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Tips to solve comprehension in CSAT

  • Categories
    Prelims
  • Published
    9th Sep, 2021

In the CSAT paper, RC questions have had a very important role to play. In the last 4 years, the number of questions have ranged from 26 to 30 which is about 33 to 38% of the paper. The length of the passages varies from 200 words to 80 words for a 4 question passage and 1 question passage respectively. Hence it becomes very important for the aspirants to understand the passage comprehensively and to solve the questions in a harmonized way. Given below are some of the tips to understand and attempt the reading comprehension section.

  • Broaden your database (knowledge)

While reading a newspaper, which section do you usually turn to?

Is it the political section, the celebrity, the sports column or some other section? I go with the celebrity section first. Why? Because I like to read news and reports about what is happening in the celeb world. Similarly, you are most comfortable withthe section that you like to read the most.

You must have never felt bored while reading that section and never have faced any difficulty understanding what’s written in that section otherwise you would not read it.

As compared to alien topics, it is very easy to read essays on topics which you understand and know about. Hence, it is important to have a broad background of knowledge in various fields. You should always be prepared asessays from any field can come in Reading Comprehension questions.

Your knowledge base can be improved by reading newspapers, books, articles, magazines and periodicals regularly. You can start by taking interest in what is happening around the world by following the news regularly. Not only will this help you in developing your reading skills but will also help you during your Group Discussion and Personal Interview stage. Read from a broad range of topics to avoid monotonicity.

Of course GS is analytical in nature, hence we are assuming that reading habits get automatically get inculcated for Civil service aspirants.

  • Learn to understand the structure of Paragraphs

The paragraphs used in Reading Comprehension passages areusually taken from articles or periodicals written by good writers. Generally these writers have a very well defined structure of constructing a paragraph and will mostly have a proper beginning, middle part and an end section.

To decipher what the passage is trying to convey, knowing the functions of the respective parts can help you in a long way. For example, the last sentence will most probably be constructed in such a way that it gives the reader the conclusion of what is being said in the passage.

  • Choose your Passages Carefully

In both Reading Comprehension as well as Verbal Ability, Accuracy holds the key as a whole. So, instead of wasting time on tough passages, try and finish the easy passages first.

How can you know if a passage is easy?

Keep two things in mind:

  1. If the topic of the passage is familiar?
  2. Are the question direct or twisted?

First solve those passages which have direct questions. It will be very helpful if the passage is on a topic you are familiar with, hence selection becomes important.

  • Avoid Long Passages with few Questions

Try to avoid long passages having a few questions. This will save you a lot of time and you can concentrate on smaller passages with more questions which will improve your accuracy.

But, there are chances that the long passages with few questions would be easier and may ask direct questions. In the end, keeping all the factors in mind, you will have to strategize carefully. But having an option, go for passages with more questions.

  • Focus on Comprehension, instead of speed

While reading speed is a key factor, it is not the most important criteria. Reading a passage very fast without really understanding it is of no use. Hence, an aspirant must focus more on understanding the Reading Comprehension instead of Reading it speedily.

To be able to comprehend the passage fast is of great advantage which will help you a lot in solving the questions fast. On the other hand, if you just read fast without properly comprehending, you may have to read the passage again and again to fully understand it.

  • Keep noting the main points of the passage on a sheet of paper

Try to note down the main points of the passage,on the sheet of paper provided to you, while reading it. Use the sheets efficiently.

Jotting down the main points would help you in case you forget something. While attempting the questions, this will prevent the unpleasant experience of searching for ‘that point I read somewhere’.

Follow these and I am sure you will come out with flying colors….

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