Preparation for competitive exams is no easy task. The approach and strategy should be well to place so that you can achieve maximum gain in limited time. Comprehension is an important segment that tests the ability of an individual to understand the language, his knowledge of words and how nicely can an examinee understand the given passage. 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 or just do guess work blindly. This happens as we stay in the convention that it takes lot of time to solve.
Here are few tips that help you to find the right answer choices with greater accuracy and with in relatively less amount of time.
- Understand the context of the passage and the situation of the passage. Capture the whom, why, when aspects in the passage.
- Domain of the passage- Find out to which subject or discipline is the passage related to e.g., it is related to Science or Technology or Literature and so on.
- Type of the passage- Know what the content of the passage is whether it is an extract of an article, research paper or an event or news.
These things help you to set your mind and think it in those terms with in no time. Now that you have identified what it is related to exactly, remember these standard rules that are common and apply to levels and kinds of passages.
- Read the questions first and remember the things the examiner is asking so that you read only those paragraphs related to those. Now proceed to the reading of the passage.
- Find and understand the main outline and idea of the passage. This can be done by reading the first two sentence of each paragraph which tell you about what this paragraph consists of. Read the starting and ending of every part.
- Now read a bit more in detail say a sentence more or search for key words of only those asked in questions.
- Do not try to analyze, make your conclusions and answers questions. Go with the ideology and boundary of the passage. Do not make assumptions.
- 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.
- 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. You can judge about the author's mood and tone to answer the questions.
- Keywords are the best ways to find answers if you can scan through the lines of the passage fast. Such words are like nouns or included as phrases. At least find closely related words that mean the same as asked in question.
- 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. Read the whole sentence which has that word and understand its meaning then answer.
Besides these, it is essential for you to improve your word power in order to understand the passage thoroughly. Your entire answers depends on how well have you understood the passage. Having a grasp over difficult words will assist you to comprehend the passage in less time.This will not only help you save time but also help you to answer appropriately. Reading of newspapers, books and magazines helps a candidate to increase his knowledge domain and also aid in improving vocabulary. While reading the passage you can underline or mark the important words so that you can quickly summarize the comprehension. This will be beneficial to save time and get the hang of the passage. Also, when you are answering the questions, you can quickly go through these important words to write correct answers. It is necessary for you to important parts of the passage that provides answers to a lot of questions. When you are a giving a section reading, you can just simply focus on these important parts which will provide a clear picture. You must answer the questions correctly therefore, it is very important for you to know the important parts in a passage which gives answers to the questions.
A few Specifics About How to Attempt Comprehensions: Comprehensions may contain the topic about science, social, politics, general. financial. etc. It contains about 5-10 questions to answer and some antonyms and synonyms based on the passage having some bold words. So, to give answer of those questions does not need you to be expertise in the either field. Just you have to read out the passage with meaningfully and mark the important sentences, phrases etc.
Note down the points specified below to find out the ways of how to tackle a comprehension at ease:
- Read the passage and quickly jump to the short answered questions, like antonyms, synonyms, to give title of passage, etc. It is better to leave the questions to answer at last, because antonyms and synonyms take a second to solve and questions take a minute.
- If you are familiar to any passage related to your knowledge and your academics, then quickly read out that one and solve the following questions of that passage. It will take less time and you will be accurate.
- By the time you are reading the passage, figure out the tone/Idea/Inference/situation of the passage. It will help to find teh answers quickly. Use a pencil to underline the specific sentences and phrases/words.
- There is always a question about the main idea of the passage. Then look at the starting and end of the passage and try to summarize the paragraph to get the main idea of the passage. It will ask about the main idea of that passage.
- When it is asked that to give a suitable title of the passage then watch out for choice that are too specific or broad. Sometimes, the title is already given in the first paragraph of the passage. Use the narrow approach to find out the title. Do not think beyond the passage.
- Some passage contains the questions about attitude, mood, tone, etc. of the passage. Then look for words that convey emotion, values and expressions. I think its not hard question to give the answer, because any passage cannot be concluded by emotions, moods, values, etc.
- There can be a question about to give specific detail of the passage- then spot some keywords in the question and look out for those in the passage and may be those words are in the form of synonym or antonym.
- Put yourself in place of author and think, you can apply your ideas according to the passage in the new situation. You have to find out three things from the passage, first reason, second perceive feelings and third sense a larger structure.
- In order to count on unfamiliar words, you have to be very keen about the passage saying. Your Vocabulary will be tested here. There are many unfamiliar words you will find in a passage, for that you have to look out for the meaning by searching the nearby clues.
- Familiarize yourself with the technical terms used in describing the passage. Some passages are from sentence background, so be logical in thinking and organize and understand what author is saying. May be it will be a difficult question.
Well friends, now that you have learnt all the fundamental aspects of how to deal with a comprehension passage, we are sure that you can do your best in attempting the questions which will be provided along with the comprehension. Just remember the points stated above and keep cool to answer the questions correctly. Comprehension is generally presented as the first question in most of the one day competitive examinations; however the sequence might vary from Board to Board.