Effective Questions To Help Test Comprehension

When reading long and complex text, it’s easy to lose…

When reading long and complex text, it’s easy to lose focus and forget the main ideas and context of what you read. This is where questions for comprehension prove to be very beneficial for students and readers in general.

Comprehension questions can help you keep track of what you’ve read and help you retain the “big picture” of the text. It’s taking a step back to better understand the text you’re reading. 

Effective comprehension questions include asking readers to identify something in the text, relate it to themselves, determine the overall idea, and more.

Keep on reading to find effective questions that you can use to test and improve your comprehension.

A person sitting on the floor, reading a book.
Photo by Blaz Photo on Unsplash

When reading long and complex text, it’s easy to lose focus and forget the main ideas and context of what you read. This is where questions for comprehension prove to be very beneficial for students and readers in general.

Comprehension questions can help you keep track of what you’ve read and help you retain the “big picture” of the text. It’s taking a step back to better understand the text you’re reading. 

Effective comprehension questions include asking readers to identify something in the text, relate it to themselves, determine the overall idea, and more.

Keep on reading to find effective questions that you can use to test and improve your comprehension.

Questions For Comprehension

Basic Story Structure Questions

The story structure refers to how each piece of information fits into the rest of the text. The reader requires this to understand what they’re reading.

You will learn to understand how events occur in a particular order by answering these questions. You’ll also see how they affect each other and, ultimately, what happens to the characters.

  • What is the title of this book?
  • Who are the authors and illustrators?
  • Is this book fiction or nonfiction?
  • How does the story start? How does it end? What happened in the plot?
  • Can you retell the story in sequential order?
  • Where is the story set?
  • What is this story’s genre? How can you say so?
  • From which perspective is the story told?
  • Who are the major characters?
  • What is the conflict in the story that the characters must resolve? How were they able to do it?

Making Predictions Questions

These questions get students to think about their own understanding of the text and speculate on what might happen next. They are also important because they get students to make connections to their own experiences, which can lead to a richer form of comprehension.

You can ask them these before, during, or after reading.

  • What do you think will happen next? How can you say so?
  • Do you think the characters will experience any difficulties or conflicts? What makes you believe this?
  • What do you think will happen if [condition or situation]?
  • How do you think the story will end?
  • What do you think the characters are feeling or thinking?
  • What do you think the character is going to do next? Will their actions affect the story?

Summarising Comprehension Questions

Summarizing a text requires you to note the most important ideas and themes of the text. Use these questions to encourage students to remember critical portions of the text.

  • What is the main theme of the story?
  • What was the story’s plot? Can you tell it in order?
  • Which part of the story do you think was most pivotal? Why?
  • What changed the story’s outcome? Did you expect it to happen?
  • What was the character’s mission? How were they able to achieve it?
  • Why did [specific event in the story] happen?

Questions About Making Connections in The Story

Children must learn to tell stories in interesting and exciting ways. With more practice, they’ll be able to build more solid connections within the text they read.

It is important to pause when reading and allow students time to think about connections. These questions can also help them out in doing so.

  • Does the protagonist remind you of anyone?
  • Does this remind you of other books you’ve read in the past?
  • What did you feel when you finished reading the story? Why did you feel that way?
  • Did you learn a lesson from this story that you can apply in your life?
  • What is the story’s relevance to the real world?

Questions About the Author’s Intent

Considering the author’s purpose for writing a particular story is essential. This lets you better see the story from their perspective. 

  • Why did the author choose to write this story? Is it to persuade, entertain, or inform?
  • What message did the author intend to convey? How can you tell?
  • Why did the author choose this particular setting for the story?
  • Is the title interesting? Is it relevant to the story? Why? 

Wrapping Up

Questions for comprehension aim to test readers’ abilities to identify the main idea, summarize, interpret details, and infer. They are essential in developing a student’s comprehension and critical thinking skills. The next time you read a book, try answering these questions to understand the story truly.

Frequently asked questions

Effective Questions To Help Test Comprehension

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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