With graduation on the minds of a lot of MBA students, the much-feared GMAT is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. This test is considered to be extremely challenging, and with its importance in a student’s career, the stress is even more. It is imperative for MBA students to get a decent score to qualify for a reputed university of their choice.
GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test. It currently stands as a significant barrier to getting into 2,100 schools and 5900 programs all over the world.
With the challenging verbal section testing comprehensions and sentences with challenging grammar, learning the rules of the language becomes a necessity to solve the test under the time limit.
The average reading speed of a human varies from 200 to 250 words per minute, while it is easy to reach a reading speed of 500 words per minute by proper instruction and practice. This means that you can outdo your competition by improving your reading speed and thereby get better Gmat scores.
Keeping the needs of GMAT takers in mind, here are some extremely handy tips to improve your reading speed–
- Let Go of Poor Reading Habits- There are some common reading habits that readers invariably practice on a day to day basis. Once we are aware of what practices cause our reading to become slower, working towards eliminating such habits can help us double our reading speed. Some of these habits are:
–Sub-vocalisation: Sub-vocalisation is the habit of pronouncing every word in the head as you read it. This habit is very common in speakers coming from a non-native English speaking background. However, one must try to eliminate this habit as one can understand the meaning of a word way faster than one can pronounce it.
–Word-by-word reading: This is another slow reading habit that should’ve been done away with in primary school. If you still carry this habit, try improving your general English proficiency, so you do not need to read the ‘expected’ verbs and pronouns between the inevitable nouns and adjectives.
–Regression and Lack of Concentration: These two habits, along with bad reading go hand in hand.
Regression is the habit of re-reading already read material. This problem arises when you do not concentrate enough on what you’re reading.
In a fast paced GMAT exam, regression is a strict no-no. To avoid regression, you can inculcate the habit of running a pen or a pointer against the sentence you’re reading.
In the long run, you need to eliminate concentration issues. There is a whole list of tactics that you can utilise to improve your general concentration levels.
- Practice Makes Perfect-This famous one-liner holds perfectly in the case of improving your reading speed. Try to read everything you can get your hands on. Start your day by reading your newspaper. Read books and novels in your free time.
Practice from famous grammar books such as Wren And Martin. Read signboards, leaflets, questionnaires – essentially anything you can get hold of.
Here’s food for thought- An average graduate student only reads 5 to 6 books in their entire lifetime! More reading will surely result in better marks!
- Choose Easy Material to Start With- While reading Shakespeare will help at some point in time, starting with complex material is a bad idea. Try to read the works of local authors (who write in a simpler language) and work your way upwards. Also, do not limit yourself to a single author as you might get too acquainted with one writing style.
Professionals recommend the works of R.K Narayan, Sidney Sheldon, and Paulo Coelho.
- Learn to Skim Read- Skim reading is jumping over words yet still deriving complete meaning from the material at hand. In a study by useit.com, it has been found that one can derive the same level of understanding of an article by reading only 18% of it.
Once your reading skills improve, GMAT becomes half the threat that it once was considered to be. Besides helping you to ace GMAT, quick reading skills are something you’ll cherish for your entire life.
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