The Reading comprehension section poses quite a challenge to the candidates as they have to read the passage, comprehend the passage and then attempt the questions, all within a few minutes. This could prove to be nerve-wrecking, even for candidates fluent in English. How quickly you finish the passage accurately, depends on how easily you comprehend the paragraphs in the given passage.
1. Work out a strategy
Before attempting the Reading Comprehension section, it is advisable to work out some strategy for yourself, whatever you are comfortable with, in order to go through the paragraphs quickly. The strategy you adopt will be one which helps you understand the crux of each paragraph and the larger theme, without spending too much time. Some candidates might like to skim through each paragraph, then read the questions and find their answers, some others might like to read the questions first and then skim through the paragraphs to find the answers. There may be candidates with good speed of reading, who would engage with the passage slightly in depth. Knowing which strategy works the best for you is essential to extract the maximum out of the RC.
2. Understand the structure
By and large, all writings begin with an introduction, which lays down the theme of the entire passage. The introduction is followed by paragraphs which enunciate the theme mentioned in the introduction. The first line of each paragraph, generally, mentions what that particular paragraph is about. Understanding this will make it easy for you to understand the passage and save time. For instance, the first lines may give you an idea about the sub-themes of the passage, the causes, nature, advantages, disadvantages and so on. By decoding this, you would get a clear idea in your head as to what the passage is about and help you answer the questions quickly.
3. Key words
Each paragraph will include certain key words that will encapsulate the essence of that particular paragraph. Keeping an eye out for such key words will enable fast reading and help you save time too. Sometimes, in more complex passages, you may find it hard to ascertain the themes and sub-themes of the passage. In such cases, the keywords can be your life- saver and help you crack the passage.
4. Part of the whole
Instead of treating paragraphs as separate individual entities, always look at the paragraphs as part of w whole. Each paragraph will link up with the main theme of the passage in some way or the other. Using your analytical and critical skills, it is your task to make links and associations between the particular paragraphs and the larger theme. Each paragraph is also linked with the paragraphs preceding and following a particular paragraph.
5. Tone of the author
A lot of times, understanding the tone of the author can give you clues about way in which the entire passage has been written and help you decode the meaning of the passage. While treating, an author may adopt a critical, analytical, discursive, interrogative tone, to list a few. By understanding this, you shall be able to understand the direction that the passage takes and comprehend it better.
Working out the paragraphs accurately helps the candidates to comprehend the passage and answer the questions quickly.
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