Beginners Guide to GMAT Reading Comprehension

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GMAT is a standardised test which you need to take to apply for MBA courses. The GMAT exam has 4 sections – Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal. Many GMAT aspirants struggle with the reading comprehension part of the verbal section since it often includes long passages from unexplored topics. Based on the passage you need to answer a few questions. If you are also apprehensive about the GMAT reading comprehension, take a look at this blog to know what to expect in the exam, as well as some tips to ace it! 

GMAT Exam Pattern

GMAT Paper Pattern

GMAT Reading Comprehension: An Overview

The GMAT verbal section consists of 3 parts – Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction And Reading Comprehension. Among these, the number of questions in the reading section form around a third of the total number of questions in the verbal section, which makes it essential to prepare well for this part. The GMAT reading comprehension part consists of usually 3 shorter and one longer passage which may be from social sciences, humanities, business, physical or biological sciences. You have to read the passages thoroughly to understand what is being discussed before attempting the given questions. Generally, there are 3 to 4 questions for each passage.

How to Prepare for GMAT Online?

GMAT Reading Comprehension Format 

For all those who are looking forward to appearing for the GMAT exam, the ideal way to begin for this topic would be to first understand its format and then begin with the practice. The passage would be around 150-300 words and would be of mediocre difficulty. It will have around 3-4 questions that will be MCQ in nature with 4-5 options.

Different Types of Questions in GMAT Reading Comprehension

The questions in GMAT reading comprehension aims to assess your ability and skills in – summarizing the main idea of the passage, differentiating between ideas that are stated and those implied by the author, making inferences based on the information provided in the passage, analysing the logical structure of the passage and identifying the author’s tone and attitude in the passage. There are usually six different types of questions that you need to answer in the GMAT reading comprehension. These include:

Main Idea Questions

These questions will require you to summarise the passage or recognise the main purpose of the author behind the passage. These questions may be asked in different formats like what is the central idea of the passage or what was the main concern of the author in the passage. These questions may have answer choices in a format different from the passage to see whether you are able to grasp the main idea of the passage or not.

Detail Questions

Detail questions will require you to identify any fact or detail from the passage. These are some of the easiest questions since you would find the exact information within the passage. Generally beginning with something like ‘according to the passage’, these questions aim to assess your attentiveness while reading the passage.

Inference Questions

These questions access your ability to identify information that is not explicitly stated in the passage but is nonetheless implied by the author. You need to understand the different viewpoints given within the passage to answer these questions correctly.

Out-of-context Questions

Out of context questions require you to take information from the passage and apply it in a different context. For example, you may be asked to identify which of the situations given in the answer choices are similar to the situation mentioned in the given passage. To come up with the correct answer, you need to pay close attention to the arguments or ideas of the passage.

Logical Structure Questions

These questions test your ability to analyse the structure of the passage in order to identify the role of the different parts in relation to the whole. You may be asked to identify how the author constructs the argument, or recognise the strengths or weaknesses in the passage. 

Style and Tone Questions

These questions asked in the GMAT Reading Comprehension assesses your ability to identify the attitude of the author through his choice of words in the passage. You may be also asked about the tone of the passage, whether it is critical, enthusiastic, questioning etc.

Tips and Tricks for GMAT Reading Comprehension

Now that you are familiar with the different types of questions asked in the GMAT Reading Comprehension, you can start preparing accordingly to ace this part of the exam. Here are some tips to help with your preparation:

  • Make reading a daily habit
  • Read extensively on a variety of topics – this can give you a comparative advantage in the test if the passage is on a familiar topic
  • Note down any new words in a diary or journal and go through them regularly
  • Try to summarise what you read in a few sentences
  • Practice with mock tests before your exam

Also Read: How to Crack GMAT in 3 Months?

Courtesy: GMATHacks

GMAT Reading Comprehension Sample Passage

Here is a sample passage for you-

GMAT Reading Comprehension Books

  • The GMAT Official Guide
  • The GMAT Official Guide Verbal Review
  • GMATPrep Exam Packs 1 and 2 and GMATPrep Question Pack 1
  • Aristotle Prep Reading Comprehension Grail
  • Manhattan Prep GMAT Reading Comprehension Strategy Guide
  • PowerScore GMAT Reading Comprehension Bible
  • Veritas Prep GMAT Question Bank

Hope you found this blog on GMAT Reading Comprehension useful. Want to pursue an MBA degree abroad? Our experts at Leverage Edu can help you in identifying the top schools for MBA worldwide and also guide you through the application process. Reach out for a free session today!

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