GMAT Verbal Tip: “Obscure word bombs” in Reading Comprehension passages.
A common pitfall among my students is getting caught up in extraneous details instead of focusing on the important ideas presented in an RC passage. One common technique the GMAC uses to confuse the test taker is including sentences packed with a few juicy “SAT words” which add little substance to the argument or issue at hand. Instead, they serve to derail your thought process by getting you to focus on these obscure, usually descriptive words and their possible meanings. “Since they are obscure,” thinks the reader, “therefore they must be important.” Not so!
Do not dwell on unfamiliar words. Practice identifying which sentences add worthwhile details to the main idea of the paragraph and passage and which sentences serve a connective or a “decorative” function and, therefore, do not warrant as much attention as other parts of the passage.