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Chinese comprehension tips

Comprehension for chinese paper 2 is of very heavy weightage. The marks scored in this section often determines your score for paper 2. Doing well in comprehension can help boost your marks. Unfortunately, many chinese students give up on practicing chinese comprehension as they find it too time consuming and mentally draining. Some students think that practicing for chinese comprehension is of little use. Good news is that various cases of my student’s improvement in comprehension proves that comprehension skills can be learnt. Chinese tuition in singapore can help you improve your comprehension marks in a short time. But if you prefer to do it yourself, below are some tips.

Reading skills

Reading skills will determine half of your comprehension marks. Top scorers for chinese exams ensure that they have understood the passage before attempting the questions. Regardless of your standard of chinese, make an effort to read the passage carefully, it will help you tremendously. Most students who are weak in chinese don’t put in effort in their reading. Many a time, they skip the words they don’t understand without trying to guess what it means. As a result, their undertanding of the passage becomes specious and imprecise. I always recommend that students read the passage at least twice and underline phrases and words which they do not understand.

During the first reading, students should get a rough idea of what the passage is talking about. During the second reading, students should look into the details and have a more in depth understanding of the passage. Reading skills can be improved if you make the effort to check out the meaning of certain 词语/句子 EVERYTIME you attempt a comprehension passge. Alternatively, you can get a chinese tuition teacher to explain the passages to you.

Understanding the question

Negligence in reading the questions carefully and undertanding its demands can cause considerable loss of marks. Similar to english comprehension, the different types of chinese comprehension questions include inferential, direct and vocabulary. Unlike english comprehension, there are fewer inferential questions and most of the answers can be directly taken from the passage (direct questions). However, there are different variations of direct questions such as “为什么。。。”, “你认为。。。” and “。。。的意思是什么”, hence, you will need to tweak your answers to suit the demands of the question. For example, in my chinese tuition classes, I teach my students to answer with “因为。。。所以。。。” and try to include words in the question wherever possible.

Finding the answer

Now that you have understood the passages and the questions, it is time to look for the answer. Most students know the trick of finding words in the passage that appears in the question. This technique can help you pass the paper, however, to do well, you need to understand the context of the passage. Some of answers might appear in various paragraphs throughout the passage, some may appear before the key paragraph, others after. A fatal mistake any students make is that they include unecessary points and omit the key points.

For vocabulary questions and inferential questions, the answers cannot be found directly in the passage and depends on the students proficiency in chinese. It is difficult to get full marks for these types of questions but students should try to guess the meaning behind the passage.

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