Unfortunately reading is not everyone’s cup of tea. And the experience gets more excruciating with every passing day because it requires of the ‘ reader’ just what all his interface with technology has systematically eroded and reduced to nought. Excessive use of ‘textspeak’ or ‘netspeak’ has knocked the bottom out of all our skills with words and our ability to articulate ourselves and to comprehend others. The sum is that ‘we’ (the race of test- takers) most often start the prep for the GMAT with a handicap that is nothing short of a Gordian knot! So, the almighty question is – does a student, aspiring to write the GMAT, but averse to reading, have no hope of redemption from his crimes against the English language?
I’d say – there is hope for all!
To tackle a passage and the 3-4 questions based on it you need to follow a plan, a method, a strategy. Walk the GMAT reading comprehension passages adhering to this plan every time and over a period of regular observance the plan will settle effortlessly into your cognitive skills.
The plan starts with strict adherence to the rule that reading passages need to be read! The evasive approach of trying to handle a ‘reading’ comprehension by doing everything but reading is futile. The average length of the passages on the GMAT requires 6-7 minutes of reading time. So when you start raining for the reading section, start by following the 6-7 minutes reading time rule. Do not be soft with yourself; do not daydream and do not allow your mind the liberty to wander. Focus. Force yourself to like the read. This time will be well spent. The time spent on reading can be encashed to the optimum if while reading you watch, identify, analyze and assimilate.
Watch – the structure of the passage, the author’s position, the narrative style.
Identify – the main idea, the primary purpose, key words and key content.
Analyze – the argument and ideas put forward, the point/s of view.
Assimilate – the facts/details, data.
Reading with your mind at work affords you immense benefits – you get an overview of the content, you are able to spot location of content and hence form a roadmap of it. This minimizes the time you normally spend on travelling to the location of certain content and also the chances of you being blank when the questions pop up for you one after the other! Having read the passage, you are definitely less susceptible to crumble before the question/s because when the questions come up on your screen there is a more cognizant you facing them. This is a great morale booster if nothing else!
At the training courses at Option GMAT Dubai, students actually get to be trained to approach the reading portion with the plan elucidated above. In class, trainers meticulously journey passages with the students, explaining and instructing about the effective strategies for score enhancement.