(Cracking Reading Comprehensions in the GRE)
The Verbal section of the GRE, if strategically treated can easily boost up your overall score. We know that in this section, at least half of the questions are from the Reading Comprehension (RC). By tweaking your answering method a little, you can forget your worries of cracking the RC passages.
Every test taker encounters at least ten RC passages of varying lengths. One could find three types of RC passages in the exam that are:
- MCQs – Multiple Choice Questions.
- MAQs- Multiple Answer Questions.
- SASs – Select a Sentence from the Passage.
There are two popular approaches opted by the students to tackle the passages:
- To read the passage thoroughly and then go for the questions that follow.
- To read the questions first and then locate the answers in the passage.
Given that the GRE is a time bound test, many of the students tend to prefer the second approach and end up achieving good scores at times. However, as surprising as it may seem, from our experience with successful scorers, we strongly recommend the first approach: reading the passage first followed by answering its questions. This is a proven method to hit the bull’s eye with an RC passage every time. And like every challenge, one could successfully master this approach only with practice.
At Galvanize Test Prep, we recently organized a webinar on the GRE Reading Comprehension. Presenter, Ram Sharma, a Master’s graduate in English Literature, shared tips and techniques to ace the GRE passages. Mr. Sharma focused on the various components of a comprehension passage that are typically tested on. These are briefed below:
- Main Idea – What is the central locus which the passage revolves around?
- Primary Purpose – What is the primary purpose of the passage or Why did the author write the passage?
- Detail – Which of the following is mentioned in the passage or Which of the following is stated by the author?
- Tone – Which of the options best describes the author’s feelings towards ABC?
- Inference – With which of the following would the author most likely agree to?
- Hypothetical Inference – Which of the following options, if true, would strengthen the author’s argument?
- Function of a part of the passage – For what reason does the author assert a particular idea?
- Definition of a term – What does the author mean by a particular term, with reference to the context?
The students actively participated in the session. Some of the common queries raised by them were:
- What if I do not understand certain words in the passage?
- What if the passages are too long and I lose track of what is being discussed?
- How will I scrutinize the passages that are not interesting to me?
- I get bored after cracking some passages and I barely read the passage after answering a few questions. How do I avoid that?
- Are there shortcuts to solve the GRE RC passages?
To clarify these doubts and know more about the Reading Comprehension, watch the enlightening webinar recording below and get rid of your RC phobia.