In the CDS as well as the NDA exams, questions on Reading Comprehension (Passage) are frequent and demand a proper strategy from the aspirants. Moreover, the section proves to be critical for those who completed their schooling in vernaculars.
At face value, the Passage Questions seem tough nut to crack; but in reality it is not so. By using proper techniques, one can solve around 90% of the questions with little efforts. For the benefit of CDS (I) and NDA & NA (I) 2019 aspirants, we are providing some useful tips that will help in answering the Reading Comprehension Question with more accuracy. The tips are as given below.
1. Mind Mapping: Research suggests that mind mapping technique is a valuable strategy to boost scores in reading comprehension section. This technique involves structuring and ordering of thinking by creating a visual representation of statements and facts given in the passage. This technique is helpful for both types of content - fiction as well as non-fiction. It also helps in locating the answers in the passage quickly and know the deeper thought process of the writer.
2. Remember that not All Questions are Difficult: The NDA & CDS Exam question papers are prepared on scientific principles. In any given question paper of UPSC, neither all the questions are difficult nor easy. This principle is applied at the section level also. For instance, in a set of four questions asked at the end of a passage, two will be easy, one will be difficult and one will be more difficult. While easy questions are direct in nature, difficult questions can be answered only with the careful understanding of the content of the passage. It means, 50% of questions can be solved with very little efforts and the candidates’ real efforts are needed to solve the remaining 50% questions.
3. Active Reading of the Passage: Active reading of passage helps the aspirant in a big way. This kind of reading entails raising probable questions on the basis of information given in the passage. It means, think yourself as a Question Paper Setter and frame questions by locating such statements/facts in the passage which are suitable to become answers for a probable question. This exercise helps in saving time and improving the accuracy of answers.
4. Know the Types of Questions: Aspirants must know that around 80-90% of passage questions fall under predetermined categorisation like questions on meaning of a difficult word used in passage, tone of the passage, suitable title for the given passage, writer is probably arguing for, what do you think of a quoted phrase, etc. Knowing these different type of questions in advance help the NDA & CDS aspirants in avoiding unnecessary stress in the exam hall.
5. Read the Questions First: Reading the question, along with the options, beforehand boosts the aspirants familiarity with the content given in the passage and locating the answers in the passage. However, the aspirants should exercise caution before deploying this technique since it is more beneficial to those who are habitual readers and may prove counter productive for the beginners.
We suggest the NDA & CDS aspirants to practise the passage questions using the above mentioned five technique.