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Comprehending GMAT

Useful tips on tackling the GMAT reading comprehension test report Rohit Majumdar

education Updated: Sep 01, 2010 09:40 IST
Rohit Majumdar

There are some approaches that can prove to be a hindrance to your getting the correct answer.

Avoid them:
Do not get intimidated by technical terms or distracted by convoluted language. The main point of the passage is usually straightforward.

Do not focus on the details. If a question calls for precise details, you will have ample time to return to the passage.

Do not skim the passage. Only a thorough reading will properly prepare you for the questions.

Do not take an undue amount of notes. You can jot down the main idea after you have finished reading the passage. You should take mental note of signal words.

Do not rely too heavily on outside knowledge of a topic. Rely exclusively on facts drawn from the passage to answer questions.

Things you should do:
Maintain a positive mental attitude. The test-makers have selected tedious and dry passages to challenge your ability to focus. If you are struggling with a passage, do not get discouraged! The other test-takers are probably having similar luck.

Stay focused throughout the entire GMAT. You will waste far too much time if you have to re-read the material.

Mentally note important signal words like “but” and “however”, or phrases like “on the other hand” or “on the contrary” – such words generally signal a transition in the passage.

Concentrate on the correlatives: In addition, likewise, similarly, therefore, thus etc

Look for the contra-directives: But, despite, except, however, yet.

(The author is in the Verbal Faculty with CPLC)