Understanding Secondary English Comprehension Singapore – 2 Important Tips To Excel

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Secondary English comprehension writing can be easily understood if you read it the right way. 

After all, if you have the correct skillset to understand all those words and phrases in your Secondary English comprehension passages, your answers will be right on the dot.

Have you ever wondered why you were not able to understand what was being mentioned? 

Have you thought that understanding Secondary English comprehension passages is one of the most difficult parts of your English paper?

Never fear. 

Many students have felt this way and I am going to show you how it can be a real piece of cake if you simply follow my trend of thoughts.

Approach to understanding a Secondary English comprehension passage

Ok. What is the first step in understanding your Secondary English comprehension? 

Reading it.

And how do you read it properly?

The key to reading a text properly is to scan or skim through the entire text. 

Do not just stop there. 

secondary english comprehension

As you scan or skim, circle words and phrases which are more challenging so that you can return to it during your second reading and focus on it.

Make sure that you read the text carefully the second time and really get to know the trend of thoughts.

What is the author leading up to?

What is the main idea?

What is the message in the text?

You will need to know what these are before you attempt the questions.

Narrative texts may have dialogues. 

You will need to infer what the hidden meaning is.

A simple, ‘no’ could mean a lot more than no depending on what the questioner’s attitude is. 

You need to dig around a bit and discover what the attitudes and state of mind of each character are.

That is the only way to understand what the main idea or the message is revealing. 

This will bring us to the next step.

How do you dig and discover the message?

Believe me when I say that every text has a hidden agenda. 

Otherwise, it will not appear in your Secondary English comprehension paper. 

An examiner would have chosen that particular extract from the novel or article for only these reasons:

I) It has a main idea/ s that need to be understood

II) It has hidden meaning/s that need to be inferred correctly

I am sure that you must be wondering about inferring incorrectly. 

Do not worry about that. 

When you infer incorrectly, you will notice that the following dialogue or sentences after that inferred portion will not make sense. 

Always read the paragraph a couple of times to deduce if your inference is correct.

All texts contain hidden messages. 

Your task is to uncover them and really understand what it reveals. 

Ask yourself at the end of your reading if you have discovered what the entire Secondary English comprehension text was all about. 

If you are able to answer it by saying, “it was to reveal that the main character had a hidden plan and went to great pains to keep it a secret,” then you have got it! 

It does not matter what that main plan was. 

As long as you know how the ideas are in motion and the way it evolved in the text, then you have got it!

Understanding the text is basically about getting the point of that extract. 

Even if you do not get that during your first few attempts, keep trying and you will get it eventually. 

It is really not that difficult to discover.

My best advice to you is to sharpen your curiosity and really observe the hidden nuances in the Secondary English comprehension text.

What is the main character really trying to do as opposed to doing?

Sometimes these descriptions run contrary to each other. 

One’s intention and action may not match. 

Look out for these revelations and try to work out why it is like that.

Why is the narrative about the beach or the sea so important?

Descriptions of the place and landscape add to the character’s background and course of action. 

Try to assimilate this into your understanding. 

Remember, everything is there for a reason. 

Try to understand its importance.

Facts about the advantages or disadvantages in a descriptive text also reveal what the author is trying to say. 

Descriptive texts are more critical and reveal what is not being done and what should be done. 

Understand this message and this will help you in answering the questions.

Understanding your English comprehension texts can be easy if you just sharpen your curiosity and observation skills. 

Be aware of the hidden agenda and messages. 

The rest is, as I mentioned earlier, just a piece of cake. 😊

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