Study S2 English English - Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions - Geniebook

Comprehension Skills: Direct Questions

In this chapter, we will learn more about direct questions that are tested within the Comprehension component. Specifically, we will be discussing the different types of direct questions i.e. Analysis type and Literal type with the help of some examples.
 

Let’s go through the topics to be covered in this chapter:

 

Text 3 (Direct Questions)

  • Analysis Type 
  • Literal Type
  • Worked Examples

Text 3 (Factual Text)

  • History of Silk

 

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 so that you do not overlap into other 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

They are more straightforward. They will ask you a direct question which may entail literally lifting it from the passage. These answers have to be accurate and reply precisely according to the question requirements. 

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

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

 

Let’s understand the above topics with the help of some examples:

 

Question 1:

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.

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. 

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.

 

 

Question 2:

The text below describes Olduvai Gorge, a rich archaeological site that preserves one of the best records of human history.

Olduvai Gorge is a site in Tanzania that holds the earliest evidence of human existence. Paleoanthropologists have found hundreds of fossilised bones in the area dating back millions of years, leading them to conclude that humans evolved in Africa.

The excavation project of fossil bones in East Africa was pioneered by Louis and Mary Leakey. The couple first met on a dig in England, and both worked briefly at Olduvai Gorge before getting married. While there in the 1950s and 1960s, the pair stumbled across remains of animals and managed to unearth several fossil skeletons. They also discovered stone tools, which held valuable information about human evolution. Among their most notable finds were several extinct vertebrates, including the 25-million-years-old Proconsul primate, one of the first of few fossil ape skulls discovered.

Cite evidence to support the claim that Olduvai Gorge is a rich archaeological site.

  1. Paleoanthropologists made important discoveries based on the hundreds of fossilised bones, dating back millions of years, found in that area.
  2. The rare fossilised skull of an extinct vertebrate, the 25-million-years-old Proconsul primate, was first found there.
  3. Stone tools, which held valuable information about human evolution, were found there.

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

 

  1. I & II
  2. I, II & III
  3. III
  4. I & III

 

Answer:

(B) I, II & III

 

 

Question 3:

The text below discusses the benefits of making your bed in the morning.

Studies have shown that making your bed right after waking up in the morning is the best way to feel motivated for the day ahead. This is because doing so will allow you to feel as though you have accomplished your very first task of the day. The power of such a consistent habit is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being and a generally more content mood.

Why would making your bed in the morning make you feel more motivated?

  1. Making your bed in the morning will allow you to feel as if you have accomplished the first task of the day.
  2. Making your bed in the morning is a consistent habit correlated with better productivity.
  3. Making your bed in the morning gives you a greater sense of well-being and a generally more content mood.

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

 

  1. I, II & III
  2. III
  3. II & III

 

Answer:

(A) I

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (A) because doing so will allow you to feel as though you have accomplished your very first task of the day.

The answer is explicitly found in the passage. The indicator clue is in the beginning of the second sentence: "This is because..." (following right after "Studies have shown that making your bed right after waking up in the morning is the best way to feel motivated for the day ahead."). No paraphrase is necessary for this question.

 

 

Question 4:

The text below describes a small yet deadly animal, the mosquito.

In comparison to more powerful animals like lions and sharks, mosquitoes seem harmless due to their minute size. Although they may not seem as frightening, they can be far more deadly. In fact, the most dangerous animals are also the smallest ones. The animal that kills the most people every year is one that you have probably killed yourself many times: the mosquito.

Why might people be less fearful of mosquitoes compared to lions and sharks?

  1. Mosquitoes seem harmless because we have killed them many times ourselves.
  2. Mosquitoes seem harmless because of their small size.
  3. Mosquitoes seem harmless because they are less powerful than sharks and lions.

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

 

  1. II
  2. I & III
  3. II & III
  4. I

 

Answer: 

(C) II & III

Explanation:

Mosquitoes seem harmless because of their small size and they seem harmless because they are less powerful than sharks and lions. So, the correct answer is Option (C) i.e. II & III. 

 

 

History of Silk

The text is on the history of silk. Read it carefully and answer the questions.

