Reading comprehension

The reading comprehension test is an integral part of almost all major competitive exams like TOEFL and IELTS. Passages are given for reading and students have to answer questions based on the information given in them.

As the name itself suggests, the reading comprehension test is designed to assess a student’s ability to understand a piece of text by reading it. To do well on a reading comprehension test, you must have a good vocabulary because your ability to answer questions depends upon your ability to understand the passage. You must also learn how to figure out the meaning of a given passage using context.

How to prepare for a reading comprehension

To do well on a reading comprehension test, you must read extensively. Read as much as you can. Read newspapers, magazines and journals. Read anything that is of an academic nature. While reading, look up unfamiliar words in a dictionary.

If the exam format permits this, read all the questions before you start reading the passage. It will help you to zero in on the relevant portion of the passage.

Read the given passage carefully before attempting to answer the questions. Some people counter that skimming the given passage is better than reading it carefully because it saves time. Although skimming might work for some, it may not be the right method for you. While practicing for the exam, try both methods to find out which one works for you.

Write the answers neatly in your own words avoiding mistakes in grammar and spelling.

Improve your reading speed. This is possible only through passage. That said, you are not supposed to rush through the passage. Start slowly and then increase your speed as you gain familiarity with the subject.