Blog Parents Teaching Tips 8 Reading Comprehension Strategies You Can Use In Your Exams

8 Reading Comprehension Strategies You Can Use In Your Exams

Learning how to read is a challenging skill for many students to learn, especially younger students. As they move from one reading material to another, they need to learn new concepts which challenges their current reading level.

Due to this challenge, it is important that your child practice various comprehension strategies to help them master reading and not just focus on one strategy. This will not only improve your child’s skill in understanding the passage but also increase his marks in the comprehension section.

In this article, we will look at 8 reading comprehension strategies that you can apply in your exams if you are having problems with this topic:


Under the visualisation strategy, you will use your imagination to create a mental image to understand the text and figure out its meaning. This is why creativity is an important skill. 

As they read a text, students will need to form the image in their mind so they can get a clear picture of the situation being presented in the text. Students who can master this technique will not just be able to create the images as they read, but also imagine the taste, smells and sounds also included in the text.

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The best way to learn this strategy is by reading a text you have already read. As you read it aloud, you should start creating the mental images that the text is trying to share in your mind. Repeat the process in various types of passages until it will become second nature to you.


The questioning strategy inspires students to question what they read and explore the text further.

This ensures that the students focus on the text they are trying to read and see what it is trying to teach rather than reading the text in passing and only knowing the basic information it is trying to teach.

Learning this strategy is easy. You can start by listing down questions they think will be discussed in the text and see if it will be answered by the text. Increasing your child’s focus also helps. 

These questions will allow you to focus on the reading and understand it in a deeper perspective. It will also show you how to clarify your questions.


The metacognition or monitoring compression strategy focuses on analysing one’s understanding of a topic as it is being read. Students must focus on their way of thinking as they read a specific test, thinking about their thought process.

As you use this strategy, it will help you understand your thought process and filter the information you are getting to know which one is new information, what questions you have regarding the topic and what background knowledge you may have about the topic.

The strategy will also help you understand how every topic links together and be able to determine the meaning behind the text.

To master this comprehension strategy, read the text out loud and start thinking about what you are getting from the text. What questions you may have about the topic, determine the arguments it is presenting and think about what they understand about the topic.

You should also use other genres to practice their metacognition skills. For more on this topic, check out this article. 

Activating background knowledge

This strategy inspires students to use their background knowledge or experience and connect it with the things they are reading. This is only effective if your child is widely exposed to different topics.

Background knowledge are subjects a student is already familiar with and the more they have knowledge over a certain topic, the better they will be able to comprehend the text they are reading. They will also be able to pick up new information and concepts through it.

To learn this strategy, you can do an initial reading of the text and think about what it is about.

As you read the text, pick the facts that you are familiar with and see what new information you can learn from it. You can then move to other topics to learn more about the text which you are not familiar with.

Analysing text structure

This strategy of analysing text structure focuses on one’s capability to understand how a text is structured and analyse it.

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Students must be able to discern how writers organise their thoughts through the text presented to them. They can do this through problem-solution pattern, matrix pattern or cause-effect pattern. Learning the pattern on how the material is presented will enable them to understand the information in the text.

To learn this strategy, pick a certain text that you want to learn and read it aloud. As you read, stop in key points and analyse what you are thinking about regarding the text. You can take notes while you read to help you.

You should then find the answer in the rest of the text and see what other conclusions you may find.


In this strategy, students play detective in understanding the meaning of the text which is not directly mentioned.

This means that students need to “read between the lines” to understand the text better. Critical thinking is important in this strategy because you need to dig deeper than the text you are trying to understand.

Inferring can be learned by using a specific text where you think about what is happening in the text. Once you think about this point, you need to look for clues that will answer your questions about the text.


With the summarising strategy, you will read the text in full and then retell it in your own words. This method is good to train young readers to be able to retell the story in their own words.

This strategy will help students pick out the main points of the text. They must also notice these points and consolidate them accordingly to find out the main idea behind the text.

To practice this method, read a specific text and write your own summary. Once you do this, check if you have caught all the key points of the text.

Keep practicing until you are able to pick the key points easily in every text you read.

Determining Importance

The final reading comprehension strategy that you can try out is called determining importance strategy.

In this strategy, you prioritise the main key points they see as they read a text. Students must also be able to find all the clues in the text and sort out these points based on their importance.

A simple way to practice this strategy is by using post-it notes to list down all the key information you see in the text. Once all the points are listed, you must rank the information based on their importance.


Reading comprehension can be tricky, especially if you are trying to master complex text. However, with the help of any one of these reading comprehension strategies, you will be able to develop the right skills to understand any text and understand it beyond the information the text is presenting. Make sure to practice these techniques regularly so that you will be able to alternate between strategies and internalise the text no matter what they may be.

For more tips to score in your English exams, check out these articles:

Most Common Pronunciation Mistakes in English Oral Exams Made By Singapore Students
7 Tips to use ‘Situational Writing’ to Score Well in N-Level English Composition Writing Exams

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.