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Beyond Quant: Reading & Reasoning Skills Are Important, Too

Success in graduate school and throughout your career hinges on the ability to read and understand challenging material, whether that means a textbook, an industry publication, a sales presentation, a business proposal, or a legal contract. And, of course, getting admitted to the most selective schools requires earning the highest possible score on the Verbal section of the GRE or GMAT.

To perform at your personal best, you should start by building a solid foundation. This means:
 
Read a wide variety of written materials.
 
Reading about topics outside your primary domain will help you expand your vocabulary and associate new words with appropriate contexts. Standardized tests typically include passages from the Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Business & Economics. GRE takers will find that many of the more obscure words tested directly in the Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence questions are words used in only one of a narrow set of domains, such as Law & Politics, Fine Arts, or Religion & Philosophy. Both GRE and GMAT takers will find that increasing the breadth and sophistication of their vocabulary will sharpen their understanding of passages and associated reading comprehension and critical reasoning questions.

 
Read high-quality content.
 
Much of today’s written content – especially digital content – is motivated more by speed than quality. In the race to publish, errors in word choice, spelling, and grammar are common. Worse yet, many websites rely on offshore “content mills” to produce articles, which contain errors due to the limited English language skills of the authors. Repeated exposure to low-quality material can “normalize” mistakes in word choice, spelling, and grammar. This can make it much harder for you to recognize what is correct when you sit down to take the GMAT or GRE.

So, The MBA Exchange encourages you to read articles from sources with a well-regarded history and reputation, as they typically employ professional fact-checkers and editors. In addition, focus on sources that target educated and sophisticated readers, so the subject matter and style are appropriately challenging for a future graduate-school student. For instance, you should seek well-written articles about scientific discoveries, economic events, government policies, etc., as well as opinion pieces so that you can develop an understanding of what makes a logical and effective argument.

 
Read every day.
 
In preparation for your exam, create a plan to read at least one or two high-quality articles each day. It can be helpful to schedule reading time as part of your routine. For instance, you can set aside time for a session immediately after dinner or following your workout at the gym. Pretty soon, reading will become an
enjoyable and enriching habit.
 
The tips outlined above will help you succeed, not only on your GMAT or GRE, but also in your professional life. In addition, your family, friends, colleagues and boss are likely to find you to be a more interesting, better informed communicator.
 
The MBA Exchange has skilled tutors that work 1-on-1 with clients to help improve both verbal and quant performance on the GMAT and GRE. Please contact The MBA Exchange for more information.
 

Categories: Additional Services, MBA Preparation

Tags: B-school, GMAT, Admissions, MBA Admission, Business School, GRE, GMAT Prep, MBA Admissions, MBA Consultant


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