For many primary and secondary school students in Singapore, some English comprehension questions can be difficult to answer, especially during stressful exam conditions. Often, there is a misunderstanding of what is being asked and this can lead to incorrect or inadequate answers. Some students also focus on practicing other areas rather than on comprehension, which is why they may fall short in this component by the time they sit for the test or exam.
There are a few things that can help students improve their reading and comprehension skills, including taking the time to read slowly, looking up unfamiliar words in a dictionary, and improving on time management. Additionally, students can also look up for practice resources online like quizzes or worksheets that focus on comprehension questions. By using these strategies, students can become more confident to ace their English exams including PSLE, O-Level and N-Level.
To help students succeed, here are a few useful tips when doing a comprehension test or examination.
How to Score Well for English Comprehension
1. Read the passage carefully
Start by making it a habit to read the passage from beginning to end before answering the questions. It’s very important for students to fully understand the passage to answer the questions. While reading the passage, coloured highlighters can come in handy to highlight any words or phrases they don’t understand. It is also advisable for students to reread the passages if there were any sections they didn’t comprehend.
Annotating and rereading the text will help the student contextually make sense of the meaning of any unfamiliar words and phrases. Once the student has read through the passage entirely and made sure that they completely understand it, they can move onto the questions.
2. Be detailed in answering
It can also make a difference when students read through the questions slowly and carefully to understand each question’s requirements. Students should use the allocated marks to determine how much information they should add to each question. A question that is one mark will only require a basic one-sentence answer. A question that is three to five marks will require a more detailed answer supported with evidence from the passage.
Additionally, when students need to use evidence from the passage, they should quote. When quoting, students should answer in detail by providing what the quote means in their own words and why this has significance to the question and the passage as a whole.
3. Manage time wisely
A vital part of acing the comprehension component is having proper time management to respond to all the questions before the test or examination ends. Some students may not have time to answer all the questions, which results in a loss of marks. We recommend that students practise comprehension exercises to see how long it takes them to read and answer all the questions.
With sufficient practice via Superstar Teacher’s online English tuition courses, this can help students tackle the questions quicker with confidence in major exams like the PSLE. Another tip for students is to dedicate more time to questions with higher marks as those questions require more detailed answers.
4. Look through your answers again
Students should also allocate time to read through their answers to make necessary changes. Sometimes, it is a common mistake to accidentally spell a word incorrectly, forget to include punctuation, or miss out on a question. These errors could lead to fewer marks, so students should leave enough time to double-check through their work.
5. Bonus tip: Have a habit of reading
A major benefit to comprehension is reading. Reading books and passages will help students improve their overall proficiency and fluency by increasing their vocabulary. Reading improves comprehension skills by increasing the students’ reading time, understanding, and competency level. Start with genres that students are interested in to feel self-motivated to read in their free time.
Improve English Comprehension with Superstar Teacher
Overall, students should read through the comprehension passage to fully understand what the passage is about, annotate the passage to refer back to when answering questions, and answer the questions according to the mark allocation. If you would like more helpful tips, discover how Superstar Teacher can help.
Students can improve on their understanding of the primary school syllabus with our team of teachers for the best English enrichment. With a wealth of courses and activities, your child can revise effectively in a fun andstimulating online environment at home. To begin, check out some of the most common writing mistakes in English composition.
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