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English Language


Comprehension 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 thought of the writer are presented to students for reading, understanding and explaining.

Useful Hints On SSCE Comprehension

SSCE comprehension is to test students’ understanding of the passage. After reading the passage, you interpret or explain the content of the passage in your own words. It is when you do this that you 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 questions.

Always restrict your answer to you understanding of the passage. No one is interested in your personal opinion of the topic discussed in the passage. In addition to this, you are not concerned with the correctness of the facts or information in the passage. You should not allow beliefs or opinion to affect your reactions or answer to the passage.


Step-By-Step Approach to SSCE Comprehension

SSCE comprehension demands a careful step-by-step approach. Majority of the students who fail comprehension exercise fail because they are in a hurry to answer without taking time to understand the passage. The suggested step-by-step are the following:

  1. Read the passage very carefully and make sure that you understand the passage. This may take you more than one reading, depending on your skill and ability to read and understand the passage. The first reading will intimate you with the subject matter or theme of the passage. Read the passage for the second time and take note of the attitude of the author of the passage to his subject. After the second reading, you may read the questions in order to know the main points emphasised in the passage. Then go for the third reading of the passage and not the significant points that answer the questions on the passage.

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 that you can now go back to the questions and start answering them.

  1. In putting down your answer, they need not be written in sentences, unless otherwise stipulated but make sure you give only one answer to a question.
  2. 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.
  3. Where your answer should show comparison between two or more things mentioned in the passage, your answer must indicate or show the comparison.
  4. Where you are asked to substitute a word or phrase in place of some underlined words in the passage the word must fit in perfectly in terms of meaning and collocation.
  5. 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.
  6. Your answer, if taken as a whole, must make sense before any part of it is accepted for scoring.
  7. 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.
  8. Your answers must be error-free grammatically, too.


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