Study S1 English English - Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions 1 - Geniebook

Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions

In this article, we will be learning about direct questions in comprehension passages. There are 3 types of text 3 direct questions - analysis type, literal type and questions. We will be going through 3 practice questions and 7 questions from the text/ comprehension passage “Southern Italy”.
 

Direct Questions

Analysis Type

They are aimed at asking you information from the text which matches the intention of the question. The task before you is to select suitable information that does not overlap with parts of the text which are not relevant. 

The main purpose of the Analysis question is to determine whether you have understood the general flow of information in the passage.

Though these are seen as straightforward Secondary English comprehension questions, you still need to take great care in finding your answer, which in certain cases could be scattered throughout the paragraph.

 

Literal Type

Direct questions are literal questions. These are the same things and more straightforward. They will ask you a direct question which may mean literally lifting the relevant information from the passage. These answers have to be accurate and concise and need to address the question requirements. 

 

They usually answer questions on ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘when’, ‘how’ or ‘where’.

 

Literal questions appear regularly in Secondary English comprehension exams and are often asking you to pinpoint the answer. The purpose of this is to see if you have understood the language used in that context.

 

Example:

The passage below describes how younger residents are less concerned with saving water in Singapore.

 

A focus group study by national water agency PUB in 2019 revealed that younger Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) appear to be less concerned about the sustainability of the country’s water supply.

 

Younger participants perceived water scarcity as a distant concept due to readily available water here. This mindset of the younger generation might be due to a sense of complacency that may have arisen from Singapore’s ability to address its existential water crisis effectively in the past decades.

 

Question:

In Paragraph 2, we are told that “This mindset of the younger generation…” 

 

What does "this mindset" refer to?

 

Solution:

It refers to the younger generation thinking that water is readily available. (1m)

 

Explanation:

"This" is a pronoun. Thus, look for the main subject in the previous line, which will lead you to the reason why younger residents feel saving water is a distant concept.


 

Practice Questions

 

Excerpt:

The text below discusses the significance of cotton plants.

 

The cotton plant is of great significance in the fashion industry. The fiber is spun into yarn or thread and made into breathable textiles. Currently, it is the most widely used natural fiber in clothing sectors. India, with its vast open plantations, leads in being the world’s largest producer of cotton, producing 6423 thousand metric tons in 2019 alone.

 

Since ancient times, humans have creatively invented innumerable ways in which all parts of the cotton plant can be utilised fully. The most important part of the plant is the fiber or lint, which is used in making cotton cloth. Linters, also known as the short fuzz on the seed, provide cellulose for the production of plastics and explosives. The hulls that remain are finally used in combination as fertilisers.

 

Question 1:

Give examples of how people have utilised cotton.

 

  1. Fiber is used in making cotton cloth
  2. Linters provide cellulose for making plastics and explosives 
  3. The hull is used in combination as fertilisers 
  4. Cotton is of great significance in the fashion industry

 

Which of the option(s) is/are correct? 

 

  1. A & B
  2. A, B & C
  3. B, C & D
  4. A

 

Answer:

(2) - A, B & C

Explanation: The correct answer to this question is option (2) - “A, B & C”. Cotton is not important or doesn’t hold such great significance in the fashion industry.


 

Question 2:

This passage is about the life of children in Tamil Nadu.

 

The United Nations Children's Fund asserts that the sheer volume of children engaged in work is living proof of the world’s failure to protect them, and this is a worrying phenomenon. To alleviate this problem, the agency strives to create a positive environment which protects children from exploitation and abuse.

 

In Tamil Nadu, local charities have helped pay off families’ debts so that at least some children can be released from the exploitative conditions in the matchstick factories in which they are forced to work.

 

What is the evidence that proves the failure of the world in their efforts to protect children?

 

  1. Local charities have helped pay off families’ debts.
  2. At such a young age, a large number of children are engaged in work.
  3. Children are forced to work in exploitative condition in matchstick factories.
  4. The United Nations Children’s Fund strives to create a positive environment which protects children from exploitation and abuse.

 

Answer:

(2) - At such a young age, a large number of children are engaged in work

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - “At such a young age, a large number of children are engaged in work”. As the question asked is generic in nature then the answer should also be generic and not specific to any point in the answer.

 

 

The text is about tourism in Southern Italy. Read the passage and answer the following questions.

 

Paragraph 1:

Spring is here. In southern Italy, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the weather is balmy. Orange blossom fragrances mingle with wafts of jasmine. The cuisine is exquisite, the wine is inexpensive, the locals are friendly and beauty is all around. But where are the tourists?

 

Abbey - “Besides the fine weather and natural beauty, there are other good reasons to visit Southern Italy.”

Bob - “I agree, however, the region doesn’t seem to appeal to most tourists who visit Italy.”


 

Question 3: 

In your own words, give reasons from Paragraph 1 that Abbey can use to support her view.

 

  1. The food is beautifully crafted. 
  2. One can buy alcohol cheaply.
  3. The Southern Italians are amicable.

 

Which of the option(s) is/are correct? 
 

  1. B & C
  2. A & C
  3. A, B & C
  4. A & B

 

Answer:

(3) - A, B and C

Explanation: 

The correct answer to this question is option (3) - “A, B and C”.


 

Paragraph 2:

The Amalfi Coast, south of Naples, is still a magnet for wealthy Russians and romantic Americans. Yet Naples itself is a tourist wasteland, and the rest of southern Italy is largely vacationer-free. 13 percent of tourists who come to Italy go to the Mezzogiorno, as the south is known. The rest head for the centre and north of Italy, or other Mediterranean countries altogether.

