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GMAT Reading Practice: What to Read

Undeniably, the best way to expand vocabulary and knowledge is by reading. We can’t rely on the conversations we have and we can’t rely on vocabulary word lists. So if you are looking to boost your verbal score, don’t just use practice problems. Expand your practice and studying to high quality news articles from trusted news sources.

But what is a high quality, trusted news source?

A fair question, indeed! Our lives are suffused with text and media. Wading through this mess and finding quality content is not easy. We yearn for a trusted friend to recommend something to read because we know that it will at least rise above a threshold of quality.

What follows is a collection of writers that Magooshers like to read. These authors, journalists, and columnists write for distinguished news outlets and consistently write quality articles.

Before we dive into the authors, remember that it is not just what you read that matters. It is how you read as well. Cultivate an active reading style as you read on a daily basis. Don’t passively take in the information; constantly seek meaning as you read.


What To Read—According to Margarette

Margarette, our Director of Marketing, recommended these authors in The Atlantic. I combed through the journalists’ articles and chose some interesting ones to start with.

Svati Kirsten Narula writes for and produces The Atlantic‘s National channel.

Julie Beck is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where she covers health.

John T. Tierney is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a former professor of American government at Boston College.


What To Read—According to Rita

Rita is the Inbound Marketer at Magoosh and recommends reading Joel Stein who writes for Time. He also contributes his thoughts and musings to The Los Angeles Times too. He writes funny pieces on pop culture and politics that are easy to relate to. This is a perfect writer to read when you don’t feel motivated to read anything to dense, but still want to spend time practicing your active reading. 🙂


What To Read—According to Peter

Peter, who manages our Business Development, recommended the following authors. I am going to start reading some of these authors after his recommendations. I went through and chose some articles to get you started. 🙂

Adam Gopnik has been writing fiction, humor pieces, book reviews, and other reporting pieces for The New Yorker since 1986.

Not a journalist, but a compelling writer, Alain de Botton writes his thoughts in his blog. At times pretentious, but ultimately, entertaining, de Botton writes about the philosophy of everyday life. He hasn’t written much on his blog, but there are two interesting articles worth perusing.

Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post fact checker, is always an enjoyable read. He does a good job of breaking down arguments and details, which is always useful on tests, especially the GMAT.


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6 Responses to GMAT Reading Practice: What to Read

  1. oishik August 13, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

    Hi Kevin
    I am trying to improve verbal my rc is the weakest rc and Cr at 70 percent accuracy. Can I improve for a 700 score
    The problems I face in rc
    Close answer choices and most of the Time I m not able to tell the mood

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 14, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

      To get the equivalent of a 700 on the GMAT Verbal section, you’d need to raise your performance up form 70% accuracy to around 88% accuracy. This is a pretty big bump in performance. But yes, you definitely can reach that point, provided you have enough time to study. (Going up nearly 20% in Verbal might be hard to do in– say– a week or two.)

      To improve your close performance in answer choices, you may want to focus more on test skills than academic English skills. Really analyze exactly why one of the two close questions is the correct one, and look at exactly why you make incorrect choices sometimes. And look for GMAT prep materials that include some good answer explanations. With a better understanding about how answer choices work, you can develop strategies to select the right answers more often, even when two answers are close.

      As for “mood,” I’m not sure which mood you’re referring to? Do you mean you have trouble recognizing grammatical moods such as the subjunctive mood? Or do you mean you have trouble correctly identifying the author’s emotional mood— their tone and opinion? Either way, the Magoosh GMAT Blog has you covered! 🙂 Mike’s done a very helpful post on mood in GMAT grammar. And Kevin did a TOEFL Tuesday lesson on how to recognize author’s opinion and tone in GMAT RC.

  2. ram October 29, 2015 at 11:36 am #

    Hi, I have been reading articles from all the resources mentioned. But, still my progress is very low. I am still struggling to comprehend CR and RC with in the time lines of the question. I am planning to take exam in 5 weeks of time.

    what is the best way to improve on this. Do i need to work directly on official questions or still need to spend on outside GMAT material. Need some help

    • Kevin Rocci
      Kevin Rocci October 30, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      Hi Ram,

      Great question! 😀 You will still need to practice with the GMAT materials along with reading. I recommend using Official GMAT materials if possible for your practice. Also, you will want to make sure that you are dedicating enough time to your mistakes. I recommend that you reading this article, specifically the section, “Did You Know Thyself (and Thyself’s weaknesses)?” That will tell you what to do in order to improve from your mistakes.

      You are in a good place, Ram. With five weeks until your test, you still have plenty of time to improve. 😀

      Happy Studying!

  3. Christophe July 27, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    Hello Kevin! I am a new comer and I love this blog! Just few questions about this topic.
    Is it ok if I read 2 articles from the ‘TIME’ magazine per day ?
    Since you mentioned the ‘The Economist’ as a good source, are these two magazines at a same level for a non-native speaker like me?

    • Kevin Rocci
      Kevin Rocci July 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

      Hi Christophe!

      Welcome to the blog! 😀

      I would recommend branching out into other news sources. If you want to read one article in Time, then go for it. But also read articles in The Economist or The New York Times. Time magazine and The Economist are not written at the same level. Time is a little bit lower of a reading level than The Economist, so I would recommend warming up with a Time article and then moving on to another news source. 😀

      I hope that helps!


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