How to Answer The Vocabulary and Comprehension Questions

Comprehension Questions

How to Answer the Vocabulary in Context Questions

To decide on the meaning of an unfamiliar word, consider its surrounding context. Ask yourself, "Are there any clues in the sentence that suggest what this word means?"

How to Answer the Comprehension Questions: Specific Hints

Several important reading skills are involved in the reading comprehension questions that follow each selection. The skills are

  • Summarizing the selection by providing a title for it
  • Determining the main idea
  • Recognizing key supporting details
  • Making inferences

The following hints will help you apply each of these reading skills:
  • Subject or title. Remember that the title should accurately describe the entire selection. It should be neither too broad nor too narrow for the material in the selection. It should answer the question "What is this about?" as specifically as possible. Note that you may at times find it easier to do the "title" question after the main idea" question.
  • Main idea. Choose the statement that you think best expresses the main idea or thesis of the entire selection. Remember that the title will often help you focus on the main idea. Then ask yourself, "Does most of the material in the selection support this statement?" If you can answer "yes" to this question, you have the thesis.
  • Key Details. If you were asked to give a two-minute summary of a selection, the major details are the ones you would include in that summary. To determine the key details, ask yourself, "What are the major supporting points for the thesis?"
  • Inferences. Answer these questions by drawing on the evidence presented in the selection and on your own common sense. Ask yourself, "What reasonable judgments can I make on the basis of the information in the selection?"
Source English Skills with Readings (9th Edition) - John Langan - Zoé L. Albright - McGraw-Hill Education (International)

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