Method of Comprehension for Paper 1 Unit III (Comprehension) as Per New 2020 Syllabus

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Comprehension Step of Making

Understand and Reevaluate How You’Re Currently Reading

  • Before you can improve your reading comprehension, you must first understand how you’re currently reading and what your limitations are.

  • Start by selecting excerpts from different texts with which you are unfamiliar—text books, essays, novels, news reports, or any kind of text you feel you particularly struggle to understand—and read them as you would normally. As you read, see if you can notice when your attention, energy, or comprehension of the material begins to flag.

  • If your comprehension or concentration tends to lag after a period of time, start to slowly build up your stamina. For instance, if you continually lose focus at the 20 minute mark every time you read, acknowledge this and push yourself to slowly increase that time, rather than trying to sit and concentrate on reading for an hour or two at a stretch. Begin by reading for your maximum amount of focused time (in this case, twenty minutes), then give yourself a break. Next time, try for 22 minutes. Once you’ve mastered that, try for 25 and see if you can still maintain focus. If you can, then try for thirty.

  • If you find that your concentration or comprehension starts to lag again, take a step back on your timing before pushing yourself for more. Improvement comes with time, and it’ll only cause frustration if you try to rush it all at once.

  • Alternatively, you may find that your issues with reading comprehension have less to do with the time spent reading than with the source material itself. Perhaps you struggle to comprehend the essential elements of a text, the context of a piece, character arcs or motivation, books or textbooks with densely packed information, or material that is heavily symbolic. If this is the case, then be sure to follow the tips below to improve these areas of reading comprehension weakness.

  • Improving your reading comprehension level takes time and practice, but understanding where your strengths and weaknesses stand now is the first step towards progress.

Improve Your Vocabulary

  • Reading and comprehension rely on a combination of vocabulary, context, and the interaction of words. So you must be able to understand each moving piece before you can understand the text as a whole.

  • If you struggle to understand specific vocabulary, it’s sometimes possible to pick up meaning through context clues (how the words are used in the sentence or in the passage), but it’s always a good idea to look up the definitions of words with which you aren’t familiar. As you read, make sure to keep a running list of words you don’t readily recognize and make yourself a set of flashcards with the words and their definitions. Dedicate fifteen minutes two or three times a week to and quizzing yourself on your vocab flashcards.

  • To get started, you’ll need some blank index cards and a system to keep them organized. These basic cards are an affordable option that are also available in fun colors. You can keep them organized with plastic baggies or rubber bands, or you can get an organizer. Alternatively, try these easy-flip flashcards that include binder clips. Though we strongly recommend making your own flashcards, you can also buy pre-made ones —the best option is Barron’s 1100 Words You Need to Know, a series of exercises to master key words and idioms.

  • In order to retain your vocabulary knowledge, you must practice a combination of practiced memorization (like studying your flashcards) and make a point of using these new words in your verbal and written communication. Guided vocabulary practice like this will give you access to new words and their meanings as well as allow you to properly retain them.

Read for Pleasure

  • The best way to improve your reading comprehension level is through practice. And the best way to practice is to have fun with it!

  • Make reading a fun activity, at least on occasion, rather than a constant chore. This will motivate you to engage with the text and embrace the activity as part of your daily life. As you practice and truly engage with your reading material, improvement will come naturally.

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Importance

Reading comprehension is essential for many significant aspects of daily life, such as:

  • Reading, understanding, and analyzing literature in your English classes

  • Reading and understanding texts from your other class subjects, such as history, math, or science

  • Doing well on both the written and math sections of the SAT (or all five sections of the ACT)

  • Understanding and engaging with current events presented in written form, such as news reports

  • Properly understanding and responding to any and all other workplace correspondence, such as essays, reports, memos, and analyses

  • Simply taking pleasure in written work on your own leisure time

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