The Common Law Entrance Test (CLAT) is a reading intensive exam. Of the five sections of the paper, almost all are passage-based. Since there are 150 multiple-choice questions, and only 120 minutes to answer them, it becomes imperative that a candidate has a good reading speed and comprehension skills.
There are numerous ways by which one can increase their reading speed. Some of these ways are:
1. Avoiding subvocalization: Subvocalization is the process of speaking the words in your head as you read. This slows down one’s reading speed significantly since an average person’s reading speed is almost the same as their talking speed.
So, to increase your reading speed, you need to eliminate this unnecessary habit and process sentences and words automatically by looking at them.
2. Start word-chunking: Word-chunking is when you read a bunch of words together, instead of doing it separately. This is easily possible because we can take in several words at a time and process them, even though we have been taught to read them slowly and separately.
This process increases your reading speed significantly.
While these tips have been told to us many times, the key element to truly succeed at this and increase your reading speed is practice. This happens by reading books regularly.
Here’s a list of top 5 books that you should definitely not miss out on-
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom: When Mitch reconnects with his long-time mentor, Morrie, he discovers him in the last few months of his life. He starts visiting Morrie in his study, every Tuesday, just like he used to in college. Their relationship turned into one final ‘class’: lessons on how to live life.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell: This novel is the story of animals rebelling against their human masters, and is a satire on the Stalinist era of the soviet union and the events leading upto the Russian Revolution. It is a classic and a must-read.
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding: A plane crash leaves a group of schoolboys stranded on an island. At first, they celebrated their freedom. But as time passed, the civilisation that they had tried to build started collapsing, and their baser instincts took over. This is a story about the darkness of a man’s heart and what would happen if we are left to our own devices without the framework of a society.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: This novel follows the life of Elizabeth Bennet, and her burgeoning relationship with Mr. Darcy, a rich aristocrat. Riddled with witty banter and humour, this book questions the existence and differences between social classes, and the expectations and restrictions on women and men.
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: Another classic, this book tells the story of the French revolution. This novel focuses on themes like social injustice, anarchy, imprisonment, and resurrection, and draws parallels between the cities of Paris and London during the eighteenth century. It ends with a man sacrificing his life for his friends, and setting himself and them free.
Improving and increasing your reading speed and comprehension skill is a continuous process, and a gradual one. It happens through practice, and practice involves reading. Read these books, and more. Develop a habit of reading newspapers, non-fiction, fiction, etc- whatever strikes your fancy. Constant and regular practice is key.
All the best!
P.S. Would you like for us to share more such recommendations with you? Let us know in the comments below.