How to Improve Reading Comprehension

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The purpose of reading is to connect the ideas on the page to what you already know. If you don't know anything about a subject, then pouring words of text into your mind is like pouring water into your hand. You don't retain much. For example, try reading these numbers:

7516324 This is hard to read and remember.
751-6324 This is easier because of chunking.
123-4567 This is easy to read because of prior knowledge and structure.

Similarly, if you like sports, then reading the sports page is easy. You have a framework in your mind for reading, understanding and storing information.

Improving Comprehension.
Reading comprehension requires motivation, mental frameworks for holding ideas, concentration and good study techniques. Here are some suggestions.

Develop a broad background.
Broaden your background knowledge by reading newspapers, magazines and books. Become interested in world events.

Know the structure of paragraphs.
Good writers construct paragraphs that have a beginning, middle and end. Often, the first sentence will give an overview that helps provide a framework for adding details. Also, look for transitional words, phrases or paragraphs that change the topic.

Identify the type of reasoning.

Does the author use cause and effect reasoning, hypothesis, model building, induction or deduction, systems thinking.

Anticipate and predict.
Really smart readers try to anticipate the author and predict future ideas and questions. If you're right, this reinforces your understanding. If you're wrong, you make adjustments quicker.

Look for the method of organization.
Is the material organized chronologically, serially, logically, functionally, spatially or hierarchical? See section 10 for more examples on organization.

Create motivation and interest.
Preview material, ask questions, discuss ideas with classmates. The stronger your interest, the greater your comprehension.

Pay attention to supporting cues.
Study pictures, graphs and headings. Read the first and last paragraph in a chapter, or the first sentence in each section.

Highlight, summarize and review.
Just reading a book once is not enough. To develop a deeper understanding, you have to highlight, summarize and review important ideas.

Build a good vocabulary.
For most educated people, this is a lifetime project. The best way to improve your vocabulary is to use a dictionary regularly. You might carry around a pocket dictionary and use it to look up new words. Or, you can keep a list of words to look up at the end of the day. Concentrate on roots, prefixes and endings. Going through word-of-the-day of CAT4MBA will definitely help you in this regard.

Use a systematic reading technique like SQR3.
Develop a systematic reading style, like the SQR3 method and make adjustments to it, depending on priorities and purpose. The SQR3 steps include Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review.

Monitor effectiveness.
Good readers monitor their attention, concentration and effectiveness. They quickly recognize if they've missed an idea and backup to reread it.

Should You Vocalize Words? Yes, although it is faster to form words in your mind rather than on your lips or throat. Eye motion is also important. Frequent backtracking slows you down considerably

samuelt11486's picture
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Last seen: 5 years 41 weeks ago
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rc speed reading

It has generally found that reading quickly help in comprehending better, so probably quick reading say 350 word per minute will be quite good for cat rc.
Samuel

srikant's picture
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If you consider last 2 years

If you consider last 2 years CAT paper it is quite clear that question makers are giving ample time to read everything carefully and then to answer them.
CAT is no longer a test of speed and so is true all part of it including RC.
With a slow speed of 250 one can easily read a passage of 1000+ words within 4 minutes and if you give another 3/4 minutes to the passage to answer 4/5 questions then its OK.
Because 8-10 marks in 7-8 minutes is good in the latest CAT version.

jaymystic33's picture
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Last seen: 6 years 43 weeks ago
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problem in english

heloo everyone, im going to start preparation for cat. i bought some books refered by experts of this site. but the problem is that i cant understand a lot portion in those books. the language is very tough in those books.how to start. i have given my first year exam n want to start from now. please help me regarding the above mentioned problem. plz help.

ankur_mittal_2007's picture
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Last seen: 6 years 43 weeks ago
Joined: 2007-06-16
problem in english

heloo everyone, im going to start preparation for cat. i bought some books refered by experts of this site. but the problem is that i cant understand a lot portion in those books. the language is very tough in those books.how to start. i have given my first year exam n want to start from now. please help me regarding the above mentioned problem. plz help.

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Incognito (not verified)
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hey if u know any good

hey if u know any good material for preparing CAT then do let me know....

rahul_aggarwal's picture
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Five Reasons for Lack of Reading Comprehension

 

Five Reasons For Lack Of RC

  • Failure to understand a word
  • Failure to understand a sentence
  • Failure to understand how sentences relate to one another
  • Failure to understand how the information fits together in a meaningful way(organization)
  • Lack of interest and concentration
innovativemind2009 (not verified)
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english problem

This comment has been moved here.

raj.jaiswal (not verified)
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not need to worry

hi dear
i am glad to hear this u have just complited ur firs year and started preparation fot CAT.It is very good.I would like to say that u should complite ur basic first.
for English :1.read 1st page to last page of english books of class 6 to 12(CBSE). 2.read 10 to 20 words from a good dictionary.
advantage of to do this:
1.ur basic of grammer will be strong
2.word power will be increase.
after do this u can go for any books.
most impotent u have 2 years for Cat.

govinda krishna's picture
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Last seen: 5 years 42 weeks ago
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good book

" how to prepare for verbal ability and reading comprehension for cat " written by Arun Sharma published by  TataMacGrahill publications,  is a  good book that can help your preparation a lot

Ritika Dayal's picture
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Last seen: 5 years 16 weeks ago
Joined: 2008-06-19
HOW TO STUDY FOR VOCAB

Hello frndz..
m new to this group..just joined few days ago. well m preparing for CAT08..via a correspondence course and m really facing difficulties for vocab section.. Plz suggests me ways to study vocab....
And also tell me abt sm good CAT books available in the market so that i can practice more...and we all know the more the better....
So people plzz suggest me as soon as possible.
Ritika

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