“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
— Albert Einstein
What is comprehension?
Comprehension is an exercise in reading any material, and then initiating a process of gauging and explaining your understanding of that in simple words. It is a delicate and attention-warranting process whereby an interaction between the reader and the writer takes place. In order to comprehend, one would divert one’s attention, focus and concentration to enable a fair understanding of the issue discussed in the reading material. It is an effort to understand the contents of the matter discussed – proverbially speaking by looking toward the trees without missing the forest. It concentrates on the vocabulary of words used, punctuation etched and various events and ideas propounded that arrest the attention of the reader. The main purpose of comprehension is an economical understanding of the reading material and the ability to expound the understanding acquired in simple words.
Why comprehension is important?
Comprehension is important for developing clarity in understanding the usage of words, ideas, arguments, tone and structure of the reading material. It allows interaction between the reader and the author. It begins by asking the basic question: why the author is telling me these details? It develops links between the information supplied and the arguments made in favour thereof. It enables connecting the dots in order to make a beeline toward the main purpose of the passage. It builds a conspicuously understandable collage of ideas expressed in the entire passage, which the writer has camouflaged in different paragraphs. It then goes on to reveal the tone, tenor, attitude, and contextual meanings expressed in the passage.
What is the purpose of CSS Comprehension?
CSS comprehension serves two-pronged purpose of understanding the material and utilizing your own words to describe your understanding of that. The understanding part is pivotal insofar as it leads to answering the questions. Questions are answered by exposition of details and ideas which have been understood. The exposition of the understanding while answering the questions is vital as it prepares a candidate to parse information acquired, and reproduce the material after acquiring a fair degree of understanding. It helps in improving and enriching expression and diction.
How CSS comprehension is different from exposition?
CSS comprehension is different from any other exposition or expansion exercise in many ways. The examiner is assessing whether the candidate has a clear understanding of the ideas discussed and the information provided in the paragraph. It would cast a bad impression if any extraneous information is reproduced in the answer which has not been mentioned in the paragraph. Similarly, answers are evaluated and rewarded for avoiding incoherence and missing information linkages. Association between interconnected information scattered across the paragraph can also be evaluated.
What should be the ideal length of Answers?
There is no one-stop solution when it comes to deciding about the ideal length of an answer. A qualified advice entails that the answer ought to be comprehensive yet succinct so that no details are left over. Some answers may require detailed explanation whereas others shorter delineation. Nevertheless, it is advisable to avoid repetition and clutter. A direct approach should always be adopted instead of making insinuations first, and coming towards the main point afterwards. An informed and diligent effort should be made to make answer-reading uncluttered and unclouded.
How much time one should allocate to comprehension question?
Although some candidates would find comprehension question fairly easy and some terribly difficult, it depends on preparation and practice which would ultimately determine how much time one should allocate to this question. It can be solved in 30-35 minutes but the time may vary from one individual to another. There is no hard-cooked, timed recipe that could produce a magical solution that is fast and extraordinary in its appeal toward the examiner. Therefore, one should time oneself economically and use it meticulously to make a decent attempt at giving answers to the questions.
What should be the order at which this question can be attempted?
Comprehension question is a precious one in the English (Précis and Comprehension) paper as it provides a candidate with flexible opportunity to earn marks. A decent sum of 15 marks added to the overall score can enable a candidate to ace this paper with flying colours. It is advisable that it may be attempted midway during the allocated time so that concentration is not lost and there is no rush to complete the paper before the time is called off.
The comprehension question is a golden opportunity not just to score marks but also to develop understanding while reading CSS Compulsory as well as Optional subjects. Habitually, one is reading superficially without much regard for understanding. Developing a niche approach to understand the reading material, interacting with it, and parsing for inference and learning is, definitely, going to help in enriching your knowledge base. There is no shortcut to a good understanding unless there has been a good read. It is, therefore, highly recommended that reading ought to be clubbed with sound understanding in order to cultivate good comprehension skills.
Solved Comprehension CSS 2019
- What leads us to believe that this passage is from a science fiction story?
Ans: The situation described in this passage is not real. It is the product of pure imagination. The “thing” in it is not found in the real world. It is a strange creature with unusual and horrible features. All this shows that this passage is from a science fiction story.
- How was the crowd behaving?
Ans: The crowd was intensely excited and curious to know what was there in the pit. The suspense was unbearable for the people around the pit. They were pushing each other to see into the pit.
- Why did the mood of the crowd alter?
Ans: In the beginning, the people were excited and curious to see the “creature in the pit.’’ When they had the first glimpse of the “thing,” they were horrified because the thing was extremely repulsive, ugly and frightening. They feared that the thing might attack them. This changed their mood and they ran away from the pit.
- What was the narrator’s initial reaction to the “Thing”?
Ans: The initial reaction of the narrator was that, seeing the pit and fearing the presence of some horrible creature in it, he was imagining strange things. Driven by curiosity, he pushed through the crowd to reach nearer the pit.
On seeing the ugly face of the “thing”, he too was horrified like the men who were running away from the pit. He, however, stood there alone.
- Why did the writer feel disgusted?
Ans: The writer felt disgusted when he saw the creature’s face because its features were extremely bizarre, odd, strange, ugly and horrifying.
Ten Commandments for CSS Comprehension
- Thou shalt read the passage first
- Thou shalt not rush into answer choices
- Thou shalt interact with the passage
- Thou shalt extract meaning from subtle words used in the passage
- Thou shalt pay attention to shifting mood, and tone of the author
- Thou shalt question the purpose behind all the telling in the passage
- Thou shalt explain the ideas presented in the passage to yourself
- Thou shalt predict what the author can state in the passage
- Thou shalt be curious while expanding the ideas stated in the passage
- Thou shalt use your own words and express with a healthy vocabulary