Tips for solving GRE Reading Comprehension


In new pattern GRE, the verbal part always seems to be a challenge. And to talk about something in particular, Reading comprehension takes your most time. We keep on figuring out answer among the options and they all look almost equally right. The problem elevates even more when it’s a literature passage. Sometimes it appears like a ‘Rocket Science’ to make through reading comprehensions.
Even I faced all these problems when I was giving my attempt for GRE, but few practices and thumb rules, which I generalized through my experience, I found RC was not that stubborn to crack. In a nutshell ‘Practice makes man perfect’ and we should follow it. So here are some of the tips which might be useful to you while dealing with Reading Comprehension.


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  1. Read first and last paragraph of the passage carefully. Mostly answers like ‘what is the tone of the author’, ‘what is author’s attitude’, ‘what author expects’ are hidden in these two paragraph.
  2. You can follow ‘first read the questions and then look into passage’ rule. This is helpful in literature type of passages. Sometimes we find literature passages boring to read so reading questions before in such passages will help you to skim passage fast.
  3. Skim passage. Know the difference between the content and the example of the content. This will aid you with more time for solving other questions.
  4. While reading passage, take notes. Write next to each paragraph the summary of it. The summary should not be too long, just enough to bring to the notice the gist of it.
  5. When in hurry follow F-L rule. Read first paragraph carefully, then first line of each paragraph and at end again full last paragraph. Usually first paragraph tells you what the passage is about; last tell you about the conclusion and starting of each paragraph tell you what the paragraph is about.
  6. At the time of solving questions, try to answer them by yourself first. Then have a look at the options and see which option matches to your answer.
  7. Do not go for extreme options, like the one which uses most, none, never etc.
  8. Most of the time, option which makes comparison between two things is a wrong one. Do not go for them.
  9. When in doubt, go back to passage and read that particular line or paragraph and answer.
  10. Sometimes there are questions which ask you to figure out exception, for these you must look at the particular paragraph.
  11. You must not spend more than 5mins for one passage. You need to manage your time.

With these tips I feel some of them can be helpful to you. But to master the art of Reading Comprehension you must practice a lot. Go through number of passages and variety of questions. There are numerous sites on internet which offers you free study material, explore it. Have patience; do not expect a sudden change. Try to give more time solving it.