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Here are some tips on how to ace GMAT’s Reading Comprehension section reports Rohit Majumdar

education Updated: Aug 11, 2010 09:39 IST
Rohit Majumdar
Rohit Majumdar
Hindustan Times

Reading comprehension, truly, is critical reasoning in its expanded form. It does not matter what approach we take to reading comprehension passages; the skill to read meaningfully and quickly can come only with time. Yet, we can formulate certain key notes to crack the passages.

Pertaining to the earlier article, I suggest we look into some thumb rules to start with.

Time management is probably more important for this type of question than on any other, because you could burn up minutes poring over unimportant details in the passage if you don’t know where to look; if that happens, you will shortchange your time for Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction. You need to read strategically.

This does not mean speed reading, and it does not mean rushing your answer. There are parts of each passage that you should read slowly and deliberately, and each question deserves time for careful thought. The trick here is to focus on the information you need and to waste as little time as possible on information that will not help you answer any questions.

Style and tone questions ask about the expression of a passage and about the ideas in a passage that may be expressed through its diction--the author's choice of words. You may be asked to deduce the author’s attitude to an idea, a fact, or a situation from the words that he or she uses to described it. You may also be asked to select a word that accurately describe the tone of a passage—for instance, “critical,”“questioning”, “objective”, or “enthusiastic.”

To answer this type of question, you will have to consider the language of the passage as a whole: It takes more than one pointed, critical word to make the tone of an entire passage “critical.”

Sometimes, style and tone questions ask what audience the passage was probably intended for or what publication it probably appeared in. Style and tone questions may apply to one small part of the passage or to the passage as a whole.

To answer them, you must ask yourself what meanings are contained in the words of a passage beyond the literal meanings. Did the author use certain words because of their emotional content,or because a particular audience would expect to hear them?

Remember, these questions measure an author through his or her choice of words.

The author is in CPLC’s verbal facult

First Published: Aug 10, 2010 11:25 IST