How to answer comprehension passages correctly


Reading comprehension passages involves the reader fully understanding the meaning of the passage and using that understanding to answer the comprehension questions that will follow after.

Comprehension reading skills are important in school settings to test the students' understanding of the passages and their ability to answer the questions accordingly. The strategies for answering comprehension questions and reading comprehension passages are also important for international exams like IELTS, TOEFL, etc.

Students are expected to be skilled in answering comprehension questions from their understanding of the passage or even a paragraph.

Why do students require comprehension skills?

Comprehension questions are asked in such a way that you can not answer directly and it involves the use of students' logical ability. From the primary years of study, everyone is taught how to read passages and answer questions thereafter. Most questions are directly drawn from the passage.

But in some cases, in competitions, tests, or exams, answering comprehension questions is not an easy one, a lot of students need to be guided on how to answer comprehension questions correctly.

Most students feel it’s hard to answer comprehension questions because of the vocabulary and length of the passages so this makes answering comprehension questions a chore for many students. 

What makes this harder for students is familiarity with easy comprehension questions while failing to practice the more complex ones so they get easily discouraged when they face harder questions than the ones they are used to. Every student needs this because comprehension questions are mark gainers in competitive exams.

How can you attempt reading comprehension passages?

The questions you have to answer will be dependent on your understanding of the passage. You must analyze your given passage properly to get your answers well and coherently.

The questions are given to evaluate the understanding of the student and here are a few tips that can help in answering comprehension questions 

• Your knowledge outside the passage isn’t relevant 

• You’re permitted to make logical guesses

• Read your instructions carefully

• It’s important to go through the questions first 

• Review your answers as many times as you can

Now, how do you answer comprehension questions correctly?

Before answering comprehension questions you need to know that you must take your time to read the passage very carefully. 

You can follow these guidelines when answering comprehension passages:

• Don’t use your opinions as answers, always base your answers on the facts from the passage.

• Don’t try to twist the question, answer it precisely and ensure your question and answers are linked.

• Don’t write terms like this, that, stuff, thing, them, and so on in your answer

• State your answers clearly and don’t manipulate them.

To conquer your fear of attempting comprehension questions and for help to answer comprehension passages correctly, here are a few tips you can apply: 

1. You need to understand the passage:

This is a common reason for every student because without the understanding of such passages you can’t answer the questions. No one is expecting you to put all the sentences into your headword for word. All you’re required to do is to study the paragraphs and be able to give a summary of what's written. Keep your focus on the keywords and this will help to find answers to the question you must have read before reading.

2. Count on your academic strength:

Every student must know their strengths academically and they need to use them when answering comprehension passages. Some students read the passages first before they read the questions, some others do skimming before reading, and some will read the questions and then read the passage. 

During practice you should know what works for you and you should use that while answering the comprehension questions. Know what you’re best with and every other thing will become easy.

3. Manage the time available:

Time is an important factor in answering comprehension passages correctly. Most students complain they don’t get enough time to answer the questions they know and this situation is caused because most students spend all others time reading the passage and the questions without considering that there are other sections of the exam or test.

You just keep in mind that exams are not just to test your understanding and knowledge but to also test your ability to manage any time given. As a student, you must remember to practice with time when solving past questions. Another thing is not to panic when your time is almost up, ensure you stay calm so you don’t pick or write wrong answers.

4. Ensure you practice more:

You get better when you keep practicing and you must practice as many past questions as you can, especially for international exams like IELTS. There might be new words to learn and understand what kind of answers they expect you to give. Through consistent and proper practice you get better and overcome your fears by leveraging on your strong points.

5. Learn more vocabulary:

You can never know too much vocabulary especially when it has to do with comprehension questions and passages. You should try to have sufficient knowledge about words so it’s easier for you to comprehend the passage. 

If you’re unable to recognize the word and at least have an idea house it means, you’ll get distracted and may even answer the questions wrongly. Having a good vocabulary will help you to solve the questions even faster. 

Here are tips to improve your vocabulary:

• You can read English newspapers and learn new words from there

• You can stay committed to learning new words every day and their meaning

• Always write down the words you learn and want to learn, it’ll help you remember even faster.

Answering comprehension passages is as simple as it gets. You don’t have to fret or get flustered if you encounter any problem. Ensure you rest well before your competitive tests and exams so you can have a relaxed mind and do what works for you. Remember answering comprehension passages is easy and you can do it correctly.

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