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Short Passages on the GMAT–Easy or Tricky ?

ReReading-150x150ading Comprehension (RC) passages on the GMAT can be very intimidating. You may often feel that the longer RC passages are tougher to solve than the shorter ones. You may also tend to believe that you are more adept at solving short RCs on the GMAT although it may not be so.

While attempting short RC passages you must not take it easy as in shorter RCs often there is loads of information compacted in one paragraph rather than detailed in several paragraphs. You may later realize that the shorter RCs are more complicated than the longer ones as the texts in the shorter ones are not clearly demarcated and you may often need to read thoroughly to find the answers to the questions.

Here are a few ways to tackle short RCs on the GMAT:

1. Take Notes –As the information in a short RC is often shrunk in a single paragraph, you need to understand the flow of the information. You should not just read for information but also take notes.  The relevance of the information in context will enable you to get the main idea of the passage. Important details put down on the note board will help you stay focused.

2. Watch out for Transition words – If you pay attention to transition words, you will get an idea what to expect next. Words such as ‘but’, ‘although’, ‘however’ will enable you to understand and grasp the flow of information better. These signpost words play a very pivotal role in comprehending the passages.

3. Understand the Text – You need to understand the importance of the text one sentence at a time – whether the information is a claim, an opinion, a conclusion, or an evidence.  If you do so, you will be better equipped to answer specific as well as general questions on the RC.

To sum it up, you must learn to read actively while attempting GMAT RCs. The Image-150x150answer will always be in the passage, so you only need to find the answer from the passage. If you go through the passages properly and understand the structure of the passages — both long and short — answering the questions will be easier.




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