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Published: Wednesday, 25 May, 2016 11:10 AM
Reading is an essential skill involved in language development. It is that skill which enables all other skills involved in acquiring a new language. Like every activity that becomes a habit, reading, too, needs to be practiced regularly so that it becomes a habit.
Reading skills involve concentration. A person who is easily distracted will find reading a difficult exercise, whereas a person who knows how to concentrate can be an effective reader. For an MBA aspirant, reading and absorbing quickly are crucial, especially in the Reading Comprehension section, where the aspirant is hard pressed for time. But, there are ways of improving your reading skills and make it effective.
1. Stay Still
The basic step to read fast is to stay still. The head should not move from left to right with each word. Instead, keep your head in the centre and move your eyes quickly. This will enable you to cover more words in a particular time.
2. Read Silently
Another essential prerequisite of reading fast and effectively is to read silently. Some people tend to read out loudly. This not only reduces the speed but also disturbs the concentration and comprehension of the words you read. Some people prefer reading the words aloud in their minds, repeating the words silently in their minds. But, the best readers are one who read silently, without repeating the words in their minds. This adds an extra push to their reading effectiveness and they are also able to internalize whatever they read much better.
3. Look for clues
Effective readers train themselves to look for clues in the passage. They learn to scout for the words or information that form the essence of a passage and spend less time on words which do not aid their comprehension. Being curious to know what’s in the passage and searching for clues helps you read faster without compromising on your comprehension abilities.
4. Learn to skim
As an MBA entrance is a timed exam, a candidate cannot afford to spend too much on a passage. Hence, it is not possible to focus or spend too much time on every word. It’s better if the candidate does not try to read every word. Skimming through the passage becomes very important. An effective reader will not read every word but skim through the passage, focussing on key words or ideas.
5. Avoid regression
Slow readers will have a tendency to skip back to words that they have read or go back to sentences to ensure that they have got the right information. This breaks the flow of your reading and your understanding of the text may reduce too. Develop a good reading habit so that you are able to collect all information without going back in the text.
6. Practice Regularly
There’s no substitute for regular reading practice. The rate at which you read improves over time with practice. Set targets for yourself, for instance, finish reading a book within a week, read a 600 word paragraph within 3 minutes and so on. Such exercises will increase your reading speed and also add to your vocabulary.
The only way to make your reading faster and effective is by practicing reading regularly, watching the time that you take while reading and trying to improve on that time with every attempt.
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Writing regularly helps you engage with the language in its purest form, and improve your language skills. Daily para-writing is a medium to practice what you learn and should be taken seriously.