Students aspiring for jobs in the Railways or other government departments need to sharpen their comprehension skills as it is an essential part of the SSC and Railway exams. In the English Language exam, Reading comprehension is a crucial aspect, and examiners will assess your knowledge of English, grammar, vocabulary, and the ability to translate your thoughts into words.
Before delving deeper into the subject, let us first understand what is comprehension in English grammar.
Comprehension is the skill of grasping the meaning of the passage you are reading. As it is a high-scoring subject and since a low score in this section can impact your overall score, sharpening your reading comprehension skills should be an essential part of your exam preparation.
You may be worried about how to prepare English for SSC CGL 2022. So, to relieve you from your anxiety, we list some valuable reading comprehension tips and tricks that you can easily employ. We will also bust some myths and misconceptions you may have about reading comprehension.
Common Myths About Reading Comprehension Busted
1. You need to read every single word
The truth is that you can easily leave out some words, as some are written only to make the sentences grammatically correct. Wasting time on reading each word will affect your reading speed and comprehension.
2. You need to understand what the author meant
Most students assume that they need to fully understand what the author meant in the passages while writing. However, the fact is that you can understand the text from your point of view based on your perceptions and feelings.
3. Your vocabulary needs to be excellent
Even if the passage uses difficult words, you can grasp the meaning by understanding the overall context of the comprehension. So even without a great vocabulary, you will be able to grasp the comprehension and answer the questions well.
4. I only have to read the whole passage once
It is better to first go through the entire passage once quickly as it will help you identify the portions that need to be understood well. Then, you should try to fill all your knowledge gaps during your second reading. Ideally, more than reading, you need to spend more time relating the concepts and understanding the overall meaning of the passage.
Now that the common myths have been taken care of, we will now list some handy reading comprehension tips and tricks.
Tips to Strengthen your Reading Comprehension Skills for SSC and Railway Exams
1. Grasping the Idea
When reading a passage, you may encounter sentences where examples may be given to clarify certain points. It is crucial to know the sentences you need to focus on and the ones not so important. Moreover, you should concentrate only on understanding the overall meaning of the paragraph and not linger too much on unimportant things like examples. So, don’t let the illustrations and details slow down your speed.
2. Read articles that sharpen your comprehension skills
To improve your reading comprehension skills, it is essential to develop the practice of reading quality books. The books you read should not be too simple. They should contain content that will challenge your mind and enhance your reading and comprehension abilities.
3. Practice how to answer questions
There are different approaches to answering questions. Some experts suggest reading the questions first and then hunting for answers, whereas others ask you to read the entire text first. However, the point to remember is to skim everything and determine the most important sentences in the passage. To answer the questions appropriately, you do not need to understand the whole passage.
4. Make notes while reading
While reading the passage, it would be a good practice to make notes of the important points since it would help in developing the comprehension. Writing in a simple way will help you understand the passage better and answer the questions appropriately later.
5. Read the Passage Actively
When you read the passage, remove any disinterest or prejudices from your mind, and try to be involved in it fully. Simplify the sentences in your mind and try to grasp the underlying meaning of the content without letting the minor details confuse you.
We are listing the top reading comprehension techniques you can apply.
Top Reading Comprehension Strategies to Try
- Don’t focus on minor details: Concentrate on the comprehension’s main theme, and try not to be stuck in the little details.
- Try to develop your vocabulary: A good dictionary is your best friend in building your vocabulary. Look up the meaning of new words that you come across while reading. Make it a habit to prepare a list of words and find out their meanings by the end of the day.
- Build your passion: Develop your interest in reading and keep enhancing your comprehension skills. Hold brainstorming sessions with friends and discuss topics with them. This will increase your motivation and help you improve.
- Determine how the passage is organized: Find out how the content in the passage is organized, whether logically, chronologically, serially, or in any other way.
- Understand the passage’s structure: Know how the passage has been structured. Most passages begin with an introduction, followed by a body and a conclusion. Identify words and phrases that are used to move from one topic to another.
- Find out the keywords used: Identify the keywords used in the questions, and search the passage to locate these keywords.
- Every word in the answer must be relevant: You need to remember that whatever words you use in the answers must be justified, and any words not relevant to the passage must be discarded.
Quick tips to improve your reading comprehension skills
- Determine the passage’s main idea
- Prepare a summary of the content you read
- Divide the reading into smaller sections
- Develop your word power
- Make questions related to the passage you are reading
These time-tested, valuable strategies and tips will help your competitive exam preparation by strengthening your reading comprehension skills. Use them effectively to succeed in the SSC and Railway exams and secure your future.
Questions Frequently Asked
1. What is the objective behind reading comprehension?
The main purpose of reading comprehension is to grasp the meaning behind the written text. Engaging with the text helps you to become an active reader.
2. What challenges can one expect while reading comprehension?
The common challenges encountered are:
– Getting too involved with trivial details
– Losing concentration
– Not able to connect ideas
– Inability to understand the meaning of words and sentences
3. What common mistakes in reading comprehension can one avoid?
While reading comprehension, you must not forget to summarize the passage or read the text actively. Not writing down important points is also a mistake.
4. Can you name some of the common types of reading comprehension questions?
You can expect these reading comprehension questions in your paper:
– Factual questions
– Draw conclusion questions
– Questions about the Author’s Tone
– Structure questions
– Inferential questions
5. How can I score well in the Reading comprehension section?
To score well, follow these tips:
– Build your vocabulary
– Focus on the important portions
– Make notes while reading
– Identify your strengths
– Try to increase your reading speed