 

Question 5:

Para 1:

One of the greatest trade routes was the Silk Road from China through Asia to Europe where silk was exchanged, stitching together people from all across the world. Once a luxury worth dying for, it has been called the ‘queen’ of all fabrics because of its luminous, satin smooth quality. This expensive fabric originates from the humble silkworm.

Identify a phrase that tells us that the history of silk has been a violent one.

  1. “Stitching together”
  2. “Once a luxury worth dying for”
  3. “Queen’ of all fabrics”
  4. “Originates from the humble silkworm”

 

Answer:

(B) “Once a luxury worth dying for”

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (B) i.e. “Once a luxury worth dying for”. The word dying shows violence.

 

 

Question 6:  

Para 1:

One of the greatest trade routes was the Silk Road from China through Asia to Europe where silk was exchanged, stitching together people from all across the world. Once a luxury worth dying for, it has been called the ‘queen’ of all fabrics because of its luminous, satin-smooth quality. This expensive fabric originates from the humble silkworm.

Explain the irony of the line in blue.

 

  1. Silk, which is exorbitant and highly-priced, comes from the humble silkworm.
  2. One would expect a fine fabric like silk to be associated with royalty and wealth, but it is associated with violence and bloodshed instead.
  3. Silk is called the “Queen” of all fabrics because of its luminous, satin-smooth quality. But, it is also like the queen of a chess game - powerful and deadly.
  4. It is expected that the silk, which is exorbitant and highly-priced, comes from a luxurious source. However, it actually comes from the simple silkworm.

 

Answer:

(D) it is expected that the silk, which is exorbitant and highly-priced, comes from a luxurious source. However, it actually comes from the simple silkworm.

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (D) i.e. it is expected that the silk, which is exorbitant and highly-priced, comes from a luxurious source. However, it actually comes from the simple silkworm.

While explaining the quote, we cannot use the words used in the quote. Hence, Option No (D) is correct.

 

 

Question 7:

Para 1:

Even in this day and age, with all the modern technological advancements that we have, we still cannot reproduce silk that is of the same quality as that from silkworms. Clearly, the silkworm is the superior manufacturer.

Explain why the silkworm is ‘clearly’ the ‘superior manufacturer’? Answer in your own words. 

  1. Even with the more sophisticated technology today, manufacturers cannot rival the silkworm which is better in silk production.
  2. Even with the more sophisticated technology today, manufacturers cannot beat the silkworm which is more excellent in silk creation.
  3. Even with the more sophisticated technology today, manufacturers cannot destroy the silkworm which is more efficient in silk weaving.

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

 

  1. II & III                     
  2. I                 
  3. I & II            
  4. II

 

Answer:

(C) I & II   

Explanation:

Statement III is incorrect because it uses the word “destroy” i.e. we are not trying to destroy the silkworm.

 

 

Question 8: 

Para 2:

Regarded as an extremely valuable product, initially, silk was the monopoly of the Chinese imperial family, who used it for the making of drapes, banners, and other items of prestige.

What does the word ‘monopoly’ suggest about the use of silk by the royalty?

  1. Silk was the preferred material for use by the royalty.
  2. Silk was exclusively reserved for use by the royalty
  3. Silk was solely reserved for use by the royalty 
  4. Silk was used by the royalty when they played monopoly.

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

 

  1. II & III                     
  2. III                 
  3. III & IV            
  4. I, II & III

 

Answer: 

(A) II & III.

Explanation:

Monopoly does not indicate a preference, it actually shows that someone has control or where someone is the only person. Mono means “one person” or “one entity”. In this case, something means silk.

Hence, statements I & IV are incorrect.

 

 

Question 9: 

Para 2:

Later, the favour of being able to wear silk was extended to landowners and merchants who sought to out-dazzle each other. The wealthier they were, the more colourful their clothes. Eventually, ordinary people could wear silk clothes, although they were not so elaborately embroidered, which was customary with the wealthy.

Find another word in the same paragraph that shows that the royal family was gracious in allowing other people to wear silk clothes.

 

  1. Ordinary
  2. Favour
  3. Customary
  4. Out-dazzle

 

Answer:

(B) Favour

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (B) i.e. favour. Doing something out of graciousness means doing something even though you do not have to i.e. you are not getting out of it. It means letting someone, giving someone something.

 

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