Reading Comprehension

December 20, 2006

It's Incomprehensble!!

com·pre·hen·sion Pronunciation(kmpr-hnshn)

a. The act or fact of grasping the meaning, nature, or importance of; understanding.
b. The knowledge that is acquired in this way.
2. Capacity to include.
3. Logic The sum of meanings and corresponding implications inherent in a term.

Okay...forget all that!! The GMAT guys are well aware that we cannot be astronomers, doctors, environmentalists, engineers, drama critics all at the same time...right?? So it's pretty lame to expect that we would understand every minor details out there in the passages they give us to read. So what does comprehension really mean here? It means how much you have "understood" what the author is trying to convey. Don't expect questions which will ask details beyond the scope of the passage. For that matter you should infact keep your general knowledge in a box! So if you know that pluto is now not a planet anymore....please don't use this bit of information if it's not stated i nthe passage.

There are three phases in your RC section....
  1. When you are preparing for now.
  2. When you are actually reading the passage...which you will.
  3. And finally when you are solving the questions...which you will have to!!
So for preparing and I assume that you have plenty of time to do should get into the habit of reading...random stuff...from good sources. A good reading speed and a good vocabulary, especially with lotsa jargon awareness is worth possessing.

But obviously you don't have much time and you are panicking already, becuase your accuracy leveles are not good. So try this:
  1. Don't get bogged down by the details, especially examples cited....skip it!! Skim the passage.
  2. While reading look for author's main idea.
  3. Try to figure out the purpose of the passage...all GMAT passages have one.
  4. Use the scratch paper to quickly write a very very very small summary of each passage. This can work wonders especially in specific details questions and help you locate the portion which can answer the particular question. But this needs practice.
  5. Also Kaplan gives you a good technique. like magic...basically you chart out the structure of the passage. Helps you spot the relevant info quickly and gives you command on the have bird's view of the passage this way.
  6. Don't re'read until and unless you have to..,atleast don't re-read the pasage because you feel you haven't understood it!! NO!! Don't do it!!
That's pretty much what I can tell you...really there's nothing more I can do here!! Practice, practice and practice. If you could, time permitting, try to take the LSAT really prepares you for the toughest questions.

Read all the explanations. You can re-read the explanations/passages any number of times you want to during the analysis session, and not while doing the passages!!


Suggested Books : Kaplan 800, Kaplan Verbal Workbook, Official Guide

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