How to Answer Comprehension Questions

How to answer comprehension questions effectively will make you a success in any exam. Comprehension is the act of reading a passage or writing and then answering questions based on it. Very often, the answers are hidden away, and it can be something of a puzzle to work out where they are, and what the examiner also wants.

Unlike multiple choice, the answer is right there in front of you, it can take a fair bit of digging to discover comprehension answers. They are there, but it may require some act of putting some information together to find it.

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For example, on the writing platform, in the article about John F Kennedy, a question might read, “How old was JFK when he married Jacqueline Bouvier?” In the writing, it might say, “Kennedy was 36 when he married.” That is an extremely simple example, and highly unlikely that the answer would be so easy to find.

Rather, the answer in the text may be in the form of “How old was Kennedy when he took office as President?” Within the text, may be some information regarding the year he was born. Then elsewhere, in another paragraph, you may find the year he became president. You can, therefore, use this information to put the pieces together and work out how old he was when he came into office. This is the puzzle.

One of the best ways to tackle comprehension exams is to read the question first, and then read. But be sure to read them slowly and carefully so you understand what is required.

Then read the passage through quickly to get an overall picture of what it is about, and then go through slowly and thoroughly, perhaps even taking notes. With the questions in mind, you can pick out the pertinent facts so as to assist you with putting the information together and generating the correct answer.

Another method of studying is to again read through slowly, and look out for conjectures which change the sentence’s direction. Words such as however, although, nevertheless and so on, are often keywords that stand out and the information is present around these areas. Highlight these words and keep thinking about the questions.

Read the question again carefully, and slowly you will begin to build the puzzle and answer each question. If you do get stuck on a question, don’t dwell on it for too long, instead go onto the next, and if you have time later, go back to it and try to answer it again. By moving onto the next question, you can often pick up the answer when not directly thinking about it, or it occurs later in the passage.

These tips and tricks on how to answer comprehension questions can provide you with a good chance of success. You have a plan and a strategy to answer the problems. Comprehension tests can be quite tricky and they really test a student’s ability to read well and to pick out the main points of a reading. By having a plan in place, you are already on the road to success.