15.1. What Is Comprehension ?
Reading Comprehension or Comprehension means, to read something and understand it. For exams like
IBPS or State Bank of India Comprehension is a very important subject/Topic. In common written exam of IBPS or State Bank of India, comprehension is the ability to read a text passage, process it and understand its meaning so that the candidate answers all the questions which follows thereafter the
paragraph. In CWE, the total weight age of comprehension ranges from 5 marks to 10 marks.
The IBPS and State Bank of India PO exam includes comprehension in the question paper so that to
understand an individual's ability to comprehend text by their traits and skills, one of which is the ability to make inferences. If word recognition is difficult, students use too much of their processing capacity to
read individual words, which interferes with their ability to comprehend what is read. There are a number of approaches to improve reading comprehension, including improving one's vocabulary and reading strategies.
15.2 Definition of Comprehension
“Reading comprehension is defined as the level of understanding of a text/passage.”
This understanding comes from the interaction between the words that are written and how they trigger knowledge outside the text/passage.
Some people learn through education or training and others through their direct experiences.
Reading comprehension involves two levels of processing:
1. Shallow (low-level) processing and
2. Deep (high-level) processing.
Deep processing involves semantic processing, which happens when we encode the meaning of a word and relate it to similar words. Shallow processing involves structural and phonemic recognition, the processing of sentence and word structure and their associated sounds.
15.3 Exam Oriented
Comprehension is a very important part of English Language Section in Common Written Exam for IBPS and State Bank of India Probationary Officers selection as well as in other category officers/clerks selections.
Reading Comprehension is considered the most difficult section in an English Language exam. Especially in State Bank PO Exam; Wherein the English language consists of 100 marks. 50 marks for objective and 50 marks for descriptive examination. Most candidates have problems either understanding the subject matter or completing all the sections. If a few critical points are taken care of, however, this section isn't a very big problem.
15.4 How to attempt Passage questions ?
Although there Is no rule about attempting successfully passage related questions in general. However you can improve with practice. The general tips to get good score in passage question are mentioned as follows.
1. Reading practice
Read Newspapers, Magazines everyday to increase your reading skill and reading speed.
2. Listening Practice
Listen to English News Channels and English radios to increase your listening and understaning capability.
3. Skim The Text
The best part about how one shall attempt a passage is “Skim The Text”. That means reading very quickly. Just look at the headings, subheadings and first lines of each section or paragraph. Also notice the key words repeated throughout the text. The main purpose is to understand the gist -- the general idea of the text.
4. Scan The Text
That means looking for a specific piece of information or specific words. Ignore the information that is not relevant to your purpose. Scanning is a useful strategy to apply when the questions ask for specific factual information.
5. Understand the relationships among words in passages
While reading the passage, you should understand the main points and try and find out the relationship between words and phrases in a sentence, between the sentences and in the whole paragraph. Sometimes, some diagrams, tables and graphs are also given in the passage. Try and infer from these when you can't get a direct link through words.
15.5 General Tips to score good in exams :
- Read and understand the questions first before starting reading the passage. It will help you read the passage more effectively.
- Be careful about the timing. Do not spend too long on one passage or question.
- If you do not know the answer to a question, leave it but do not waste time; move quickly onto the next one
- Do not panic if you do not know anything about the subject of the text; all the answers can be found in the text
- Do not worry if there is a word that you do not understand – you may not need to use it
- Have a glance through all sections, get an idea of the subject matter
- Now prioritize all sections according to the subject matter you find easier. The section you find the easiest should be attempted first.
- All the answers are in the passage, so try and attempt the questions by reading the passage. In difficult passages, go for a ' skim and scan' approach -- read the questions and try finding out the answers by locating similar words.
- The most important step is to set a time limit for every passage and attempt that in the specified time only.
- Answer the questions one by one with the help of the underlined parts of the text. Having read the text once, you will find it easy to find specific information by scanning.
- The answers usually appear in the text in the same order as the questions. That is, the answer to question 4 will be earlier in the text than the answer to question 5. This need not always be true. It may apply to each question type rather than to all the questions taken together. The answer to MCQ 2 will appear before that to MCQ 3 and the answer to Matching question 2 will usually appear earlier than that to Matching question 3. However, the answer to MCQ 3 may appear before the answer to Matching question 2.
- As soon as you find an answer, write it against the question on the question paper. It is not always a good idea to try answering questions in the order in which they are asked.
- Do not get stuck on any one question. If you can't get the answer, move on. You can always come back later.