Strategies For Tackling Reading Comprehension
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Since many banking exams are in the streak and as we promised to provide strategy to how to tackle Reading Comprehension, since it is one of the most crucial and tough portions of English section in banking exams, in which maximum people get baffled and get panicked while solving it. So, here we are rendering you General Strategies for solving Reading Comprehension.
1. Try to read the whole text of the passage once, if possible: Many people think you should just skim the passage or read the first lines of every paragraph, and not to read the passage. We believe this is an error: if you misunderstand the main idea of the passage, you will certainly get at least some of the questions wrong. Give the passage one good read, taking no more than 3 minutes to read all of the text. Do not read the passage more than once – that wastes too much time. If you have not understood it completely, try to answer the questions anyway. Note: this point of reading the whole passage is important for test-takers whose first language is not English, provided that they can read the passage in 3 minutes or less.
2. Make brief notes on the text on your scrap paper: As we will see below in greater detail, you should write down a couple of words on A) the Main Idea or Primary Purpose, B) Organization/Structure of the passage, and C) the Tone or Attitude of the author (if applicable). You just need a few words for each of these areas, and altogether it should not take longer than 30 seconds to write down.
3. Remember that the tone or attitude of the passage is usually respectful and moderate, never going to extremes of praise nor criticism: Banking Aspirants obtain its Reading Comprehension passages from real articles about real academics and professionals. So the tone of the articles, even when there is criticism in the passage toward an academic or her work, is always balanced and moderate. In the same vein, articles that deal with minorities or ethnic groups are almost always positive and sympathetic.
4. Look out for structural words that tell you the important ideas or transitions in a passage.
Continue the Idea Words Conclusion Words Contradiction (Yin-Yang) Words
Similarly Thus Nevertheless
Moreover Therefore Nonetheless
Additionally Hence However
In the same way So But
Likewise In Summary Although
In conclusion Though
Even though, etc.
5. Go back to the text of the passage for the answers. Many test-takers fail to return to the text of the passage to look for the correct answers. They rely solely on their memories and understanding of the passage after having read or skimmed it. Wrong. Go back to the text to look for information to answer the questions. Nine times out of ten, the answer lies within the passage.
Six most important types of RC Questions
There are 6 most important types of questions for Reading Comprehension:
1. Main Idea/Primary Purpose Questions
Many people believe there is no difference between the main or central idea of the passage and the primary purpose of the author of the passage. This is simply not true. Let’s take a look at the subtle but important difference between them:
The question might look something like this:
“Which of the following best states the central idea of the passage?”
“Which of the following most accurately states the main idea of the passage?”
“Which of the following is the principal topic of the passage?”
“The main topic of the passage is….”
The question might look like this:
“The primary purpose of this passage is to…”
“The primary purpose of the passage as a whole is to…”
“The primary focus of this passage is on which of the following?”
“The main concern of the passage is to…”
“In the passage, the author is primarily interested in….”
“The passage is chiefly concerned with…”
Main Idea: Look in the first and last paragraphs for the main idea. Any conclusion words like therefore, thus, so, hence, etc. that you see are most likely introducing the main idea. The correct answer will say the same thing as it says in the text, but using different words. The Main Idea is not always stated explicitly in the passage – in fact, more likely than not, it is not stated explicitly. Therefore, in order to answer this type of question when it is more implicit:
Re-read the first line of every passage, and the last line of the first and last paragraphs. This should give you the general structure or outline of the argument, with which you can answer the Main Idea question.
After determining the general structure or content of the argument, eliminate answer choices that are too broad or too specific, i.e. answer choices that go beyond the content of the passage, or that deal with content only discussed in one paragraph of the passage.
Make brief notes – a couple of words- regarding the Main Idea on the text on your scrap paper while you read.
Primary Purpose: What is the author trying to do? What is his intention? If he is evaluating a theory, then the answer could be something like “Discuss an interpretation”. Note that the correct answer would deal with “an interpretation”, because the author is only dealing with one theory. If the Primary Purpose is to criticize 2 new books, then his intention or his primary purpose might be to “Critique new studies”. Again, as in Main Idea questions, re-read the first line of every passage, and the last line of the first and last paragraphs. This should give you the general structure or outline of the argument, with which you can answer the Primary Purpose question.
Note: A good main idea or primary purpose does not go beyond the scope of the passage, nor does it limit itself to discussing only one part of the passage.
2 Title Questions
Title questions are very similar to Main Idea questions, though are less common. The passages in the real BANKING ASPIRANTS will not have titles. The title question might look like this:
“Which of the following titles best summarizes the passage as a whole?”
