Tips to crack difficult English Comprehension Passages in Competitive exams
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.
1. Understand the context of the passage and the situation of the passage. Capture the whom, why, when aspects in the passage.
2. Domain of the passage – Find out to which subject or discipline is the passage related to e.g. Is it related to Science or Technology or Literature and so on.
3. Type of the passage – Know what is the content of the passage 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 identified what is it related to exactly now remember these standard rules that are common and apply to levels and kinds of passages.
i. 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.
ii. Find and understand the main outline and idea of the passage. This can be done by reading the first two sentences of each paragraph which tell you about what this paragraph consists of. Read the starting and ending of every part.
iii. Now read a bit more in detail say a sentence more or search for key words of only those asked in questions.
iv. Don’t try to analyze, make your conclusions and answers questions. Go with the ideology and boundary of the passage. Do not make assumptions.
v. 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.
vi. 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 author’s mood and tone to answer the questions.
vii. 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.
viii. 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.
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