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How is your comprehension skill on GMAT RC Passages?(consider under test condition)

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Today, I went through this website [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2009, 06:31
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Today, I went through this website http://www.readingsoft.com/ to check my reading comprehension skill.

My speed is ~ 243 Words per Minute with 73% (8 out of 11 were correct) comprehension. As per the reader profile, I am pretty much average reader. For last couple of days I am trying to increase my RPM but in most cases, when I go fast, I lose the essence of the text.

On other hand, though GMAT never checks reading speed, being written in English, GMAT requires high level of comprehension skill all over. We have around 14 RC, 14 SC and 14 CR, SAY. all RC passages and questions and their all 5 choices have as many as 2000 words. All CR questions contribute as many as 1500 words and SC around 1000 words. Total words in Verbal section are approximately 4500 to 5000. Reading these many words, which have highly complicated and excruciating structure, a slow reader will take 40 to 50 mins. Although a slow reader has 100 to 150 WPM speed, speed reduces to less than 100 WPM when text is on computer screen. Adding to it, the sense of solving the GMAT test will further reduce the speed as a slow reader thinks that good comprehension is better at slow speed. Hence, it is simply consuming 50+ mins in merely reading the text. Then when test taker will get the time to think? Everyone knows that each question requires at least 30 to 60 sec for thinking. So, 41 questions require minimum 20 to 30 mins. This will cross the 75 mins limit and hence all slow readers never could finish the entire test. They have to simply guess last 6-7 questions on average. Same reading skill is also true for quant. The more time you have to think the greater chances that questions will be correct.

Moreover, compared with slow-speed reader, high-speed reader will get ample time to think on each question and, eventually, will get high score. Therefore, it would be very essential that every test taker, reading on computer, read above 200 WPM, if he/she wanted to score 700+.
Hence I am trying to get all opinions from you so that we, all slow readers, could increase our reading speed or find out some strategy to get perceivable solution.

Any suggestion is welcome.
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2009, 21:59
awesome and valid points
+1 to you
due to my slow reading speeds, i do badly in CR and RC
accuracy improves in paper test and in un timed Format :P
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2009, 22:22
In CR- we shd use skimming and vertical reading(in 5 options). Also category specific approach

example,
for assumption we have to find the missing link
for weaken type we need to fine alternate reasons etc

SC is not an issue.Atleast in most cases

RC- prob is with inference Qs(only)
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2009, 23:18
Expert's post
Interesting tool.

To me, RC is 2 things:
1. Reading ability (speed, vocab, etc)
2. Understanding/memory

Not to harp on it again, but my recommendation, as usual is to dive into an interesting book for reading speed and practice.
books-to-read-improve-verbal-score-and-enjoy-a-good-read-76079.html

For the understanding/memory, I liked the Kaplan Verbal Workbook strategy of summarizing each paragraph (context and tone) as you read through a passage and then after you finish the passage, summarize the entire text in very short/quick sentences. This helped me get the point of the passage and it is tone.
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2009, 05:33
Agree with both of you.

@bb: is there any collection available with all high frequency words from OG and 1000 docs?

So which one you agree?
RC practice + without time or RC practice + with time? It is evident that time pressure reduce accuracy in that case. So, is it preferable to practice RC without any time condition?
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2009, 05:44
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I am posting the below document for all those who are seeking for improvement in speed reading. File has hardly 5 pages so it wont take much time to get the basic concepts.

Probably we should try concepts of speed reading when we go through any novel/magazine/journal day-to-day.

Attachment:
Improve Reading speed.doc [34.5 KiB]
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2009, 15:32
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priyankur_saha@ml.com wrote:
Agree with both of you.

@bb: is there any collection available with all high frequency words from OG and 1000 docs?

So which one you agree?
RC practice + without time or RC practice + with time? It is evident that time pressure reduce accuracy in that case. So, is it preferable to practice RC without any time condition?


Never heard of anything like this, but there maybe a doc with idioms that may come handy here:
new-to-the-verbal-forum-please-read-this-first-77546.html
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2009, 15:36
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Just to get a bit philosophical, there are several approaches to RC:
1. Read entire passage very carefully and then not have to go back to the text for 90% of questions
2. Read quickly to get the main idea and then re-read as you work through questions

I have to say either approach works with certain degree of effectiveness. Neither is perfect. Whatever approach you pick, just make sure you stick with it and not switch back and forth, esp. on the real test. Pick your strategy and stick to it.


I could not do #2 very well, so I took approach #1 and spent extra time reading but that's up to you. I also mastered SC's to the point of spending 30-45 seconds per question to give me more time for reading...
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 22:44
I have found that strike rate in RC varies with understanding of the passage 50%-100%. LSAT passages are hard to crack because they have intricate languages and several contradictory concepts or arguments. On other hand GRE passages are very easy and anyone can easily get 80%-100% correct.
My RC strength varies huge when I try LSAT passages. Probably I feel numb when concept is unknown to me and when passage is dealing with huge data. Comparatively, my strike rate increases on passages which deal with some concepts or ideas. I try to follow step 1; therefore, I use to revisit passage when it has a lot of numeric information or plethora of descriptions.
Finally, I am deciding to use step1 and 2 based on situation, step 1 for idea based passages (with more inference questions) and step 2 for descriptive passages. Let me know whether it would be ok to follow 2 approaches.
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 08 May 2009, 12:09
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The hardest for me in RC was to actually read the passage and not to have to go back and re-read.
I had to just read with the idea that the text will be "gone" and I may not go back to it. If this makes sense - this gave my mind an idea that I had one chance to read and need to absorb every piece of it. That was the only way for me not to have to go back for 90% of questions.

The interesting part I noticed that my mind was much better at picking up useless facts and details that the passage fools me to think were important than some of the more minor elements such as tone and dynamics of the passage.

I think GMAT passages are good at throwing a ton of details at you in a passage and in most cases does not test your understanding of those facts, rather how elements integrate and relate to each other. however, I would still read the little details but immediately mentally answered a question: Why is this info included?

Answering that question, I did not focus on the data but rather on how it relates and why it is there. THE BIG PICTURE!
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 16 May 2009, 07:52
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Thank you bb for your valuable tips. I followed your above tips and those worked 100% flawlessly. :-D Today I took GMATPrep test I and did all RC question correct except one for which I convinced myself enough to select the wrong answer. My test score is 740 (Q50, V39). At the end of verbal section I deliberately faced time issue and therefore had to skip last 4 questions without reading them properly.
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 16 May 2009, 21:15
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Fantastic Job! I am glad it was useful and more importantly worked.

740 on the GMAT Prep - that could be a great score on the GMAT (by the way, take a look at our new gmat score estimator: http://gmatclub.com/gmat-score-estimate).
When are you planning to take the GMAT?
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Re: How is your comprehension skill?? [#permalink] New post 23 May 2009, 08:28
bb wrote:
Fantastic Job! I am glad it was useful and more importantly worked.

740 on the GMAT Prep - that could be a great score on the GMAT (by the way, take a look at our new gmat score estimator: http://gmatclub.com/gmat-score-estimate).
When are you planning to take the GMAT?


Thank you very much for the link (+1 for you). I took another GMATPrep and MGMAT CAT tests. My scores were 730(Q50,V39) and 710(Q47,V40). Now, I am bit scared whether I would be able to keep my consistency on exam, which is on next week.
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Re: How is your comprehension skill??   [#permalink] 23 May 2009, 08:28
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