How to Improve Reading Comprehension in CTET English

The CTET (Central Teacher Eligibility Test) is a crucial examination for aspiring teachers in India. The English section of the CTET exam requires a strong grasp of reading comprehension skills. Improving reading comprehension can significantly enhance performance in this section. In this article, we will explore various strategies and techniques to enhance reading comprehension abilities for the CTET English exam.

Importance of Reading Comprehension in CTET English

Reading comprehension is a fundamental skill that enables teachers to understand and interpret written information effectively. In the CTET English exam, reading comprehension questions assess a candidate’s ability to comprehend passages, analyze information, and draw meaningful conclusions. A high level of reading comprehension is essential for teachers to interpret texts, teach language skills, and guide students in understanding complex concepts.

Understanding the CTET English Exam

Before diving into strategies for improving reading comprehension, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the CTET English exam structure. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions, and the reading comprehension section plays a significant role in assessing a candidate’s language proficiency. The passages cover various topics, including literature, social issues, education, and more. Each passage is followed by a set of questions that test comprehension, vocabulary, inference-making, and critical thinking.

Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension

1. Active Reading Techniques

Active reading techniques involve proactive engagement with the text. They help in understanding the author’s message, identifying key points, and connecting ideas. Four key active reading techniques are skimming, scanning, previewing, and questioning.

1.1 Skimming

Skimming involves quickly glancing over a passage to get a general idea of its content. This technique helps in identifying the main topic, major points, and overall structure of the passage.

1.2 Scanning

Scanning is a technique used to find specific information within a passage. By quickly moving the eyes over the text, one can locate keywords, phrases, or numbers related to the questions.

1.3 Previewing

Previewing involves examining the passage before reading it in detail. By looking at headings, subheadings, topic sentences, and

bolded words, the reader gets an overview of the passage’s organization and main ideas.

1.4 Questioning

Questioning involves actively asking questions while reading. This technique helps in maintaining focus, anticipating answers, and improving overall comprehension.

2. Building Vocabulary

A strong vocabulary is crucial for understanding and interpreting complex texts. Three effective strategies for building vocabulary are contextual word recognition, word analysis, and vocabulary expansion.

2.1 Contextual Word Recognition

Contextual word recognition involves inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words based on the context in which they are used. Paying attention to the surrounding words and the overall message of the passage aids in understanding new vocabulary.

2.2 Word Analysis

Word analysis involves breaking down words into their roots, prefixes, and suffixes to understand their meanings. This strategy is particularly helpful for deciphering complex terms and technical language.

2.3 Vocabulary Expansion

Expanding vocabulary requires consistent efforts. Reading a wide range of books, articles, and academic materials exposes individuals to new words and helps in building a robust vocabulary bank.

3. Enhancing Reading Speed

Improving reading speed enables candidates to cover more material within a limited time frame. Two effective techniques for enhancing reading speed are eliminating subvocalization and practicing speed reading techniques.

3.1 Eliminating Subvocalization

Subvocalization refers to silently pronouncing words while reading. Minimizing this habit helps in increasing reading speed as the mind can process information faster than speaking.

3.2 Practicing Speed Reading Techniques

Speed reading techniques involve training the eyes to move quickly across the text, focusing on groups of words rather than individual words. Techniques such as chunking and using a pointer can significantly improve reading speed.

  1. Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Developing critical thinking skills enables candidates to analyze, evaluate, and interpret information more effectively. Four key aspects of critical thinking skills for reading comprehension are analyzing the author’s purpose, identifying main ideas and supporting details, making inferences, and recognizing text structure.

4.1 Analyzing Author’s Purpose

Understanding the author’s purpose helps in interpreting the tone, bias, and underlying message of the passage. By considering the author’s intention, candidates can better comprehend the text.

4.2 Identifying Main Ideas and Supporting Details

Identifying the main ideas and supporting details helps in grasping the central theme and key arguments presented in the passage. Candidates should focus on recognizing the most significant points and how they are supported.

4.3 Making Inferences

Inferences involve drawing conclusions based on available information. Candidates should use contextual clues and prior knowledge to make logical inferences about the text.

4.4 Recognizing Text Structure

Understanding the structure of a passage aids in comprehension. Recognizing patterns such as cause and effect, compare and contrast, problem and solution, and chronological order helps in organizing and interpreting information effectively.

5. Practicing with Mock Tests and Past Papers

Regular practice with mock tests and past papers is essential for improving reading comprehension skills. It familiarizes candidates with the exam format, enhances time management, and provides opportunities to apply the strategies discussed above.


Improving reading comprehension skills is vital for success in the CTET English exam. By employing active reading techniques, building vocabulary, enhancing reading speed, developing critical thinking skills, and practicing with mock tests, candidates can significantly enhance their comprehension abilities. Consistent practice and a focused approach will help aspiring teachers achieve better results in the CTET English exam.


  1. How long does it take to improve reading comprehension skills?
    Improvement in reading comprehension skills varies from individual to individual. It depends on the level of dedication, regular practice, and the techniques applied. With consistent efforts, noticeable progress can be achieved within a few months.

  2. Can I improve my reading comprehension without practice?
    Regular practice is essential for improving reading comprehension skills. Practice helps in honing the strategies, developing speed, and familiarizing oneself with different types of passages and questions.

  3. Are there any specific books or resources recommended for CTET English preparation?
    There are several books and resources available specifically designed for CTET English preparation. It is advisable to refer to CTET preparation guides, sample papers, and previous years’ question papers to get a comprehensive understanding of the exam pattern and content.

  4. How often should I practice reading comprehension exercises?
    Consistent practice is key to improving reading comprehension skills. It is recommended to practice reading comprehension exercises at least a few times a week to build familiarity and enhance abilities.

  5. Can reading comprehension skills be improved in a short period?
    Significant improvements in reading comprehension skills require consistent practice over a period. However, with focused efforts, employing effective strategies, and dedicated practice, noticeable progress can be made within a relatively shorter timeframe.

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