Tips for Reading Comprehension

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Tips for Reading Comprehension

by tothetopppppp » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:58 pm
So I took a test yesterday and got absolutely torched on RC. I was hitting around a 73% average on SC and CR but I only got 30% right on RC. But I am struggling to 'study better' with RC, normally when you sit down to do a RC passage you do one or two passages and then view the answers. However I feel that when I am in the exam environment and I get that RC passage it normally catches me off guard and I have a tough time switching gears. Another issue is that I am not good at taking notes, when I do I burn up all my time but I normally can get a pretty good grasp of the verbiage just reading it through.

Any suggestions?

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by DominateTheGMAT » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:12 pm
A few thoughts for you...

First, a bit of tough love: There are only three question types on the verbal section, so don't get caught off guard when you see a RC passage pop up -- EXPECT it! About a third of the verbal questions will be RCs, so mentally prepare for it :)

Second, I'd suggested doing more full-length practice tests. The issue you identified about the nature of practicing RC's from a book vs. seeing them on a live test is a real one, and the best way to get good at switching gears during the middle of the Verbal section is to practice it.

Third, the purpose of taking notes while you're reading the passage isn't to transcribe everything you're reading in the hopes of finding the answers to the questions on your scratch paper, but rather to keep your mind actively engaged in what you're reading (i.e. active reading instead of passive reading) and paying attention to the most important things in the passage such as main idea, attitude/tone of the author, organizational structure, etc. If it's burning up all your time when you take notes, you're probably writing down way too much on your scratch paper.

Finally, of all the question types on the GMAT, RC probably lends itself best to being able to identify WRONG answers (thus improving your chance of finding the right answer) even if you're not fully understanding the passage. There are some good tips about how to do that in this RC video lesson: https://www.dominatethegmat.com/video-pu ... rehension/.

Best of luck to you and let me know how else I can help,

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by [email protected] » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:38 am
It is very important to approach reading comprehension at the right level. As Brett mentions you are not taking notes in order to answer questions from those notes. I have written an entire article about how to correctly write down something for each paragraph and really improve your RC approach.
https://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2012/08/ ... prehension

Here is a link to another discussion on Beat the GMAT where we talk about "taking notes" https://www.beatthegmat.com/do-all-good- ... tml#537841

Here a couple of additional discussions for you to check out.

Reading Comprehension Tips:
https://www.beatthegmat.com/rc-tips-t96332.html#429195

Reading Comp: Main Idea vs Detail
https://www.beatthegmat.com/rc-main-idea ... tml#398662

Discussion of Reading Comp strategy
https://www.beatthegmat.com/og-rc-t86523.html#384171

I would say that the key in terms of notes is to gather yourself periodically as you are reading. To stop, for example after each paragraph and say "this is what I know." Then you can integrate the paragraphs as you go. The other key is to go back to the passage whenever possible for those detail questions.

You can improve at reading comp. Change your strategy and change your score.
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by charu_mahajan » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:21 am
Hi David,

The link to RC passages is missing in the comments section of this article - https://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2012/08/ ... prehension.

Can you kindly update.

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by [email protected] » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:02 am
tothetopppppp wrote: However I feel that when I am in the exam environment and I get that RC passage it normally catches me off guard and I have a tough time switching gears.
Trouble "switching gears" can be a problem. When it comes to Reading Comprehension (RC), it's crucial that you engage 100% in the passage.

One approach: rather than tackle a new passage with dread ("I don't enjoy reading it at all"), try to feign interest ("Excellent! This passage is about stock market regulations in Mexico!"). The better your engagement, the better the results. You'll find additional tips to help you better engage with the passage in this free video: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat- ... on?id=1123

If you're interested, we have a free set of videos that cover all sorts of Reading Comprehension strategies: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat- ... prehension

Cheers,
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by brianlange77 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:48 pm
tothetopppppp wrote:So I took a test yesterday and got absolutely torched on RC. I was hitting around a 73% average on SC and CR but I only got 30% right on RC. But I am struggling to 'study better' with RC, normally when you sit down to do a RC passage you do one or two passages and then view the answers. However I feel that when I am in the exam environment and I get that RC passage it normally catches me off guard and I have a tough time switching gears. Another issue is that I am not good at taking notes, when I do I burn up all my time but I normally can get a pretty good grasp of the verbiage just reading it through.
Any suggestions?
Good questions -- I'd encourage you to take a look at this post and see if it helps give you any more tips on how to improve your overall reading comp ability (https://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... p-passage/).

In addition, I would encourage you to alter your study habits -- force yourself to 'throw in' an RC problem in the midst of CR/SC... see if you get your brain more comfortable switching gears.

Let me know if this helps.

-Brian
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