Reading Skills
Critical Reasoning
Reading Comprehension
Sentence Correction
SC – Structure and Meaning
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How to evaluate how well you have understood the passage

by Anish Passi

How to evaluate how well you have understood the passage?

By answering: How 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘧𝘭𝘺 can you summarize it?

𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙖𝙜𝙚, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙛𝙡𝙮 𝙮𝙤𝙪’𝙡𝙡 𝙗𝙚 𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙪𝙢𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙯𝙚 𝙞𝙩.

Let me explain using a movie’s example.

Have you watched The Titanic?

What’s it about?

In 2 words: It’s a ‘love story’.
1 line summary: It is a love story based aboard the Titanic, the ill-fated ship.
A bit longer: It is a love story based aboard the Titanic. The protagonists belong to different economic classes, yet the fall in love. The movie also covers the ordeal of what happens when the ship hits the iceberg and eventually sinks.

We can keep adding characters and sub-plots.

We can make the summary as brief and as extended as we’d like because we understood the movie well.

I find we can only summarize a story briefly if we have understood it well. While working on RC passages with students, when asked to summarize the passage, I often find students repeat the passage almost line by line, indicating they did not understand the passage clearly.

Reading Comprehension is exactly about what the name states: comprehending what you read.

Thus, I repeat:

How can you evaluate how well you have understood the passage?

By answering: How briefly can you summarize it?

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