How To Improve Reading Comprehension

“Reading” may not be one of your hobbies, but it is an important skill to grow. Therefore, even if you get scared or bored by looking at the long black text, somehow you have to develop a knack for effective reading. 

 The more you read and practise, the easier it will be for you to comprehend what you are reading. Here are the seven straightforward techniques to improve your comprehension abilities:

1. Increase vocabulary power

When you understand the meaning of the words you read, it can be easier for you to grasp the author’s perspective. You can improve your vocabulary by developing a habit of active reading. You can mark the difficult words and phrases that you come across while reading and search for their meaning in the dictionary. Once you understand the meaning of words, use it in your own language and try to use it in different contexts. This will aid in your long-term retention of those words.

2. Ask questions regarding the text you are reading

As you become more immersed in the text, asking questions about what you are reading can help you become a better reader. In order to gain a deeper understanding of what you are reading, consider themes, motifs, and other aspects of the text that you may have overlooked.

You can ask yourself the following questions as you read:

  • Why did the author choose to start the book that way?
  • What sort of bond do these two characters have?
  • What do we now know about the protagonist of the story?
  • Are there any recurring themes throughout the book? If so, what do they mean?

3. Make use of situational cues

Even if you are unfamiliar with all the words being used, using context clues can really help you grasp what you are reading. The words and sentences that precede and follow the unfamiliar word can provide context cues. By concentrating on the major words or concepts in a sentence, you can use context clues to infer the sentence or paragraph’s core theme. Additionally, you can search for neighboring terms that are either synonyms or antonyms of the unknown word.

4. Identify the core idea

You can evaluate the relevance of an article by finding the main idea in a paragraph. Understanding the significance of what you’re reading may help you better understand the author’s perspective. After reading every paragraph, stop reading and try to figure out what the major point is. Then, for even better understanding, try to rephrase the primary idea in your own words.

5. Summarize the information you read

Writing a summary is a foolproof method to learn more about what you have read. In order to summarize, you must first determine what is crucial in the text and then express it in your own terms. Summarizing enables you to assess your comprehension of the text and improves your long-term retention of what you have read.

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Question of the Week

GRE aspirants, it’s time to rack your brain and crack this question of the week! Our expert GRE faculty will drop in interesting questions for you every week to help you think logically and get closer to acing the GRE! Type your answer in the comments section below!

We will publish the correct answers and explanations in the comments section every Friday! STAY TUNED!

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 11

Dear Reader,

As promised, from this week onwards, we will present some old and some new articles along with questions on Reading Comprehension, Sentence Equivalence, and Text Completion from the Verbal Reasoning section.

Tell us your guesses in the comments section and look for the answers in our next edition!

Dinosaurs weren’t the only ones!

Question 1

Select a sentence in the article that provides evidence that the comet struck while the village was under human habitation.

 Question 2

Why did the scientists rule out earthly causes such as volcanic activity or thunderstorms for the fires? Select all that apply.

A] They found evidence that natural sources of fire can also reach such high temperatures.

B] No magnetic marks, characteristic of lightning strikes, were found.

C] Molten metal was not found at the site.

Question 3

None of the following were reasons for the Abu Hureyra culture becoming agrarian EXCEPT

A] Climatic changes

B] Technological modifications

C] Survival of a few people

D] Animal husbandry

E] Ground-breaking invention of systematic agriculture

 

Alterations to Art

Question 1

The presence of halos as identifying appurtenances of holy figures in early Netherlandish paintings is as ________ an occurrence as it is commonplace in Italian paintings of the same period.

Select the two answer choices that, when used to complete the sentence, fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole, and produce completed sentences that are alike in meaning.

A] trite

B] exceptional

C] recognizable

D] atypical

E] perceptible

F] sacral

The representation of mortals as saints, reflecting a desire to (i) ________ the lives of the saints and to follow their sacrifices and devotion to Christ, becomes increasingly (ii) _______ in the early sixteenth century. The practice reflects an extension of the beliefs of and widespread adherence to the Modern Devotion, a popular reform movement begun by Geert Grote in the late fourteenth century and initially practiced by the Brothers of the Common Life.

 Question 2

For each blank select one entry from the corresponding column of choices. Fill all blanks in the way that best completes the text.

Blank (i)Blank (ii)
A] imitateD] prevalent
B] animateE] predictable
C] stippleF] pretentious

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 10

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We celebrate the big 10 with a nod to big transformations and changes! From the tiniest of organisms to the infinite vastness of space, small changes tend to have big repercussions. From the next edition of the reading list, we will change too. To know more, keep following our lists.

