Note Making: Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension (RC) is the most peculiar section in almost all scholastic, entrance and employment tests. The skills in RC make a lot of difference in one’s chances of good grades/selection.

Most students find it difficult to tackle topics that are diverse from the field they are in or from which they are comfortable with. So one needs to develop a taste for even the most obscure and boring topic on this planet. For success in RC one should be able to understand it. And even with an average speed, one can succeed if one implements the strategies.

Broadly speaking, RC passages can be classified in a few categories. Fact based RC is the simplest form of RC. These types of passages have a lot of information in the form of names, numbers, etc. In these types of passages, one should read very fast. Don’t try to memorise any facts. Just mark what the author is talking about in each paragraph.

Inference based RC is the toughest form of RC. Here, the passage is fairly tough to understand. This includes passages on topic like Religion, Spirituality, Philosophy etc. Most of the students will be comfortable attempting these passages. The way to master them is to read them again and again.

Topic based RC includes passages on any particular topic like economics, astrology, medical sciences etc. Generally what makes these passages difficult is usage of technical terms. For success in these types of passages, we need to have a fair understanding of the definition of the term if it is defined in the passage. Assume them to be non-existent and proceed. The key principle in these passages is that don’t go to the next line until the previous line is clear.

Reading the question first and then passage is the usual strategy followed by a few students. They just look at the questions and not options. The objective is that after seeing the questions when you read the passage then you read only that part carefully where the answer is given. The flaw with this strategy is that you will not be able to remember all the questions. Besides this, this strategy fails when there are questions that require understanding of the passage. Therefore, the best way to attempt an RC is to understand the passage very well first, and then to answer the questions.

Q. On the basis of reading of the above passage, make notes on it in points only by writing headings and sub-headings. Use recognizable abbreviations wherever necessary (minimum 4). Also give a suitable title.

Comprehension Passages

  1. Reading comprehension
    1. Most peculiar section
    2. In almost all tests
    3. Make a lot of diff. in getting good grades
  2. Classification of comprehension passages:
    1. Fact based passages
      1. Simplest form of passages
      2. Have lots of information
    2. Inference based RC
      1. Toughest form of passages
      2. Based on topics like religion, philosophy etc.
      3. Easy to attempt
    3. Topic based RC
      1. Based on a particlr topic
      2. Needs fair understanding
  3. Usual strategy of students:
    1. First look at questions
    2. Then read the passage
    3. Not a good strategy
  4. Best way to solve RC:
    1. Understand the passage
    2. Answer the ques.
Key to Abbreviations
1. diff. – difference
2. RC – reading comprehension
3. particlr – particular
4. ques. – question

Q. Draft a summary of the passage on the basis of notes in about 80 words.

Summary

Reading Comprehension is the most peculiar section which can be found in almost all tests. It makes a lot of difference in getting good grades. Comprehension passages can be classified into fact based passages, inference based passages and topic based passages. Inference based passages are the easiest to attempt. The usual strategy of students is to first look at the questions, then read the passage and answer them. But this is not a good strategy. One must read and understand the passage first and then answer the questions.

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