Tips

Tips for Reading Comprehension
Posted On : 16 Nov 2006 Total Views : 6756 Previous | Next

This section requires you to comprehend and analyze the logic, structure and details of passages on general sciences and social sciences. ‡ There are four passages containing 3, 4,4, and 3 questions respectively. Always practice the test in computer format. In computer one spends more time than paper and pencil format. ‡ The most common types of questions asked in comprehension passages are are 1. factual questions 2. Inference questions 3. Main theme questions 4. Style or tone questions ‡ Always read the passage fully as in actual test one doesn¶t have time to read paragraph again as it requires scrolling and it takes more time ‡ Try to read the passage in paragraph units and mentally understand what it says. Questions are based mainly on paragraph units. ‡ If your reading speed is slow and u are unable to complete the test then you need to spend atleast three months to improve the reading speed. It will help yo in other verbal sections also ‡ If you are not getting atleast 90 percent accuracy in comprehension then only way to improve is to sit with friend or teacher who scores more and see his approach or thought process. ‡ While answering a fact question one should always read the several lines before the line providing the data. Most often one finds that some of the answers choices given are deceptive one ‡ The comprehension passages are mainly of three types. - General Science passages: They include the topics from physics, biology and medicine. They are most easy to answer and carry mostly factual questions - Social Science passages: They include the topics from politics,geography and history. Most of them carry intersting information but they have many inference questions therefore one may should spend some more time to read the passage - Business Passages : They are most difficult to read and carry most difficult phrases. They contain mainly inference and style questions. Keep you cool while answering these type of questions.

Tips to crack difficult English Comprehension Passages in Competitive exams

Bigger things are difficult to handle as we do not proceed in a directed fashion. In fact you end up messing up with things so it applies same when it comes to cracking lengthy and difficult comprehension passages at competitive exams. This part is in fact very easy but many fail to fix it since they fail to follow the rules defined to approach it. Many of us simply leave this section

When the question asks you to guess like about your opinion or suitable title to this passage then answer that question based on choices which are either too general or direct to the point. 1. Read the questions first and remember the things the examiner is asking so that you read only those paragraphs related to those. Read the starting and ending of every part. You can judge about author¶s mood and tone to answer the questions. Understand the context of the passage and the situation of the passage. Don¶t try to analyze. i. make your conclusions and answers questions. Keywords are the best ways to find answers if you can scan through the lines of the passage fast. vii. Capture the whom. when aspects in the passage. 3. v. . These things help you to set your mind and think it in those terms with in no time. Go with the ideology and boundary of the passage. iv. Type of the passage ± Know what is the content of the passage whether it is an extract of an article. Such words are like nouns or included as phrases. Now read a bit more in detail say a sentence more or search for key words of only those asked in questions. This happens as we stay in the convention that it takes lot of time to solve. why. Is it related to Science or Technology or Literature and so on. research paper or an event or news. Do not make assumptions.or just do guess work blindly. Now proceed to the reading of the passage. Now that you identified what is it related to exactly now remember these standard rules that are common and apply to levels and kinds of passages. iii.g. 2. The words that convey emotions in the passage tell you about the opinion of the author of the passage if it is an article based passage. Find and understand the main outline and idea of the passage. ii. Here are few tips that help you to find the right answer choices with greater accuracy and with in relatively less amount of time. This can be done by reading the first two sentences of each paragraph which tell you about what this paragraph consists of. vi. At least find closely related words that mean the same as asked in question. Domain of the passage ± Find out to which subject or discipline is the passage related to e.

