Comprehension has always been a daunting task for all levels, from primary school to junior college. Many students have trouble understanding the passage given, and as a result, experience much difficulties in answering the questions that follow.
To do well in comprehension is not easy, as this section requires students to be able to understand the given passage and also the questions that are posed to them. A good range of vocabulary will be a great help as there may be difficult words appearing in the passage and they may be crucial in answering some of the questions. To build up your vocabulary, you may refer to our other post on improving English foundations. Here at Start Tuition, we have come up with some strategies to help students to fare better in comprehension.
#1 – Read the entire passage a few times to understand the passage better
For the first read, skim through the passage quickly to get a rough understanding of what the passage is talking about. If it is a narrative passage, try to imagine the scenes depicted and play them in your mind to make the story more vivid. If it is a discursive/expository, try to link the points in the passage to your general knowledge to understand better. After the first read, switch to reading the questions. This can help you understand more about the passage from another perspective. Then, read the passage again, slower this time, to take in more detail.
#2 – Identify the nature of the question
It is important to know what the question is asking for in order to answer it correctly and appropriately. Generally, there are a few types of questions: Factual, Inference, Cause & Effect, Vocabulary.
Knowing how to identify the question types can help you to answer the better.
#3 – Highlight/Underline the parts relevant to particular questions
When attempting the questions, DO highlight the relevant phrases/words that are linked to the questions. The questions are usually posed in order of the paragraphs. Take note of the marks allocated to the questions as they will tell you how long do you need to answer.
With these tips, students should be able to use tackle comprehension passages ore efficiently and thus score better!