In this article, Akash Deep Singh explains how to attempt reading comprehensions
One of the most common fear of most CLAT aspirants is the Reading-Comprehension(RC) question present in the paper. The innate resistance to this particular type of question is so large that many of you refuse to even attempt it. The usual laments being it takes too long to complete it, it’s highly subjective in nature and hence, it’s not worth the time or effort. You neglect it till the end and try to complete it in whatever time is left. This is a cardinal error that must be avoided at all costs. CLAT always has an RC question. It might be worth anything from 5-10 marks. And you cannot afford to neglect it.
Another common complaint which I have come across is it’s become difficult to attempt RC as its online now (for all we know, it might not stay so anymore but that’s not up to you). Test-takers not being able to mark the important portions of the passage anymore is a common problem. What needs to be remembered is that this is true for everyone. Being able to mark the important portions was just a helpful tool. The most important thing then and even now is to understand the underlying idea of the passage.
CLAT has never given hard RCs. The ideal time in which an RC question should be completed is 7-8 minutes. To do this, it is near-essential that you have a fast reading speed. We have already published an article on that. Please follow the suggestions given there as they will help you immeasurably not only in RC or English but through the whole paper.
Different people have different ways to attempt and ace this question. It’s up to you to practice them all out and find the sweet spot. You can employ the method I’ve given below or some modification of the same as per your convenience. So here goes:
Take a minute to read the first few lines of each para in the passage to understand the gist of it. You will need to completely read the first para and also the concluding lines of the passage. Now read the questions, not the options, only the questions. This will give you an idea of what you are looking for in the passage. If there are too many questions, then only read the first few. Otherwise there’s a chance you might get muddled up. Go back to the passage and take 3-4 minutes to read it completely. You must have gotten the gist of it by now. This is when start attempting the questions. If you were not able to read all of the questions, you can now attempt them as you have already read the passage. You will have to refer to the passage again and again but if you have gotten the gist of it, then this back and forth becomes negligible. Another way to go about it is to first read the questions and then the passage. This gives you a hint of what you need to be on the lookout for.
Please bear in mind that none of the suggestions given above might suit you. But you can only find this out by attempting as many RC questions as possible and trying out the above strategy (or any other you may have stumbled upon in the course of your preparation) to figure out what best suits you.
-Akash Deep Singh