Reading Comp Tips

  1. Read MIT Technology review passages every day (comprehension), 30 min before bed!
  2. Sentence Equivalence: ace it to save time! (check tips for this)
  3. Skim right: 1st and last paras, then 1st and last sentences of others (take notes!) to ge overview. You can easily answer tone/main idea of passage questions
  4. “Tweet to a friend” summarize each para in 20 words (check if this saves time and doesn’t lose info)
  5. Scan other sentences to look for keywords; important dates, names, stand out terminology
  6. Read Aggressively: write quick notes as you read the passage: write down quick summary for each para, note main ideas names, theories, other important details
  7. Rotten Tomato technique: even if 1 word in an answer looks off, dilutes meaning, don’t select it. GRE gives 90% right options we select in a rush (watch out for traps!)
  8. If long passage isn’t being understood, look away from screen for 5 seconds, close your eyes, take deep breaths
  9. Read at steady pace, not too fast
  10. Identify Signaling words: First, second, third, furthermore, on the other hand, for example, namely, for one thing, in addition, nevertheless, for these reasons, proponents believe, critics believe, but, however, whether/if, according to, therefore, consequently, In contrast, claims, goes so far as to claim, others argue
  11. Maintain focus: take notes
  12. Active reading: read some parts of passage carefully (opening and closing paras, opening and closing lines of others)
  13. Rephrase original question to remove multiple concepts, double negatives, etc
  14. Check # questions before starting a RC to make sure its worth doing right now
  15. Multiple select: treat every option in complete isolation with others
  16. Fake your love for the passage: I really want to learn about XYZ today!
  17. Disqualify options where author is completely negative (not just constructively criticizing, ie where they say something is wrong and give a reason for it ) and where they have used drastic or extreme language
  18. Watch out for satiric sentences, multiple comparisons with other ideas to confuse you about which is the main one, author camouflaging their own opinion through others, provide analogies. Practice these types, and skip and come back later if too hard!
  19. Take SHORT notes: no sentences, only key words or phrases (dates, names, theories, definitions). Paraphrase a lot. Use texting lingo. Use arrows, diagrams
  20. Time save to eliminate options: fold fingers of left hand! (A = thumb, B = index, C = middle, D = ring, E = pinky)