ENGLISH WAEC/NECO COMPREHENSION: FIVE MUST-KNOWS
by Hassan Abdulbaqi
As written under SUMMARY OF WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT IN YOUR ENGLISH SSCE , Comprehension is part of the essay part of your English WAEC or NECO. And just as its name suggests, it tests the candidate’s understanding of a given passage. A single passage (previously two) is usually given in both WAEC and NECO and the questions under the passage are usually similar. (Read HOW EFFECTIVE IS TESTING WITH PAST QUESTIONS? The reason why the questions are similar in topics is simply because they are set from the same established syllabus.
Now, I will tell you about the headings from which the questions are set. While the focus of the questions are similar, the topics on which the passage are based upon are always varied (education, sports, entertainment, story etc). Never mind, the language is simple!
Here are the five things you should be prepare to answer.
- You shall be asked questions based on what happened in the passage and what the subject of discussion is. “What opinion did people have of Chief Koko?” (JUNE 2015 WASSCE), for example, is asking question about what went on in the passage.
- Your ability to draw points and conclusions from the available information in the passage will also be put to test. Questions like, “What does the expression, unprecedented confrontation tell us about the governor?” is an example. The direct answer is not in the passage but you shall find something in the passage that gives you the point to make a logical conclusion from. This kind of questions also include implications. Because this happen, what can you make of it? ‘he walked out on his father’, for example, implies that his father annoyed him.
- You will asked questions on figures of speech/literary devices. You will be asked to tell the figures of speech of an underlined or emboldened expression. The knowledge of common figures of speech, their differences and possible examples are needed in order to combat the questions.
- Grammatical names and their functions: Here, an expression may be emboldened or underlined and you shall be asked to give the grammatical name of the expression and the function it is performing in that sentence in the passage. The knowledge of syntactic categories (parts of speech), phrases and clauses are essential to gain confidence in answering these!
- Substituting words with other words or phrases. This is different from synonyms because the meaning of the word as used in that passage would determine the words you shall substitute it with. The substituted word or phrase should fit closely in a way that makes it possible for them to replace the emboldened words in that passage without changing their meanings.
Don’t forget that you must not only know the answers but how to write the answers correctly. You must put the correct spelling, the appropriate punctuations and the rules of concord into consideration while writing your answers.
To breeze through the questions under Comprehension, the knowledge of these essentials is your best bet!
If you like this article, you can consider reading ENGLISH WAEC/NECO SUMMARY: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW