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A Guide to the 8 Different Types of Comprehension Open-Ended Questions in the English Exam

Comprehension Open-Ended Questions in the English Exam

The English Exam includes a comprehension component that evaluates a student's capacity to comprehend and analyse written texts. This section features open-ended questions requiring thoughtful and detailed responses based on the student’s understanding of the provided passages.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the eight distinct types of comprehension test open-ended questions frequently encountered in the English Exam. A thorough comprehension of these question types empowers students to approach them strategically and maximise their potential for success in this segment.

1. Literal Questions

Literal questions require students to recall specific information directly stated in the text. Answers to these questions can be located explicitly in the passage, necessitating no inference or interpretation.


Question: "According to the passage, what is the main character's favourite hobby?"

2. Vocabulary Questions

Vocabulary questions evaluate a student's grasp of word meanings and their aptitude for deriving meaning from context. Students might be tasked with providing the meaning of a particular word or selecting a suitable synonym or antonym.


Question: "What does the word 'vivid' mean as used in paragraph 2?"

Vocabulary Questions

3. Inferential Questions

Inferential questions call upon students to employ clues from the text in conjunction with their reasoning to draw conclusions or make educated inferences about aspects not explicitly articulated in the passage.


Question: "Why do you think the main character felt disappointed after the party?"

4. Sequencing Questions

Sequencing questions gauge a student's ability to comprehend the chronological order of events or actions in a passage. Students must discern the correct sequence based on the provided information.


Question: "Put the following events in the order they occurred in the story."

5. Main Idea Questions

Main idea questions revolve around the identification of the central or most significant idea within a passage. Students need to grasp the overarching message or purpose conveyed by the author.


Question: "What is the main idea of the passage?"

Main Idea Questions

6. Tone and Mood Questions

Tone and mood questions assess a student's comprehension of the author's attitude or the emotions conveyed through the text. Students must infer the feelings or atmosphere evoked by the passage.


Question: "How would you describe the tone/mood of the passage? Provide evidence from the text to support your answer."

7. Cause and Effect Questions

Cause and effect questions evaluate a student's capacity to recognise relationships between events or actions within the passage. Students need to identify the reasons or consequences presented.


Question: "What caused the main character to change his mind about going on the trip?"

8. Opinion Questions

Opinion questions necessitate students to formulate and express their viewpoints based on their comprehension of the passage. They must provide well-supported arguments or explanations.


Question: "Do you agree with the author's perspective on the issue discussed in the passage? Why or why not?"

Familiarising yourself with the different types of open-ended comprehension questions in the English Exam is pivotal for effective preparation. By comprehending the specific requirements of each question type and practising targeted strategies, students can confidently approach these questions and provide comprehensive and well-structured responses.

Remember to read the passages meticulously, refer back to the text for evidence, and organise your answers clearly to showcase your comprehension skills. With practice and a strategic approach, you can excel in the open-ended comprehension section of the English Exam.

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