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 Post subject: Comprehension Skills
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:41 am
Posts: 87
I was hoping that I could get some advice on this from DP's. My DS2 has been struggling with his verbal reasoning. The main part is the comprehension where you read the text and then answer questions about it. Is there anyway in which I can help him improve on this.

Also is this a big part of the verbal reasoning section and how many marks can you gain on this.

Any advice would be most welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension Skills
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
Posts: 1488
Hi Nard, one way to help your DS with comprehension is to talk to him about the books he reads. I don't mean just the extracts in the VR papers, but whatever he reads either for school or at bed time. Ask him all sorts of questions, e.g. what he likes about the story and why, what he thinks about the characters, how does he think they may feel in a particular situation and why, what made them do whatever they did in a book - and again, why does your DS think that. It does not have to be a tedious 'let's talk about your book' session, a 3 or 4 questions a day would do. Once he gets used to talking about what he reads, he should find written comprehension easier; you should also be able to pick up from that which particular aspect of comprehension he finds hard and then you can work on that. I hope that helps a little.

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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension Skills
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:08 pm
Posts: 1239
Nard wrote:

Also is this a big part of the verbal reasoning section and how many marks can you gain on this.

Any advice would be most welcome.


Comprehension plays a very small part in the overall score. Out of the 50% weightage for VR, comprehension approximately constitutes 10% of the total marks available. So I wouldn't worry too much and concentrate on synonyms/ antonyms and cloze as this is where you will score most of VR marks. Up to 80% of VR on a good day.


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension Skills
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 6:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:21 pm
Posts: 297
Hi Nard

First off check out the exam content 'sticky' at the top of the Birmingham Walsall Wolverhampton Wrekin section - that will set out generally what is on the 11+ here over past years - and you can see it's pretty stable. My view is everyone will,have an element of the 11+ they find tricky - but remember they will be strong in other areas and you don't lose points for guessing.

Now for comprehension skills

First off decide which works best for your DS - reading the whole text first or reading the questions first. Experiment - it may be easier to read for comprehension if you know what information you are looking for.

Second - in general, comprehension questions are presented in order. So first question is about start of text, middle question tends to be about middle of text and last question tends to be about end of text.

Third. After comprehension questions there often is vocabulary questions. If your DS is better at this - encourage him to skip to these relatively quick and straightforward questions first and then go back to comprehension questions.

As MSD suggests - take time to discuss what your child is reading with them. Classic comprehension questions revolve around how you might know a character's feelings - so have your DS discuss this kind of thing with support. For example little red riding hood was unsure about the friendly creature she met in the woods because she kept asking him questions (lines x-xx) and words like suspicious/ unsettled/ nervous were used in lines x-xx.

The remainder of questions tend to be factual - what is character doing/ about to do. Names. Dates. Etc...

If this is the tricky bit may be advisable to go through practice comprehension together, step by step and show your DS how you would tackle it. Often it is a lack of experience/ test taking skills rather than ability.

Hope that helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension Skills
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:17 pm
Posts: 163
Hi Nard

DS found the inference questions hard so we started reading the text together and discussing it afterwards without reading the questions at all. Once he got used to this approach and getting the 'hidden' meanings, we then read the questions before reading the text as this helped him to kind of ear mark them in his mind as he was reading the comprehension.

Like the others are advising, it helps to ask questions on whatever they read without making it obvious on what you are doing.....for vocab we started playing a game everytime we were in the car - to think of the more difficult words to substitute the 'basic' language we speak. So, for instance, 'I was curious' can be substituted by 'I was intrigued'....For fun, my husband used to (and still does) come up with wrong/funny words and this encouraged DS to correct him. Good laugh if nothing else!

I found the advice on the forum very very helpful and in the end try whatever approach suits you/DS the best. Usually it is a mixture. Good luck


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 Post subject: Re: Comprehension Skills
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:41 am
Posts: 87
Thanks for the advice everyone I will take it all on board and try new things out over the next couple of weeks.


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