How to deal with long RC passages?

Reading comprehension plays a pivotal role in many competitive examinations. A good score in RC section is sure to enhance your overall score in most of these tests. 

In reading comprehension, you have a passage, along with questions associated it. You need to read and understand the passage, thereby answering the questions.

But what perplexes most of the students is long reading comprehensions. The students find these passages daunting, difficult to comprehend as well as answer the related questions. It's not about the reading speed, but how fast you comprehend the passage. In this article, we will discuss expert tips to handle long Reading Comprehensions. 

Tips for Dealing with Long RCs:
1. Focus on the opening and closing paragraphs of longer passages

Most of the passages encountered in the RC section will be short, but one or two will be long. If you are running out of time, read the opening and closing paragraphs and skim the middle. The first and the last paragraphs contain the passage's main idea in most of the passages. You can go back and read body paragraphs more carefully if the questions call for it.

2. Use context to help you

If a question asks about a particular line, don't go back into the passage and read just that line. Instead, read at least 2 sentences before and after the line in question, so as to comprehend what the author is trying to say. This will help you arrive at the answer with better accuracy.

3. Sharpen your skills through reading

Remember, the biggest challenge with long RCs is the sheer word count of the passage. This can scare you at times and cause you to panic in the exam. It is extremely important to maintain your cool in the exam and be prepared for such challenges. The best long-term strategy to deal with long RCs is to build your reading stamina and making sure you are ready for the mental battle. An important point while reading is to maintain your focus and attention. This can be developed only with a good amount of practice.

Read as much as you can and reading diverse areas will help in increasing your understanding related to other areas in addition to the areas you are familiar with. Read online journals, magazines, books and newspapers. The more you read and practice, the better will be your ability to filter out irrelevant information from the relevant one.

4. Work on your Vocabulary

Try to increase your vocabulary (general and area specific). Remember, this is another long-term strategy that requires dedication and application. It is not possible to improve your reading skills overnight. Thus, it is extremely important to build on your core language skills in order to develop into a master reader.

Diverse reading helps you build a good vocabulary base as well as enhances your comprehension skills. Finally, you need to practice questions from RC passages to check your level of proficiency.