Wednesday, 14 September 2016

How Can Reading Improve Your Entrance Exams Score?

Why do mentors who are coaching students, especially those at the undergraduate level, to prepare for entrance exams insist so much on reading? Why read the newspaper when news never remains new? Why read books when you don't really care much for such a form of entertainment? Why read when you can spend that time solving exercises or studying for the actual exam? Why?

For those of you who have a thing against reading as a means to crack entrance exams such as CAT and UPSC, we have brought together a few reasons which might help shed some light on the same and encourage you to give reading a try.

We are aware that most entrance exams include a section on English or Verbal Ability, which invariably comprises Reading Comprehension. Take CAT 2015, for example, which had 24 questions based on reading comprehension, thereby increasing the emphasis given to reading comprehension compared to the previous year. Thus, keeping this in mind, here some reasons why you should reconsider your approach towards reading:


Reading books and novels will not only enhance your comprehension but will encourage you to read between the lines, gauge the writer's mood and ultimately, figure out what message he/she is trying to get across. This helps immensely when solving inference based questions or questions asking the reader to state the author's opinion or choose the statement with which the author would most likely agree, etc. It also improves your attention and focus, allowing you to read long passages at a stretch without losing concentration, especially when attempting the exam.


Reading medium sized articles in magazines can increase your speed of reading and you will learn the art of skimming by flipping through the pages of a magazine to get a gist of the main ideas presented in the articles without dwelling too much on them. Again, this helps answer questions asking you to state the main idea of the passage or give the meaning of a word as used in the passage - you will be able to spot the word immediately if you have picked up on it while skimming. Hence, it is advisable to pay attention to keywords and use them to get an idea and understanding of the entire article.


While reading newspapers, do not just focus on one topic or subject such as politics, sports, business, or entertainment. By reading the editorials, you will not only come across factual data regarding the trending topics from all spheres, but you will also be subjected to various popular or less accepted, but valid opinions on these on-goings, thereby encouraging you to open your mind and take your own stance. It also helps in a way that the task of reading newspaper suddenly becomes all the more enjoyable when you start to read the editorial page! And, whenever a conversation strikes or if you are prompted to speak at a group discussion, you have the facts and opinions to contribute positively to the topic.

Reading will hence, not only be beneficial in giving the written exams but will improve your profile as a whole. It will enhance your understanding and awareness of various subjects, give you substantial data to talk about during group discussions, and will also prove advantageous during personal interviews wherein your general knowledge or stance on current affairs may be tested.

So, what do you say? Does reading still seem to be the "not-so-important" activity you deemed it to be?

Written by Priyanshi Sheth
"Namaste!" from a creative, Indian soul who aims to keep herself motivated as she writes, travels, photographs, and thereby, shares her knowledge.

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