How to approach comprehension exercises?

While some tutors recommend that children read the questions first and then the text we have found that children most often react well to reading the text first and then the questions.

The most successful approach we think is to:

1/ Read the text with a pencil under the line and underline any important information. Read quite quickly but ensure you get a good feel for the story (don’t just skim).

2/ Start at the top and tackle each question as they come (we have found that reading all the questions through often just delays things).

3/ With multiple choice questions there will often be a couple or one question which is certainly not correct, rule it/them out immediately. In multiple choice there will also often be two answers which you think could be right so make sure you really focus on which one is the correct answer. There will normally be a strong hint or clue.

4/ Where you have a question where the answer is not in the text (for instance the examiner wants you to infer what the correct answer might be), do not be worried that the answer is not in the text, allow the context of the passage to help you and think through each possible answer logically. There will often be one clear winner if you think carefully enough about it.

Remember that developing good reading skills and a wide vocabulary are invaluable. Reading as much as you can will really help.

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