GMAT Verbal Section: Practice with Reading Comprehension

By Sandra Luna McCune, Shannon Reed

The Reading Comprehension portion of the GMAT is about 12 questions (more or less) in the Verbal section. In Reading Comprehension, you are shown a reading passage of one to three paragraphs, along with between two and six questions about each passage. You can refer to the passage while you answer each question about it.

Practice questions

Both practice questions are based on the following passage.

The “morning star” isn’t a star; it’s always a planet. And sometimes two Morning Stars appear at once, such as Mercury and Venus. The same idea applies to the “evening star”: You’re seeing a planet, and you may see more than one. “Shooting stars” and “falling stars” are misnomers, too. These “stars” are meteors — the flashes of light caused by small meteoroids falling through Earth’s atmosphere. Many of the “superstars” you see on television may be just flashes in the pan, but they at least get 15 minutes of fame.

Astronomy For Dummies by Stephen P. Maran

  1. Which of the following titles would be the most appropriate for the contents of this passage?

    A. 15 Minutes of Celestial Fame

    B. What Was That Flash?

    C. Explaining the Evening Star

    D. Don’t Wish on the Morning Star!

    E. Some Stars Aren’t What You Think!

  2. Which of the following situations is most similar to that described in the bolded section?

    A. A group of teenagers identifying the constellations in the sky based on what they learned in their freshman year science class.

    B. A couple looks through a telescope to try to see Jupiter’s rings but the sky is too cloudy.

    C. A group of people on a boat spot what they think is a pack of dolphins in the ocean in the distance, but the captain informs them they’re actually looking at buoys bouncing in the water.

    D. A man thinks he won the city marathon but he actually misread his time and came in second.

    E. A group of friends follow what they think is the sound of a band playing, and end up dancing the night away at a club.

Answers and explanations

  1. The correct answer is E.

    The best title captures some understanding of the main point of the passage, which is that the Evening and Morning Stars are not actually stars at all. Choice (E) is the best of the answers here.

  2. The correct answer is C.

    The passage describes mistaking one thing for another, which is clarified by an expert (in that case, the author). Choice (C) describes a similar phenomenon.