AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR & LANGUAGE
(viii) If the question asks you for the meaning of a word or
COMPREHENSION a phrase in the passage which might you new or fa-
miliar then make use of the context. Read the whole
Preparation for competitive exams is no easy task. The sentence which has that word and understand its
approach and strategy should be well in place so that you meaning then answer.
can achieve maximum gain in limited time. Comprehension
Besides these, it is essential for you to improve your
is an important segment that tests the ability of an indi-
vidual to understand the language, his knowledge of words word power in order to understand the passage thoroughly.
and how nicely can an examinee understand the given pas- Your entire answers depends on how well have you under-
sage. Bigger things are difficult to handle as we do not stood the passage. Having a grasp over difficult words will
proceed in a directed fashion. In fact, you end up messing assist you to comprehend the passage in less time. This
up with things so it applies same when it comes to crack- will not only help you save time but also help you to answer
ing lengthy and difficult comprehension passages at com- appropriately. Reading of newspapers, books and maga-
petitive exams. This part is in fact very easy but many fail zines helps a candidate to increase his knowledge domain
to fix it since they fail to follow the rules defined to ap- and also aid in improving vocabulary. While reading the
proach it. Many of us simply leave this section or just do passage you can underline or mar the important words so
guess work blindly. This happens as we stay in the con- that you can quickly summarize the comprehension. This
vention that it takes lot of time to solve. will be beneficial to save time and get the hang of the pas-
Here are few tips that help you to find the right an- sage. Also, when you are answering the questions, you can
swer choices with greater accuracy and with in relatively quickly go through these important words to write correct
less amount of time. answers. It is necessary for you to important parts of the
1. Understand the context of the passage and the situ- passage that provides answers to a lot of questions. When
ation of the passage. Capture the whom, why, when as- you are a giving a section reading, you can just simply
pects in the passage. focus on these important parts which will provide a clear
2. Domain of the passage – Find out to which subject picture. You must answer the questions correctly there-
or discipline is the passage related to e.g., is it related to fore, it is very important for you to know the important
Science or Technology or Literature and so on. parts in a passage which gives answers to the questions.
3. Type of the passage – Know what the content of the A Few Specifics About How To Attempt Compre-
passage is whether it is an extract of an article, research
hensions: Comprehensions may contain the topic about
paper or an event or news.
science, social, politics, general, financial, etc. It contains
These things help you to set your mind and think it in about 5–10 questions to answer and some antonyms and
those terms with in no time. Now that you have identified
synonyms based on the passage having some bold words.
what it is related to exactly, remember these standard rules
So, to give answer of those questions does not need you to
that are common and apply to levels and kinds of pas-
sages. be expertise in the either field, just you have to read out
the passage with meaningfully and mark the important sen-
(i) Read the questions first and remember the things the
tences, phrases, etc.
examiner is asking so that you read only those para-
graphs related to those. Now proceed to the reading Note down the points specified below to find out the
of the passage. ways of how to tackle a comprehension at ease.
(ii) Find and understand the main outline and idea of the 1. Read the passage and quickly jump to the short
passage. This can be done by reading the first two answered questions, like antonyms, synonyms, to give title
sentences of each paragraph which tell you about what of passage, etc. It is better to leave the questions to an-
this paragraph consists of. Read the starting and end- swer at last, because antonyms and synonyms take a sec-
ing of every part. ond to solve and questions take a minute.
(iii) Now read a bit more in detail say a sentence more or 2. If you are familiar to any passage related to your
search for key words of only those asked in ques- knowledge and your academics, then quickly read out that
tions. one and solve the following questions of that passage. It
(iv) Do not try to analyze, make your conclusions and will take less time and you will be accurate.
answers questions. Go with the ideology and bound-
3. By the time you are reading the passage, figure
ary of the passage. Do not make assumptions.
out the tone/idea/inference/situation of the passage, it will
(v) When the question asks you to guess like about your help to find the answers quickly. Use a pencil to under-
opinion or suitable title to this passage then answer
line the specific sentences and phrases/words.
that question based on choices which are either too
general or direct to the point. 4. There is always a question about the main idea of
(vi) The words that convey emotions in the passage tell the passage. Then look at the starting and end of the pas-
you about the opinion of the author of the passage if sage and try to summarize the paragraph to get the main
it is an article based passage. You can judge about idea of the passage. It will ask about the main idea of that
the author’s mood and tone to answer the questions. passage.
(vii) Keywords are the best ways to find answers if you 5. When it is asked that to give a suitable title of the
can scan through the lines of the passage fast. Such passage then watch out for choices that are too specific
words are like nouns or included as phrases. At least or broad. Sometimes, the title is already given in the first
find closely related words that mean the same as asked paragraph of the passage. Use the narrow approach to find
in question. out the title. Do not think beyond the passage.