How to Attempt Reading Comprehension on the GMAT - The Mind Map Strategy
Many students find themselves intimidated by the reading comprehension portion of the GMAT, due to the difficulty inherent in tackling questions that require reading a fairly lengthy passage, in an exam as time-sensitive as the GMAT. However, with the proper approach, one can easily navigate the complexities of the GMAT reading comprehension passages. In this short article, we will cover one such approach, the mind map strategy. This strategy is particularly useful for understanding the core meaning and relevant pieces of information, presented in each passage, quickly.
Mind Map Strategy for RCs
Here we will go through the entire mind map strategy for GMAT reading comprehension, step by step. Please read carefully and understand this approach.
Skim through the first paragraph, without taking in too much of the details. Then, take your eyes off the screen.
Without looking back at the screen, try to answer what the purpose of the paragraph is. Remember, the purpose is always very, very brief, so avoid paraphrasing the details mentioned in the paragraph, keep your summation as brief as possible.
Skim through the next paragraph and, once again, ask yourself what its purpose is, after taking your eyes off of the screen. However, there is one more step this time; link the purpose of the first paragraph with that of the second.
Repeat Step 3 for all subsequent paragraphs. Skim the paragraph, take your eyes off the screen, ask yourself what the purpose of the paragraph is and link it to the purpose of the previous paragraph.
In this manner, you will be able to build a map of the entire passage.
For structure-based questions, such as "What is the tone of the passage?" or "What is the structure of the passage?", the mind-map will suffice and you will not need to return to the passage to answer the question. For fact-based and inference-based questions, however, you will need to refer to the passage. That having been said, you will only have to refer to the relevant parts because the mind map strategy will give you a very fair idea as to where each piece of information lays in the passage.
This article has deliberately been kept brief; for a more elaborate explanation, please refer to Experts' Global's Stage One Critical Reasoning videos.