Secondary 3 English Comprehension – 4 Amazing Strategies

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Practising for secondary 3 comprehension papers is a crucial task. It is the penultimate year before the ‘O’ level exams and the standard is in keeping with the final exams.

The main points of focus are Text B and Text C.

For Secondary 3 papers, the standard of the narrative text B and information-based text C will be of a much higher standard than Secondary 2. The jump is clearly perceptible as the standard of vocabulary and the level of difficulty in answering questions will be higher. The Secondary 3 format is similar to the ‘O’ level paper and the level of difficulty will be almost in proportion too.

What are the most challenging portions of the Secondary 3 Comprehension Paper?

1. Length of the texts will be longer

Longer texts are not really a stumbling block but it means taking a longer time to read and assimilate the information. At Wizpals Education, comprehension texts are taught and practised at least twice a month. 

Analysis techniques are taught and explained before students attempt the questions.

At Wipals Education, all portions of the texts are explained with reference to vocabulary words, references to anything outside the text and themes. 

It is only after explaining the texts that students will attempt the questions.

Secondary 3

2. Narrative texts will have more tricky questions

Inference-based questions are more difficult to approach and students will have to read between the lines to understand hidden meanings. The intention of the author is also another point to study. Narrative passages will usually examine the way the author/protagonist approaches situations and projects his thoughts.

This is not an easy task as this will never be mentioned in the passage. The student has to make an educated guess based on what is in the text. It is truly more speculative at this point as there will be nothing to support such answers. Narrative passages can be difficult to handle because of this. 

The only way to overcome these tricky questions is by a) developing good vocabulary skills and b) practising by doing these papers. 

Narrative texts will usually include dialogue portions and some inference questions regarding the attitudes of the characters who ‘talk’ will be given. The dialogue itself may sound simple enough but the trick is to discover what the character really means or intends to do. 

One has to sift through these ‘simple’ words and discover what their intentions really are. Even the slightest inflection in choice of words from “hey” to “what” will have a different meaning. The student is expected to scrutinise every single detail.

Multiple characters in the narrative text will mean trying to handle diverse intentions and attitudes. Sometimes the plot will change halfway and the unpredictable ending may be a cliff-hanger. The student is expected to infer the outcome. 

Narrative texts also depict a scenario within a confined space, a setting which will reflect purpose and expected outcome. These may fluctuate but the basic principles will remain the same. The student has to know all of these which will help in answering the questions clearly.

At Wizpals, Secondary 3 practice papers are originally written and they comply with exam requirements. Students are taught all the areas of difficulties mentioned above and continuous practice is done to ensure high levels of competence. 

3. Information-based text could be more statistics-based or have structured information on a variety of subjects

Information based texts are easier to handle for some students as the vocabulary level is not as tough. However, questions based on statistical analysis and how certain viewpoints regarding scientific jargon for example may be difficult to handle.

Information is concentrated and detailed. Understanding what it means can be one of the most exasperating parts of this paper if the student has not done enough practice.

Practice on Secondary 3 comprehension paper is done continually at Wizpals. That is the only way to ensure that students remember the various techniques which are used in the papers. Texts can be detailed and questions may be difficult to understand.

The teaching at Wizpals is thorough and the teaching ensures that all students are able to sail through competently in the most challenging portions of the Secondary 3 English paper.

4. The flow chart will be more difficult to manage as the answers could overlap

Flow charts make up 4 marks and this is a great way to grab some marks as all you have to do is to select the correct answer in the box.

Unfortunately, the answers are almost similar with only a slight margin of difference. Only the most scrupulous understanding of the words in the helping box/list will help the student understand the correct answer.

At Wizpals, careful attention is paid to the shifts in the meanings. Students will be able to understand what went wrong and they will arrive at the correct answers before long. 

Being able to apply oneself to these questions is a great asset as it will be really easy to score in this portion of the paper.

The Secondary 3 Comprehension practice is crucial as it is a stepping stone away from the ‘O’ level paper the following year. Make sure that you get the right support for your English comprehension and it will no longer be a hurdle but a great way to get ahead!

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