Treat this as a Main Idea question. A good title sums up the central idea of a passage. Therefore, in order to answer this type of question:
1. Look in the first and last paragraphs for the main idea. Any conclusion words like therefore, thus, so, hence, etc. that you see are most likely introducing the Main Idea/Title. The correct answer will say the same thing as it says in the text, but using different words.
2. Re-read the first line of every passage, and the last line of the first and last paragraphs. This should give you the general structure or outline of the argument, with which you can answer the Title question.
3. Make brief notes – a couple of words- regarding the Title on the text on your scrap paper while you read.
4. After determining the general structure or content of the argument, eliminate answer choices that are too broad or too specific, i.e. answer choices that go beyond the content of the passage, or that deal with content only discussed in one paragraph of the passage.
3. Specific Detail or Target questions
Specific Detail or Target questions are probably the most common types of questions, and the easiest to answer. The question might look like this:
“According to the passage,….”
“The passage states that ….”
The Specific Detail or Target that we are looking for could be a Line Number, or a Name or Date. Go to the Line Number or Name or Date, and then read several lines above and below it. Find the answer choice that basically says the same thing as in the passage, though usually with different words or word order.
4. Inference or Assumption Questions
This is probably the most difficult type of Reading Comprehension problem. The questions might look like this:
“It can be inferred that the author makes which of the following assumptions?”
“Which is an assumption underlying the last sentence of the passage?”
“Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the hypothesis mentioned in lines 17-19?”
“With which of the following statements regarding chaos theory would the author be most likely to agree?”
First, treat this type of problem as a Specific Target question. Look for a target in the question, find it in the text, and then look above and below it. Often you do not have to infer very much, the answer remains within the text.
If the answer must be inferred and is not stated explicitly within the text, then choose the answer choice that can be inferred or assumed from the information given. Again, you should not have to infer very much – only one or two logical steps removed from the information in the passage.
Make sure that the answer choice you decide on does not violate or contradict the Main Idea of the passage – if it does, the answer choice is probably wrong.
5. Attitude or Tone of the passage Questions
The question might look like this:
“The author’s attitude towards Morgan’s theory could best be described as one of …”
Look for descriptive words, adjectives or adverbs, that could tell you the author’s attitude. For example, the words unfortunately or flaw suggest a negative connotation, while strength or valuable emphasize the positive. Make brief notes – a couple of words- regarding the Tone of the text on your scrap paper while you read. Additionally, keep in mind that the author’s attitude toward a theory, book, or ethnic group will almost always be respectful, even when somewhat critical.
6. Organization of the passage questions
The question might look like this:
“Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?”
“Which of the following best describes the organization of the first paragraph of the passage?”
“One function of the third paragraph is to….”
Re-read the first line of every passage, and the last line of the first and last paragraphs. This should give you the general structure or outline of the argument, with which you can answer the question. Remember to make brief notes about the structure of the text on your scrap paper. If you are looking for the organization of one paragraph, read the first and second sentence of the paragraph. That will give you a rough idea of what is the structure or organization of the paragraph.
Some tips about reading passages:
a. Read the whole text of the passage once.
b. Make brief notes about the text on your scrap paper.
c. Remember that the tone or attitude of the passage is usually respectful and moderate, never going to extremes of praise nor criticism.
d. Look out for structural words that tell you the important ideas or transitions in a passage.
e. Go back to the text of the passage for the answers to specific questions.
Test Taking Startegy
1) Aggressively read each paragraph for its main idea. If you can’t write down in a few words what the point of each paragraph is, you weren’t reading actively enough. You should jot down the following.
a. Main idea or primary purpose
c. Tone or attitude of author (if applicable)
Note: Be careful to not write facts down. It’ll bog you down and usually results in a loss of the big picture and moves you to focus too much into the details.
2) Note any trigger words, same train of thought words, yin-yang parallelism.
3) Weed out possible disputable answers. Vague, wimpy answers are often correct over stronger statements. BANKING ASPIRANTS doesn’t want to get many complaints that a particular answer that was strongly stated, that exceptions could arise. BANKING ASPIRANTS would rather play it safe.
4) Minority passages are often positive in tone and answers tend to be positive in tone as well. Again, BANKING ASPIRANTS, wouldn’t want to look prejudiced.
5) Always eliminate bad choices first before answering. You’ll almost always be able to narrow down to 2-3 and that significantly improves your odds of getting the question right.
6) Read the entire passage before answering the questions. Other books say skim, but it’s not always successful with more difficult passages where minute details change meanings of the passage and could get you going down the wrong path on inference or main point questions. Give yourself 3 minutes or less.