 

Abbey - “Besides the fine weather and natural beauty, there are other good reasons to visit Southern Italy.”

Bob - “I agree, however, the region doesn’t seem to appeal to most tourists who visit Italy.”

 

From Paragraph 2, explain how the evidence supports Bob’s view.

 

  1. Most of the tourists who come to Italy head for the centre or north, suggesting that Southern Italy is not popular with most tourists.
  2. A minority of tourists who come to Italy go to the South, suggesting that Southern Italy is not popular with most tourists.
  3. 13 percent of tourists who come to Italy go to the South.
  4. 13 percent of tourists who come to Italy go to the Mezzogiorno, as the south is known. The rest head for the centre and north of Italy, or other Mediterranean countries altogether.

 

Question 4:

Which of the option(s) is/are correct? 

 

  1. B & C
  2. C & D
  3. A, B & C
  4. A & B

 

Answer:

(4) - A & B

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (4) - “A & B”. Options C & D are incorrect as we should not state the percentage. The percentages are not the correct way to answer this type of question. It is better to say “majority” or “minority” rather than stating the percentage of tourists in this question.



Why is the word ‘wasteland’ effective to describe Naples’ tourism? 

  1. It is because just as a ‘wasteland’ is an empty land that is barren and has no signs of life, the metaphor is effective to convey that Naples has few tourists.
  2. The Amalfi Coast is a magnet for wealthy Russians and romantic Americans, while the rest of southern Italy is largely vacationer-free.
  3. The pollution and waste problem in southern Italy is driving tourists away from the area.

 

 

Question 5:

Which of the option(s) is/are correct? 

 

  1. B & C
  2. C
  3. A
  4. A & B

 

Answer:

(3) - A

Explanation:

To evaluate the correct answer to the question asked, we should explain the meaning of wasteland in the answer and then compare it to the subject. The correct answer to this question is option (3) - “A” as option A explains the meaning of wasteland better than the other options.


 

Test Your Concepts

Answer the following questions based on the concepts we’ve covered in this article. If you get stuck, revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.

 

Question 1: 

The article below is about the lives of forest dwellers.

 

One of the life forms that make up a forest's living population is the people who inhabit it. Originally, there were large tribes of forest dwellers living in rainforests all across the planet, but over the course of modernisation, especially in the last several hundred years, their numbers have sharply declined. This decrease in number is partly because they have been brutally slaughtered by invaders who wanted to profit from whatever they could plunder from the forest and partly because they have abandoned their original way of life and moved to the nearest town so that they could enjoy the comforts of modern civilisation.

State two reasons behind the number of forest dwellers declining.

 

  1. They were brutally slaughtered by invaders who wanted to profit from whatever they could plunder from the forest.
  2. They have abandoned their original way of life and moved to the nearest town so that they could enjoy the comforts of modern civilisation.
  3. Rainforests are being destroyed at such a rate that the entire habitat in which the forest dwellers live is fast vanishing.
  4. Modernisation, especially in the last several hundred years, has caused their numbers to decline.

 

Which of the option(s) is/are correct? 

 

  1. B & C
  2. A & C
  3. B & D
  4. A & B


 

Paragraph 3 of the text around tourism in Southern Italy

Defensive Italians, particularly from the prosperous north, will tell you that no one goes to the south because there’s nothing worth seeing (it’s questionable).

 

What reason do Italians from the north give to explain why few visit the South? Explain in your own words.  

 

  1. No attractions are worth visiting the south for.
  2. There are no significant attractions that merit a visit to the south.
  3. There are no special attractions that merit a visit to the south.

 

Question 2:

Which of the option(s) is/are correct? 

 

  1. B & C
  2. C
  3. D
  4. A, B & C



 

What is the author’s attitude towards the claim made by the Italians from the North?

 

  1. He is skeptical towards the claim.
  2. The claim is ludicrous/ridiculous.
  3. He is doubtful towards the claim.

 

Question 3:

Which of the option(s) is/are correct? 

 

  1. B & C
  2. C
  3. A & C
  4. A & B



 

Paragraph 4 of the text around tourism in Southern Italy

 

The Italian Tourist Board spends an astounding 98 percent of its budget on salaries, with basically nothing left for its actual job of tourism promotion.

Why is the manner in which the tourism board spends its budget ‘astounding’? 

 

  1. Too much money is being spent on salaries and not enough is being spent on promoting the country, thus the author feels that the proportion is astounding.
  2. It is surprising because one would expect the tourism board to spend a significant amount of its budget on tourism promotion as opposed to salaries, but its budget on tourism promotion is actually minimal. 
  3. The Italian tourism board does not spend enough money and the author feels more money needs to be spent.

 

Which of the option(s) is/are correct? 

 

  1. B
  2. A & B
  3. A
  4. C


 

Paragraph 4 of the text around tourism in Southern Italy

The Italian government tried to boost interest in the southern region with its $50 million Italia.it website, but it still debuted with glitches and inaccuracies.

What does the author want to suggest with the word ‘still’? Answer in your own words.  

 

  1. He wants to suggest that despite the high cost of the website, it did not perform smoothly.
  2. He wants to suggest that even when the website is so costly, there are flaws with the system.
  3. He wants to suggest that even when the website is so expensive, the system is lousy.

 

Which of the option(s) is/are correct? 

 

  1. B & C
  2. C
  3. A, B & C
  4. A & B
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Comprehension Skills - Direct Recall Of Relevant Material, Paraphrasing Text 2 Skills: Literacy Devices
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