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Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Total Gadha - Sunday, 4 March 2007, 03:52 PM
 

1. Vocabulary

Can you show me a good reader who doesn't have a good vocabulary? I am afraid that the answer is a no. You cannot understand passages if you cannot understand words. Word recognition is essential for decoding texts and comprehending aims of their authors. A good reader subconsciously recognizes whether a certain word makes sense in a given sentence and the context of the text being read. If it does not, he reads the text again to understand if he has misunderstood or misread. Fluent word recognition takes less cognitive capacity and makes the reader sail smoothly through a complete text without stressing himself. On the other hand, a sloppy word recognition results in frequent breaks in reading, loss of interest, and subsequent loss of recall about what was being said in the passage.

Although a good vocabulary takes long time to build, a workable essential vocabulary can be built over a short period of time by constantly referring to the dictionary, analyzing words and their various meanings, and connecting every word with your own life. The sooner you start doing this, the earlier you will start making headway in your reading.

EXAMPLE: See if the words in this passage slow you down-

RC passage 1

Did you understand the text? Did the words in the text make you stop? If the above text, containing only three sentences, slowed you down, consider what will happen when you face full page text containing difficult words.

Here are some words in the passage explained-

· Metaphysics - The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.

· Antitheses - The direct or exact opposite. Direct contrast; opposition.

· Wary - Watchful, alert, vigilant, guarded, circumspect, prudent.

· De Omnibus Dubitandum - All is to be doubted. (Rene Descartes)

· Valuation - The act of estimating or setting the value of something; appraisal. An estimated value or worth.

· Provisional - providing or serving for the time being only; existing only until permanently or properly replaced; temporary.

· Frog's perspective - The exact opposite of a "bird's perspective." Consider a frog sitting on a floor or floating on the surface of water. The angle at which it views things around itself will be from a lower plane. Perhaps the adjoining two pictures will explain better:

frog's perspective

Now can you understand the passage? I bet you can!

Moral: Get you vocabulary in place, and get it in place now!

2. Reading Habit

A reader who has a high prior knowledge about the topic of the text will always understand it better than a reader who has a low or no prior knowledge. Connecting the ideas given in the text to what you already know helps you understand the text better. Trying to read a text about which you know nothing is like pouring water through a sieve; you don't retain much. For example, try reading these numbers:

7615423 Isn't it hard to read and remember?

761-5324 This one is easier because of grouping.

123-4567 You can read it and remember it because of mental connection.

Similarly, if you like reading about science, reading science passages will be easy for you. Same goes for philosophy, psychology etc. Our mind connects to things it already knows. Reading extensively will enhance your prior knowledge about various topics and in turn enhance your reading comprehension. Start reading high-quality, information-rich texts on a regular basis. The pain taken now will result in an easy ride later. You can use the following resources that I used to crack my CAT and GMAT verbal section:

A. Newspaper- The Hindu

B. Magazine- The Economist, Time

C. Website- http://www.businessweek.com/, http://www.guardian.co.uk/

3. Knowing the Structure of Paragraph Writing

Every good writer writes in a structured and purposeful manner. His texts have a beginning, a middle and an end. Knowing the structure of paragraph writing can help a reader locate theme of the passage, author's intention, and transitional words or phrases that change the meaning of the paragraph.

 

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Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Vibhuti Sukhramani - Monday, 12 March 2007, 03:54 PM
  Thank you for these tips! I guess they r pretty useful to start with..
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Brijesh Mishra - Sunday, 24 June 2007, 11:07 PM
 

hello tg.

 

thanx 4 d imp. tips,,hope dey will help in a big way. plz add more tips.

bye n tc

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by shruti a - Monday, 25 June 2007, 10:15 PM
 

hi TG....

in your article 'cat preparation study plan', you said that memorising word lists was a waste of time...but in the article above u say that a good vocabulary is a must...can you please clarify?

thanks smile

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by shruti a - Monday, 25 June 2007, 10:18 PM
 

hi TG....

in your article 'cat preparation study plan', you said that memorising word lists was a waste of time...but in the article above u say that a good vocabulary is a must...can you please clarify?

thanks smile

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 25 June 2007, 10:29 PM
  Hi Shruti,

It means that you don't have to spend hours in mugging up word lists ( as stdents generally do). The best way to build up your vocabulary is by finding out the meanings of the words as you come across. And possessing a good vocabulary is always going to help you.

Dagny
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Tempo # 911 - Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 02:03 PM
 

Hi Dagny...

I would beg to differ a little on that respect.

If one reads after mugging up the words, there is a thrill in identifying the correct usage of the words again. Once a person goes through that word again, it is etched indelibly in the mind. For this, one has to read, read and read; apart from just mugging up the words.

Mugging up, if one really has penchant for words, does enriches one's vocabulary.

However, this should be done at leisure, and definitely not at the cost of some other important activity.