7) For Inference questions, (Note: these are usually the hardest of all RC questions) go find the general area being referenced. Read a bit above or below it and then make your choices. Don’t go by memory. This is going to cause more problems than are helpful with saving time in the long run. Your answer should never contradict the main point of the passage.
8) Most people get main point and inference questions wrong so focus more carefully on these.
9) “According to the passage/author” question type of questions. Whenever you see this question, tell yourself, “Stop and stop thinking. I need to FIND, not think.”
10) For main point or central idea type of questions, re-read the first and last sentences of each paragraph before making elimination choices and answering. Getting the overall structure is really helpful before answering.
11) In Summary: Consider weeding out answers that
a. Are disrespectful to others/professionals. BANKING ASPIRANTS doesn’t like to be disrespectful.
b. Too strong an answer. Use of words like “only”, “definitely”, “positively”
c. Condone/approve prejudicial attitudes. BANKING ASPIRANTS doesn’t like to be disrespectful.
SYSTEMATIC APPROACH FOR ENGLISH COMPREHENSION
Solving English Reading Comprehension has become an inevitable part of almost every competitive examination. The question that lingers in every aspirant’s mind is “How to improve Reading comprehension?”
Students are habituated to solve simple and direct passages in their school days, but when it comes to competitive exams, the task becomes difficult. Unable to understand the vocabulary (meaning of words) and concept of the passage, students become dull and uninterested in this section.
Comprehension tests ascertain your ability to understand the passage and remember its main points. Questions on the passage are mostly fact-based. In some cases, the candidates are asked to draw inferences from what is stated or implied in the passage. Such passages are difficult and need a lot of practice.
So, here are some Reading Comprehension strategies to get more marks.
First we know what are the parameters which you need to have to solve reading comprehension quickly.
1. READING ABILITY
2. UNDERSTANDING OF CONTENTS
4. ABILITY TO DRAW INFERENCES AND CONCLUSIONS.
Don’t worry if you stuck with above words don’t worry because we have some proper methods to attempt Comprehension.
Let’s Start : METHOD OF ATTEMPTING
There are many methods to solve comprehension but We are giving two methods you can use both methods separately or together.
METHOD 1: SEPARATION METHOD
METHOD 2: KEYWORD METHOD
METHOD 1: SEPARATION METHOD
Each and every passage has only these contents inside itself which we need to find and know because if we are able to find these contents than we shall know about of plot from where most of answers and conclusion will be draw. So while reading the passage try to draw these contents from Passage.
3. Supporting Reasons
4. Conclusion or Extension
1. BACKGROUND /INTRODUCTION: – In this contents basically writer intent to give just brief of introduction and past history of concerned topic of Passage. Like its origin and history .It may draw only question like title of passage and need to give more emphasize on background because questions does not come from background. Just read to have an idea of topic.
2. CLAIM : This is most important part in which writer will describe what he want to convey to readers and What is issue for which he is writing this passage? It is a classification, a purpose or an elaboration of the topic; Writer will provide full details of this passages back bone body in this section. It is most important because half of the questions will come only from that section. So read & understand carefully on facts based given in Passage. Question regarding the intention behind the passage only comes from that passage.
3. SUPPORTING REASONS: Whatever writer is claiming in passage he will give supporting reasons in this that section means what is need of passage and what is need of that information which writer want to convey. It is very important to read it carefully.
4. CONCLUSION: – After discussion about claim and its reasons writer will give or draw final inference and it can give you brief of your all passage and question also comes from conclusion.
POINTS TO REMEMBER FOR PASSAGE:
1. READ passage in above given manner as early as u can.
2. READ Question and give answer yourself without seeing Options than try to match your answer with given options.
3. Eliminate regression, i.e., going back to the lines you have just read. This is out of habit developed over years of wrong or half-hearted reading.
4. Once start reading don’t take break before completing it otherwise u can waste time.
METHOD 2: KEYWORD METHOD
In this you need to consider following points:
1. Before reading passage just read questions and every question will have one keyword just note down it on a Rough paper and read these keywords twice so that u can have idea while reading passage.
2. Start reading with keeping in mind your keywords by this way u will get a plot area for each and every keyword.
3. Once you finish your passage than you can have idea about your plot for keywords by which you can answer the questions.
4. In this method you can also use above method and can segregate passage in form which h one is important to read which one is not.
TIPS TO IMPROVE COMPREHENSION SOLVING ABILITY:-
1. Read newspapers and magazines at least 1 hour day and develop habit of reading if problem with newspaper that just take interesting Books of English version like champak and other comics.
