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6 Golden Rules for Comprehension | General Aptitude for GATE - Mechanical Engineering PDF Download

Introduction

  • The Reading Comprehension section in the CAT exam is crucial for evaluating a candidate's ability to understand and analyze complex passages. It goes beyond just testing reading speed and includes assessing comprehension, logical reasoning, and vocabulary. 
  • CAT passages cover a wide range of topics from various fields. After reading challenging passages, candidates face questions that test their understanding, inference-making, and conclusion-drawing skills. 
  • Mastering this section is vital as it significantly impacts the overall score and reflects real-world demands where effective comprehension and critical analysis are essential. 
  • CAT aspirants must develop a strategic approach and hone the necessary skills to excel in this challenging yet important part of the exam.6 Golden Rules for Comprehension | General Aptitude for GATE - Mechanical Engineering
  • The word comprehension’ actually’ means ‘grasping with intellect’ and ‘understanding.’ 
  • Reading comprehension strategies are tools that everyone can use to help understand the meaning of what they read.  

Golden Rule 1: Analyze the 'Non-Verbals'

  • Before commencing reading, you should take a few moments to look at the non-verbal forms of communication in the document you wish to comprehend. 
  • The non-verbals are the messages that are not contained in words, but rather in the design of the document
  • You should flick through the document and first look at the photographs, pictures, charts, and graphs. Scrutinize these items and build a mental picture of what the document is saying. Pictures allow a very rapid way of comprehending the material and the human brain is typically much better at remembering pictures than words and verbal concepts. 
  • Look at the quality of the document. Does it have a professional layout? Is it well structured? Viewing the non-verbals is an important prelude to the next phase as it prepares our minds to receive and analyze information.

Question for 6 Golden Rules for Comprehension
Try yourself:"How do researchers commonly test for an infant's understanding of object permanence?"
View Solution

Golden Rule 2: Gain an Overview

A golden rule of great comprehension is to gain an overview of the document you wish to read. This means reading selective parts of the document until you gain a perspective.
6 Golden Rules for Comprehension | General Aptitude for GATE - Mechanical Engineering

  • Read the headings. 
  • Look through the table of contents. 
  • Peruse the index. 
  • Read highlighted points. 
  • Read the first and last paragraph. 
  • Read emphasized words in the document.
  • Examine the captions on pictures, graphs, and tables. 

Once you have gained a mental picture of the document, you can then decide what to do with it! 

Golden Rule 3: Understand Purpose

When reading, it is important to consider two things.
(i) First, what knowledge do you want to extract from the text?

  • Do you want to read the text for enjoyment?
  • Do you wish to memorize the information?
  • Do you wish to gain an overview of the information?
  • Do you need to perform a detailed analysis?
  • Do you need to quickly sift through the text to see if it contains any references to a particular subject?
  • Do you want an objective review?

6 Golden Rules for Comprehension | General Aptitude for GATE - Mechanical Engineering

(ii) Second, what did the author set out to achieve in writing the text?

  • Were they trying to describe something?
  • Were they writing an informative text?
  • Were they explaining something?
  • Are they writing instructions?
  • Are they trying to persuade you to a point of view?

Once you recognize what you need from the information and also what the author's purpose was for writing the text, you see if there is a match. If you are seeking an objective review of a subject and it is clear that the author is trying to persuade you to one point of view, the document is at cross purposes with your needs. You could reject the document and seek a better source. If you are happy with the match, then you can proceed with a more detailed reading.

Golden Rule 4: Decide on your Response

  • Being an effective reader is not about reading and understanding everything that comes your way. It is about matching your response to information with its relevance and importance. 
  • The time-tested 80 / 20 rule applies to reading too. Only 20% of the information pushed your way needs to be read with high comprehension. The other 80% can be thrown away, and delegated to others to read or put on file. Becoming a great reader means identifying the information that requires detailed, high-comprehension reading. 
  • From this information, you might want to take notes, apply a coloured highlighter, and prepare action items after you read it. You may want to immediately make calendar entries, prepare emails, or add topics to your to-do list.

