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Joined: 12 Sep 2017
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What is ANTICIPATORY READING?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2020, 23:58
Anticipatory means ability to predict. It means to be able to predict what the author would do next. A pertinent question is “why is anticipatory reading necessary?” or “do exams such as GMAT or GRE test anticipatory reading skills?” The answer is No, these exams do not test a test taker’s anticipatory reading skills, however, the test takers are expected to possess such skills in order to reach the top 10 percentile. Lets understand the relevance, technique and application of anticipatory reading skills.

Anticipatory reading usually gets developed in those who read regularly. As soon as they seen a few words, they are able to guess, what the author would say next. For instance, when you see a “however”, you can anticipate that the author will change his stand to the opposite of what he just mentioned previously. This was a simple example. To understand the nuances of anticipatory reading much more depth of language is needed.

Anticipatory reading starts and ends with the structure of the passage. It means that when you start deciphering the structure of the passage you inevitably start applying anticipatory reading and as you start applying these skills, only then you can completely decipher the structure of the passage. Let’s take an example to understand this phenomenon: as you start reading the passage, the first paragraph introduces the topic. For instance, the topic is about a controversial theory. The author begins by listing down problems in the theory. Now, at this moment, you may anticipate that the author, if he is mentioning the problems, MAY ALSO mention solutions later. Here, we anticipated that we may find a particular element later in the passage. This keeps us actively involved. So as we start deciphering the passage, we make use of our anticipatory skills. Now, using the same skills, we unravel the flow of ideas.

Let’s take some more examples to understand this phenomenon. Suppose we see that the author uses the words “for many years” or “since 18th century”, we can anticipate here that the author would come up with a contrast later. “for many years” will be accompanied by “but recently” later in the passage and “since 18th century” will be followed by “but now in the 21st century”. So here we can draw a conclusion that the author is interested in contrasting the practices in two different times. Another example could be, suppose the author shares his claim/opinion about a topic in the passage and immediately after that, the author uses the word “Consider……”. Now, we know that consider is used to give examples. And the location of this “consider” is immediately after the claim made by the author, so we can anticipate that the author is going to use this example to justify and support his claim. So, we must put our efforts to analyse that example as there may be a specific question later on the same example asking about the role played by that example.

Some of these examples illustrate a few elements of anticipatory reading. The next task is to develop this skill so as to reduce the time in understanding the passage along with full clarity. A technique to develop such a skill, assuming that you are also reading a lot alongside, is by analysing the passage that you just practiced. When you start doing a reading comprehension passage, you sometimes, may not understand the structure very well but you must have observed that by the time you solve all the questions, your understanding of the passage has improved as you have read a few portions multiple times. Here, is an opportunity for you to learn this skill. Once, you solve all the questions, do not move ahead with another passage immediately. Go back to the same passage one more time and now look at it from a vantage point of an observer. Observe the elements, what is there in the first paragraph, how did it progress to the next paragraph, what facts the author used, what example were used to support or contradict, where was the location of the main idea of the passage, how did the author arrive at the main idea (directly or in a convoluted fashion), what is there after the author has revealed the main idea, does the author stick to his point till the end, By observing these, you will see a pattern that mostly history passages follow a structure and so do science ones. This will better prepare you to increase your comprehension skills manifold.

Sonal Darra
GMAT-GRE Verbal Expert
GMAT Club Bot
What is ANTICIPATORY READING?   [#permalink] 19 May 2020, 23:58


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