How to prepare for SLAT Reading Comprehension?

The verbal section in the SLAT is called the SLAT reading comprehension section and it consists of 5 short passages. This article consists of effective tricks and pointers, which will help you in acing SLAT reading comprehension section.
Illustrative Passage:
'Shifting Stands'
The relationship between gender and the environment is complex because of the underlying historical inequities in gender and caste/class relations which determine women's multifarious roles as producers, conservers, consumers and distributors of natural resources. It is necessary to move beyond simplistic concepts of women, and of poverty, in order to understand the diverse and dynamic inter-linkages between rural communities and their natural resource base.
Question based on the passage:
How does class and caste of women related to their work ?
  • It explains their various roles in life which are different as per classes and caste,
  • It explains their different attitudes towards life
  • It explains their likes and dislikes for various jobs.
  • It explains their nature towards work.
Question based on the passage:
Why is it necessary-to study the condition of women and poverty?
  • Because these are major challenges faced by society.
  • Because rural communities are dependent on them.
  • To understand their connection with natural resources.
  • So that solutions maybe found in foreseeable future.
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Steps To Ace The SLAT Reading Comprehension Section:
1) Time Management:
Speed is the key. Each SLAT Reading Comprehension set (small passage consisting of 5 questions) should be attempted in 6-7 minutes.
2) Accuracy:
Understanding the Question-type is the key
A) Fact based questions:
Easiest to solve as answers can be found by a mere reading of the passage.
B) Main idea question
  • You have to determine the main idea or central theme of the passage.
  • The central idea can be determined by reading the first line and the last line.
  • Remove the close or confusing choices by eliminating lines, examples, statistics, figures, etc.
C) Title based questions
  • Title is linked directly to the main idea of the passage.
  • Title of the passage can never be a sentence and is usually a culmination of certain words.
D) Inference based questions
  • Inference is the conclusion about the unknown based on known facts in the passage.
  • An inference will never be a restated fact.
  • An inference has to be proved in line with the passage.
E)Tone based questions
  • Tone of the passage should be deciphered
  • Tone is the predominant attitude of the author that is reflected in the passage
  • Tone can only be deciphered by reading the entire passage.
Common types of tones:
  • Narrative- The author narrates a story or event
  • Descriptive- The author describes an event
  • Laudatory-The author showers praise on an individual.
  • Satirical-The author uses humor for healthy criticism
F) Contextual based questions
You will be asked questions on synonyms/antonyms of words that have been used in the passage. The meaning to these words is contextual i.e. according to the tone and context of the passage. Such answers should not be attempted on the basis of dictionary meanings.
3) Familiarity with the topic:
Read a lot
  • Familiarity leads to better concentration which has an impact on accuracy.
  • Mostly passages have a social or legal context.
  • You should always attempt the passages that you are familiar with followed by the less familiar ones.
  • Newspaper/Magazine reading will help in increasing a student's political knowledge as well as current affairs. Sectional reading of newspapers is advisable since they contain articles covering a wide array of topics and aspects.
4) Improve reading speed: Eliminate barriers to speed reading
A) Sub - vocalization
  • When you read the text of the passage aloud it is called vocalization, and this decreases the reading speed. There are chances you will concentrate more on the pronunciation of the words rather than focusing on comprehending the passage.
  • Read in mind to understand better.
B) Regression
  • When you jump back a few words every now and then to re-read them it is called regression.
  • This is primarily due to lack of concentration and lack of familiarity with the topic.
  • Hence work on improving your vocabulary and concentration level.
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C) Ocular slaving
  • When you fixate your eyes on each letter or syllable in a word while reading, is called ocular slaving.
  • This reduces reading speed, reading comprehension, decrease concentration and might wear you out.
  • Read words in groups instead of word by word.
D) Vocabulary
  • Vocabulary in the passage plays a big role and if the vocabulary is difficult then it will be difficult to understand the passage.
  • A good knowledge of words and their meanings and contextual meanings will prove beneficial in increasing speed while attempting this section.
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The best way to overcome all the challenges associated with this section is to practice a lot. All the above mentioned tips will definitely increase your score of the SLAT Reading Comprehension section.
Key Learnings:
  • Read from different sources to gain familiarity with different topics.
  • Improve your reading speed.
  • Look for the main idea while reading the passage.
  • Maintain accuracy without compromising on speed.
  • Practice ample question types.
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