GMAT: Reading Comprehension Questions

The Reading Comprehension questions in the GMAT Verbal Section typically consist of a passage of about 200 to 400 words, followed by three or four questions based on the passage. Other types of questions in the GMAT Verbal Section are Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning. The three question types are intermingled throughout the Verbal Section of the GMAT.

Ability Tested

The Reading Comprehension question type tests your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze reading passages on a variety of topics. Passages are generally taken from the following categories:

  • Biological science: passages about botany, medicine, or zoology

  • Physical science: passages about chemistry, physics, or astronomy

  • Humanities: passages about art, literature, music, folklore, or philosophy

  • Social studies: passages about history, government, economics, or sociology

The questions frequently will ask you to recognize or evaluate

  • the main idea, main point, or possible title of the passage.

  • information that is directly stated in the passage.

  • information that is implied, suggested, or can be inferred.

  • applications of the author's opinions or ideas.

  • the way the author develops and presents the passage.

  • the style or tone of the passage.

Basic Skills Necessary

Students who have read widely and know how to read, analyze, and interpret stated and implied information efficiently tend to do well on this section.

Directions

Each passage is followed by questions based on its content. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question and select the corresponding oval on the screen. Answer all questions about the passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in that passage. You may refer to the passage.

Analysis

You should answer questions using only the information given or implied in a passage. Do not consider outside information, even if it seems more accurate than the given information.

Here are more test-taking tips:

  • You are looking for the best answer, so be sure to read all the choices.

  • If you don't know the answer, try to eliminate some choices; then take an educated guess.

  • Since you may refer to the passage, don't try to memorize everything in the passage. Read the passage focusing on the main point or purpose and the structure of the passage.

  • The complete passage may not fit on the screen, so make sure you are comfortable with the method of scrolling on the screen.

  • Each passage contains numbered lines for reference, which assist you in finding a particular spot.