COMPREHENSION (PROSE & POETRY)

Category : 7th Class

READING COMPREHENSION

Being an area that tests a candidate's understanding of the language, comprehension consists of questions based on given text (a passage, one or more paragraphs). Questions may even be based on certain real-life situations to test how good a candidate is at fact-finding, sifting through information, interpreting text, concluding from given information and discerning between stated and implied meanings of the given information. Understanding of vocabulary, rhetorical tools, hunting for the required information while keeping the holistic picture in mind, etc., are essential comprehension skills at play in this area.

Poetry comprehension requires deeper understanding of the poetic devices and literary expressions. You have to be acquainted with these areas practising small passages first.

 

TIPS FOR POETRY COMPREHENSION

  1. Realize complete understanding, as with any poem, will not come after one reading.
  2. Use clues from the poem's title to identify the topic. Often the topic will not be stated explicitly in the poem.
  3. Read through the poem once to get a general idea of what the poem's about. Don't try to figure it out the first time through.
  4. Pay attention to punctuation and the physical structure of the poem.
  5. Consider, first, the literal meaning of the poem; that is, what is the concrete object or idea being discussed. Once that is identified, concern yourself with analysis and symbolic meaning.
  1. Analyze imagery and figurative language. What is the author's purpose?
  2. Identify parts of the poem that confuse you. Can you use the poem's context to interpret confusing parts?
  3. Consider multiple ways of interpreting the poem. There may be more than one correct interpretation.
  4. Read the poem aloud. Sound devices are often clues to the poem's meaning.
  5. The role of vocabulary development and instruction play an important role in helping students to understand the complex cognitive process of reading.
  6. The reader must be actively involved with the text by intentionally thinking about what he or she is reading.

To comprehend means 'to understand and grasp'. A comprehension exercise is, therefore, meant to test a candidate's ability to understand and retain the contents of a given passage.

 

Trend of Questions:

In this type of questions, generally a long passage consisting of certain paragraphs is given, followed by 10-15 questions based on it. The questions may be based on:

(i) Theme of the passage

(ii) Choosing the correct or wrong statement on the basis of the given passage

(iii) View of the author regarding the main point discussed in the passage

(iv) Synonyms or Antonyms of some selected words in the passage

 

The technique of Solving:

  1. Read the passage carefully once and detect its theme.
  2. Note what the questions are about.
  3. Answer the questions.

"In Questions on Synonyms & Antonyms, what is to be remembered is that the answer is to be given according to the sense in which the word has been used in the passage, not just on the basis of its literal meaning.

 

Example: Read the following passage and answer the questions that/allow:

Nature is like business. Business sense dictates that we guard our capital and live from the interest. Nature's capital is the enormous diversity of living things. Without it, we cannot feed ourselves, cure ourselves of illness or provide industry with the raw materials of wealth creation. Professor Edward Wilson, of Harvard University says, "The folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us is the ongoing loss of genetic and species diversity. This will take millions of years to correct."

Only 150 plant species have ever been widely cultivated. Yet over 75,000 edible plants are known in the wild. In a hungry world, with a population growing by 90 million each year,      so much wasted potential is tragic. Medicines from the wild are worth around 40 billion dollars a year. Over 5000 species are known to yield chemical with cancer fighting potential. Scientists currently estimate that the total number of species in the world is between 10-30 million with only around 1.4 million identified.

The web of life is torn when mankind exploits natural resources in short-sighted ways.

The trade in tropical hardwoods can destroy whole forests to extract just a few commercially attractive specimens. Bad agricultural practice triaggers 24 billion tonnes of top soil erosion a year losing the equivalent of 9 million tonnes of grain output. Cutting this kind of unsuitable exploitation and instituting "sustainable utilisation" will help turn the environmental crisis around.

  1. Why does the author compare 'nature' to business?

             (a) Because of the capital depletion in nature and business

             (b) Because of the similarity with which one should use both

             (c) Because of the same interest level yield

             (d)Because of the diversity of the various capital inputs

  1. "The folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us." What is the business equivalent of the folly the author is referring to?

             (a) Reducing the profit margin

             (b) Not pumping some money out of profits into the business.

             (c) Eroding the capital lease of the business

             (d) Putting interest on capital back into the business

  1. Which of the following statements is false in context of the given passage?

             (a) The diversity of plant life is essential for human existence.

             (b) Scientists know the usefulness of most plant species.

             (c) Chemicals for cancer treatment are available from plants.

             (d) There are a round ten times the plant species undiscovered as compared to the discovered ones.

  1. Which of the following correctly reflects the opinion of the author to take care of hunger in the world?

             (a) In crease the number of edible plants being cultivated.

             (b) In crease cultivation of the 150 species presently under cultivation,

             (c) Increase the cultivation of medical plants,

             (d) Increase the potential of the uncultivated edible plants?

  1. Which of the following is mentioned as the immediate cause for the destruction of plant species?

             (a) Soil Erosion

             (b) Destruction of habitat

             (c) Cultivation

             (d) Agricultural practices

 

DIRECTIONS: Choose the word which is nearly same in meaning to the given word as used in the passage.

  1. WASTED

             (a) Consumed                       (b) Squandered

             (c) Unutilised                        (d) Unprofitable

  1. TRIGGERS

             (a) Starts                                (b) Makes

             (c) Results                              (d) Causes

  1. WORTH

             (a) Cost                                    (c) Deserving

             (c) Purchase                          (d) Sell

 

DIRECTIONS: Choose the word which is nearly opposite in meaning to the given word as used in the passage.

  1. CUTTING

             (a) Uniting                              (d) Increasing

             (c) Joining GUARD               (d) Combining

  1. GUARD

             (a) Demolish                         (b) Relieve

             (c) Joining                              (d) Release

 

Solution:            

  1. (b) According to the author, just as in business, capital is kept safe and its interest is utilised, similarly man should increase the potential of available diversity for his benefit and not destroy the bounties of nature.
  2. (b) Same clue as Q. 1.
  3. (c) The author's statement that some plant varieties are edible, some have medicinal uses, some varieties yield cancer fighting drugs, uses, some varieties yield cancer fighting drugs etc. Confirms (a). The author's statement that over 5000 species are known to yield chemical with cancer fighting potential verifies (c). According to the passage, the total number of plant species is 10-30 million and that of those identified is 1.4 million. Thus, (d) is correct,
  1. (d) The author says that out of 75,000 edible plant species, only 150 are cultivated. So, to take care of hunger in the world, the potential of uncultivated edible species should be increased.
  1. (d) The last paragraph of the passage gives us the answer
  2. (c) The author talks about cultivating only 150 species out of 75,000 as 'wasted potential'. Thus, 'wasted' means 'untilised'.
  3. (d) 'Triggers' as used in third paragraph means 'causes'
  4. (c) 'worth' as used in second paragraph means 'deserving'.
  5. (b) 'Cutting' as used in last sentence means 'reducing'. So, opposite of it is 'increasing'.
  6. (a) 'Guard' as used in first paragraph means 'protect'.So, opposite of it is 'demolish'.



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