Passing the Chinese exam largely depends on how well you do in the Comprehension paper, or Paper 2. Your marks in the Comprehension exam make up for whatever you missed in Paper 1. You can literally pass the entire Chinese exam based on the strength of your Comprehension scores alone. But many students do not put in the study time required for the Comprehension exam.
Studying for it can be quite tedious and draining, and so they skip it, or breeze through it, and go in for the paper unprepared. It is possible to practice for the comprehension paper and study well enough to earn high scores. In Singapore, there are several qualified tutors who can provide tuition in Chinese. A tutor can help plan your study routine, and guide you on what to focus on for the Chinese comprehension paper.
Tuition is necessary if you are serious about passing the paper with good marks. You could always study by yourself, but getting a tutor to give you Chinese tuition keeps you on the straight path. Tuition in Singapore is done at your own convenience. You can work one-on-one with a tutor, or you can have sessions with your friends in a specific location. Nevertheless, self-study is still helpful.
Here are some things that can help you score well in your Chinese Comprehension Paper.
Your Reading Skills
Most of the time, students go to read past essay questions to get a feel of what could come out in the exam. This is a good way of studying, as long as you know that what will come out in the exam will be different.
Practice your reading skills with the old essay questions. It is important that you really read through the comprehension at least twice before you start answering. Some students read through once and instantly think that they have the answer. Sometimes they are this confidence because they think they read something similar in a former Chinese comprehension paper. They then write out the answers they have rehearsed, and they fail the paper.
When you get to the exam hall and get your paper, read through carefully. Then read through the second time. Make sure that you truly know what it is you have read. It doesn’t matter how proficient you are in Chinese: read through carefully. Over-confidence can also lead to unnecessary failure.
If you are not confident in your Chinese skills, still read the comprehension carefully. Mark out words you don’t understand. You can read through again and try to guess what they mean by context. When you study, keep a dictionary and/or a translator app handy to check the meanings of words. If you are studying with a tutor, they can explain the words to you.
Reading carefully and repetitively helps you understand the passage better. Don’t rush through your reading and practice your reading skills.
Understanding The Questions
Another thing that will help you pass the Chinese comprehension paper is truly understanding the questions. Chinese comprehension is structurally similar to English comprehension exams.
Most of the answers can be lifted from the passage directly. This is more prevalent in Chinese comprehension, which makes your job easier. However, if you don’t understand what the question is asking, you could answer wrongly, costing you marks in the exam. If Chinese is a bit difficult for you, you may have problems with writing some of the Chinese characters that seem so similar.
As you read the questions, you need to ensure that you know what you have read and given the correct answers, without mixing up the characters. There are different ways to answer the direct questions asked in the Chinese comprehension. Make sure you adjust your answers appropriately, and you can only do this when you understand the question.
Finding The Answer
You have mastered good reading skills. You now understand questions before answering them. Now you need to actually find the answers.
Some students have mastered a particular method of answering comprehension questions. They take note of words in the question that appear in the passage. More often than not, those words are part of the right answer to the question. While this helps, you need to put in more effort.
As you read the passage, take note of the context in which it is written. Knowing the context helps in understanding the questions. As you read the questions, the context becomes clearer, and finding the answer is easier.
If you don’t do this, you may lose some marks because you won’t answer the questions, as you should. For instance, some words occur throughout the passage. If you don’t know the context, you could answer with the wrong words or phrase. You may write a lot of words that are unnecessary, leaving out the important facts.
Though the Chinese comprehension paper asks mostly direct questions, there are still some questions that require you to infer the answer. You will also get some questions on vocabulary. These answers can’t be lifted directly from the passage.
To answer these correctly shows that your Chinese is very good. Never fear if it isn’t, though: you can always guess the answer. Even if you don’t get the full marks, you will get some marks for your answer.
And there you have it. These tips will help you in your preparation for the Chinese comprehension exam. You don’t have to be afraid or doubtful of your proficiency in the language. Put in the appropriate amount of study, and you will do well. If you feel you need more help, don’t be shy to ask for it. Singapore has many qualified tutors that can help. You can arrange tuition after school with your classmates and friends.
Using textbooks and past Chinese comprehension exams to study is great. Just bear in mind that your exam won’t be what you study, verbatim. Use them as guides only, and use these tips as you study. Practice makes perfect, so practice as much as you can.
Looking for more helpful articles like this to help in your exams? Here are some you can read:
What You Need To Memorize Before Singapore Chinese Essay Exams
Chinese Exam Mistakes All Singaporean Students Make