Wednesday, 4 October 2017

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SECTION A. Comprehension and Summary
This is the first Section of the Form Four National Exams that deals with the reading passage, responding to the passage, and summarising the passage.
For Other Sections, Check out:
Section B: Patterns and Vocabulary
Section C: Language Use
Section D: Response to Reading
In discussing this section, we will deals with two parts. Part 1 will deal with Comprehension techniques and Part 2 will be concerned with Summary writing techniques.

(Also: For Literature in English Subject, Check out my Literature in English Blog. Also check out My Diary for Diary Writing Inspiration and More! )

The topics covered under this programme such as Reading by Skimming , Reading by Scanning , Reading Intensively for Form Three , Reading Extensively in Form Three , and Identifying Information in Form Two all of them teach students how to be able to comprehend the passage and be able to respond to various passage questions. To respond to the text or passage, the students is required to pass through and tackle various kinds of questions asked as far as the passage is concerned.
The kinds of questions asked in this part one of Section A are in three forms:
  1. Multiple choice questions.
  2. Short answer questions.
  3. Completion questions.
  4. True/False questions.
  5. Definition questions.
NB. The most commonly asked questions are multiple choice questions, short answer questions, completion questions, and true/false questions.

The multiple choice questions ask students to select a correct answer from number of choices. For example:
Had I ...........the Minister, I could have greeted him.
A. Knew
B. Knowing
C. Known
D. Knows

When the student is answering multiple choice questions, he/she should:
  1.  Make he/she understands the question before he/she examines the choices.
  2. Read all the choices before selecting an answer.
  3. Eliminate or disqualify choices he/she knows are incorrect.
  4. Look for a word or words that limit a statement or question. These words are like Not, None, Both or Always, which may help a student to eliminate some choices.
  5. Think carefully about the remaining choices and select the one that makes the most sense.
True/False questions are the types of questions that require students to decide whether a statement is true or false. For example:
i. Write True or False to the following statements.
  • Future tense expresses past events...........
  • Noun names a person, place, thing, or idea........
When a student is tackling True/False questions, he/she needs to:
  1. Read the statement carefully.
  2. If any part of the statement is false, the whole statement is false.
  3. Check for a qualifier such as Always, None, Both, or Never.
  4. Check the truth or falsity of the statement. A statement is true only if it is always true.
In summary writing, the intention is to test the students' ability to read and understand.
The following are the four principles of summary writing:
  1. Use good grammar
  2. Use your own words without distorting the original message.
  3. Ensure a good flow of ideas
  4. Consider the number of sentences given.
What students should AVOID when making a summary of a passage:
  1. The students should not number the sentences, but he/she should put them in a single paragraph as instructed.
  2. The students should not write lesser sentences than the required.
  3. The students should not write the summary in a language which cannot be understood.
  4. The students should not pick or just copy some sentences from the passage and put or paste them together to form what he/she regards to be a summary. This is the common tendency because most students think summarizing as the process of just picking the sentences from the passage and write them.
Thus, the students should be able to identify the main points in the passage and summarize them in the required number of sentences to make a meaningful paragraph as instructed.

Comprehension and Summary are not only the important skills for answering examinations, but also they are important life skills to both students and other people. When mastered, these skills become helpful to the people in their daily life endeavours.
For students, Comprehension and Summary should not be considered as simple questions or unimportant parts of the examination. These skills are there for a reason. Students should not be encouraged to skip these questions. It is common for students to look up for questions and then go back to check the answer in the passage. This is not a good tendency. The students should be advised to be good time managers, not to be the deciders to which question is less important and which ones are more important.

For Section B, Check out SECTION B. Patterns and Vocabulary
For Section C, Check out SECTION C. Language Use
For Section D, Check out SECTION D. Response to Reading

I wish you nice preparations for NECTA!
BELIEVE!     WORK HARD!         WIN!

NECTA (2012) Examiners' Report on the Performance of Candidates CSEE: 022 English Language (School Candidates), NECTA, Dar as Salaam.
Daniel, K (2003) Elements of Literature: Fourth Course with Readings in World Literature; Florida Edition, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Austin.

Next: SECTION B: Patterns and Vocabulary

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