GRE Reading Comprehension Part1

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EXPERT-SPEAK:GRE Reading Comprehension Part1

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF MANY COMPETITIVE EXAMINATIONS IN INDIA AND AROUND THE WORLD, AND HENCE THE ART AND SCIENCE OF READING BETTER AND FASTER, AND ANSWERING THE QUESTION(S) RELATED TO A PASSAGE, IS
VERY CRITICAL TO SCORING WELL ON AND / OR QUALIFYING MANY EXAMINATIONS. IN THIS SERIES OF ARTICLES ON READING COMPREHENSION I WILL TOUCH UPON TECHNIQUES ON HOW TO READ BETTER AND FASTER, AND HOW TO BEAT THE TIME LIMIT BY SKIMMING THROUGH THE QUESTIONS FIRST, AND THEN READING THE PASSAGE. THE KEY IS ALWAYS TO GRAB THE CENTRAL THEME OF THE PASSAGE AS A FIRST PRIORITY. THE DETAILS CAN ALWAYS BE HUNTED DOWN LATER. SO, LET’S
GET STARTED….
It is a scientifically proven fact that an average human brain can read much faster and grasp much better, than it generally does, when it uses its full-throttled faculties of perception and concentration, and aggressively reads through the contents
without getting lost in exotic words and sweet similes and metaphors, etc. Hence, let not the mind wander into smaller details, and stay focused on the central theme of the passage. Increasing reading speed on a habitual basis is consistent
and required part of doing well on Reading Comprehension questions in any test or exam. Herewith, I am taking two reading comprehension passages from a very popular GMAT Guide, and I will ask you to read through those passages as quickly as possible, time yourself on how long you took to read the passage, and then test your comprehension by having you answer the question relating to the passage. Both the passages will be of same length (51 lines). You are required to read and time yourself and answer the question on the first passage before you move on to the second passage to read and time yourself and answer the question on the second passage. The scoring sheet is at the end of the document.

The parameters that I will test are the following:

1. Your reading speed per minute
2. How many questions relating to a passage were you able
to answer correctly, that is, your overall comprehension of
the passage,
A few gadgets you should keep handy at this point in time are 1. A stopwatch(available in any Android phone these days) to count your reading speed in words per minute (DONT  MISS THIS)
2. A scratch sheet of paper
3. A pen or a pencil, and an eraser
4. A closed sound-proof room which will aid your
concentration and perception skills.
So, here we go with the first passage in color Purple:

PASSAGE #1:

Jacob Burckhardt’s view that Renaissance European women
“stood on a footing of perfect equality” with Renaissance men has
been repeatedly cited by feminist scholars as a prelude to their
presentation of rich historical evidence of women’s inequality. In
striking contract to Burckhardt, Joan Kelvin her famous 1977
essay, “Did Women Have a Renaissance?” argued that the
Renaissance was a period of economic and social decline for
women relative both to Renaissancemen and to medieval women.
Recently, however, a significant trend among feminist scholars has
entailed a rejection of both Kelly’s dark vision of the Renaissance
and Burckhardt’s rosy one. Many recent works by these scholars
stress the ways in which differences among Renaissance women –
especially in terms of social status and religion – work to
complicate the kinds of  generalisations both Burckhardt and Kelly
made on the basis of their observations about upper-class Italian
women. The trend is also evident, however, in works focusing on those
middle- and upper-class European women whose ability to write
gives them disproportionate representation in the historical record.
Such women were, simply by virtue of their literacy, members of a
tiny minority of the population, so it is risky to take their
descriptions of their experiences as typical of “female experience”
in any general sense. Tina Krontiris, for example, in her fascinating                                      study of six Renaissance women writers, does tend at
times to conflate “women” and “women writers”, assuming that
women’s gender, irrespective of other social differences, including

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