# How To Solve A GMAT RC? (Best Practices To Improve GMAT RC)

GMAT Reading Comprehension (RC) questions can be challenging, but they can be tackled effectively with the right approach and techniques. This article will discuss how to solve a GMAT RC set with an example. We have taken a passage from GMATPoint’s Daily Targets to illustrate how you should be solving an RC. Daily Target is an excellent tool for students preparing for GMAT, where you will get 5 Questions each on GMAT Verbal and GMAT Quant, for free, along with their video solutions. You can find the article here.

## Example RC:

How hot is too hot for planet Earth? For years, there’s been a consensus in the climate movement: no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The figure comes from the Paris Agreement, a climate treaty ratified in 2016, and world leaders such as President Joe Biden bring it up all the time: “If we’re going to win this fight, every major emitter nation needs [to] align with the 1.5 degrees,” he said in November. Youth activists at the Sunrise Movement call 1.5 degrees a “critical threshold.” Even the corporate world is stuck on 1.5 degrees. Companies including Apple, Google, and Saudi Aramco—the world’s largest oil company—claim to be transitioning their operations in alignment with the 1.5 goal.

But here’s the thing: 1.5 degrees, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, isn’t based on any scientific calculation. It doesn’t represent a specific planetary threshold or ecological tipping point. It was first proposed during international climate negotiations as a moral statement, a rebuke of the idea that the world could accept some disruption and suffering in order to burn fossil fuels just a bit longer. That’s the takeaway of a new study on the history of the target from two French academics, Béatrice Cointe and Hélène Guillemot. From the perspective of the present, it’s a relief that 1.5 degrees doesn’t represent a scientific threshold because we are almost certainly going to blow past it. As a rebuke, however, it may live on.

After reading the RC we can understand a few key points:

1. Activists and world leaders almost universally accept the 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels as the top limit for the earth’s temperature
2. 5 °C above preindustrial levels is not a scientifically determined level however it came as a moral statement as a purpose of rebuke
3. It is not scientifically critical but rebuke still significant

Let us now attempt the questions.

Q1) The passage is mainly concerned with :

1. Investigating the context of the 1.5-degree Celcius target for limiting global temperature rise, and its implications for climate action.
2. Examining the history and significance of the widely-accepted goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5-degree Celcius above preindustrial levels
3. Evaluating the significance of the 1.5-degree celsius target as a benchmark for global efforts to address climate change, and the scientific evidence supporting it.
4. Considering the challenges and opportunities and challenges associated with meeting the 1.5-degree Celcius target, and the potential consequences of falling short.
5. Assessing the diverse perspectives of various stakeholders, including governments, corporations and civil society, towards the 1.5-degree Celcius target

Answer: The passage is mainly concerned with examining the history and significance of the widely-accepted goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. We are also told of the symbolic value of this target as a rebuke against the idea that continued fossil fuel use is acceptable, even if it results in some level of climate change. Option B correctly captures this idea.

Option A: This is not the best answer, as the passage is not so much investigating the context of the 1.5-degree Celsius target as it is examining its history and significance.

Option C: The passage notes that the 1.5-degree Celsius target is not based on a specific scientific threshold, but rather was established based on the best available scientific evidence at the time. The passage does not provide an in-depth evaluation of the scientific evidence supporting the target.

Option D: The author does not focus on the challenges and opportunities associated with meeting the 1.5-degree Celsius target or the potential consequences of falling short.

Option E: The passage does not provide an in-depth evaluation of the diverse perspectives of various stakeholders towards the 1.5-degree Celsius target. While the passage does mention that various stakeholders have embraced the target, it does not provide an in-depth analysis of these perspectives.

Hence, Option B is the correct choice.

Q2) Which of the following, if true, would most support the ‘takeaway’ of the new study by the two French academics?

1. The Paris Agreement originally set a target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celcius, but many scientists and climate advocates argue that even that target is too high and could lead to catastrophic consequences
2. Despite the widespread consensus around the 1.5-degrees Celcius target, many climate advocates argue that the only truly safe level of global warming is zero, and that the world needs to rapidly transition to a carbon-neutral economy
3. A negotiating bloc called the Alliance of Small Island States proposed the 1.5 degrees Celcius target in 2003 as an alternative to the pre-2000s threshold n response to the vulnerability faced by their notions due to climate change.
4. The 1.5 degrees Celcius target was proposed by the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2017 as a scientifically determined threshold that should not be exceeded.
5. The target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celcius is widely considered to be too conservative by climate scientists, who argue that a more realistic goal is to limit warming to 3 degrees Celcius above preindustrial levels.

Answer: If it were true that the figure of 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels was not based on any scientific calculation but was instead proposed as a moral statement during international climate negotiations, it would most support the takeaway of the new study by the two French academics. This would confirm that the 1.5 degrees Celsius target was not based on a specific planetary threshold or ecological tipping point, but rather on a moral stance against accepting disruption and suffering caused by burning fossil fuels.

Option C: This option supports the argument that the 1.5 degrees Celsius target was not based on any scientific calculation but was proposed as a moral statement or an alternative. The proposal came from a negotiating bloc of nations, rather than being the result of scientific calculations [aligns with the study].

