Tips And Tricks And Shortcuts For Reading Comprehension

Tips and Tricks and Shortcuts for Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is the process of understanding the meaning from a text written. Vocabulary and text together make up the process of reading comprehension. So here we have some tips and tricks and shortcuts to solve reading comprehension questions 

To understand the text written in the passage the reader must understand the vocabulary first. The reader can use their prior understanding of vocabulary, but they also have to learn new words.

There are two types of questions asked in reading comprehension :

Tips And Tricks And Shortcuts For Reading Comprehension

Types of Reading Comprehension:


In this type of comprehension, the understanding of information like the meaning of words, the context of writing, the sequence of events, characters in the story, and factual data are clearly stated. Readers can easily find the information and ideas which are explicitly stated in the text. If the answer to the question is directly spotted in the passage then it is a referential question.


Autumn is the season that falls between summer and winter. There are many changes that occur at the beginning of the season. Days become shorter, leaves turn red, yellow, and orange. Sunlight is very essential for trees to keep their leaves green. Animals start storing their food to last through the long winter months.


Autumn occurs between summer and which another season? Here, the answer is directly given in the passage.


In this type of comprehension, the reader has to determine the actual meaning of the text written. In inferential comprehension, readers require to combine ideas, interpret and evaluate information, identify tone and voice, and draw conclusions. If the answer is not directly spotted in the passage then it is an inferential question.


Autumn is the season that falls between summer and winter. There are many changes that occur at the beginning of the season. Days become shorter, leaves turn red, yellow, and orange. Sunlight is very essential for trees to keep their leaves green. Animals start storing their food to last through the long winter months.


What is the main purpose of the passage? Here, the reader has to draw a conclusion according to his understanding.


Some of the most asked Reading Comprehension questions

There are some repeated questions asked in almost every reading comprehension passage such as:

  • What is the author’s purpose for writing the passage?
  • Summarize the main idea of the passage.
  • Draw a conclusion

Therefore, readers should develop a habit of understanding these repeated questions thoroughly which will help them in understanding the entire passage quickly.

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Tips and Tricks and Shortcuts for Reading Comprehension

What is WPM (Word per Minute)

It is a measure of words processed per minute, commonly used to measure typing speed and reading speed. Average adult readers read around 200 – 300 wpm. This is the most crucial factor while solving reading comprehension.

How to increase WPM

When the reader looks at a word or several words while reading a passage, it is called a “fixation”. When the reader moves his/her eyes to read the next word or group of words, it is called a “saccade”. Fixation is a point between two saccades. It is repeated once or twice, to comprehend the phrase. When all these fixations and saccades and comprehension pauses are added together one ends up reading between 200 and 300 words per minute.

  • Role of Eye Span using eye span for quick reading

“Eye-span” is the number of letters or symbols the reader can read in a single fixation. The easiest way to widen your eye span is to stop looking at a single word at a time instead of look at chunks of words. Reading more words during a single fixation or pause increases the reading ability of the reader and allows readers to finish the reading material faster.

  • Side Effects of Lip Reading

Lip reading means reading something with only lip movement and not make a sound while reading. Lip reading limits the speed of reading as your eye span is limited to the word you are reading. Good readers also twitch their lips subconsciously while reading which slows their speed of reading.

  • Side Effects of Underlining/ Using Fingers

Underlining or using fingers while reading can get in the way of reading. Using fingers while reading draws false illusions that the reader is reading fast, but in reality, they are limiting their speed. It is because the reader’s eyes only see the word that the reader’s finger is pointing to and it may hamper the process of making connections and finding conclusions.

  • Sign Post Words

At school students were taught to pay special attention to text features such as the importance of titles, character’s names, and the opening lines. There are additional text features, sometimes referred to as “signposts,” that can help students read literary texts with a more profound understanding. Words like “but” and “and” are called signposts, and these words set the direction in which the sentence should progress. These signposts act as an alarm for readers to pay attention to what they are reading and understand the significance of the alarm.

  • Segmenting with Sub- Headings (like – intro, background, causes, conclusion)

The reader should identify the components of reading comprehension to understand the basic structure and organization of the passage. Almost every passage follows the same principle. Therefore, it is important to understand the structure, tone, and main idea behind the passage. Quickly identifying these basic components will help you answer the passage questions quickly.

