It is one thing to read. It is another thing to understand. Reading comprehension pertains to a person’s ability and level of understanding of a reading material or text, which is derived from the interaction between the words read and how they relate to one’s knowledge as well as the ability to understand beyond words. At the very least, this depends on the capacity of a person to understand words swiftly and effortlessly because words are the building blocks that create meaning. This also depends on the ability of a person to process words and sentences to create meaning.
In the call center industry, getting a complete understanding of what you read or hear for that matter is critical because one cannot serve customers effectively without understanding. Understanding is needed to identify problems and provide correct solutions. Comprehension therefore is at the very heart of communication. Comprehension is not only vital because of language differences but because of cultural differences, which has an impact in the meanings or words. Cultural differences can account for a loss or gain of meaning of a word.
Workers in the contact center industry usually undergo a reading comprehension test as part of their evaluation of how well they are able to communicate effectively in English. This is especially important for non native English speakers. Communication is not merely about effectively expressing oneself in words. Communication is a two way process which entails the ability of a person to understand what the other party says. A break in any of the two results to a failure in communication.
Reading comprehension test for a call center agent usually involves real life situation in which prospective workers read a dialogue, conversation or inquiry by a customer and the examinee must be able to identify or provide the correct script or response to the customer query. Thus the exams do not simply focus on knowing what the customer wants but on knowing how to respond to what the customer wants.
The best way to prepare for a reading comprehension test is by reading a lot and understanding the reading material. Check the title of the reading material which provides a hint of the subject. From there, try to relate previous knowledge about the subject and relate your objectives for reading. While reading, focus on the given subject and the main ideas. Use context clues for understanding unfamiliar terms and vocabulary. Make inferences and reflections about what you read by asking yourself questions about the topic.
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