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GMAT Reading Comprehension: How to Score Well?

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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GMAT Reading Comprehension is an integral part of the GMAT Verbal section as it tests the candidate's ability to understand and analyze written material. The Reading Comprehension questions make up a vital part of the Verbal section, and a good score in this area can significantly impact the overall verbal score.

Reading and comprehending written material is a critical skill for success in graduate business programs, where students will be required to read and understand complex texts, such as case studies and academic articles. In addition, GMAT RC skills are vital for success in the business world as professionals must read and understand a wide range of written materials, including reports, articles, and emails, to make informed decisions.

GMAT Reading Comprehension Format 

  • Types of questions asked in GMAT RC

The RC questions are based on passages that are usually around 200-350 words. The passages are taken from various sources, such as academic texts, business-related materials, and articles. The passages typically include a mix of factual information and arguments.

  • GMAT RC score Weightage 

The exact weightage of the RC questions in the Verbal section varies depending on the specific test, as the GMAT is a computer-adaptive test, which means that the difficulty level of the questions will adjust based on the test taker's performance.

But typically, the Reading Comprehension questions make up around 20-25% of the Verbal section. A good score in the RC section can significantly impact the overall GMAT Verbal score.

It is important to note that GMAT is a highly competitive exam, and its scores are used as a benchmark for graduate business programs. The average scores of the students admitted to the top MBA programs are usually in the range of 600-750, hence getting a good score in the RC section can increase your chances of gaining admission to a good MBA program of your choice.

Read More About GMAT Exam:

GMAT Eligibility

Syllabus For GMAT

Exam Pattern of GMAT

GMAT Exam Dates 2022

GMAT Test Centers in India

GMAT Registration

GMAT Results & GMAT Scores

Validity of GMAT Score

MBA Without GMAT in Germany


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GMAT RC passages: Key Topics

The questions that are typically asked in the GMAT Reading Comprehension section include the following: 

  • Main Idea: These questions ask the test-taker to identify the passage’s main point or overall theme.
  • Supporting Details: These questions ask to identify specific details from the passage that support the main idea.
  • Inference: These questions ask the candidate to make logical inferences based on the information provided in the passage.
  • Vocabulary in Context: These questions test the ability to understand words in the passage’s context . 
  • The function of a Sentence/Paragraph: These questions cover the purpose of a sentence in the passage.

GMAT Reading Comprehension Practice: How to Ace it? 

Here are some tips for GMAT Reading Comprehension Practice:

  • Read extensively: The more you read, the more comfortable you will be with the types of texts that appear on the GMAT. It includes reading newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and other nonfiction texts. It will prepare you for GMAT RC passages
  • Take practice tests: Take as many practice tests as possible to become familiar with the format of the GMAT reading comprehension section. Practice tests will also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Understand the question types: Become acquainted with the different questions that appear in the reading comprehension section. Understanding the question types will help you work out the best way to analyze and answer them.
  • Practice active reading: As you read, actively engage with the text by underlining, highlighting, or summarizing essential information. It will help you focus and retain information better.
  • Practice time management: The verbal section is timed, so ensure you practice reading and answering questions quickly without rushing.
  • Seek feedback: Get feedback from your instructor or a tutor on your practice test performance. 
  • Analyze the Passage: When you read any passage, try to understand its main idea, the author's purpose, and the structure of the passage, as well as the tone and style of the author.
  • Use your own words: Try to paraphrase or break down the information in the passage in your own words while you read it; this will help in understanding the passage more deeply.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is GMAT reading comprehension an important section?

GMAT reading comprehension is considered an important section because it measures one of the key skills that business schools look for in applicants, i.e., the ability to understand complex written material and make informed decisions based on that material. Therefore, it is important for students to effectively prepare for this section to perform well on the GMAT and increase their chances of being admitted to their desired business school.

How to understand GMAT RC passages?

GMAT RC passages test the abilities of test takers to understand and comprehend passages. Here are some aspects that you should focus on while doing GMAT reading comprehension practice: 

  • Vocabulary in context
  • The function of a sentence/paragraph
  • Main idea
  • Supporting details
  • Always offer your perspective

Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

PTE Eligibility

PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

PTE Exam Pattern

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.