 

Regards

Temperamental

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by pranesh sharma - Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 08:27 PM
  While mugging up words one usually tends to remember only the recent words. The best way to improve the vocab is to read, lookup the word that is not understood, and then again read the sentence with that word, map the word to something you feel comfortable with, and then try to use that word in different contexts. Needs dedication, thats all....
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by jaswanth vemula - Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 10:22 PM
 

Hi TG,

Thanx for these tips,they are helpful.Also i have a question,when i read a passage,i keep a dictionary next to me to know the meaning of the words,while i am trying to figure out the meaning,i am losing track of the passage.Since i have just started reading editorial regularly,what's ur advice?Do i read the whole article once & try to understand the passage..or continue the same way which is time consuming.please suggest a way.

Thank you-

jassu

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by ritu banerjee - Tuesday, 1 July 2008, 06:41 AM
  thk u so much tg sir.....this site n the forums part has proved to be so helpfulsmile
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by dibyaranjan mallick - Wednesday, 2 July 2008, 12:31 AM
  awesome.....
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Sunil Raperia - Wednesday, 2 July 2008, 01:06 AM
  While  start practising for Comprehension in beginning ...one has to first increase his Eye Span or one has to increase his understanding capability of topic???
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by shwetha shivraj - Wednesday, 2 July 2008, 10:36 AM
 

hi TG...

thanks for the article.. i am following all these techniques.. i can somehow manage easy RC's but i want to practice cat level or above cat level RC's. i don know the source to find such RC's with difficult questions. so can u please post some of the cat standard RC's .. it would be very helpful. thanks in advance...

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Gaurav Verma - Wednesday, 2 July 2008, 03:24 PM
 

genius tg

these tips are helping me alot to tackle rc sections .thanks a lot.

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Pranita s - Wednesday, 23 July 2008, 12:09 PM
 

Hey thanks a lot

 

It was very helpful

 

Pranita

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Aashish Dua - Tuesday, 5 August 2008, 02:12 AM
 

TG Sir

Hie ! Just wanted to thank you for such a nice article.

Regards

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Jerry JFK - Wednesday, 1 April 2009, 12:16 AM
  These truely are building blocks for any reader. Knowing the structure of P.writing is byy far the most important point not only in RC but also para jumble/completion.

thank you
&



jfk
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by swadhin khanna - Thursday, 2 April 2009, 12:31 AM
  thanks......

but ithnk u shud tell us a lil bit more abt how to remmbr words
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by SHAUNAK A - Sunday, 9 August 2009, 06:21 PM
  Hello TG Sir,

I had appeared for CAT 2008 and scored a meagre 31 marks in VA/RC section...

I have started preparing seriously for CAT 09 and following your lessons diligently...

Now could you elaborate on HOW to have a "WORKABLE ESSENTIAL VOCAB" for in 3 months time...
i know i sound cliched, but please do help( Now learning the Dictionary smile is beyond my domain...)

Looking Forward for your help..

Regards:
Shaunak
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Saurabh - confusion fused - Friday, 13 November 2009, 07:16 PM
  Hello TG sir,

Although you have suggested the vocabulary mugging right in the first point I have some strength to say that I'm in stark contrast to the thing called "mugging".  I hated mugging since my childhood and I'm happy I am like that. Mugging doesn't tell you how a particular word should be used. When you encounter a new word in your normal reading, say like while reading a novel,  you know in what circumstances the word should be used. But, mugging this word won't add to your vocabulary. My definition of vocabulary is also different - for many students vocabulary is a list of words they know the meaning of - for me it is a list of words which I use while speaking and writing. So, naturally, my vocabulary is infinitesimally small compared to many!

Regards,
$aurabh
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by mj focus - Wednesday, 21 April 2010, 08:11 PM
 

Hello TG Sir/Dagny Mam,

Thanks for the Informative article.
Would you please elaborate on the third point i.e.
'Knowing the Structure of Paragraph Writing'
how to gain mastery in this , to judge the structure of Paragraphs.

Thanks
mj focus

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by lazy gadha - Tuesday, 5 October 2010, 05:59 PM
 

thanx sir.............

as i've been working on my RC's it is a great aid . it'd surelly give an impetus.

thanks a lot...

Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by somit srivastava - Sunday, 9 October 2011, 02:32 AM
  Hello All,
I tried something and its really helpful and effective.

Take a word ; search for it in google dictionary. Write all its synonyms and synonyms linked with the synonyms (will be around 30 words).Will take 10-15mins

Now you will be clear with the context where the word will be used and similar words too.

smile
Re: Reading Comprehension Strategy- 1, Building Blocks of Reading Comprehension
by Frank Abegnale - Sunday, 9 June 2013, 04:29 PM
  @TG Sir:

I still didn't understand what is being conveyed by the author in the last 6 lines. Now how do I improve? Kindly help.

Regards