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Economist GMAT Tutor Representative
Joined: 06 Aug 2019
Posts: 128

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04 Dec 2019, 08:11

The GMAT’s Reading Comprehension (RC) section, with its 350 word passages, can be a tricky puzzle for anyone. But by practicing active reading, you will be in a better position to master the RC section.

Reading for the RC section is really about how you read. Usually when we read, in similar fashion to watching TV, we are passive. We do not interact with information. How often do we think about the way our texts are structured? Never.

We can call this passive reading. The GMAT requires that we be active readers.

The best way to practice the RC section is to begin reading for the RC, to begin to interact with text.

• What is the main idea of this passage?
• What is the author's position and tone (neutral? critical? etc.)?
• What is the structure of the argument (e.g. two opposing sides vs. one sided, informational vs. author's opinion)?

If you do not regularly read, you can start by subscribing to some publications available online. Here are some good examples to get you started: The New York Times, The Economist, The Washington Post, Scientific American and Businessweek. Focus on the opinion or editorial section, as the writers of these articles for these publications usually use a language level on par with the GMAT RC passages, and the articles are approximately the same length as GMAT articles.

Doing the above will help you learn how to understand a passage in general terms as well as determine what the specific arguments may be, which are two key skills you will need for the GMAT’s RC section. You will learn how to navigate the different sections of passages more freely and learn how the different parts of texts are interwoven.

Therefore:

• Try to practice active reading once every day.
• Practice determining the main idea, tone, type and structure of texts.
• Pay attention to how the text flows. Keep an eye out for changes in opinions or content.

Originally posted in Economist GMAT Blog
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