Things not to be done with RC passages
Reading Comprehension passages are tricky. They are time consuming, energy sapping and information intensive. On the other hand, the rewards they offer are fascinating as well: if you grasp a passage well, you should be able to get most questions in a single passage correct, and this means you gain quite a few marks by solving one set of questions.
While ensuring that you strike a fine balance in this area, it is important that you keep a number of things in your mind and ensure that you do not fall into the common pitfalls. Some of the things that you should definitely avoid while reading comprehension' passages are:
1. Do not over-emphasize trivialities
Details are important but don't be obsessed with examples, illustrations and so on. You just need to get a hang of the main point and not the examples. Comprehending the overall flow and structure will help you analyse and answer the questions.
2. Do not memorize
You do not need to memorize every word present in the passage. Understanding the flow, structure and the main points in the passage should be your priority. For factual or specific point questions, you can always re-read the passage.
3. Do not read the passage first
Always go through the questions first and then the passage. This will prepare you to focus on the things you need to look in the passage. Focus only on the questions, and not on a particular answer option. A quick overview of the questions is sufficient.
4. Do not over-emphasize on vocabulary skills for RCs
Having a strong vocabulary is great however having Shakespearean vocabulary will not prevent you from understanding the passage. So do not put yourself under stress in this area, and while reading the passage, make sure that you understand the gist of the passage and do not get stuck on particular words.
5. Do not spend time on RCs that you cannot comprehend at first
At times we come across a passage that we are not able to comprehend. If you are struggling with one such passage in the exam, make sure you have the patience to avoid such a passage. Focus on the ones that you can manage easily. Go back to the tricky passage in case of absolute necessity.
RC: Concepts & Strategies
6. Do not think the correct option would come from outside the passage
Any of the options that is out of scope is never the correct answer. The right answer is always based on the information given within the passage. Do not focus on any of the options that distract you from the passage.
7. Do not rely on 'trigger words'
You might get trapped in the web of 'trigger words' if you don’t read attentively through the passage. A passage may focus on one point for a quite a bit of sentences and then change it towards the end with trigger words like 'but' or 'however'. This will usually confuse readers who skim through the passage or rush through it in haste.
Verbal Preparation Series