English is an important and integral part of every competitive exam. Be it bank PO or insurance AO, SSC CGL or UPSC papers. English carries a weightage of 40-50 marks. Therefore we all can understand the importance of scoring well here. English paper (objective) comprises of comprehension, spot the errors, preposition, arrange the sentence etc. In every paper you can expect at least one or two passages for comprehension (in UPSC Civils there are more than 5!). If there is a descriptive paper (e.g. SBI PO) there as well you can expect one comprehension passage.
So what is comprehension? It is a passage given in the exam paper which you need to read, understand and answer the questions that follow. Some of the passages might be easy to understand while some other might not. You need to understand the passage before getting down with the questions. Here we bring to you few tips that would make it easy for you to approach and solve comprehensions.
Tips for solving comprehension
- Read the passage carefully. This is the basic of approaching. You need to read the comprehension very carefully. Do not read half and assume the rest (in case of lengthy paragraphs). For example, in a banking PO paper if certain views are passed on the present banking system DO NOT make the mistake of reading half the paragraph and assuming the rest. What you assume might be very much different than what is expected as answer.
- After 1st read, read the questions once. This is important. The questions will give you the idea from which part the questions are asked. If you do not know the exact answer to the question then you need to read that part of the passage again. It will make answering the questions easily and correctly.
- In the passage while reading you will find few words in bold. Make a note of those words. When you read the questions you will find questions relating to those words. Either synonyms or antonyms will be asked. If you do not know the word, read the line again. You will understand what the line is trying to convey and hence there is a possibility that the meaning (if not the exact dictionary meaning) will become clear to you and you will be able to answer its synonym or antonym.
- Usually another common question is to select a suitable title for the passage. For this you need to read and re-read the passage till the meaning is clear. We can hope that after 2 reads the meaning and the emotions of the passage somewhat becomes clear.
- The next common question is what is the author trying to convey through the passage or what is author’s take on the subject etc. Again, these questions will become clear on repeated reading of the passage. The options given in the answer will be very close to one another. Keeping that in mind you should be careful while marking your answer.
- In the descriptive papers (if it is offline) read the passage, read the questions and then mark the answers on the paper. This will save your time next time when you will be writing the answers in the space provided.
- Last but not the least, if you find the passage is too hard for you to understand.DO NOT attempt the tricky questions based on guess. If you cannot understand, leave the question and attempt the easier follow up questions. The synonym, antonym questions will be pretty easy. You will find one or two direct questions as well. I am saying this because in the exam you will not find so much time to devote on one question. If you do so, you will be leaving out a lot of other questions.
All the best. For any other question feel free to ask us.
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