Prepare for Reading Comprehension Tests in less than 10 Minutes

Note: Reading comprehension is an important part of tests for posts of English Subject Specialists, College and University lecturers. There are certain tricks that will save you from making the most common mistakes in the reading comprehension section.

General Tips

  1. Do not read the passage first: Going through questions before the passage will help you focus on specific things you need to look for in the passage.
  2. You do not need to memorize the passage. Try to understand the overall flow and the gist.
  3. Understand the context of questions in the passage.
  4. The first and last paragraph are most important to understand the gist of the passage.
  5. First answer the questions you find easy and leave the rest for the last.
  6. When uncertain eliminate the most unlikely answers and then select the probable answer.
  7. Even when you feel that you understand the question, read it twice just to make sure that you are not missing anything.

Synonyms and Antonyms

The most common mistake is when the candidate directly selects the antonym/synonym of the underlined word without understanding the context.
For Example
Select the antonym of the underlined word.
a) He has a cold heart
a) Hot           b) boiling
c) friendly    d) friend

  1. In short! Remember two things i) Contextual Meaning ii) It must be the Same Part of Speech
  2. First, notice the meaning of the word in the context of the sentence. A cold heart means a heart that does not feel.
  3. Therefore, options a) and b) can not be the right choices.
  4. Secondly, identify the part of speech of the underlined word. The synonyms or opposites must be given in the same part of speech.
  5. "cold" qualifies the word "heart" which makes it an adjective.
  6. Option d) is a noun and option c) is an adjective. That makes option c) the correct answer.

Same strategy goes for finding synonyms.

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