Reading Comprehension (RC) is an effective way to test a candidate’s competencies in not just her language skills, but aptitudes incoherence, logical reasoning, and abilities to interpret conclusively from a wide array of data. The Reading Comprehension (RC) segment in GMAT tries to basically look at the following competencies of comprehension:

  1. Lexical Comprehension
  2. Literal Comprehension
  3. Interpretive Comprehension
  4. Applied Comprehension
  5. Affective Comprehension

GMAT is definitely a platform to prove one’s RC skills but within a specified and limited time. Hence, to add to the five-point agenda of general comprehension is the sixth most important point:

  1. Time Management

Let us take a look at each of the categories and see how to crack the GMAT effectively, in the RC segment, by taking note of proven tips and tricks.

Lexical Comprehension: This is technically one of the easiest components of RC, in which the vocabulary of the candidate is tested. For known words, the search for synonyms is obviously an easier enterprise; however, for unknown words the task becomes a tad bit difficult. In such cases, the candidate is expected to derive the meaning out of the short passage. An effective way of doing so is to start having an idea of the context of the passage.

E.g.: What is the meaning of the word “elusive” in the passage above?

Literal Comprehension: This portion is not difficult to comprehend but requires careful attention to details that have already been provided in the short passages of GMAT RC. Perhaps, one of the main reasons, why GMAT RC asks comprehension questions of the literal type, is to check the candidate’s attention to details, which also acts as a check for the candidate’s skills towards knowing what to find out from where. This skill, known as mining, is often a very celebrated requirement for GMAT aspirants.

E.g.: Who was said to have become “elusive” in the passage above?

Interpretive Comprehension: The questions from this segment do not lie exactly within the short passage. Related content is to be found in the passages, based on which candidates are supposed to interpret possible solutions to a problem. GMAT RC at this level does not limit itself as a test of language comprehension anymore but rises higher than that. It tends to double up as a test for reasoning too.

E.g.: In what ways have the person become “elusive” in nature?

Applied Comprehension: Questions of this pattern are usually opinion-based. They cannot be easily answered as right or wrong. This segment tends to ask GMAT candidates about their takes on certain situations, attributes, and circumstances, based on experiential learning and knowledge. Rationing minds are the object of the filter in such kinds of questions in the GMAT RC.

E.g.: Do you think it was wrong for her to have become “elusive” at that stage?

Affective Comprehension: This part is technically understood to be the toughest segment of GMAT RC. This relates to human assumptions, aspirations, and emotional structures in understanding the solutions to a comprehension answer. This is primarily based on social structures and norms on how certain decisions (which exist outside the premises of the printed comprehension passage) can be taken by adjudging human tendencies, social upbringings, etc. Elements of motives, psychoanalysis, etc. can be obtained through these kinds of comprehensions in GMAT RC.

E.g.: What would you do if you were to be placed in such a situation where the character acts so “elusive”?

Therefore, during preparation, as well during the test, if a candidate can keep in mind these ways of looking into a text, in addition to keeping within the right time, he/she will clearly score very high, in the much celebrated GMAT RC.


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