How to improve your basic reading?

No matter what exam you are going to take, a good and speedy reading of comprehension is something that is going to play an important role in giving you an edge over other candidates. The bigger question is that how can one’s reading be improved, what are the areas in which a novice needs to work on. 

Many a times we come across people who complain that despite the comprehension being very easy and knowing all the answers they could not attempt all the questions. This should make us realize the significance of speedy reading. No matter how good one is at understanding the passage and finding out the answers, if one can’t complete the reading on time the will never be able to score good in exams. One can improve one’s speed by reading aloud. You can take a newspaper or any novel of your choice and read it aloud; by aloud I do not mean that your reading should be audible to your neighbors. It should be done in a way that you can be audible to your ears and at the same time be able to have a good understanding of what you are reading. If your brain is not able to decode the messages your ears are bringing to it, then it is of no use, therefore while reading aloud you should also be able to understand it.

Vocabulary is another important aspect of your reading. If you do not know the words that has been used in the passage; the fluency of your reading is sure to get hindered. These slippages are sure to affect your speed and understanding. First you must try to improve your vocabulary, and this can only be done if you indulge into extensive reading. Content of what you are reading is also important. Anything that is accessible and gives an easy reading should not be picked. You must first try to find out the various topics on which the questions are asked. In most of the exams passages from Philosophy, Psychology, literature, Economics, History are given. Having a prior knowledge of these topics will enhance your understanding during the examination and you will also be able to know various terms which are typical of the particular subject.   

No matter how strong one’s vocabulary is, no one can know all the words that are in our dictionary and there are greater chances that while reading you come across words that you are unaware of and due to that the entire paragraph or at least some parts may become undecipherable. To overcome this problem you should avoid looking up for the meanings into the dictionary or your phones while reading the passage, because during the exams you will not get a dictionary. You should always try to find out the contextual meaning of the words. However you can look up for the meanings of the difficult words once you have finished reading and answering the questions. Also try to know the origin of the words, and also maintain a copy where you write down all the new words that you come across. Knowing just the meaning of the words is not useful; you should also know how to use these words in a sentence.

Make sure that you read a lot looking on to a monitor. These days a lot of exams are taken online and you should develop this habit, or your eyes may start straining.

You should also have the best conditions for reading; choose a place that is peaceful and well lit.  

Shachi Singh

Trainer, Verbal

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