emotions or attitudes. as well as literarily. This module will expose candidates to reading skills and will provide tips on reading comprehension. citing things to note or features to bear in mind when analysing a passage. Want some extra cash? Write a Guest Post for us Bored? There are over 500 posts to browse Reading Comprehension The WASSCE syllabus for English language singles out two comprehension passages as part of the assessment package for candidates. grammatically and semantically. reading to comprehend and learn. reflect sentiments. reading and understanding texts. If the question asks you for the meaning of a word or a phrase in the passage which might you new or familiar then make use of the context. understand the factual content. Read the whole sentence which has that word and understand its meaning then answer. It will also focus on issues such as how to read an article. test the candidates ability to find appropriate equivalents for selected words and phrases. make inferences from the content of the passages. . It is therefore important that candidates be grounded in the techniques required for reading comprehension so as to be able to handle passages with the view not only to determine the factual content but to analyse. respond to the uses of English expressions to reveal. The passages.viii. tips for increasing reading speed and so on. each about three hundred words. the details of the passage. identify and label basic grammatical structures and so on.

8. Accordingly. 7. students may have problems with both the complexity and the amount of material they have to read. 5. 2.It is hoped that at the end of this module. Skimming and Scanning . 3. 4. candidates will be in a position to meet the requirements and expectations of the English language syllabus on Reading comprehension. This section on reading comprehension is devoted to providing students with some of the skills they need to facilitate comprehension when they interact with reading materials. At the junior or high school level. Dealing with the Comprehension Passage: Joseph Addison once noted that ³Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body´. Skimming and Scanning Non-verbal signals Structure of text Structure of paragraphs Punctuation Author¶s viewpoint Reader participation: determining the meaning of words Summarising 1. It follows therefore that reading forms and integral part of one¶s intellectual or academic life. 6. the following syllabus subjects will be discussed: 1.

and captions all of which could serve as pointers to meanings. bold print. Non-Verbal Signals Although this may not be included in the Examination paper. The meaning of a text is not only conveyed by means of words. the reader should understand the purpose and type of text that he is reading as well the content of the passage. Some start with a title and subtitle. 4. each dealing with one aspect of the subject matter and linked in a logical manner. followed by a conclusion or summary. All texts also contain non-verbal signs as style features like underlining. The body consists of paragraphs. 3. The introduction mostly informs the reader about what s/he can expect. explain. The purpose of the passage is quite important for it gives the reader a clue to comprehension and hence makes him/her better placed to answer the questions on it. or layout features like headings. In both readings. etc. The conclusion puts the subject matter in the right perspective.Skimming requires a quick reading of the passage to determine the general idea while scanning requires a much slower pace of reading intended to get the main ideas or specific details. Note whether the passage is to persuade. italics. 2. it is important for students to be familiar with this technique. inform. After that there is the introduction. describe. The structure of paragraphs . the body. subheadings.The structure of the text The structure of the text could provide a clue to its meaning.

7. when the reader understands the meaning and usage of punctuation marks. explanations. it will be easier for him/her to understand the grammatical structures. it is important for candidates to note that reading according to punctuation also aids comprehension. Reader Anticipation: determining the meaning of words . Punctuation Though this aspect has been treated on the module on Grammar. The second part of the paragraph contain sentences which develop the aspect. examples and other supporting evidence. the reader makes inferences or assumptions about the position of the author. details. The topic sentence contains the new aspect of the subject of the text. and hence come to terms with the meaning of the passage. which is the heart of the paragraph. The author¶s viewpoint Understanding the point of view of the author in relation to the treatment of his/her subject matter is another aid to comprehension. An understanding of the structure of the paragraph is a good aid to comprehension. For instance. The first sentence contains the topic sentence. 6. 5. These sentences may contain arguments. The cast sentence of a paragraph is often a summary of the paragraph. In reading a text.A typical paragraph consists of three parts. This helps in understanding the meaning of the passage. the reader should try and deduce whether the author is neutral or biased and whether he gave his own opinion or not. Thus.

