The Reading comprehension questions usually involve long passages followed by questions based on the passage. Since you already have limited time to attempt these questions, it is not wise to spend your precious time reading the entire passage. Now you might wonder how can you answer the questions if you don’t read the complete passage? Well, this is where you will have to use certain tips and strategies to ensure you complete the Reading comprehension questions quickly and accurately. In this article, we will discuss certain reading comprehension rules or a few methods that might prove useful for you when answering these questions. We will start with a mathematical approach. So read on!
The Mathematical Approach
The first approach is a mathematical approach. The usual steps to solve a problem in mathematics are given as follows:
- Understand the question
- Apply a formula to arrive at the answer
- Choose the correct answer from the given options
We will now use this same approach to answer Reading comprehension questions. Some of the points to keep in mind when answering the Reading comprehension questions are :
- Understanding the passage – This is an important aspect, since you may not have much time at your disposal to completely comprehend the passage. It is therefore crucial that you understand what the author is trying to convey and what are the key points present in the passage.
- Arrive at an answer – You would be provided with questions and answer choices after the passage. If selecting the correct answer proves to be difficult, you can use the process of elimination to remove answers you think might be incorrect till you are left with the correct answer choice.
- Tricky answer choices – Most of the answer choices will be worded similarly and there will be a slight difference between each of them. You must carefully select the answer and not overlook any small details present in the passage.
As previously mentioned, understanding the passage itself will take a lot of your time as it would be difficult to comprehend all the given information together. Most of the time, if you sit and try to understand the passage, 50% of your exam time will have to be utilized. Hence, we have come up with this simple mathematical approach to solve the reading comprehension questions. In this way, even if you read only 20% of the passage, you will be able to answer 80% of the questions.
The following process is the mathematical formula which we are going to use to answer the questions in the Reading Comprehension section:
- Categorize – While taking notes, you can divide the information given in the passage by category. Depending on the questions asked, you can take a look at the information or notes you put together under different categories instead of referring to the passage each time.
- Formulate the answer (algorithm or working methodology) – While it is important to complete reading the passage within the stipulated time you must also ensure that you don’t miss out on any important information in the question. Pay attention to the entire question and check for any specific details that might be asked. You can then go back to that part of the passage so that you can pick the correct answer.
- Eliminate the traps (Rules of Do’s and Don’ts) – The process of elimination works well in the Reading Comprehension section since you are bound to encounter statements that have already been repeated. You can save your precious time by speed reading the sentences which reiterate a concept that has already been explained. On the other hand, you should pay attention to statements that start with ‘however or but’ , which could indicate a new statement being made. Another place where you can use the process of elimination is when choosing answers. You will be able to immediately identify some answers which are incorrect and thus eliminate them as well.
So keep these reading comprehension rules for GMAT in mind when solving questions. You will see that you are able to answer questions within a short span of time and most often correctly.