How to improve reading comprehension Speed ?
How to improve reading comprehension Speed
Role of Comprehension in UPSC IAS preparation / CSAT?
To qualify for mains, score high in prelims is a must. Many students read days and night without any agenda. They are not able to understand what UPSC actually requires. If you are fresher and started preparation. You developed good knowledge. You have covered optional subjects, all GS papers in deep, good command over history, geography, science, ecology, economy etc etc. What are the chances of success? Very less or no chance if you are not proficient in CSAT reasoning, math, comprehension. This CSAT is actually entry barrier. Without this you are no where. In fact all your preparation is zero. Comprehension is almost 50% of CSAT. So without scoring very high marks in CSAT, you can not imagine to become IAS.
Is ” comprehension” such a serious issue?
Yes, comprehension is extremely serious issue. Few students may be already good. That may include IITs, IIMs. But it is not necessary that those who are preparing for CAT or prepared for CAT are good. As 95% students who are preparing for any competition are just preparing but not seriously and passionately. So just preparing and attending coaching classes are not sufficient. Same is with IAS aspirants. Hard work, passion to improve, focus on right areas are the ingredient for success. I have seen students who are weak in maths, comprehension ( but they think they are good), reasoning ( but they think they are good). It is very difficult to convince such students as they already showed poor character of comprehension and analysis of their own. And the situation becomes difficult when you can not analyse such an important area of improvement. 90% students fall in this category. They will try to postpone this problem. Excuse is math, reasoning, comprehension ( comprehension to mughe aata hai). They read toppers ( already had great comprehension and analytical skills) interview and relate themselves with them. Accept the issue and start improving immediately. It is long term process. Otherwise after the exam you will say ( Time khatam ho gaya thaa, questions to aate thei) time was over I could solve all the questions.
Tips to improve Comprehension skills?
Books that can surely help:
It is important to read quality and trusted books. I am recommending two books. I can assure these will be helpful. Although purchasing books is not sufficient. Using these books is important. After buying please read those.
The Hindu, Frontline Magazine and one science magazine:
Why The Hindu? The Hindu has the language which UPSC uses in its question papers, comprehension. But read The Hindu editorial, comment, international and business pages. Not “hancky penky” news items. It means selective reading is a must. Not only read but read it carefully and with full speed. How much you can understand after full speed reading , this should be continuously and a habit. Improve continuously. It may be possible you are getting bored by reading long articles. But develop the habit. This is required. In-fact develop interest.
Big articles, good quality and analysis will help you. Topics covered will be diverse issues which are required.
Why any science magazine like The earth or science reporter: Many comprehension are based on science, ecology, biodiversity, environment issues. So you will become familiar with these topics and terms used.
Also Business Standard News Paper , E & P magazine , Yojna Magazine will be extremely helpful. Read fast, better, analyse with speed. It means just buying or subscribing is not sufficient, implementation is required.
3. Attempt as many as possible comprehension passages:
You can purchase any book. I will recommend TMH Book written for CSAT. Link of the book is given below. I am recommending few GMAT sites, which will be helpful. These sites will provide you comprehension practice. You can practice 4-5 passages daily.
Tips to attempt a comprehension passage:
- Read between the Paragraphs.
- Read for Author’s Main Idea and Primary Purpose.
- Create a thought flowchart by writing down the Main Idea and Primary purpose after each paragraph.
- The Main Idea of the passage is the repeated idea in each of the Main ideas (of the paragraphs)
- The primary purpose is mostly the Primary purpose of the concluding paragraph.
- Classify the passages as
Explanatory (Mostly Science passages, explain one theory/phenomenon in detail)
Comparative (two or more point of views on a theory/topic. Doesn’t go in much detail)
Argumentative (Subjective, opinionated. Mostly social science/business topics. Pros and cons of a topic with author’s views on them)
- Paraphrase the text to simplify.
- Don’t over read. Skip examples, dates, lengthy names, any details which can be referred in case something is asked explicitly.
- Don’t go for choices which hold true only for one part of the author’s argument.
- Don’t go for choices which exaggerate the author’s conclusion.
- Don’t fill in the blanks yourself. Use only as much is there in the passage.
- At the end of reading, ask yourself questions like : What was the passage about? What was author’s motive in writing all this?
- Read quickly through soporific passages.
- Read the first question before the Passage.
- Use your Critical Reasoning techniques for reasoning/inference/strengthen/weaken questions.
We will publish 500 passages on this website including those 150 passages which came in CSAT since 2011. This activity will also help you a lot.
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