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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:59 pm 
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From the practice books I've seen, the comprehension parts of CEM tests appear very time pressured e.g. 15 minutes to read and answer all questions. I think I (or my DD) would struggle to just read the narrative in the time available, let alone answer any questions! :shock:

So, is the best approach with these to read the questions and then look for the answer in the narrative (rather than reading the entire narrative first)?

In more traditional style exams where there might be 45 minutes available I assume that the 'read entire narrative first' approach would be preferred?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:57 pm 
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My DD used to read the questions first then start reading the text looking for the first answer. In her experience the questions were usually in order. She would read question 1 then start reading the text until she found the answer, then question 2 etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:15 pm 
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Yes that seems like a sensible approach when time is tight. Thank you


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:34 pm 
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In my opinion this is the wrong approach. You need to read the whole text before you can answer the questions. Things might appear a certain way earlier on in the text but then change later.

What one character says in line 12 may be contradicted by another character in line 30. Comprehensions are not designed for you to be able to do that or everyone would do it and get great marks. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:56 pm 
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So I just tried a comprehension example from Letts which gave 8 minutes to read the text and then answer 10 questions (which I had thought completely ridiculous). I completed it by reading the text first and then answering the questions and it took 5 minutes :D I don't know if DD can read (and absorb) that fast but I guess it is possible!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:27 pm 
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That seems tight DIY. I suppose we have to put ourselves in dc shoe's. They'll be under pressure in a strange place. Easy to miss the nuances etc. I'm trying to teach ds some strategies such as underlining 'feelings', facts, difficult words etc and then at least he can refer quickly back to the text. A work in progress at the moment :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:31 pm 
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We do half as many minutes as there are questions so we would do that Letts comp in 5 minutes as it has 10 questions. This is Y4 and Y5. There are plenty of them that manage it fine. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:29 am 
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Daogroupie wrote:
In my opinion this is the wrong approach. You need to read the whole text before you can answer the questions. Things might appear a certain way earlier on in the text but then change later.

What one character says in line 12 may be contradicted by another character in line 30. Comprehensions are not designed for you to be able to do that or everyone would do it and get great marks. DG


Even if they read the whole text first how much do they retain? They then start answering the questions one by one, my daughter eliminated the first stage of reading the whole text first, as she answered the questions if she realised one was wrong she would go back. There may be a question at the end that requires an interpretation of the whole text, but by then the child has read the whole text anyway. Using this method my daughter always did well in comprehension and got into her chosen grammar school


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:56 am 
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I think (but don't know...) the comprehensions in the CEM papers are very time pressured but the narrative not so long (like the Letts one I mentioned above) so I don't think retention is such a big problem?? The DAO English exam however has a much longer (traditional style) comp and much longer to complete so I think DD would have time to read fully first and then answer the questions (and refer back as necessary). Unfortunately my DD will need to prepare for both types so I think we need to try both approaches and see how she gets on.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:14 am 
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Just to add another variation...

The advice I heard was to have your DC read the questions first, then the narrative in full, and then answer the questions in order (referring back to the text as necessary). I think the idea is that if you've read the questions first they when you come across a passage which seems relevant to one of the questions you've read, you might read it a little more carefully that you would otherwise. Also, by reading the full text before answering any questions, you don't fall foul of some later passage shedding more light on (or contradicting) something written earlier.


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