10 Top Tips for Improving Comprehension Skills

Marion shares her top tips that will help your child improve their comprehension skills.

10 Top Tips for IMPROVING COMPREHENSION SKILLS 

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Read the text AND THE QUESTIONS before you start.

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ALWAYS look back at the text to answer EVERY question - even if you think you can remember. Don't guess and hope!

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Expand your vocabulary. There are lots of games online that can help. Comprehensions often ask the meanings of words.

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If you don't know the meaning of a word, read AROUND THE TEXT. This means reading the whole paragraph that it is in. Can you make an educated guess at what it might mean by the context it is in?

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Brush up on SIMILES, METAPHORS and PERSONIFICATION. These often come up in the questions. "In line 23, which literary technique is the author using and why?"

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In Multiple Choice Questions, if the answer isn't immediately clear, use the 50/50 technique - cross out 2 answers that it definitely is NOT. This leaves you with 2 or 3 that it could be.

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Practise INFERENCE. There are resources online, or I can post some, but the best way is by reading with an adult. The adult then asks "why do you think they did that?" "How do you think he is feeling when...?" etc. Not all answers are written in the text. Some you have to work out for yourself, or have an opinion on.

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Practise putting sentences IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Underline small words or phrases in a sentence and "translate" each one into your own words. It is not as easy as it sounds, so it does need practise!

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DON'T RUSH. If you rush, you misread questions. Take your time and READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY!

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And finally..... check your work. Read each question again and check you have put the right answer. Do this instead of staring out of the window chewing a pen if you finish early!