Before embarking on journey to find the elusive tips and tricks for solving reading comprehension passages I want to say one thing “There is no substitute for reading”. Irrespective of whatever we say, if students are not doing enough practice then all the advise, all the guidance is of no use. Our responsibility in this endeavor is to guide you in the right direction but ultimately the decision to move ahead rests with you.
First step in Understanding Reading Comprehension
Understanding the structure of the passage and thought flow of the author plays a crucial role in solving the RC passage. The ideal structure would be:
All the passages carry a central or key idea in the first paragraph itself. This central idea gives us the details related to motivation behind author writing the passage. Typically, author tries various methods to substantiate his central idea through a narrative which could be in the form of a story, an example, a recollection of author’s experience, pool of data, facts or in any form. In some of the cases, author provides the narration upfront and reveals the key idea at the end. There are no standard set of rules which the author follows. Sometimes, he also introduces a supporting idea that either completes or compliments the key idea. This supporting idea acts as an extension of central idea and gives the reader better clarity. Again the narration may come before or after the supporting idea depending on author’s style.
At the end of the day, students should be more worried about the central idea and overall thought flow rather than bits and pieces. In an idea passage, author is expected to give his personal opinion in the form of conclusion. He may try to combine central idea with supporting ideas (if any) to put forth his final opinion.
Note to students:
Students have to prepare the structure or though flow of the author while preparing for the RC section. Continuous practice over a period will help the students create a mental map of the passage structure by the time he appears for the final exam.