With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this blog series, Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.
Part 1 of this series covered how to read Reading Comprehension (RC), and Part 2 introduced the first two major question types: Main Idea and Specific Detail. In Part 3, we discussed Inference questions and Why questions. If you have not already done so, start by reading those posts, and then continue with this final post in the series.
Put It All Together
All right, now you have all the pieces:
- What to read and what not to read
- How to find the main point
- How to answer Main Idea, Specific Detail, Inference, and Why questions
We should now test your skills! This first article talks about how to read tough science passages.
As I mentioned earlier, we really do not have much time to read RC passages. Aim for approximately two to two and a half minutes on shorter passages and closer to three minutes for longer ones. Of course, you cannot possibly read everything closely and carefully in such a short time frame—but that is not your goal! Our goal is to get the big picture on that first read-through.
Aim to answer main idea questions in roughly one minute. You can spend up to two minutes on the more specific questions. In particular, if you run across an Except question, expect to spend pretty close to two minutes; Except questions nearly always take a while.
As always, be aware of your overall time. If you find that you are running behind, skip one question entirely; do not try to save 30 seconds each on a bunch of questions. Also, if RC is your weakest verbal area, and you also struggle with speed, consider guessing immediately on one question per passage and spreading your time over the remaining questions.
Great, I Have Mastered RC!
Let us test that theory, shall we? Your next step is to implement all these techniques on your next practice test while also managing your timing well. Good luck!