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The Reading Comprehension Section

It is a common fact that the most complicated part of the GRE exam is the reading comprehension section. We have seen a lot of candidates complain about how lengthy and complicated the section is. It is true that the reading takes a lot of time but it can be approached in a smart and sensible manner to help one score better in a much shorter time. There are two types of reading passages in the GRE. They are the shorter passages that are followed by two questions and relatively longer passages followed by four questions.In the test, one can expect about three to four reading comprehension passages that have two to four questions per passage. Only one question will appear on the screen at a time. In nearly every passage you encounter, the author will be trying to convey a specific point. In general, the strategy for the Reading Comprehension passage is:

1) Find the general topic
2) Find the specific focus of the passage
3) Find the author's reason for writing the passage.
How to approach the Reading Comprehension Section:
· Dissect the introductory paragraph.
· Create a mental road map of the passage.
· Once you finish the essay, stop to summarize the entire passage.
· Tackle the questions.
1. Dissect the introductory paragraph.

Read the introductory paragraph clearly and thoroughly in an active manner. Try to interpret the concept of the text as well as the author’s tone and point. Try to infer what the theme of the passage is and what the author is trying to say.
2. Create a mental road map of the passage.

Understand the organization of the passage and the purpose of the paragraphs. Underline the content of the different paragraphs and why they are present. Do not spend too much time on reading the passage but understanding its organization. Reading well does not let you score better. Only correct answers help you to. Get a rough idea about what the passage is about and go ahead with answering the questions. Always remember you’re your time is limited so use it conservatively, especially while dealing with the reading comprehension questions. Read only the first line of the each paragraph clearly and skim the rest of it. Make a note of a summary of each first line of every paragraph so it will be easy to spot the answers later on.

3. Stop to summarize the essay.

After you finish skimming the essay, make brief notes to summarize the essay. The point, the approach and the conclusion should be clearly noted in order to get a clear understanding and better answering of the questions.
4. Tackle the questions.

Answer the questions from your knowledge of skimming as well from the notes you have made. Try to identify the passage in which the answer is located by reading the question. One you know where in the passage the answer lies, it is easy to spot it and choose it correctly.
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