question stem before reading the passage saves time. Yet, these students inevitably read the question stem a second time after they read the passage. So, they end up adding time to their work. A more efficient method is to simply read the passage first, and then read the stem.

In Reading Comprehension, students may skip reading large portions of a passage only to find that they have a lot of trouble locating the information they need to answer questions. Perhaps counterintuitively, it’s actually more efficient to read the entire passage. That way, you have a sense of where different discussions are within it. Additionally, looking for structural keywords in a passage can help you locate needed details far more efficiently than trying to memorize exactly where details appear.

Warmest regards,

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder & CEO, Target Test Prep