GMAT Reading Comprehension preparation strategy

Author: Nomi | Published on: February 6, 2019, 5:30 P.M. (IST)

The reading comprehension section of GMAT can be intimidating given the bold variations between long and short RC passages. Despite the structure variations, concentrating on both equally will enable a better outcome.

For the long RC passages, the questions are more or less targeted, i.e., specific. Short passages on the other hand are not as structured as long passages and the question asked are less specific.

Because of this phenomenon of drastic variations in GMAT Reading Comprehension section, approaching the right way will save time and also help in tackling both the section with minimum constrain.

Making notes

While long passages are laid out neatly with details, short ones are fixed into one to two paragraphs. The first trick is to do a quick but sincere read-through to get a rough picture. Then proceed with the search for structural words in each paragraph. Once you start to understand the content, map out the formative words and mark it/note it.

Formative words

The formative words which connect or project a detail such as 'but', 'however, etc., are mostly clues to the answer. So, once you’ve marked or taken a note of it, start paying full concentration on it. These words are an indication of the idea/argument behind the paragraph

First sentences

Look closely to the opening lines of a paragraph. Find out if the following lines are a direct extension of the first or if it is jumping to a new explanation. If an idea is stretched directly into 3-4 lines, it probably contains the information. This is very crucial especially for the short paragraph because of the limited structure flow.


While giving attention to formative words, keep in mind to read deep the ending lines or the closing lines. The conclusion consists of the content’s final summary. It wraps up the entire paragraph and lays down the intended information/concept. This stands true for both long and short passages, hence it is beneficial to apply to both while attempting the GMAT RC section.

Speak to our career counselor