Reading comprehensions are typically the most favoured questions for any entrance exams and sometimes even job interviews. The important thing to understand is what an examiner/interviewer is trying to judge through RC’s (reading comprehensions).
Reading Comprehensions are used to test:
- Clarity of thought while reading someone else’s views: Is the reader able to understand what the writer is trying to convey?
- The opinion the reader would create while reading the writers work: Hence, questions like, what can be the title of the paragraph? Why does the author state …. ? are asked in examinations.
- Inferences drawn from the RC: Since a RC is generally a portion of an entire article or an article based on a larger understanding of a topic, what are the assumptions, conclusions that are drawn by the reader?
How can one answer RC’s correctly: Tips and Strategies
- Reading habit: To be able to answer RC’s correctly one needs to develop the habit of reading. Start by reading newspapers. One should then move onto short stories and novels. Initially one can start with easy to grasp novels (many Indian authors have begun writing; these novels are easy to understand and have a storyline that is enjoyable). When one begins to read, one should not worry about speed. Speed increases when one begins to enjoy reading.
- One should also read comics. It helps one to learn how to visualize while reading. When one is able to visualize in pictorial forms reading becomes a joy. A student once remarked how one visualizes the 2G scam. Now when the word 2G scam is read by the brain, the image that I can visualize is that of a mobile, Mr. P Chidambaram and A Raja. This ability to visualize keeps me interested while reading; hence I would not mind reading practically anything.
- Vocalization: Vocalization is also an important thing that one needs to keep in mind. Vocalization is the practice of reading out. As children our school teachers, parents would ask us to read out aloud. This was to maintain attention because our minds wanders at the slightest noise that would be heard. But at this stage that is not required. We now know how to maintain attention. So this practice of reading out aloud needs to be curbed. Because it hampers speed and it also makes one lose concentration. One begins to take liberty of letting the mind wander as one thinks that one is reading out aloud so the words are automatically falling on ears (or deaf-ears as I may say!).
- Skimming and scanning: The next technique would be skimming and scanning. Skimming and scanning requires the reader to browse through the text casually, to take in an idea of what the text contains, is it a subject that one is comfortable with, does the language seem full of jargons. First understand the length of the passage. Next browse through each paragraph by not reading each and every word or line, but by letting the eyes glide over the text. Let the eye try and capture the gist of the passage by understanding what the passage talks about in the general sense.
Try these techniques to enjoy reading, and the other techniques would be discussed in subsequent parts. Happy Reading ….
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