Happy Readings!

  1. From Amoeba to Alpaca
  2. One small step for man…
  3. Marvel at the long history of an art you can read!
  4. Da Vinci: gone for 500 years, still schooling us!
  5. How technology changed us over the last 5,000 years…

Look out for a new Reading List every week on Thursday!

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 9

Dear Reader,

As the end of the lockdown nears, we are on cloud nine. Let us remember to dress to the nines as we take solace in the fact that we went the whole nine yards in our fight against coronavirus, boredom, and Zoom fatigue! With prompt implementation of the lockdown and its subsequent easing, we have proudly proven that “a stitch in time saves nine”.

Read on to know more about the ninth edition of the reading list:

  1. Nine beauties for your a-muse-ment!
  2. Sorry Pluto, you just got dwarfed!
  3. Take heart, K9 lovers…this is just a myth!
  4. Divine Comedy or Infernal Tragedy?
  5. Ever wondered why the 99 cent stores are so popular?

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 7

Going into the fourth (and hopefully, final) iteration of the lockdown, forgive us for getting a little philosophical. As the quotidian becomes dishearteningly humdrum — jokes abound on how no one knows nor cares what day of the week it is — it is time to find transcendent beauty and muse on how the ordinary becomes extraordinary with patience and passion.

Here’s hoping this week’s reading helps you find your desire, something you can pursue with diligence and dedication, so, you too can achieve for perfection in an imperfect, kaput world.

  1. Way to go, Einstein!
  2. Slithering their way into each other’s hearts
  3. Bashfulness as a survival strategy: read on introverts…
  4. 105 years old and still fighting…
  5. An exceptional journey that offers a never-before-seen visual delight!

Look out for a new Reading List every week on Thursday!

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 6

It seems like the end of the lockdown is in view. Social distancing may soon be a thing of the past, but we would like to start a new trend: social reading! Ask your parents if they remember the now-antiquated public libraries…you can do the same with a click: read and share these articles!

Some forward fodder for you to impress your friends!

  1. Investigating the detective fiction of Scandinavia
  2. Tender Loving Care
  3. Heliocentric, geocentric…eccentric?
  4. Evolution of the HMS Beagle: the ship that was home to Darwin
  5. Saving the earth with just a few cents!

Look out for a new Reading List every week on Thursday!

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 5

As GRE-at Five Minute Reads turns “fabulous five” with this list, we would like to commend you, our readers, and present a tongue-in-cheek thank you speech for all those plaudits which are still to come: “Thank you, dear students, for persevering with reading when you would much rather be bingeing, for resisting the temptations of click-baits, and, for providing us with much-required validation on social media! As we stride forth, we want to look back and rejoice!”

So, this week’s list brings you articles on History — that supreme purveyor of lessons, which we never seem to learn!

  1. Dam! That burst destroyed one of the most powerful civilizations in history!
  2. Lincoln Logs: Wartime history
  3. Sticking kids in front of a screen: history of educational television (surely, an oxymoron!?!)
  4. Fun and games from the prehistoric times before Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga
  5. Environmental history: it is not all fun and games…it is TEOTWAWKI!

Look out for a new Reading List every week on Thursday!

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 4

Take a break from the binge-watching and binge read this week’s eclectic selection which features everything from guns to gurus. Our two listicles talk about human evolution and innovation to focus on the indomitable spirit of our species. The three articles present a triptych on our current situation: an example from antiquity, a glimpse into future consequences, and of course, overcoming harsh conditions and soldiering on in the face of adversity!

Time to begin your binge…

  1. From social networking to undertaking global journeys, our ancestors did it all!
  2. What do AK-47s, office cubicles, and Comic Sans have in common?
  3. All play and no work make Jack duller, dumber, and poorer…
  4. A medieval superhighway to death…
  5. How to paint the town red from your home…

Look out for a new Reading List every week on Thursday!

GREat Five-Minute Reads: Episode 3

Welcome to the latest installment of the GREat Five-Minute Reads. As the dystopic future becomes the current reality, thanks to the worldwide lockdown brought about by a microscopic virus, we present a few distractions that can also serve as drills for your GRE Reading Comprehension and Sentence Completion tasks. Who said learning had to be boring?

  1. iGlasses, anyone? Augmented Reality: possibility or certainty?
  2. Lessons from History to Help you Prepare for the Worst
  3. Plata o plomo? O cobre? Learn how the Spanish conquered the Americas
  4. Did you know you can use oil and eggs to make paintings?
  5. Send out the Bat Signal: these flying oddities are everywhere!

Look out for a new Reading List every week on Thursday!