2. Give yourself an environment of English; converse in English with your friends and peers.
4. Develop a sense of urgency while reading the passage.
5. Practice at least one typical passage under test conditions every day. Give yourself five minutes to read a Small passage and ten to fifteen minutes in case of a long passage.
7. Have a clear and logical thought process. Do not clutter your brain with unnecessary and irrelevant Thoughts and details.
Below is a passage for practice
Directions (Q.1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases in the passage are printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Indra foresaw that a supreme contest was inevitable between his son Arjuna and Karna; and he put on the garb of a Brahmana and came to Karna, who was reputed for his charity, and begged of him his earrings and armour. The Sun god had already warned Karna in a dream that Indra would try to deceive him in this manner. Still, Karna could not bring himself to refuse any gift that was asked of him. Hence he cut off the earrings and armour with which he was born and gave them to the Brahmana. Indra, the king of gods, was filled with surprise and joy. After accepting the gift, he praised Karna as having done what no one else would do, and shamed into generosity, bade Karna ask for any boon he wanted. Karna replied: “I desire to get your weapon, the Sakti which has the power to kill enemies.” Indra granted the boon, but with a fateful proviso. He said: “You can use this weapon against but one enemy, and it will kill him whosoever he may be. But this killing done, this weapon will no longer be available to you but will return to me.” With these words Indra isappeared. Karna went to Parasurama and became his disciple by representing to him that he was a Brahmana. He learnt of Parasurama the mantra for using the master weapon known as Brahmastra. One day Parasurama was reclining with the head on Karna’s lap when a stinging worm burrowed into Karna’s thigh. Blood began to flow and the pain was terrible, but Karna bore it without tremor lest he should disturb the master’s sleep. Parasurama awoke and saw the blood which had poured from the wound. He said: “Dear pupil, you are not a Brahmana. A Kshatriya alone can remain unmoved under all bodily torments. Tell me the truth.” Karna confessed that he had told a lie in presenting himself as a Brahmana and that he was in fact the son of a charioteer. Parasurama in his anger pronounced this curse on him: “Since you deceived your guru, the Brahmastra you have learnt shall fail you at the fated moment. You will be unable to recall the invocatory mantra when your hour comes.” It was because of this curse that at the crisis of his last fight with Arjuna, Karna was not able to recall the Brahmastra spell, though he had remembered it till then. Karna was the faithful friend of Duryodhana and remained loyal with the Kauravas until the end. After the fall of Bhishma and Drona, Karna became the leader of the Kaurava army and fought brilliantly for two days. In the end, the wheel of his chariot stuck in the ground and he was not able to lift it free and drive the chariot along. While he was in this predicament, Arjuna killed him. Kunti was sunk in sorrow, all the more poignant because she had, at that time, to conceal it.
1. How did Parasurama find that Karna was not a Brahmana?
1) Karna himself confessed his identity before Parasurama.
2) Karna bore the sting of a worm without any tremor.
3) Parasurama had acquired the ability to know everything through his third eye.
4) He asked Karna’s father about his identity.
5) None of these
2. Why did Karna decide to become Parasurama’s disciple on the pretext that he was a Brahmana?
1) Because Parasurama was a Brahmana.
2) Parasurama hated Kshatriyas and Sudras.
3) Parasurama was a man who believed in strict notions of castes.
4) Karna was a Kshatriya and he knew that Parasurama would not allow him to become his disciple unless he pretended to be a Brahmana.
5) Not given in the passage
3. Why could Karna not refuse the demands for his earrings and armour made by Indra?
1) Because Karna was the son of Indra.
2) Because Karna was known for his charity.
3) Karna, being the son of a charioteer, could not refuse Indra, the King of Gods.
4) Karna was deceived by Indra in the guise of a Brahmana.
5) None of these
4. Why did Parasurama curse Karna?
1) Because Karna decided to use the Brahmastra on Parasurama.
2) Because Karna failed to learn the techniques of a Kshatriya.
3) Because Karna concealed his identity and betrayed his master.
4) Because Karna had vowed to destroy the hermitage of Parasurama.
5) None of these
5. What would be the effect of the curse?
1) That Karna would not be able to recall the Brahmastra spell when his hour came.
2) That the invocatory mantra would cease to act on the person targeted
3) That he would not be able to pass the spell to his friends
4) That he would be killed by his own invocatory mantra of the Brahmastra
5) None of these
6. Which of the following is the synonym of the word “Tremor”?
7. Which of the following is the synonym of the word “Poignant”?
8. Which of the following is the synonym of the word “Predicament”?
9. Which of the following is the antonym of the word “Reclining”?
10. Which of the following is the antonym of the word “Torments”?