Reading comprehension implies understanding the meaning of a given article or a short passage. Comprehension tests are meant for testing the understanding level and power of the students. Students are required to read carefully and answer the questions. Students need to have a complete understanding of the passage before attempting to answer the questions.
Never Use Outside Knowledge
When provided with a test passage, read it carefully at least twice. When you are ready to answer the questions, do not use outside knowledge in selecting or formulating your answer. Always answer only from what is in the passage. Any answer that cannot be supported with information written or implied in the passage should be eliminated.
Read Instructions Carefully
Students should always be extra careful when reading the instructions. You may miss or even misunderstand important points. For example, if you are asked for antonyms or synonyms for a particular word that is in the passage, then consider the context first. Sometimes, an answer may seem familiar because it is the correct response to a different question. In addition, if you are instructed to mark your answers in a particular fashion, failure to do so may cost you credit for a correct answer.
Make Strategic Guesses
Make a habit of reading the choices that are provided to you before answering the questions to be sure you aren't fooled by nearly correct choices. If you are unsure of the answer, eliminate any answers that you are certain are incorrect, and then select your answer from the remaining choices.If time permits, try to answer all the questions, and then later on eliminate the ones you aren’t sure of.
Read the Questions First
Whenever you are given a passage to read followed by several questions to be answered, always read the questions first. By doing this, you are well aware of what to look for in the passage when you read. This helps you focus your attention on important words and phrases, allowing you to skim, rather than having to read every word. Also, you can mark the passage lightly when you see one of those terms, making it easy to find when you're ready to verify your answer. If you first read the passage and then go on to read the questions, it often becomes necessary to search through the passage repeatedly.
Review Answer Sheets
After you are finished with the questions, review your paper at least twice to check for recording errors. This will help you correct your answers or reframe your sentences, if necessary. Reviewing is important in cases of multiple choice questions to be sure you don't skip questions or record your answers in the wrong space. You should always review and go back to the sections where you had doubts.
Steve Jonathan started professional writing in 1989. He has more than two decades of copywriting experience and has worked with publishing houses such as Penguin Group and HarperCollins. Jonathan received a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism from the University of Leeds and a Master of Arts in creative writing from City University London.