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The GRE Reading Comprehension : How to read

by admin on July 17th, 2012

One of the most challenging aspects of the GRE is its reading comprehension section. While it is not really straightforward, the reputation it has gained for being formidable is not really well deserved.

In most cases, the reading comprehension passages are taken from published sources and are tailored to suit the needs of the GRE test. These changes include replacing of words and phrases with more challenging synonyms or altering the sentence structure so as to separate the average reader from the more advanced.

Lets see how to get around a challenging GRE passage:

 Extended debate concerning the exact point of origin of individual folktales told by Afro-American slaves has unfortunately taken precedence over analysis of the tales’ meaning and function. Cultural continuities withAfricawere not dependent on importation and perpetuation of specific folktales in their pristine form. It is in the place that tales occupied in the lives of the slaves and in the meaning slaves derived from them that the clearest resemblances to African tradition can be found. Afro-American slaves did not borrow tales indiscriminately from the Whites among whom they lived. Black people were most influenced by those Euro-American tales whose functional meaning and aesthetic appeal had the greatest similarity to the tales with deep roots in their ancestral homeland. Regardless of where slave tales came from, the essential point is that, with respect to language, delivery, details of characterization, and plot, slaves quickly made them their own.

Now, simply eliminate the words that are adjectives, and those that give only secondary meaning. In addition, also eliminate words that you find challenging. The passage will read thus:

Debate concerning the origin of folktales (told by Afro-American slaves) has unfortunately taken precedence over the tales’ meaning and function. Cultural continuities (with Africa were) are not dependent on importation of specific folktales. It is in the place that tales occupied in the lives and in the meaning derived from them that the clearest resemblances to (African) tradition can be found.  Tales were not borrowed from people in the same are. People were most influenced by those tales whose meaning had the greatest similarity to the tales of their homeland. Regardless of where tales came from, with respect to language, delivery, the people quickly made them their own.

You will notice that the second passage is easier to both read and understand.

What we have done here is remove the specific elements (Africa, Black People, Slaves) and converted the sentence into a more generic form that is easier to follow and digest (mentally!)

While this might not be the only method to tackle reading comprehension passages, we are sure this helps!

Do let us know!

Happy Reading!

Tip Courtesy: The Best Training for GRE in Hyderabad : First Academy 

 

 

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