Are You Reading Too Fast to Succeed on the GMAT?

GMAT prep is a tough business, and it seems as though only the smartest can score well.

I am a firm believer that with enough time and dedicated practice, anyone can reach a 700+ GMAT level.

However, this requires a sincere mindset shift. In fact, it requires that the test taker approach the GMAT exam unlike any other exam that he or she has likely taken.

It’s simple to learn to read how the GMAT expects you to! Read on…

The first thing to remember about the Reading Comprehension section of the GMAT is that it is the section that must be read with the LEAST care.

Yes, that is right. The least.

In terms of the most to least care required, the sections go: Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving, Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, and only then Reading Comprehension.

Like the rest of the GMAT, the Reading Comprehension section is written specifically to be obtuse and confusing.

But the passages are simply bewildering. How can you interpret 250-500 words of this at a time?

The simplest: read with less care.

A colleague of mine—a fine GMAT instructor–often tells clients that 80% of the questions in the Reading Comprehension section can be answered after only reading the passage for 30 seconds.

This might seem extreme, but he is stressing the fact that structure is king.

The passage has a particular structure and 80% of the questions will be based on this structure.

Looking only for structure, you can read much more quickly.

Details don’t matter. Remember, you always have the passage directly in front of you, so ignore the details and check them later!

The best benefit of this might be passive: remember that the passages are written in obtuse, confusing language.

Therefore, you are less likely to be tripped by bizarre language or complex sentences if you don’t try to understand 100% the first time.

If this is a problem for you, speak to a GMAT tutor today!

Find your problems. Train them away. Call or e-mail for a free consultation.

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p.s. Remember that beyond the major concept of each passage, content is only there to confuse you!

About the author

Rowan Hand Head Coach Rowan Hand has been a GMAT tutor and content developer for more than 10 years. Rowan has coached hundreds of clients in private and group classes. Former clients have gone on to Harvard, LBS, INSEAD, Wharton, and other excellent business schools.