Whenever I have a GAT student who is having a lot of problems with reading comprehension, I make them go through a very effective process. I start off by giving them a small reading passage (1-2 paragraphs) from one of the GAT past papers. I give them 2-3 minutes to read the paragraph(s) and then cover the passage so that they cannot refer back what they just read.
Then I ask them to tell me about the passage and whatever they can recall. I require them to give me as much detail as possible and then ask them various questions about it. Many time students give me unclear responses – some say they read about two author’s discussing a theory while others say they read about three. Very few students are able to give a complete response.
Understand the Passage
GAT students who struggle with reading and understanding passages will always give a vague and mixed response to their understanding of the passage. Sure they will be able to tell what was mentioned in the passage but they will not be able to come up with a consistent and unified response. Their understanding of the passage will be in bits and pieces – some information here and some there will be all what they’ll know.
Unless you do not understand the entire GAT passage you will not be able to answer questions correctly. Spend as much time as you can to know what the GAT verbal comprehension is all about. If you don’t do that you will always fall for the trap answers that usually come with all GAT critical reading questions.
For GAT students having trouble with reading comprehensions, my advice is to start off with reading slowly. Make sure you understand what the passage is saying. Many time Pakistani students like to paraphrase the passages into their local language such as Urdu and then understand it. Try to get rid of this practice as it takes double the time than it would normally take. Don’t worry about the questions and focus on getting the gist of the passage.
Don’t rely on your sixth sense
Many GAT test takers argue with me that by slowing down while reading takes up a lot of their time to answer the questions. However the reality is that much time is wasted on questions that GAT students cannot answer because they haven’t read the passage carefully. They then move back and forth between the passage and the answer choices and eventually end up making an egregious error by picking an answer that they ‘feel’ is correct.
Therefore I would insinuate and stress you to slow your pace down and consume more time reading and understanding the passage. Once you understand the passage you will breeze through all the questions and be able to answer them correctly. If you are unable to retain what you read, then make small notes of things that you are reading. Practice doing this for at least 40-50 reading passages – after a while you will realize that this would come naturally to you and you will start improving. Good luck and let me know your thoughts on this!
By the way, students who use GAT 30 days Study Plan improve their scores significantly. On an average we have seen students improve their scores by 25 points.