09 Oct

Reading Comprehension

Any Bank PO / Clerical recruitment exam conducted by IBPS or SBI lays special stress on checking the candidate’s reading skills. However, many candidates don’t feel all that comfortable, when it comes to reading comprehension. Reading comprehension is considered a time consuming exercise which must not be undertaken during the exam. Moreover, candidates also have the concern that their accuracy is not up to the mark on comprehension based questions.

Tips and Tricks

To address these concerns, the faculty members at the Institute for Bank Clerk Coaching in Delhi have come up with practical and highly useful tips for effective reading. The top ten tips for effective reading are as follows:

  1. Go through the questions first – A general tendency among most candidates is to start reading the passage as soon as they see it. This should be avoided. It is essential to go through the questions once, before you start reading. Going through the questions will help you a lot in understanding which portions of the passage carry greater importance as compared to others.
  2. Find out what the question expects from you – Before you start reading the options, you must be aware of what is expected to be done. Quite often candidates misunderstand the questions and end up marking the wrong answer. To avoid this, just pause a while and recheck whether you have understood the question properly or not. Once you have done that move to the options. This approach will definitely save you some precious marks.
  3. Compare and eliminate the options – When the options provided in the question are close, it is best to compare all of them so that the inferior ones can be eliminated. Uponelimination of inferior options, what remains is the answer.The ability to compare and eliminate the options can go a long way in improving your accuracy, so you need to make an extra effort out here.
  4. Locate the important details – You must learn to locate the details whichwill help you answer direct questions straight away. Your speed of attempting reading comprehension questions depends a great deal on how quickly you are able to find out these details. While reading a comprehension passage, you must keep a keen eye on specified details whichfollow the topic sentence of any paragraph.These details include reasons, examples, facts, data etc.
  5. Read for ideas & mind map the writer – Understanding the main idea of the passage and the subsidiary ideas related to it will give you insight into the mindset with which the author has written the passage. With some practice, you will soon begin to visualize the format in which the author has presented his / her ideas in the passage. Thus, you will be able to mind map the writer.
  6. Understand the implied meaning – An effective reader can comfortably arrive at what the author hasimplied. However, finding the implied meaning is often easier said than done. To be able to do it, you have to inculcate the habit of reading between the lines. You have to actively question, clarify and evaluate the text that you are reading. Finally, the inferences you draw on the basis of given information will help you answer the implied idea questions that are there in the exam.
  7. Read with a sense of urgency – Improvement on all other fronts will prove to be meaningless, if your reading speed is slow and does not match the requirements of the exam.To improve your reading speed, it is essential to read with a sense of urgency. Here, it is suggested that you gain access to the speedtests offered by the Centre for Bank PO Coaching in East Delhi. These tests when taken with full commitment, within the prescribed time limit, are most conducive to hone fast reading skills of any candidate.
  8. Avoid the out of scope answer options – The option which falls outside the scope of discussion of the passage can never be the answer to a question. Such anoption must be avoided and eliminated at the earliest. Remember that you have to answer questions on the basis of the information given in the text. You can’t answer a question using the knowledge of commonly known facts.
  9. Improve your concentration – To get a good score on reading comprehension, you should be able to concentrate well on the given text without getting fatigued. However, improving your concentration and mental stamina is not a one day job. It can be done by taking out some dedicated time daily, where you can read at length without getting distracted by what’s going on in the surroundings. Once your concentration level improves, you will see a marked improvement in your performance not just on reading comprehension, but also on other sections of the exam.
  10. Hone your vocabulary -Words form sentences, sentences comprise paragraphs and finally paragraphs constitute a passage. A passage can be understood well, only when you understand the words that construct it. Without having sound vocabulary, your understanding of a passage will be, at best, incomplete. Therefore, it is necessary that you start improving your vocabulary in the right earnest.

Finally, it is suggested that you go through the comprehension passages which have appeared previously in the exam. This will give you a much better idea of the style and the difficulty level of questions asked.


The tips discussed in this article will prove to be highly useful in Bank exam preparation for both Clerk and PO vacancies. For further guidance on how you can become better at reading comprehension, feel free to write to vidyagurudelhi@gmail.com. Experts from Vidya Guru Institute will be solving your doubts and answering your queries.

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