Day 7 Basic Questions in Reading for Comprehension
In any reading for comprehension test, there are specific standard questions, which are predictable. So you should study these questions along with how to tackle them efficiently and effectively. It could save a lot of time so you can pay more attention to the irregular questions.
1. Main idea
The first and the most important thing to comprehend when you’re reading a text (or even talking to someone) is ‘What’s the point?’. What is the main idea? What is the writer trying to say? In one topic, there could be many angles to write about. And a good text usually dedicates to one main idea. For example, if you want to talk about a theme park (or an amusement park), what are the possible main ideas?
- Talking about a particular theme park such as Dreamworld theme park or Disneyland theme park. The possible story could be the history of it or what are the attractions.
- Talking about theme parks in general. What the theme park is.
- Theme park is the most suitable place for spending your holiday.
- Theme park is the most dangerous place for anyone.
- There are several theme parks in Thailand you can enjoy.
The main idea is usually, in a well written text, in the beginning of the text. In some cases, there is no main idea sentence but you have to conclude it from the text. So a good main idea covers every element in the text. If it’s talking about one specific detail, it’s not the main idea of the text (although it could be the main idea of a paragraph).
Another important thing is the purpose of the text. There are so many possible purposes.
- To inform – provide facts with reference
- To explain – talk about how something works
- To describe – provide sensory details
- To motivate – provoke you in doing something
- To support an idea – give evidence to support an argument
- To talk against an idea – give evidence to contradict an argument
- To advertise – influence you to buy their goods or service, or to join an activity
- To entertain – make you feel relax, usually seen in novel, short stories, or cartoons
The question will ask you the meaning of a word from the given text. Sometimes it’s the word you already know. Unfortunately, most of the time, it’s an uncommon word. Let’s assume that you don’t know or never heard of that word before. What will you do? Will you just take your best guess? You don’t have to because the answer is already in the text.
You don’t have to be good at vocabularies to achieve this mark. Read the surrounding sentences and you’ll find the answer. This requires a lot of practice.
There are more frequently-asked questions but you have to do a lot of exercises in order to see the patterns.