Wednesday, June 11, 2014

GMAT reading comprehension - How to prepare Part 1

Comprehension: fix it
Every admission test includes a section on passage comprehension, in which a test taker is required to read, analyse and answer questions based on what is stated or implied in the passage. 

These questions are designed to test a wide range of abilities pre-requisite to academic study at a higher level. Those abilities include:
  • understanding the meaning of individual words, phrases and sentences with in the passage
  • understanding the meaning and purpose of paragraphs and larger bodies of text
  • distinguishing between specific details and meaty points
  • summarizing a paragraph or an entire passage
  • drawing conclusions from the given data
  • reasoning out extended information
  • understanding the structure of writing and organization of arguments
  • identifying the author’s assumptions and opinions
  • synthesizing various points coherently
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses of a position
  • developing and considering alternative explanations
  •  Gleaning the tone and tenor of the author

As this list implies, reading and understanding a piece of text requires far more than a passive understanding of the words and sentences it contains; it requires active engagement with the text, asking questions, formulating and evaluating hypotheses and reflecting on the relationship of the particular text to other texts and information. Passages are generally drawn from the life sciences, arts, humanities and everyday topics and are based on material found in books and periodicals, both academic and nonacademic.  Questions can cover any of the topics listed above, from the meaning of a particular word to assessing additional evidence that might support or weaken points made in the passage. Mostly  the questions are standard multiple-choice questions, in which you are required to select a single answer choice, and others ask you to select multiple answer be the next blog