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GMAT Reading: The New York Times

Listen up – prepping for the GMAT doesn’t totally have to suck. You don’t need to memorize hundreds of grammatical rules only to remember a tenth of them when you are struggling through a 60-word Sentence Correction on the Spanish Inquisition.

Prepping for the GMAT means taking that part of the brain I call your “reading muscle” and giving it a workout. Much of this is done through practice questions. However, if you only stick to GMAT questions, your Reading Brain isn’t going to be nearly as “buffed” as if you do outside reading.

Of course the phrase “outside reading” may conjure up comic books for some, the People magazine fashion news for others, or an instruction manual for a rare few. By “outside reading,” I don’t mean a willy-nilly foray into all things text. The GMAT after all is English at it’s most Olympian –academic English meets formal English (an extremely dry meeting, mind you).

Don’t worry – I’m not saying you need to necessarily read academic journals. But for a mix of formal and academic (at least slightly) writing that isn’t dry, welcome to the New York Times. From Sports to Fashion, Movies to Dining, you can learn about the latest while your reading brain gets to do some bicep curls with the twisted syntactical structure and challenging vocabulary words. Hey, you want to develop an ear for English idioms? Read the Times.

Below is a sampling of five articles that make for good reading. I’ve steered clear of more of the frivolous topics (sorry fashion and sports!), and have chosen articles on topics that are slightly more academic: science, business, and books (Topics you are more likely to encounter on the GMAT).  But I promise – the articles do not suck, and your reading will definitely get a work out. You may even learn something new.


1. Science

The science passages you’ll get on the GMAT are definitely more dense. Many of the topics – from black holes to genes – are all on the page. Here is a sample:


2. Business


3. Movies


4. (The much dreaded) Art



Read a couple of NYTimes articles a day. This is really easy, especially if you have a smart phone. If you do plan on reading over 30 articles a day, you will have to get a monthly subscription. But don’t worry – it’s only $0.99 for the first 4 weeks.

For a more systematic use of articles check out Mike’s excellent study schedules!


By the way, sign up for our 1 Week Free Trial to try out Magoosh GMAT Prep!

2 Responses to GMAT Reading: The New York Times

  1. Marrion April 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    I have read the articles on those links that you provided and I totally loved the article for science. I never thought science could be that interesting and intriguing.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      Hi Marrion,

      Yep, that’s the key! Easing yourself into the utter drabness of the GMAT passage with article that deal with similar subjects, e.g. quantum physics, but in a more engaging manner :).

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