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How to Quickly Solve Reading Comprehension Questions

Jul 11, 2014 14:40 IST

    Any Reading Comprehension paragraph judges you on the basis of the following:

    1. Reading Speed

    2. Reading Comprehension

    3. Analytical Ability

    4. Reading Range

    5. Memory

    6. Question Identification

    Let us talk about each of them separately for better understanding.

    Reading Speed

    Most of the college-studying candidates preparing for CAT have reading rate between approximately around 100 to 200 words per minute. In order to answer RC questions a student needs to read at the rate of approximately 600 to 700 words. It must be kept in mind that while answering an RC question, the student is not expected to memorize each and every word/sentence given in the passage. One must have the ability to instinctively make out the main idea given in the passage and not waste time reading material that is peripheral. And instinct comes about by means of constant reading across various themes. So, continuous reading is very important.

    Reading Comprehension

    When you feel that you have not understood a particular word or sentence, you tend to read it again. But you must keep in mind that you are not expected to know the exact meaning of a word or a sentence (unless otherwise specified by special devices like underlining a word, italicizing, etc. in which case you can re-read that particular word or sentence.) So keep on reading!

    In specific, three kinds of knowledge are required for reading comprehension, namely —

    a. Content knowledge: This comes with regular reading. If you read topics from different areas on a continuous basis, you will be familiar with the content in the exam.

    b. Strategic knowledge: It refers to making inferences when you read.

    c. Meta-cognitive knowledge: This involves checking what have you grasped

    Analytical Ability

    Even if you have understood what the author has stated in the passage, you may not be able to answer all the questions. Some questions examine your ability to analyze. Thus, it is mandatory for you to acquire analytical skills, the ability to read between the lines, so to speak. It can be acquired with practice.

    Reading Range

    You usually read what you like. But if you are serious in your preparation, you need to read all kinds of writings. An engineer might have a mental block against a philosophical paragraph; an arts student might have an problem towards a scientific article. And this will slow down your reading speed. The only way to overcome this is to read a lot of such writings.

    Memory

    This element is related to information retention. The greater your power of retaining information, the lesser the effort in identifying the correct answer. Research in reading comprehension suggests that as you read any text you use your existing knowledge to form new constructs.

    Question Identification

    It is not necessary to solve all the questions given in a particular passage. The best way is to choose the right questions which take less time or are directly answered in the given passage. This saves time and increases the efficiency,

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