By | August 13, 2022

What Is Comprehension?

Comprehension is a process of reading, understanding, and explaining what is read in a particular passage.

For every comprehension exercise, there must be a passage to be read. The purpose of the comprehension exercise is to test students’ understanding of a given passage. In comprehension, the thoughts of the writer are presented to students for reading, understanding, and explaining.

How to Write a Comprehension

To write a comprehension you must first read and understand the passage. After reading the passage, you can interpret or explain the contents of the passage in your own words. Additionally, it is when you do this that you can claim to have understood 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 your understanding of the passage. And also, no one is interested in your personal opinion on 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.

Finally, you should not allow your beliefs or opinion to affect your reactions or answers to the passage.

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Step-By-Step Approach to Write Comprehension

Comprehension demands a careful step-by-step approach. And the majority of the students who fail the comprehension exercises fail because they are in a hurry to answer without taking time to understand the passage. These are the steps you need to know while writing comprehension in exams:

Reading the Passage

Read the passage carefully and ensure you understand the passage very well. 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 to his subject.

After the second reading, you may read the questions in order to know the main point emphasized in the passage. And then, go for the third reading of the passage and note the significant points that answer the questions in 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.

Put Down Your Answers

In putting down your answers, they need not be written in sentences, unless otherwise stipulated, but ensure that you give only one answer to a question.

Use Your Own Words

You are free to use the words or expressions to show your understanding of the passage.

Indicate the Comparison

Where your answers should show the comparison between two or more things mentioned in the passage, your answer must indicate or show the comparison.

Write Your Answers in a Similar Form

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.

Spell Correctly

You must take pains to spell your words correctly. Though you may be pardoned for the wrong spelling of words in comprehension answers, except if it is woeful, it shows your diligence if you spell your words correctly.

Use a Good Grammar

Your answers must be error-free grammatically, too.

Causes of Loss of Marks in Comprehension


These are the reasons why students lose marks while writing a comprehension:

  1. Writing Two Answers to a Question,
  2. Giving Wrong Synonyms to Replace Underlined Words and Phrases,
  3. Grammatical and Expression Errors(s) in Scoring Answers,
  4. Using Different Grammatical Form and Tense Forms From the Form of the word or phrase to be Substituted or Replaced,
  5. Giving Answers out of the Context of the Passage.

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