Question for 6 Golden Rules for Comprehension
Try yourself:
What is the purpose of reading the headings, table of contents, index, and emphasized words in a document?
View Solution

Golden Rule 5: High Comprehension Reading

  • At this stage, you have gained an overview of the document by viewing the nonverbals, and by building a mental summary of the document by reading the key parts. You have decided that this document is important and is worth reading to gain a first-rate understanding. 
  • Now you are motivated. Motivation is critical for great comprehension as motivation leads to focus and concentration, both of which are essential ingredients necessary to engage your memory into learning mode". You need to read it. You are ready. Start reading! As you are reading involve as many senses as you can in the reading process; this will greatly contribute to your understanding and recall:
    - Make notes.
    - Draw pictures of the information
      Example: Mind maps

    - Highlight keywords
    - Scribble notes in the margin
    - Say out the key phrases to yourself.
  • Additionally, as you read, you should build a sequence of pictures to represent the information you are reading. We remember pictures much better than words!
  • Once you have finished reading, attend to your action items; send emails, update your schedule, and add calendar items.

Golden Rule 6: Highest Comprehension Reading

  • This last step is a little-known secret in the business world. Some information is so important that it requires the very highest level of comprehension and retention. It may be information that you need to use and apply every day as a core part of your studies or career. 
  • The secret to the highest comprehension reading is reinforcement. If you wait two or three days and re-read the original information, your long-term comprehension and memory of the information will be improved significantly. 
  • Each time involve your senses by making notes and voicing out the information and ideas to yourself. If you apply this kind of reinforcement three or four times, you will enjoy the highest comprehension.

How to Crack Reading Comprehension Section

  1. Prepare: Getting ready in advance is key. Solve practice tests, read books, study important material, take notes, and focus on acing the CAT RC.
  2. Practice: Regular practice keeps your mind in the right mode. The more you practice, the easier the actual CAT reading comprehension will become. Daily activities like reading, writing, and problem-solving contribute to effective CAT RC practice.
  3. Patience: Take your time while reading the CAT comprehension. Rushing through it will waste time because you won't grasp anything, leading you to repeatedly return to the passage to find answers.
  4. Develop a Reading Habit: Make a habit of reading every day. Include light reading in your schedule, such as news or a few pages of your favourite novel. Work on improving your reading speed, and diversify your reading materials to cover various topics.
    6 Golden Rules for Comprehension | General Aptitude for GATE - Mechanical Engineering
  5. Create Your Approach: Develop your unique approach to solving the CAT reading comprehension. Apply this approach during mock tests to be well-prepared for the actual CAT entrance exam. Having a clear plan enhances both organization and speed.
  6. Keyword Focus: Before diving into the CAT comprehension, glance through the questions to identify keywords. This strategy helps you understand what the questions are asking, saving time during the initial reading of the comprehension.
  7. Mock Test Practice: Make sure to solve numerous mock tests while preparing for CAT 2023. Regularly engaging with new CAT comprehension passages will make solving the actual CAT exam's comprehension feel like a routine task.
  8. Skimming Technique: Before delving into the CAT comprehension, quickly skim through the passage. Highlight important points to grasp the essence, making it easier to understand when you read it more thoroughly.
The document 6 Golden Rules for Comprehension | General Aptitude for GATE - Mechanical Engineering is a part of the Mechanical Engineering Course General Aptitude for GATE.
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FAQs on 6 Golden Rules for Comprehension - General Aptitude for GATE - Mechanical Engineering

1. How can analyzing non-verbals help in cracking the reading comprehension section of bank exams?
Ans. Analyzing non-verbals such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions can provide valuable insights into the underlying emotions and intentions of the speaker or writer. This can help in understanding the context and tone of the passage, leading to better comprehension and interpretation of the text.
2. Why is it important to gain an overview before delving into the details of a reading comprehension passage?
Ans. Gaining an overview of the passage allows the reader to understand the main idea, structure, and key points of the text. This helps in forming a framework for comprehension and enables the reader to focus on relevant information while reading, leading to better understanding and retention of the content.
3. How does understanding the purpose of a reading comprehension passage aid in cracking bank exams?
Ans. Understanding the purpose of a passage helps in identifying the author's main message, argument, or intention. This can guide the reader in determining the tone, perspective, and underlying themes of the text, making it easier to answer questions related to the passage accurately during bank exams.
4. What factors should be considered when deciding on a response to a reading comprehension question in bank exams?
Ans. When deciding on a response to a reading comprehension question, factors such as the main idea of the passage, supporting details, context, tone, and author's perspective should be taken into consideration. It is important to choose an answer that is directly supported by the text and aligns with the overall theme and purpose of the passage.
5. How can one improve high comprehension reading skills for bank exams?
Ans. To improve high comprehension reading skills for bank exams, one can practice active reading techniques such as annotating the text, summarizing key points, and making connections between ideas. Additionally, regularly reading diverse and challenging texts, expanding vocabulary, and practicing timed reading comprehension exercises can also help in enhancing comprehension skills.
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