Tips according to the length of the paragraph

Tips for Very Long Passages

  • The reader should develop a habit of reading different types of articles which will help them to understand the tone, attitude, and style of writing of several writers.
  • Use the “bottom-up” approach which means, read the questions first, so that the reader has an idea of what to look for, in the passage. It will save the reader’s time.
  • While reading the long passage make sure not to read the complete passage, try reading only the part that is related to the questions that are asked.
  • While reading the passage don’t try to memorize every part of the passage instead understanding the essence of the point being conveyed by the author.
  • Increase the reading speed by solving different exam papers or online mock tests.
  • Try to engage with the passage from the start. Take down important details and question each passage on the basis of inference.


Tips for Short Passages

  • The short reading comprehension passages are either one or two paragraphs long.
  • They can be read easily and quickly.
  • The readers are advised to read the passage slowly but simultaneously look for the important details.
  • Then, from the questions, retrace the lines that correspond to the questions.


Tips for Medium Length Passages

  • The reader should first try to read two to three lines of each paragraph given. It will allow the reader to find the conclusion and essence of the paragraph quickly.
  • Along with reading try to take note of some information given in the passage by recollecting the important words.
  • Further, eliminating the words, phrases, and sentences from the passage that is not useful will help in answering questions which have almost similar options.
  • Try to improve vocabulary, read and solve comprehensions from different fields of knowledge, like Science, Arts, Literature, Politics, Economics, and Current Affairs, etc.

Example – Tips and Tricks and Shortcuts for Reading Comprehension

Read the passage and answer the questions on the basis of the same:

A fact that draws our attention is that, according to his position in life, an extravagant man is either admired or loathed. A successful business man does nothing to increase his popularity by being prudent with his money. A person who is wealthy is expected to lead a luxurious life and to be lavish with his hospitality. If he is not so, he is considered mean, and his reputation in business may even suffer in consequence. The paradox remains that he had not been careful with his money in the first place; he would never have achieved his present wealth.

Among the low income group, a different set of values exists. The young clerk, who makes his wife a present of a new dress when he has not paid his house rent, is condemned as extravagant. Carefulness with money to the point of meanness is applauded as a virtue. Nothing in his life is considered more worthy than paying his bills. The ideal wife for such a man separates her housekeeping money into joyless little piles – so much for rent, for food, for the children’s shoes, she is able to face the milkman with equanimity every month satisfied with her economizing ways, and never knows the guilt of buying something she can’t really afford.

As for myself, I fall neither of these categories. If I have money to spare I can be extravagant, but when, as is usually the case, I am hard up and then I am the meanest man imaginable.

Question 1:

Choose an appropriate title for the above passage:

  1. Profligacy plays its part in the lives of both rich and poor
  2. Miserable lives of the poor
  3. Profligacy – A cause for poverty
  4. Profligacy is appreciated

Correct choice: A

It is the most appropriate title as the passage highlights the life of both rich and lower class people in the first and second paragraphs respectively.

Question 2:

As per the text, “A wealthy and successful businessman…

  1. Has been into profligacy
  2. Is popular by wasting time
  3. Shall not worry about popularity
  4. Is likely to have a lavish standard of living

Correct choice: D

The fourth line of the 1st paragraph gives us a hint about the same.

Question 3:

“Lavish with hospitality” – what is the meaning of this

The phrase in the context of the above passage:

  1. Precise in spending merely on strangers as well as guests
  2. Can’t serve relatives and friends
  3. Miserliness in dealing with relatives
  4. A sense of profligacy in treating guests

Correct Answer: D

“Hospitality” in this phrase means to serve or treat guests or receive them with a warm and generous gesture and “lavish” denotes extravagance. The only match with the meaning is D.

Question 4.

“Equanimity” word in the concluding paragraph means:

  1. Embarrassment
  2. Composure
  3. Ambiguous
  4. Doubtful

Correct Answer: B

The meaning of the word itself is composure and stability when someone is stressed. As the sentence suggests, the milkman has to face equanimity every month.

After you are done with Tips and Tricks and Shortcuts for Reading Comprehension you can head over to How to Solve Reading Comprehension

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