Under examination conditions. determine the main points made about the topic or subject matter and then write these points in his own words when answering the questions on the passage. part of speech to which it belongs. journal or magazine to a passage for an examination. Reading to comprehend There are as many different types of reading materials as there are purposes for reading. While one can read for exam purposes or for mere entertainment. the degree of attention ± which largely . Summarizing It is important that the reader make s a good summary of the main or key points obtained from a reading of the passage. This is often only possible when the reader understands the relationships between words in meaning and form.e. To help disclose the meanings of unknown words it is important to determine the word class. Students must therefore be able to interpret the meaning of strange or difficult words from the context in which they are used. novel. the material varies from a newspaper. its function in the sentence. 8. In all of these cases.One of the foremost obstacles to comprehension is the meaning of words used in the passage. i. S/he must familiarize him/herself with the passage. its use in certain contexts and its relationship with other words in the sentences. it is impossible to look up the meaning of words in a dictionary.

that is. Readers need to first establish their purpose for reading a material and this will prompt them into using a reading method that will get what they want in the minimum amount of time. Skimming It is important to do a quick reading of the passage in order to get a general picture of what the author is saying. an attempt will be made to highlight certain tools or techniques to be adopted when reading a passage to comprehend and learn. 3. Question . the central theme or subject. Purpose This relates to the reason for reading the material and the objective to be achieved. 1.determines the efficiency of the reading ± differs from one reading material to another. In this regard the PSQ5R formula will be introduced. and perhaps the perspective. 2. that is the approach or manner in which the author treats the theme. Skimming a passage provides the reader with the focus of the writing. In this discussion.

s/he is able to pinpoint relevant sections of the passage that answer the question. Reflect For a constructive and well-organised answer to a question to be given. 4. Read Selectively This implies that the reader must read to find the answers to the question. At times. Record The reader is advised to make a brief outline of the questions and their answers in keywords or phrases before writing them down on the answer sheet. using your own words as much as possible. Reduce. 7. For instance. 6. try to recite the answers to the questions. it is necessary to read the questions on the passage before the passage itself so that as the reader does his reading. title of the passage or heading. it is important that the reader reflects and meditates on the issues dealt with in the . a title of a passage that reads ³The effects of smoking´ can be turned into ³What are the effects of smoking?´ in order to guide the reader to determining the answer or focus on the main issues in the passage. Recite Without looking at the passage. 5.At times to get at the heart of the passage and deduce meaning. it is proper for questions to be composed about the topic.

at times. Reflect and Review. This. their relevance. Recite. known as the PSQ5R is a formula that stands for basic steps in learning from reading in an efficient manner. it is important that some . This should be to provide the reader with the overall organization of the writing and the picture of the whole. This technique. Review Before writing the answers. check over the points that have been selected. organization and reorganization of ideas and so on. may involve comparison and contrast with personal experience. Tips on answering comprehension passages Since in the examination hall there is limited time at the disposal of the student and in recognition of the volume of work that has to be done. link with other points made and grammatical constructions in which they are expressed. S for Survey. P stands for Purpose. 8.Record.passage before putting down the answers. Q for Question. Reduce. and the 5Rs for Read selectively.

in this case for Comprehension. as well as important sub-points. Do not copy information directly from the passage. What is the title of the passage? What does it tell you about the subject? What do you already know about the subject? What do you expect the essay to say about I? . Reflect on them. Paraphrase your points. Focus on understanding the passage. Scan the passage to get a closer picture of what it is saying and its specific details. review and revise them before putting down the final answer on the answer sheet. Write down these details in your own words. that will enable him/her to get at the meaning of the passage in the minimum time. The following tips could be helpful: y y y y y y y y Skim the passage to get the general idea. How to read a comprehension passage This discussion makes an attempt at providing some useful guides to the student when reading a comprehension passage. Locate the main ideas.kind of approach be adopted. It is important to note the following strategies and their applications: y Background Information 1. Work on the meanings of strange or difficult words.

Who wrote it? Are you familiar with the author¶s other works? Is there any relationship between the passage and these other works? How does this help you understand the passage? y Factual Information 1. What exactly is the subject? How does it correspond to or educate/explain the title? What are the main points in the passage? What is the evidence that the author gives to sustain the main points or theses of the passage? . how? 3. marking the information that is given to you. When was the essay written? Do you know anything about the historical circumstances surrounding the writing of the passage? Does the passage reflect that historical condition? If so.2. Read the passage.

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