Comprehension passage is the most commonly set question in English language in WAEC, NECO or JAMB. They form part of the sections that carries the highest marks. In WAEC and NECO, comprehension passages carry at least 50 marks. This goes a long way in determining your pass or fail status in both JSSCE and WASSCE.
I have here all you need to know on how to correctly answer questions on comprehension passages in any exam or test you are being examined.
First we need to define what comprehension is about before delving into the useful hints as well as the step-by-step approach on how to answer comprehension passages.
What is Comprehension? This is a process of reading, understanding and explaining what is written in a passage. For every comprehension exercise, there must be a passage to be read.
The purpose of comprehension exercise is to test students understanding of a given passage. In comprehension, the thoughts of the writer are presented to students for reading, understanding and explaining
USEFUL HINTS ON COMPREHENSION PASSAGES
Comprehension is to test students understanding of the passage. After reading the passage, you can interpret or explain the contents of the passage in your own words. It is when you do this that you can claim to have understood the passage. Although you are at liberty to make use of words from the passage. you must be careful not to be too reckless in copying down the portion of the passage which you feel answers the question.
How To Answer Comprehension Passages: Step-By-Step Approach
To gain full marks in comprehension passage in WAEC or NECO, the body demands a careful step-by step approach. Majority of the students who fail comprehension exercises fail because they are in a hurry to answer without taking time to understand the passage. The suggested steps are the following:
Please note that the reading of the passage must be done quickly with full attention in order to have a total understanding of the passage. It is after understanding the passage, you can now go back to the questions and start answering them.
Step 3 – Though you are free to use the words from the passage in your answers, you must be able to use your own words or expression to show your understanding of the passage.
Step 4 –Where your answers should show comparison between two or more things mentioned in the passage, your answer must indicate or show the comparison.
Step 6 – When you are substituting a word or phrase with another word or phrase, if the word or phrase is an adjective or noun or in a particular tense, your answer should be in a similar form.
Step 8 – You must take pains to spell your words correctly. Though you may be pardoned for wrong spelling of words in comprehension answers, except if it is woeful, it shows your diligence if you spell your words correctly.
Causes of Loss of Marks in Comprehension Passage
The following are the reasons candidates lose marks in comprehension passage. Get your full score by avoiding the followings:
2. Giving Wrong Synonyms to Replace Underlined Words and Phrases where words or expressions are expected to be given to replace words or expressions in the passage, the words or expressions used as replacement must fit in perfectly in terms of meaning and collocation (i.e, the words used in replacement must not disturb the arrangement of the word or words that follow the replaced word or words).
4. Using Different Grammatical form and tense form from the form of the word or Phrase to be substituted or replaced: You are expected to use the same grammatical form as the given word or phrase when asked to explain the meaning of a word or phrase. Similarly, when you are asked to substitute a word or phrase in place of some underlined words, you are expected to use the same tense form. For example, if the word or phrase to be replaced is a noun, the replacement must also be a noun. Also, if the word to be replaced is in past tense, the word to replace it must be in past tense.
(i) puzzlement (noun) can be replaced with ‘amazement’, ‘wonderment’ or ‘bewilderment’ which are all nouns.
5. Giving Answers out of the Context of the Passage: You will not score any mark for writing answers which are not contained in the facts or information provided in the passage. Don’t impute facts or answers that are not in the passage.
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