Techniques of answering reading comprehension and summary

Section C Paper 2 SPM 25 marks

• TODAY, we will take a look at Section C of the SPM 1119 paper. This section, which carries a substantial 25 marks, is divided into two parts, reading comprehension and summary writing. Ten marks are allocated for reading comprehension and 15 for summary writing. •

it is not necessary to understand every word you read. . list). Use cue words in the questions to help you answer them.READING COMPREHENSION General guidelines • 1. why. Do not worry if you come across unfamiliar words. Sometimes. who. if necessary. The second reading helps you take in the details and improve your understanding. where. These can be the “wh” words (what. • 2. Do read the passage a second time. how) and action verbs (identify. when. whose. find. • 3. Read the questions carefully. Read the whole passage through once to get a general idea of what it is about.

Use these words to help you identify the part of the passage where the answer can be found.READING COMPREHENSION General guidelines • 4. . • 5. You do not have to answer questions in complete sentences (look at the sample answers given). Questions sometimes contain words found in the passage.

. Be careful not to alter/distort the meaning expressed in the passage and hence lose precious marks. You can lift words.READING COMPREHENSION General guidelines • 6. clauses or sentences from the passage to answer questions. You do not have to use your own words unless you are told to do so.

Make sure you spell the word correctly. then give only ONE word and nothing else. if you are asked for a word. For questions on vocabulary. then give the relevant phrase.READING COMPREHENSION General guidelines • 7. If you are asked for a phrase. . you must indicate the chosen word or phrase by underlining it or putting it within quotation marks. If you copy the sentence where the word or phrase are found.

Some questions require you to use your own words and you must do so.READING COMPREHENSION General guidelines • 8. • 9. pronoun) used in the questions when formulating your answers. Do pay attention to the tense (and sometimes. .

Sometimes. Do not give two or more answers to a question.e failure to understand the question and/or text. . Do not give more than the required information.Pitfalls to avoid • 1. • 3. Some students write down all the possible answers to a question. just to be on the safe side. • 2. students copy chunks from a passage. Do not waste time paraphrasing answers unless you are asked to do so. This only highlights their weakness i.

SUMMARY WRITING • The question on summary writing is based on the same text used for reading comprehension. This should be a boon as you would be familiar with the text after several readings. .

• Weak students have an additional problem to grapple with the language. many students are not comfortable with summary writing.SUMMARY WRITING • Despite this. . • Their fears stem from their inability to identify information relevant to the answer. • Some are also worried that they may not be able to put the information together into a coherent paragraph.

in the context of this paper. is largely a reading skill (as you are required to select relevant information in the text).SUMMARY WRITING • REMEMBER that summary writing. . with a bit of writing thrown in (as you have to string the points together into a unified text).

. Therefore.SUMMARY WRITING • The task is made easier for you as you do not need to summarise the whole text. only certain aspects. it is crucial that you read the question carefully and consider what information is relevant.

• Do not worry too much about paraphrasing. focus on getting marks for content. Instead. there are more than 10 content points but you should be able to identify at least 10. not language. Usually. .SUMMARY WRITING • The allocation of marks for summary writing is as follows: • 10 for content and 5 for language.

underline the relevant lines or ideas as you read the text. Then select information that is relevant to your answer. Read the question carefully. To do this. Ask yourself: “What am I required to summarise?” • 2... Mark the first and last lines of the passage you are asked to refer to.” (For the summary below.SUMMARY WRITING General guidelines • 1. • 3. Always ask yourself: “Is this . you would ask: “Is this a reason tigers have become extinct?” or “Is this a measure that should be implemented?” .

Summarise the ideas. Look through the lines/ideas you have underlined. However. You can combine ideas by joining phrases or sentences. Ask yourself: Is this idea a repetition? • 5. an idea is repeated in another line. make sure your sentences are complete sentences and not fractured bits and pieces. . or you may want to paraphrase ideas/sentences. Sometimes.SUMMARY WRITING General guidelines • 4.

. copy the entire sentence. For example.SUMMARY WRITING General guidelines • 6. see if there are words in the text that you can replace without affecting the meaning. you will not lose marks for content or language. If you cannot paraphrase. you can use a pronoun to replace a noun. • 7. If you are a weak student. This way.

Begin the summary with the 10 words given and remember that the three dots after the 10th word mean you have to complete the sentence with some relevant information from the text. • 9. Do not waste time trying to rearrange ideas. .SUMMARY WRITING General guidelines • 8. Organise the ideas/points in the manner in which they are found in the text.

Adhere to the word limit. . • 12. pronoun) used in the given 10 words. This is fine but write your final draft in one paragraph. Pay attention to the tense (and sometimes. Write the summary in one paragraph. Writing more than the required number of words will not get you extra marks. Anything short of the word limit means you lack content. • 11. Some students are in the habit of drawing columns to facilitate counting of words.SUMMARY WRITING General guidelines • 10.

• . Sometimes. an idea is repeated in the text and you may not notice it as it may have been paraphrased. • 3. Do not include your own ideas or opinions. Do not repeat ideas. • 2. • 5. Do not spend too much time paraphrasing as you might end up losing marks for content unless you can do so without altering/distorting meaning. Do not include information not found in the text.Pitfalls to avoid • 1. • 4. Do not include material from other lines in the text.

Pitfalls to avoid • 1. Do not repeat ideas. an idea is repeated in the text and you may not notice it as it may have been paraphrased. • 4. Do not include your own ideas or opinions. • 2. • 3. Sometimes. • 5. Do not include information not found in the text. Do not include material from other lines in the text. • . Do not spend too much time paraphrasing as you might end up losing marks for content unless you can do so without altering/distorting meaning.

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