Option A suggests that many scientists and climate advocates argue that even the 2 degrees Celsius target is too high, which could true, but it does not provide support for the argument made in the passage. Similarly, Options B, D and E could be true, but they are not relevant to the given question.

Hence option C is the correct option.

Q3) Which of the following best describes the focus of the second paragraph?

1. It examines the scientific evidence that supports the 1.5-degree Celcius target as a critical threshold for the planet
2. It highlights the political and social importance of the 1.5-degree Celcius target for world leaders, youth activists, and corporations
3. It criticizes the 1.5-degree Celcius target as an arbitrary and unscietific goal that lacks ecological significance
4. It traces the origins of the 1.5-degree Celcius target and its place in international climate negotiations.
5. It evaluates the progress that has been made towards achieving the 1.5-degree Celcius target and the challenges that remain

Answer: The second paragraph provides additional context and background information about the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold that was introduced by the Paris Agreement. Specifically, it explains that the threshold was not based on any scientific calculation, but rather it was proposed as a moral statement to emphasize the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and transition away from fossil fuels. Compared to the first paragraph, the second paragraph provides a more nuanced view of the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold and its origins. It adds depth to the discussion by highlighting the historical and political context of the threshold and its significance as a moral statement. The second paragraph also suggests that while the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold may not represent a specific planetary threshold, it continues to serve as a rallying point for the climate movement and a powerful symbol of the urgency of addressing the climate crisis. Option D correctly highlights this focus.

Option A: The paragraph doesn’t discuss any scientific evidence supporting the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold for the planet.

Option B: While the paragraph mentions the importance of the 1.5-degree Celsius target for world leaders, youth activists, and corporations, it doesn’t focus on this aspect of the target.

Option C: It is true that the paragraph characterizes the 1.5-degree Celsius target as arbitrary and unscientific; however, it doesn’t criticize the target per se. Rather, it highlights the historical and political origins of the target.

Option E: The second paragraph doesn’t evaluate the progress towards achieving the 1.5-degree Celsius target or the remaining challenges.

Hence, Option D is the correct choice.

Q4) The various groups mentioned in the first paragraph serve to

1. Highlight the ubiquitous use and support of the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celcius above preindustrial levels, despite not being based on scientific understanding.
2. Present arguments for and against the 1.5 degrees Celcius threshold and evaluate its feasibility and effectiveness as a goal for mitigating climate change.
3. Examine the use of the 1.5-degree Celcius threshold by select groups and their varied perspective on its political and moral value in international negotiations
4. Underscore the myriad takes on the historical origin and context of using the 1.5 degrees Celcius threshold, and its significance in addressing the climate crisis
5. Assess the relative merits of the 1.5 degrees Celcius threshold to other proposed benchmarks for measuring and limiting the impacts of climate change

Answer: The various groups mentioned in the first paragraph (such as the climate movement, world leaders, youth activists, and corporations) are cited as proponents of the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The paragraph notes that this target is widely supported and referenced in international climate negotiations, even by groups such as oil companies claiming to transition their operations in alignment with it. However, the paragraph also notes that the 1.5-degree Celsius target was not established based on a specific scientific calculation but rather as a moral statement or rebuke of the idea that the world could accept some disruption and suffering in order to continue using fossil fuels. Option A correctly captures the reason behind citing the various groups in the first paragraph.

Option B: The first paragraph does not present arguments for or against the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold, nor does it evaluate its feasibility or effectiveness as a goal for mitigating climate change.

Option C: While the paragraph does examine the use of the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold by select groups, it does not focus on their varied perspectives on its political and moral value in international negotiations.

Option D: The author does not provide myriad takes on the historical origin and context of using the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold and its significance in addressing the climate crisis. Rather, it provides a brief overview of the target’s history and its current use and support.

Option E: The first paragraph does not assess the relative merits of the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold compared to other proposed benchmarks for measuring and limiting the impacts of climate change.

Hence, Option A is the correct choice.

Q5) It can be inferred from the discussion that the 1.5 degrees threshold

1. Will continue to be used in international negotiations on climate change mitigation for the foreseeable future.
2. May not serve as an ideal objective in terms of alleviating climate change as expected by governments and corporations.
3. Is most likely to be breached, given the inadequate efforts to address the climate crisis.
4. Needs to be replaced with a more realistic value since we already have overshot the mark
5. Was used for political and commercial interests and didn’t represent an ecological tipping point.

Answer: Option C can be inferred from the following excerpt: {From the perspective of the present, it’s a relief that 1.5 degrees doesn’t represent a scientific threshold, because we are almost certainly going to blow past it. As a rebuke, however, it may live on.}

Contrarily, we do not have any information to substantiate Options A, B, D and E. We cannot affirm that the 1.5 degrees threshold will continue to be used in international negotiations; for all we know, it may change very soon [A]. Similarly, we cannot state with certainty that ‘we have already overshot the 1.5 degrees Celcius mark’ [D].

Hence, Option C is the correct choice.

As you can now understand, solving a GMAT RC requires a strategic approach that includes understanding the structure of the passage, skimming and reading carefully, taking notes, understanding the questions, eliminating wrong answers, and choosing the best answer. You will get roughly 10 minutes for each RC set. Hence you should practice solving RCs as much as you can. With practice and persistence, anyone can improve their RC skills and achieve a high score on the GMAT.