Studying for the reading comprehension section of the GRE can feel like a Sisyphean task, but don't be discouraged! You can get up that mountain. That said, the path is neither short nor facile.
GRE RC Strategies
To help you on your journey, here are some useful resources. If you want to be able to approach RC questions as an expert would, memorize the strategies in these posts:
- Introduction to Reading Comprehension (Strategies and Pacing)
- How to Approach Questions
- Example of How a Passage is Outlined
- Identifying Patterns in Passages
- Pacing Strategies
- Active Reading Strategies for the GRE
Beyond strategy, you should be reading a LOT to prepare for the GRE. Read. Read. Read. Doing so will improve your vocab and your familiarity with different forms and styles. Make flashcards of the vocabulary words that you don't know. Pause from time to time and summarize the main ideas of the passage in your own words. Here are some suggested materials:
Reading is the BEST way to improve your reading comprehension skills!
Pacing on GRE RC
You may be tempted to start timing yourself right off the bat. We actually recommend beginning your RC practice without the timer. Slow down and work on really understanding what you're reading. You may feel as though you're wasting time trying to understand the passage deeply, but most time is actually lost trying to answer questions you don't know the answer to because you read the passage too quickly.
So first, slow down, take brief notes, and practice without the timer. Practice using all the strategies you have learned and ignore the clock.
Then, when you feel that you're getting the hang of understanding these dense passages, start using the timer.
For more tips on how to improve your RC, check out this post on our blog, and don't forget to read often!