Reading comprehension refers to understanding what the message the writer is trying to convey. Reading comprehension is a critical component of the English language and that is why it is included in all of the major English proficiency exams (TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS).
Different elements of reading comprehension include:
CONTEXT – Refers to the overall surroundings of the text, by knowing the context you can accurately guess the meaning of a sentence or a text even if you are missing information.
FACTS – Facts are presented to support the overall main ideas people read, they must attend to factual details.
MAIN IDEA – Is the overall thesis (point) of the whole text. Once again “what message is the author trying to convey”.
When taking your English proficiency exam, your objective at the reading comprehension part of the test should be:
• Identifying the theme or author’s purpose
• Judging author’s tone
• Becoming aware of the author’s point of view
• Recognizing persuasive elements employed by the author
• Distinguishing fact from opinion
If you can answer all these questions you will always be fine when answering questions based on a text.