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Reading Comprehension: Initial Reading

In Reading Comprehension, what should be the main focus of  the Initial Reading?

Incorrect. If the topic of the passage is, for example,  bird migration, your goal is not to increase your knowledge about this topic. The questions that you'll be asked to answer following this passage are not really about bird migration per se. Rather, they will deal with the way the author of the passage chose to present the information (e.g., through examples, case studies or a review of the current knowledge on the subject), the structure of the passage, the logical relations between the different paragraphs, etc.    

Correct!

Incorrect. Our capacity for absorbing new information, especially from an unfamiliar topic, is limited. Therefore, the Initial Reading focuses on quality rather than on quantity. We read very little of the passage, but the sentences we choose to read are the most informative, concise, and important.

Let's ask a different question: what do you need to know about a GMAT reading passage before you start solving the questions?

We do not need all the information in the passage.

There are 3-4 questions on each passage. One is usually a general question that can be answered on the basis of the Initial Reading. That leaves only 2-3 questions on information we have not read in the Initial Reading, which does not justify reading the entire passage.

We only need to map the passage. Doing so will help us find the information that is required in order to answer each question. Once we have the passage mapped, we can skip the rest of the text and go back to unread bits if a question requires us to.

The Initial Reading does not focus on details at all.

We only need to map the passage. Doing so will help us find the details that are required in order to answer each question. Once we have the passage mapped, we can skip the rest of the text and go back to unread bits if a question requires us to.

That's right.

We need to map the passage so that we can later find data in it, but there is no need to extract detailed information from it just yet.

Now it is easier to answer the first question, which was, "What should be the main focus of  the Initial Reading?". Try answering it now.

The main idea and structure of the passage
Going over the passage in order to remember as much of it as possible and process this information.
Gaining knowledge and an understanding of the topic the passage discusses.
I don't know
Everything. I have to be very thorough or I won't have enough information to answer the questions.
I just need the important details: names, dates, numbers, etc.
I don't need much. I just need to know what the passage is about and how it is structured so that I can later quickly and easily find the answers to the questions asked on it.