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Overcoming difficulties in the reading comprehension section of GMAT

Posted on August 10, 2020
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GMAT Coaching

Reading comprehension (RC) is a nightmare for an average test tasker because of poor reading habits and lack of vocabulary. As a result, this section which is commonly included in all the language proficiency tests and the standard reasoning tests proves to be a stressful one. In this article, we will identify the factors that make the RC difficult and gives tips on how to overcome them.

Language Skills

Text comprehension relies on being able to access word meanings efficiently and integrate them into the context of the passage. The ones who know fewer words may also find it harder to learn new ones because they cannot make as many links with existing word meanings; this means that difficulties with word meanings can be compounded over time. Lack of vocabulary also means poor use of context to support their understanding of sentences. The only way to build one’s vocabulary is to read more.

Working Memory

Working memory processes is important for text comprehension because reading involves holding information in mind about what has just been and to integrate this new information with what has gone before. A possible cause of reading comprehension difficulty is a working memory problem. This again can be solved by reading extensively.

Working with Text

The ability to draw an inference and thereby link pieces of information together in a text is critical to successful reading comprehension. One must not only integrate information in a piece of text but must also use this knowledge to support one’s understanding.

Tips to solve RC problems in the GMAT

Improve your language skills

Reading comprehension involves being able to understand the word meanings and relate them with the context of the passage.

When you read more, you will improve your vocabulary and understand the meanings of more words. You will be able to provide context to what you are reading.

Practice active reading

When you are reading a passage, do it with the purpose in mind. Ask yourself questions while reading to uncover the purpose behind the passage. Make a note of the main points either on paper or make a mental note.

Work with the text

To do well in your reading comprehension you must be able to draw an inference from the passage and link the pieces of information together. Considering the limited time that you have in your RC test you must practice methods that will help you to read quickly and still be able to get the gist of the passage.

You can do this by skimming through the passage and try to discover the opinion or inference of the author. This will help you gain better clarity.

While reading a passage remember that you will get to know the main idea in the first few lines of the passage.

Pay attention to keywords in the passage and look for them while skimming through the passage.

To sum up, practicing for the RC part of the GMAT primarily involves extensive reading. While reading, make it a practice to identify the tone, main points, organization and structure of the passage while you are reading.

These are some of the aspects you should consider when preparing for the RC section of your GMAT exam.

With Y-Axis Coaching, you can take up online coaching for GMAT, conversational German, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, SAT and PTE. Learn anywhere, anytime!

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