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Reading Comprehension Strategies and Tips

Published on Thursday, June 11, 2015
Reading comprehensions are high scoring part of every competitive examination still accuracy of students is lowest in this part. Today I am going to share some tips and strategies to help you improve your score.

Here are my strategies :-

How to select passages to attempt

As there is lack of time in every competitive exam and it is a fact that you can't attempt all passages, you need to choose between various passages
. As there is question sets with reading comprehension, your selection makes a big impact on your final marks. 

Are you comfortable with the topic

Most important thing before selecting a passage is the topic on which passage is based. Do you love history ? You saw a passage on Aurengzeb. You shouldn't skip it at any cost. If you love to read about a particular topic, your reading speed as well as accuracy will be high in this topic. 

Skip the topics you are unaware of. There are high chances that you will mark wrong answers for this comprehension. 

Vocabulary Usage

You can't build your vocabulary in a week or few days. It is a time consuming process. So before attempting any passage, skim it and find out - Are you comfortable with the topic. If your answer is yes then attempt that passage.

Download free Vocabulary List PDF

Author's tone

It's very important to understand tone of author. It may be optimistic, pessimist, sarcastic, angry or contemplative. If you are able to understand what author is trying to say then there is high probability that you will mark right answers.

Length of passage

Without going into any details, simply prefer smaller passages. 

Difficulty level of questions

If you find that questions are beyond the conclusion you found from the passage, simply skip that question, Never try to mark nearest answer. Mark the answer only if you sure about it. Accuracy level of most of the candidates is lowest in this part of every competitive exam.

How to attempt Reading comprehensions

Step 1 - Read the passage quickly as you read an article in a newspaper. Don't be in hurry. Try to understand author's tone and subject matter.

Step 2 - Note the flow of ideas in the comprehension. You can remember that in your mind. It's better to write 2-3 words for each idea.

Step 3. Make a relationship chart of ideas
chart of ideas

Step 4 - Read the questions

Step 5 - Never assume anything related to real life. Find answers from the author's point of view.

Generally you will find author's opinion from concluding paragraph.

How to improve your score in Reading comprehensions 

Speed reading and practice

You have just 2-3 minutes to read a 1000 words comprehension. If you can't do this, then you need to work on your reading speed. Try to build a habit of reading ling paragraphs online. This habit will increase your reading speed as well as accuracy. 

I wrote a detailed post on how to increase your reading speed. Read this post in detail. 

Skip it !

Yes that's right

If there are 2 comprehensions and only 8-10 minutes left then it's a smart decision to attempt only 1 comprehension properly.  


Practice makes a man perfect. More practice will lead to increase in speed as well as accuracy. You can practice many reading comprehensions on

Download free Reading comprehensions workbook here

In case you have any query, comment below.
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ramandeep singh

Ramandeep Singh, your guide to banking and insurance exams. With 14 years of experience and 5000+ selections, Ramandeep understands the path to success, having transitioned himself from Dena Bank and SBI. He's passionate about helping you achieve your banking and insurance dreams.

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