Reading comprehension questions in the GMAT’s Verbal section contain a short passage of text which participants are then asked to answer multiple choice questions on. As suggested by the title of these questions, test-takers are expected to prove their understanding of the text after reading it.
The majority of GMAT test-takers will not hold any expertise in the subject that the passage of text is based on. This is intentional, as reading comprehension questions are designed to test participants on their understanding of unfamiliar texts and subjects, with no prior knowledge assumed.
While the layout of the reading comprehension questions encourages test-takers to read the sample text before reading the questions, it can be beneficial to read the question first. This way, test-takers can keep the question in mind as they asses the text, which can save them valuable time in not having to re-read the text multiple times. Instead, the area of text which the question refers to can be pinpointed and focused upon in selecting the correct answer.
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A regular mistake that many MBA applicants taking the GMAT make during the reading comprehension questions is selecting an answer that correctly refers to the text, but fails to answer the question. Here, participants’ understanding of the question, as well as the sample text is being tested.
Often, the sample text includes the views and opinions of people other than just the author. This can create much confusion for a stressed MBA applicant, as multiple choice answers can often include these opinions, labeled as though they are the author’s. In order to successfully navigate around these incorrect multiple choice answers, participants need to be aware of not only the points made in the sample text, but also the sources.
Finally, test-takers should be conscious of multiple choice answers in the reading comprehension questions that give statements or opinions not already included in the sample text. The correct answer should always be based on the text, and should never include any additional information.