Task: This is all about reading and comprehending textual passages and then answering questions based on the passage.
Different exams will have passages of different length and difficulty level. Reading Comprehension mainly focuses on following topics:
(1) Skimming: In real life, skimming don't really applies to reading - books, newspapers, websites, etc. But in most of the exams we have scarcity of time. So we need to pacify our reading speed with accuracy in terms of drawing the correct meaning of the passage.
(2) Time Allocation: We know that most competitive exams are time-bound. There is a fixed time allocated to solve the question paper. So time management becomes very important. Most of the time, inexperienced exam aspirants spend too much time in reading the comprehension. But with time-allocation, one can attempt most of the reading comprehension questions in comparatively lesser time.
(3) Faulty Comprehension: When in hurry, sometimes, we may interpret wrong meaning of the reading comprehension. This may lead to choosing incorrect answers. So it is always important to remember that not only speed but also accuracy plays a huge role in the success of solving reading comprehension questions.
(1) Inferential Questions: In this type of questions, you are asked to make inferences from the passage.
(2) Tone of the author: In this type of questions, you are required to select the tone/mood/style of the author. Note that, in such questions, students frequently make mistakes. You cannot simply tell about the tone of the author based on your emotion/judgement/personal-thinking. Your answer about the tone of the author should only be based on the theme of the given passage comprehension.
(3) Title of the passage: This one is simple. You only need to select an appropriate title for the given passage comprehension. One can easily answer this question if he is able to correctly understand the meaning of the given passage.
(4) Summary of the passage: While reading the passage if you carefully note the crucial data provided in the passage, then you can easily solve these questions.
(5) Theme of the passage: These questions demands you to draw the correct meaning of the passage. You are required to understand the author’s point of view. This type of questions is relatively easier and can easily be answered correctly if someone has really read the passage.
Below we have listed four different strategies which are very important when it comes to solve Reading Comprehension (RC) questions.
(1) The Pencil: While reading the passage, underline/highlight/circle the important pieces of text. But wait, what to do with computer based online reading passage. Well, you can note - the important words/line-number.
(2) The Read Once: You already know that there is very less time for solving RC questions, so you need to go through the passage only once. If you continue reading it again and again, then you will take a lot of time.
(3) Questions Before Passage: Read the questions first before reading the passage. This way, you will be able to know the questions and can remember only the important stuff.
(4) Questions Between Passage strategy: It is opposite to the "Questions Before Passage" strategy. First you go through the reading comprehension, and then start solving questions.
According to S.T. Coleridge, there are four kind of readers:
According to Walter B. Pitkin:
“You will get little or nothing from the printed page if you bring it nothing but your eye.”
It is clear that simply reading is not enough, you should be able to draw the true meaning/theme of the passage. Here is how you can do it:
You should be able to read the passages with an average speed of 400-500 WPM. Because after reading passage, you need to attempt the comprehension based questions, and this can only be possible if have spare time.
You need to improve your vocabulary skills and thinking capacity. A good vocabulary is your only hope to go through the difficult passages.
You should try to find the genre of the Passage: Scientific, Fiction, Literature, etc. It will help you to think according to the mood of the author of the passage. This way you can relate questions and answers more easily and time-efficiently.